The value of being a Digital Champion

This is plea to all of you who surf the Internet and can use technology reasonably well.  Especially if you like the idea of  demonstrating your technical knowledge and have the willingness to help others.  As government bodies and other service providers choose only to let people access their facilities via the Internet, there is at present a constant need for Digital Champions.  As a Digital Champion myself, here are my views on it’s values and benefits.

The important factor for me is enjoyment.  The interaction between you and the person who knows nothing or very little about the Internet, the passing on of the information and the knowledge that person needs, to be able to do their digital task.  Sometimes this is not easy, and you do need to be very patient with some people you encounter. Your patience is rewarded though, when you see the expression on their face that says ‘I’ve got it!, I understand!’ With understanding for some, inspiration and confidence follows.  There is nothing better as a champion to sit in silence as you watch someone you have taught, turn on a computing device and then searches for information without asking you for help.

The whole experience is very uplifting for me, and as often been a welcome antidote, if I’ve had some personal or work issue niggling away at my mind.  But it’ not just the emotional aspect that makes championing appeal to me.  It is also the aspect of self development, particularly in terms of communication.  What a great way to demonstrate on your CV, if you are job seeker, that your voluntary role includes,  planning, instructing, being able to communicate with a wide range of people of all ages.

Activity and usage on the Internet is continually growing. Mature and older people who are entering into this realm for the first time, worry about the pitfalls that can occur in terms of identity theft and money.  Most have only read and heard  the bad side of the internet from the media and those who had little guidance when they first used the Internet.  Digital Champions help build their confidence and demonstrate the good and beneficial side of the Internet.

Likewise with younger people, although they may have the technology know how, and enjoy whizzing out what they are up to on various social media sites.  They have little awareness of what dangers they can encounter if they are too open about themselves and the people they live with.  Again Digital Champions can sign post help and support with regards to safety online to this sector of Internet users.

But really, I have only just touched on the surface of what you can do as a Digital Champion,  the role can hold a wide variety of digital activity.   There are lots of charities in the UK looking for volunteers to be Champions, and the best bit is most of them offer FREE training, as long as you can make a commitment.  You don’t have to be tech savvy, or be between the ages of 18-24.  You just need some knowledge, enthusiasm, time and the desire to pass on digital skills.

And after the training, you could be a receive a thank you message like this.

Hello Lynne,

Thank you so much for the Link to the tutorial. I have already found it useful.

You are fountain of extremely useful information.   (Age UK Dudley client, on iPad course 2013)

 

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