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08.03.2011 Saratov
The Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy Center in Saratov State University Participates in Get Online Week
 
As part of Europe wide Get Online Week, the Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy Center of Saratov State University held a number of events, including:
1) Raising public awareness of the campaign through the news portal of the university and the website of its computer science department.
2) A series of First Click seminars – introduction to computing for Saratov residents of retirement and pre-retirement age.
3) Teach Your Own campaign.
4) Learn and Get your Digital Literacy Certificate campaign.

On 1 March 2011, the web portal of Saratov State University and the portal of its computer science program featured information on Get Online Week. According to the online counter, more than 240 visitors read the news on the website, and more than 2,000 people received notification of the campaign through the regular e-newsletter of the university’s computer science department.

Initially the plan was to hold only one event – a First Click seminar, introducing first time users of retirement and preretirement age to basic computing. Information about the seminar was posted on the news portal of Saratov State University and the web page of its computer science department, and within two days there were so many people wishing to attend the training that it was decided to hold several such seminars. As the result sixteen beginner users attended the seminars, learning the very basics of computing: turning the computer on and off, using the computer mouse, and getting online. However for some of them even this modest beginning was a great stride forward. Here is some of the participants’ feedback:

М. N. Lutova: “Now I know that the Internet hides many amazing discoveries, and that learning computer skills can be very exciting, even if initially taken up only to keep up with the times.”
Т. E. Rodina: “I have learned so many new things about computer hardware and software. And, even more importantly, I have made new friends – which at our age is always good news!”
Т.F. Lysunkina: “Many thanks for running this campaign for us senior citizens. And thank you for inviting us to take the full Digital Literacy course free of charge.”

Another campaign held in Saratov for Get Online Week was called Teach your Own. Everyone knows the sayings about wheelbarrows without wheels and cobblers’ wives being the worst shod. The same can often be said about Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy trainers. They spend their days teaching computer skills to high school and college students, job seekers and retirees, yet their own friends and family members often require assistance even for the simplest computer-based tasks. That is why the trainers of the Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy Center in Saratov decided to remedy the situation and provide digital literacy training for their own families and friends. Some taught their grandparents to turn the computer on and off, use the computer mouse and make sense of the file system. Others showed their parents how to look up theater information and show times online, or write to the director of the housing management, or to use Skype. Yet others introduced their friends to e-government services. The total of twelve users benefitted from this initiative. Here is what they wrote in their feedback:

А.М. Parshina: “In my seventies I am still learning new things – and I will continue learning about the computer and the Internet, too. I want to get online to check out summer traveling opportunities.”
L.I. Kudrina: “I have been using the computer for some time now; I am even registered in one of the social networks. But Skype is much better for chatting with family and friends, so I use it now to talk ‘face to face’ with my relatives from St. Petersburg.”
Т.V. Bukanova: “I already knew how to file my taxes online but now I’ve learned how to use e-tenders and the electronic stock exchange. I think this will help me expand my business.”

Another event of the week was Learn and Get your Digital Literacy Certificate – a campaign for Saratov State University students. They were invited to attend one-on-one consultations on Microsoft Office 2007 at the Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy Center, take the Certificate Test and receive Digital Literacy Certificates. More than fifty students from various departments made use of this opportunity.

Е.V. Grishina: “Back in high school I learned to use Microsoft Office 2003, but now most people use the 2007 version, with the new design and many new features. I had a hard time finding various functions, so it was good to get some help. And I am very happy to have the Digital Literacy Certificate – it will certainly be an advantage in my job search.”
V.D. Kuznetzova: “I am a law student, and in my work I will be using the computer daily, for drawing up agreements, claims, deeds and other legal documents. At the Tvoy Kurs: Digital Literacy Center the trainers showed me how to search the Internet for document templates and other helpful reference sources. I loved the website www.garant.ru – it’s a regular treasure trove of information, both for lawyers and other users as well.”

Thus Get Online Week in Saratov included events for various population groups and helped many users to the very tangible benefits of the World Wide Web.
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