Helping Nick to access online learning

Learner using headphones to access online learning meetings

Online classes and distance learning allow learners to study at their own pace. However, they often can require learners to have good IT skills to navigate the different online systems and websites the education providers use.

Nick is a retired stage sound and lighting engineer. His career led to hearing loss, for which he now has hearing aids.

Nick started an Open University course recently. However, technical and accessibility made it difficult for him to access the course. For example Nick found that using headphones with his hearing aids resulted in feedback on Zoom calls for online learning. This made taking part in meetings impossible. Nick wasn’t used to using a computer and funding course materials difficult to navigate.

Our volunteer digital champion, Richard, met with Nick to hear about the difficulties Nick was having and help him to find solutions. They worked together to organise Nick’s files by adding bookmarks they made it easier for him to find the learning materials.

Richard helped Nick to research different type of headphones, ones typically used by gamers. These covered Nick’s ears and prevented feedback with his hearing aids. The change was remarkable, and Nick was overjoyed at the results. Richard was also able to get Nick a donated second screen to increase his productivity.

Richard’s support has renewed Nick’s confidence in his abilities. This has enabled him not only to engage with his online study but also to maintain connections to the outside world.

Nick described Richard’s support as “essential”. He continued to explain that he appreiciates Richard’s “ability to simplify complicated concepts.”

“Do you (or someone you know) need help to get started using technology or want to build your confidence to do more online?

If so, please call 0808 196 5883 and leave a message. One of our team of trained digital champions will call you back and offer friendly, patient support over the phone. You can find more information on our website or by calling us.

Could you support others in learning to get online and improve their digital skills?

You don’t have to be a technical whizz to be a Digital Champion. You do need to be patient, understanding and a great communicator.

Digital Champions volunteer their time to help others to improve their digital skills and benefit from using the internet safely. Read more here