No matter what your age, enjoying all today’s world has to offer involves going online and using technology. But if you don’t feel comfortable or confident with all things digital, it can be hard to participate and feel connected. To start honing your skills, try these key tips:
Start with a small goal.
Don’t set yourself up for failure and frustration by wanting to do it all at once. If you’re just starting out, set yourself a small achievable goal, like sending your kids or grandkids an email. If you’re more advanced, aim to master a new software program or platform, like InDesign or WordPress. Depending on your goal and level of expertise, you can find resources online or among friends and family.
Understand the basics.
Even if you think you’re beyond the basics, it’s important to make sure you have a solid foundation on which to build. Familiarize yourself with the general terminology of the digital world, including words like ISP, cookies and anti-virus software. You’ll also want to learn best practices for staying safe online, such as never opening an email from an unknown sender and looking for secure “https” sites when entering personal or financial information.
Participate in a workshop.
Sometimes face-to-face coaching is the best way to learn something new. A great resource is Youth Teaching Adults, a new digital literacy program that hosts free workshops where adults learn digital literacy skills from youth volunteer-tutors. The one-on-one workshops are led by youth, allowing them to develop important leadership skills and gain high school community service hours. Workshops can take place in all kinds of settings: learning and community centres, libraries, schools, youth centres and settlement or newcomers’ organizations across the country.