Today’s world is a digital world and those without the skills to participate in it are disadvantaged. Over 12 million people (around 1 in 5 UK adults) don’t have basic digital skills (Go ON) and as a result they have less opportunity to realise the individual, social, economic and health related benefits that having digital skills provides.
It has been estimated that the annual social value of every individual getting online for the first time is £1,064 (BT Valuing Digital Inclusion, 2014). The ability for individuals to use digital also results in them:
Having more confidence.
Making financial savings online.
Feeling less bored.
Having more opportunities to pursue hobbies.
Developing new job-seeking skills.
Reducing their social isolation.
What is a Digital Champion?
Digital Champions are people, such as staff, volunteers, friends and family members, who already interact with those who need better digital skills. Digital Champions are not technical wizards but have passion and confidence with using digital technology and a willingness to help others.
What difference can a Digital Champion make to helping people online?
When there is an existing relationship between a potential Digital Champion and an end beneficiary, there is an opportunity to add digital skills support into it. That digital skills support – whether it is signposting, advice or hands on tuition - is much more impactful because it is relevant and personalised for that engaged individual. Digital Champions can also provide accessible and regular support, giving that long term help that many internet beginners need.
How are the Digital Champions being trained and supported?
At the heart of One Digital, is Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, an e-learning platform and support network. It provides courses, resources and Mentor support to hone and develop personal skills and the essential teaching techniques. It is also the central area where data about Champion and end learner activities is collated. Digital Champions also receive Mozilla Open Badges, the emerging online approach to professional verification, for every course they complete. Open Badges are shareable and transferable and Digital Champions can use them on CVs and on LinkedIn as a recognition of the skills and aptitudes they have gained via the Network