John has been volunteering for Digital Brighton & Hove for 2 years and has helped many learners to use technology to improve their lives. John supports Paul and wrote this letter to him so that Paul could be reminded of how far he’d progressed in his digital journey. We’re delighted to share this letter (with Paul and John’s consent). It gives a real insight to what it is like to get support from a Digital Champion to improve digital skills and confidence.
I want to recognise the progress you have made in using digital devices. But, more importantly I want you to recognise the progress that you have made yourself.
When we first met, you were concerned that your phone was using your credit, so wanted to understand how to manage Mobile Data. Once that problem was resolved, you were still uncertain about using your Smart Phone in case the Mobile Data switched itself back on again. It took a little while for us to be confident the problem was permanently resolved.
Since then you have become comfortable with so many other things, such as:
- Understanding the capabilities of the phone e.g. the volume control, camera, and calculator
- Adding credit to your phone
- Using the circle – to show your homepage, and the square – to enable you to shut down unused and/or problematic Apps
- Finding and launching Apps on your phone
- Establishing WiFi connectivity to Link-Free and your Vodaphone WiFi box, from both your laptop and phone
- Sending and receiving emails from your laptop
- Adding email attachments and sending them from your laptop
- Receiving and opening attachments in email using your laptop
You have developed the ability to:
- Record and playback your guitar practice
- Use BBC iPlayer from your laptop and you have used that extensively
- Use WhatsApp to send and receive messages and make phone calls
- You have the basic skills to use Microsoft Excel from your laptop. You can use several tools on the toolbar and have access to a video tutorial on YouTube to learn more Excel functionality (i.e. formulas)
- Download Apps from the Play Store to your phone
- Use the BBC weather App, the Met Office App, Garden Radio App, and the BBC Sounds App on your phone
- Search using Google/Chrome and YouTube
- Play music stored on your phone using the App you downloaded
- Connect you phone to other devices (speaker) using Bluetooth
It is perfectly normal to get anxious when things don’t go right when using digital devices. It’s also perfectly normal to get anxious when using a new App. It happens to all of us. There is no need to apologise when you get anxious.
Did you notice how anxious and irritated I got when I had the Microsoft Edge problem? Anxiety is normal, it happens to all of us. When I had that problem, you came up with a workable solution to bypass the problem (by moving out of range of the Link-Free WiFi), which was impressive!
Your anxiety when using digital devices will reduce as you use them more often and become more familiar with them. Remember if something goes wrong and you don’t know how to fix it, you have a number of options:
- Ask me when I next see you
- On your phone, tap the square and then close the App by tapping the cross
- Call Digital Brighton & Hove on 0808 196 5883
Be pleased and proud of yourself by recognising the progress you have made! Practice using the Apps at home, you’ll become more relaxed with them and will find features that most Apps have.
I look forward to continuing working with you,
If you’re interested in volunteering with us please find our more here.