By Christine Yunn-Yu Sun
Get Online Week – 18-24 October 2021 – is a digital inclusion campaign organised by Good Things Foundation Australia.
Beginning in the UK in 2007 and introduced to Australia in 2018, the campaign supports people to improve their digital skills and close the digital divide.
According to the campaign website, 2.5 million or 10 per cent of Australians are still offline.
Those at risk of digital exclusion include but are not limited to older people, people with disability, low- income families and First Nations people. They are missing out on the wellbeing and safety that digital skills can provide.
Last year, Get Online Week was celebrated by over 700 community organisations and 23,500 people across Australia. A subsequent survey found 99 per cent of event organisers recognised the
campaign’s benefits, not just in supporting people to improve their digital skills, but also in helping them to socially connect with others.
The survey also found 92 per cent of those attending last year’s events had learned something new. More importantly, 90 per cent of attendees said the campaign had inspired them to learn more about what they could do online.
This year, to celebrate Get Online Week, readers are invited to a series of programs organised by Eastern Regional Libraries (ERL). There’ll be a session on podcast and music streaming on Friday 15 October, and another about using online food and delivery services on Tuesday 19 October.
The “Cyber Safety” session on Wednesday 20 October will help parents and adults keep updated with the popular apps and platforms used by children and students. This is coupled with the “Safety First” session on Thursday 21 October, where everyone can learn how to protect our personal information and money and stay safe online.
Another special event on Friday 22 October will teach readers how to use Libby By Overdrive to access the library’s digital collection, which includes eBooks, eAudioBooks, graphic novels, picture books and books that read along.
Indeed, not just during Get Online Week, but every week in October and beyond there are exciting online events at our local libraries. For example, as we get ready for life after lockdown,
ERL has teamed up with Box Hill Institute’s Skills and Jobs Centre to offer three sessions on job readiness.
Whether or not to work away from home, it helps to know what employers are looking for. The “All About Interviews” session will be on Wednesday 13 October, the “Employability Skills” session on Tuesday 19 October, and the “Accessing the Hidden Job Market” session on Wednesday 27 October.
Finally, for those who enjoy creative activities at home – and in anticipation for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, ERL has a series of writing workshops for aspiring authors.
The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days The session on “world-building” already happened on October 9. But you can learn about “narrative structure” on Saturday 16 October, “protagonists and heroes” on Saturday 23 October, and “antagonists and villains” on Saturday 30 October. Then, when the writing commences in November, there’ll be four “write-in” sessions offering advice on issues such as plotting, character development and world-building. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in a community of writers!
All the aforementioned events are online and free, but bookings are essential. Details are on ERL website.