First Click connects with WebWise
A message submitted by one of @VizTopTips followers on Twitter made me chuckle recently:
"BECOME an unpaid, on-call IT Support person by letting your neighbours know you 'work in computers a bit'."
18 October marks the start of Get Online Week. If you're reading this blog it's unlikely that you need any help with using a computer or connecting to the internet, but it's very possible that you know someone who does.
It's estimated that 9.2 million people in the UK have never used the internet. Almost two thirds of them are over 65. So it could be your neighbour, friend or even your nan who hasn't yet discovered what the internet can do for them and the BBC has a fantastic offering of online resources that are a great first stop for those new to the web.
BBC's First Click campaign (launched to coincide with Get Online Week) directs the wannabe web savvy to local beginners' computer classes and supplements this with a host of supporting material on BBC Online.
The First Click logo
Personal First Click tuition on these courses is backed up with a wealth of resource on BBC Connect - our media literacy portal which gives visitors the chance to access a range of learning experiences, articles and videos relating to media and technology from the BBC - and the best of the web.
Plugging into all this is WebWise, one of bbc.co.uk's oldest sites. The site went live in 1998, and has recently had a major overhaul in line with the BBC's latest design guidelines. But WebWise is more than just a pretty face. It carries informative answers to some of the questions most commonly asked by beginners. There are a variety of short videos which provide a quirky hook (think Monty Python meets Look Around You) into topics including 'What is the internet?', 'What is online shopping?' and 'How can I prevent identity fraud online?'.
On top of this, WebWise's Computer and Internet Basics course modules offer learners the chance to explore, among other things, the benefits of using email and online search skills. Users are taken on an interactive journey which allows them to experiment with using hardware and software in a safe space. There's even the Clicky Mouse Game to limber up the fingers in preparation for life online.
WebWise also has a stable of regular contributors to its Weekly Comment section. Bill Thompson kicked things off nicely with a column charting the history of computer learning.
So next time you get a panicky call from relative or neighbour asking why they can't get their computer to behave, resist the temptation to make a fix without explaining it. Agree to help this time, but suggest that perhaps it's time they became WebWise.
To sneak a look at all the BBC WebWise videos, look here.
Watch a First Click trail and learn more about the campaign on BBC Press Office website.
First Click on About The BBC Blog.
Zoe Breen is Senior Content Producer, BBC WebWise