We've set up Discovery sessions to deliver free basic digital skills training, and have just started running mobile training in Scotland. We think that it's brilliant but don't take our word for it - take Jo's.
Do you feel totally in control of your phone, tablet, social media or web skills? If not, you’re by no means alone – and we would love to lend you a hand, because we know how much better digital can make everyone’s lives. We’ve set up Discovery sessions at our stores in Islington, Maidenhead and Swansea to deliver free basic digital skills training, and have just started running mobile training in Scotland.
We’re also travelling out to work with community groups, job centres, schools and businesses around those areas too. It’s just the beginning of a commitment to making our Discovery sessions available to the entire UK by the end of 2018, via every one of our 324 Three stores.
But obviously we’re going to say the free Discovery digital training sessions are amazing. That’s why we talked to Jo Flower, who took part in 7 sessions this year, and asked her about her experiences. Jo, who has recently started a new job as a digital marketing executive, told us some simple things she learned have made a big difference.
How was your experience of Discovery’s free digital skills training?
I didn’t find the Discovery sessions intimidating at all; they’re run by approachable people in a comfortable, friendly environment. The 90-minute slots fitted easily into my day, no matter how busy I was and the digital team made shared information easy to understand. Sarah and Gareth were able to answer every kind of social media question put forward, whether it was personal or business.
What were you hoping to work on during the sessions?
Looking for work can be isolating; roles are usually promoted on employers’ websites or job-search sites, so you need digital skills to be able to find and contact them. The Discovery sessions on digital job hunting really do build confidence, especially when you’re learning to use Linkedin to promote yourself effectively.
In Discovery sessions, I learned tweaks and tips to get my Linkedin profile to All Star Status. I added my employer’s logo to the profile background and updated my existing image with a professional photo. The digital team showed me how to make the most of my headline – using snappy description of my skills to help potential employers find me. This experience helped me reply to the interview question ‘How have you kept your skills up-to-date?’
I also learned how to upload photos to Google Photos and documents to Google Drive, which is really useful to me professionally and personally.
What’s your top Linkedin tip?
Hide your Linkedin connections so competitors can’t use them as potential leads!
How has Discovery helped you at home?
In terms of family life, I’ve now downloaded WhatsApp onto my parents’ smartphones, and we set up a family group for sharing pictures and chatting. It’s really useful because my father, who doesn’t see very well, can now take part in our conversations when we all use voice messaging.
We also learned about staying safe online – which is even more important now I’m using all these new digital tools! The digital team shared a really useful website – outofyourhands.com – which has loads of information about what to do if you, or your children, have been scammed.
I’ve learned how to make sure my whole family is better protected online by helping them set up 2-tier security on apps for extra safety. During the sessions we were shown how using a banking app with fingerprint recognition is much more secure than going directly to that bank’s website.
What would you say to someone thinking about taking part?
I would recommend the Discovery sessions to anyone looking to get the most of their mobile devices, social media and the Internet – it’s a small amount of learning but makes such a difference both professionally and personally.
Now I’ve taken part in these Discovery sessions, I feel confident in providing marketing solutions and creating content. A colleague said my lack of fear about asking questions is the sign of someone who’s comfortable with their level of expertise. Discovery Centre has played a big part in building that confidence and finding myself a new digital marketing role, so thank you!