Cairngorms Learning Partnership
Charity registered in Scotland SC030486
- From 16th November 2015 to 16th November 2016
- Award: £2,860 via Call 3
Our primary focus will be on the security sections of the Basic Digital Skills definition starting with security software and how to choose one, use it, check for updates and what the reports and warnings mean. Once the learners are confident that they are safe to go online we will then work through the other areas of the basic digital skills safety sections covering the areas of interest of the learners.
The learners will be local to the area and the sessions will be designed around their backgrounds and interests. The focus of the knowledge sharing will on their interests so the safety element becomes a natural part of a fun and interesting session and the learners are not put off or scared away by highly technical safety discussions.
The project will run in Kingussie, Badenoch and Grantown, Strathspey and will be run once a week over 5 weeks covering a different topic each week. We will run 3 of these sessions in each town over the year and learners from the first session will be invited back to the subsequent sessions to refresh their knowledge by working with a new learner and sharing what they learned. There will be an IT qualified tutor at all sessions who will plan and deliver the contents of the sessions.
The devices used will be laptops in Strathspey and either laptops or PCs in Badenoch as we have a computer suite where PC learners can attend classes.
The local paper, the Badenoch & Strathspey Herold features an article about our upcoming courses.
December 2015: We have been working hard with our tutor Evan to create course materials, finding common tasks (such as shopping online or making updates for your computer) and developing fun ways for students to learn how to perform these safely and with confidence. Our course will be very flexible, the first session will cover a number of important topics including:
• Creating secure passwords
• Setting up a secure email
• An introduction to anti-virus software
For the remaining four weeks the students will be able to select from different topics so that the course suits their needs & they can discover how to do the things they want to do at home, without be held back by safety or security concerns. This month we have also purchased two laptops which can be used who cannot bring their own to the classes
Our courses were announced in our January newsletter and within a week and a half they were both fully booked! We are holding two sessions, one in Kingussie and one in Grantown.
Both of our courses were well attended & enjoyed by all students involved! Due to the early Easter it took a little while to reorganise the next set of classes but the Kingussie class began in March & the Grantown class will start in May.
Here are some of this things our students have said about the classes:
“The classes have extended my computer vocabulary!”
“The tutor was very patient with us all and I now feel a little wiser over a range of subjects “
“I’m more aware of the dangers of using the internet - and would like to learn more!”
“The course was very helpful and informative - the tutor was good at dealing with a class of people of different standards”
We have taken a break for the summer - we find that our learners prefer to make the most of the sunshine! But we are busy planning our next set of Cairngorms Computer Confidence courses & hoping to work on an unsubsidised next stage course as many of our learners are keen to learn more.
With the start of the autumn term we are back in full swing with more computing courses. Our next stage course, Cairngorms Computer Confidence EXTRA is underway and we are looking forward to our next two beginners classes which start in September. We are very excited to be using a new venue for one of these classes.
Our class in Grantown will continue - we are hoping to reach more learners by working with VABS (Voluntary Action in Badenoch & Strathspey) to attract some of their volunteers & help boost their computing skills.
Living in a rural community is making digital skills and getting online more and more important, yet the stories of hacking and cyber-crime put many people off. We therefore designed our sessions to start with setting strong passwords and giving participants the confidence to go online safely and then gave them a menu option to select the topics they wanted to learn most. We helped 39 people across both communities over 20 weeks. All 39 learners covered the 3 main topics of problem solving (a mixture of solving an actual problem and internet safety / security), managing information and communicating. Only two learners wanted to know about creating content online (through social media) and only one learner wanted to know more about transacting online (buying travel tickets). All learners said they had improved their digital skills and most said they had gained confidence, both in their skills and in using the internet safely.
All the learners who completed a feedback form benefited from more knowledge round security and setting strong passwords. The menu of topics for the rest of the sessions was generally well received, giving learners an opportunity to co-design their learning based on what they wanted to do with their increased digital skills. Learners enjoyed getting handouts to take home with them and watching a demo followed by time to try for themselves and to practice. This gave them a step-by-step approach to follow and the time and space to try things out. The biggest challenge that learners seem to face is lack of confidence and concerns over ‘breaking’ a programme or a laptop. We found that different communities liked different styles of delivery, with one preferring a more drop-in style session while another liked a formal and structured class environment. The large range of abilities was sometimes a challenge for the tutors when trying to spend the right amount of time with each learner so asking learners to fill in a short questionnaire before attending would help us plan the sessions and activities to help with this challenge.