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Resources: Helping you get on-line

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Getting digitally connected means more than getting the infrastructure right. You need the equipment to access it and the knowledge to make use of it. The costs of computers and other ways to get on-line have reduced in recent years making them affordable to most people. There is also free access at local libraries. Libraries often run computer support sessions. Keep an eye out for courses at your local community education venue or college – many of them are specifically designed for adults who are new to using computers. If you are on-line already and want to learn more the following resources may help:

  • Learn My Way is a great starting point for anyone. There are quick guides to using e-mail, searching on-line, using the Internet safely and problem-solving. Possibly the best aspect is a section called ‘I need a bit of help from a human being’ – just enter your postcode and you’ll find locations all across the county where you can access help from a  person.
  • Digital Skills - a range of resources to help people get on-line and for those helping others get on-line. It features a very useful question and answer forum where you can ask pretty much any question you want about computers and IT.
  • BBC Webwise – the BBC’s IT training and information service - offers easily accessible help about getting on-line, staying safe, using on-line tools and social media – and help with straightforward no-nonsense question such as ‘what is a search engine?’.  There are also some great tips on applying for jobs on-line, using social media and staying safe on-line.

Remember, you don’t have to know everything about a computer to be able to use it, any more than you need to be a motor mechanic to be able to drive a car! It’s about knowing how it works for you, whether you need it for e-mailing, researching on the internet or for a specific business application.