The importance of digital literacy
IT literacy is of paramount importance in today’s digital age. It empowers individuals to navigate and harness the vast realm of technology. Understanding IT basics is not only a prerequisite for many job roles but also an essential life skill. It enables people to communicate, access information, and solve problems in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. Furthermore, IT literacy plays a pivotal role in safeguarding against cyber threats, ensuring data privacy, and promoting digital citizenship. In essence, IT literacy is the key to unlocking opportunities, enhancing communication, and ensuring security in our modern, interconnected world.
What are we doing to combat Digital Exclusion?
Digital Skills Course
In conjunction Coventry City Council’s Adult Education department, Valley House has created a valuable opportunity for our service users to enhance their digital skills and confidence in a supportive environment, with the added convenience of provided laptops for use during the sessions. We have created a 10 week digital skills course, delivered at Valley House by an experienced trainer, from Coventry City Council. The course started in September with a small group who have been attending consistently since it started. It has gone so well we will be running it again from January 2024 to allow more of our service users to benefit.
“The group have been able to enjoy learning a number of computer skills, including where to find items on their laptops. How to locate photos on your laptop or phone and how to see on either or both devices. Understanding computer safety and how to use your emails. The group and great and supporting each other throughout the sessions.”
“The Group has really helped refresh my computer skills as well as learning new things”
Increasing access to the internet
To bring digital inclusion to the more vulnerable residents of Coventry, #CovConnects has been working in partnership with Valley House and Jangala on a pilot project centred around establishing secure internet connectivity in our safe and supported domestic abuse service.
Valley House provides tailored support services to victims of domestic abuse . This support includes safe and supported accommodation, one-to-one case work and structured group work, as well as specialist support for black and minority ethnic people, people who identify as LGBTQ+, older people and people with care and support needs and other underrepresented groups.
As part of the pilot project, Valley House received 27 ‘Get Boxes’ (rapidly deployable, cost-effective internet connectivity devices) from Jangala, who are a UK based charity dedicated to enabling internet access for people in need of urgent humanitarian aid or longer-term development assistance.
Valley House has accessed National Databank SIM Cards from the Good Things Foundation in tandem with Jangala’s Get Boxes. This has meant our service users in 27 of our properties have been able to “get connected”. As well as being able to access essential online services for health, education and banking it has also improved social inclusion through being able to view entertainment on streaming websites such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Disney+.
One of Valley House’s service users had this to say about their experience with the Get Box:
“I love it, I saved at least £10.00 per week straight away which is helping me budget better. I can book my appointments easier now and I can watch films and craft things. I am going to try and get my Alexa set up on the internet!”
The pilot is nearing completion and feedback has been so positive that Jangala have agreed to provide us with Get Boxes for all of our properties. This means 61 individuals/families will be able to benefit
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