Keeping it in the family
Three generations of one family are proving that the benefits of being online can open up new opportunities for everyone.
Pauline had used computers at work to produce business reports and keep information up to date, but it was only when she retired last year that she really began to harness the power of the Internet. Encouraged by her daughter Catharine and granddaughter Emily, Pauline now uses the internet to book holidays, pursue hobbies and interests and keep in touch with her grandchildren using Skype.
Pauline has taken advantage of ‘Get IT Together’ courses in her community in Barnsley to extend her knowledge about web sites and how to stay safe online. She believes that everyone can benefit from being online and actively encourages her friends to do so. She enjoys being able to ask her granddaughter how to do things online and recently Pauline has used YouTube to learn how to play the Ukulele!
For daughter Catharine, developing her own computer skills was a crucial step towards employment. Attending classes herself, Catharine began to work in an office environment in a volunteer role which later led to part time employment. During this time she realised that she enjoyed sharing her digital skills with other people and took courses that led to her qualification as a community tutor. She has since delivered a number of courses in community venues and has recently got involved with the Get IT Together Barnsley project as a session tutor.
Catharine is currently teaching a group of new learners how to Skype and also how to do their shopping safely online. She says of the work:
“I really enjoy helping people to access the internet and get the most out of being online. On a personal level I use the internet to email, look for work, pay bills and do my shopping. It is such a useful tool that I can’t imagine how I would manage without it. “
Catharine’s daughter Emily is 10 years old and has been brought up in a digital world- she has her own laptop and iPod and regularly uses the computer to prepare PowerPoint presentations and help with her homework. She enjoys playing computer games and keeping in touch with her family and friends, many of whom don’t live close by. Catharine says that Emily would be absolutely lost without the internet and that it is a great help in her education. Three generations of the same family use their digital skills in very different ways, but all feel their lives have been enriched by having access to the internet.