Digital Communities: Week 2 Overview

by O2 Business

Week 2 of the Digital Communities project in St Helens is done and dusted – so let’s take a look at what’s been happening…

As always, the hot desks were busy as people made the most of the free connectivity and office space in the heart of St Helens. At O2, we practise a flexible working culture, so it’s great to see visitors and locals alike doing the same.

On Tuesday 20th October, we held two packed seminars on The Future of Digital. Ready or not, the digital future is closer than you think. There are now more mobile devices in the world than people. And people are more mobile than ever before as a result – choosing to use tablets over laptops and smartphones over tablets. The seminar was all about how to embrace digital at home and in the workplace. Our Digital Skills Exchange is helping young people in St Helens do this, by connecting them with businesses seeking digitally skilled employees so they gain valuable work experience.

On Wednesday, we held Parent Online Safety workshops as part of our partnership with the NSPCC. Attendees discussed their experiences of what their children do online, and the risk involved. Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn’t just the children who have things to learn. Some parents post “back to school” photos of their children but were unaware that if the photos are shared publicly, they can give clues to online predators about where their children are located.

To help parents protect their children online, the workshop outlined 5 main tips;

  1. Talk about online safety early, often and use privacy settings and reporting tools
  2. Explore sites, apps and games together so you aren’t in the dark about what they’re doing
  3. Set rules and boundaries as you would offline, and explain why they are important
  4. Make sure content is age-appropriate by monitoring what they are viewing
  5. Use parental controls – they are there to make the process easier

For more tips and guidance, visit www.net-aware.org.uk

And last but not least, on Thursday we held two RNIB – 24 Apps in 24 Hours: unlocking possibilities through touch seminars. We looked at how the arrival of smartphones and tablets has been a game-changer for accessibility. You can enlarge text, adjust screen brightness and access voice command easily. This applies to all users but especially those with disabilities, who can now use a wider range of devices thanks to the in-built accessibility features. The main theme here is that devices and apps have got personal. Individuals can choose the technology they prefer to help them to overcome the barriers that they face in their day-to-day lives. Digital Communities aims to support local people by building their digital skills and confidence, so they can make the most of new smart devices and apps. And this all links back to the heart of O2’s agenda to make sure the possibilities of technology are open to everyone – whatever their circumstance.

That’s it for week 2 – next Monday, we’ll look back at Week 3. In the meantime, to find out more about upcoming events and how to get involved, follow #HelloStHelens or visit the website.