Improve your digital skills

Being able to use the internet, phones and apps is keeping families in touch, food on the table and children learning during Covid-19. We’ll help you to improve your digital skills.

It can be scary to learn something new, especially when you feel that you’ve been left behind. If there’s one thing worth remembering, it’s this.

 

Over 50s helpline

There is a helpline for over 50s Hackney residents who want some help in getting online or using their devices. It’s available on Tuesdays 10am to 3pm by ringing 020 3383 0111.

How-to videos

We’ll keep adding to this page with new skills that you might need. Email us if there’s something you want us to include.

 

Get started – set up your new device and wifi

If you know someone has just received a new device, these three short videos will show them how to get setup. There’s also a transcript for each video, to read along with it or print.

We’ve made the videos as slow as we can but you can pause them whenever you like. If you want to slow them down further, you will need to open the video in YouTube itself and tap the Settings icon that looks like a cog and then Playback speed.

Unboxing and connecting to wifi

How to set up a completely new device and connect to wifi. This example uses a Kindle Fire 7 but it will be similar for other devices.

There is a transcript of the video if you would like to read along with the video.

Register and get started with your new device

If this is a brand new device then please first listen to our ‘Unboxing and connecting to wifi’ video. This example uses a Kindle Fire 7 but it will be similar for other devices.

There is a transcript of the video if you would like to read along with the video.

Home screen and apps

There are a lot of icons on the home screen. Don’t feel the need to understand what each of them does. Find out more about this, how to navigate the icons and what to do when your storage is full by watching the video. This example uses a Kindle Fire 7 but it will be similar for other devices.

There is a transcript of the video if you would like to read along with the video.

Get started – basic controls on your device

This video will show you the basic controls on your device and how you can use them to play videos. For example, how to pause the video or change the volume. There’s also a transcript to read along with it.

Search on the internet

We’ve created the following video on YouTube to show you how to search for something on the internet. We’re searching for ‘how to create a Gmail account’ as the example.

The example uses a phone but it’s very similar on a tablet. A laptop may differ slightly.

There is a transcript of the video if you would like to read along with the video.

Download an app – with Zoom as the example

This video below will show you how to download an app from the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play Store (for Android devices) onto your phone or tablet. The example uses a phone but it is very similar on a tablet.

Apps are like mini websites. They are created by companies to make it easier for people to use their services. A company may have several apps, each for different tasks – for example, Tesco has apps for grocery shopping, Clubcard services and banking.

Watch the video and see if you can download the Zoom app from the App Store. You can also read along with this transcript.

Use email

Many companies will give you a free email account, eg Google, Yahoo, Outlook (formerly ‘Hotmail’) or AOL. And businesses like BT, Virgin, Apple or Sky will also give you one if you buy services from them.

It’s easiest to have one email account and stick with it. It doesn’t matter if you move house or get a new phone, you’ll always have the same email address.

The following videos will take you through the steps to set up and use Gmail. To do this, you need a Google (or Gmail) account. First tap or click on this Create a Gmail account link to begin on the same page as the video starts.

The example uses a phone but it is very similar on a tablet. A laptop may differ slightly.

Create a Gmail account

You can also view a transcript to read along with the video.

Access your Gmail account

You can also view a transcript to read alongside the video.

Read an email with Gmail

You can also read a transcript along with the video.

Send an email with Gmail

You can also read a transcript alongside the video.

Join a Zoom meeting (with language options)

This short video will show you how to join a Zoom meeting that somebody has invited you to, on your phone or tablet. You should first download the Zoom app onto your device. Here’s the transcript to follow along with.

If English is not your first language, you can read a Zoom guide in a different language including Turkish, Somalian, Arabic and Polish (thanks to 100% Digital Leeds).

Here’s how to change the language on Zoom.

Message and call with WhatsApp

This short video will show you how to send your friends and family messages via WhatsApp, as well as make free phone calls and video calls. Follow along with the transcript if you like.

If you want to use WhatsApp in another language then here’s how to do it.

Join a meeting or event on Google Meet

If someone’s invited you to a meeting or event hosted on Google Meet then you might want to watch this short video explaining how to join it. And here’s a transcript to read along with.

How to Instagram

Fancy yourself as a social media influencer? Or maybe you just want a snappy way to share photos with friends and family? Learn how to use Instagram with this video, and read along with the transcript.

Join a GP’s virtual group consultation on Microsoft Teams

Group consultations let your GP deliver the care you need whilst connecting to, and getting support from, healthcare teams and each other. Many patients greatly benefit from group consultations, you can view a few examples in this short video.

During COVID and beyond, it’s important you continue to get the same level of care, which is why group consultations have gone virtual (online). The session is exactly the same, but without you having to physically attend an appointment at the hospital or surgery. 

Have you been invited to attend a Virtual Group Consultation by your GP, but feeling unsure on what to do now? Don’t worry. These short videos will show you how to set up for, and join it.

There are two videos: one on a phone (read transcript) and one on a tablet or laptop (read transcript). 

Supermarket shopping online

The video below will take you through how to order a supermarket shop online, using Iceland as the example. There are five videos in all, which will automatically run on from each other. They cover:

  1. Get started and create an account (read transcript)
  2. Choosing your items (read transcript)
  3. Booking a delivery slot (read transcript)
  4. Payment (read transcript)
  5. Arrival of your shopping (read transcript)

These steps are similar for every online supermarket and, indeed, for most other online shopping.

The example uses a laptop and the steps may differ slightly on a phone or tablet.

You will need an email address to do an online shop. If you don’t have an email address then you can learn how to create a Gmail account on this page also.

Translate a website into another language

Google Chrome can quickly translate a website into another language on either a phone, tablet or laptop. This video will show you how. If you are looking at a Google doc then you can translate it by going to Tools in the menu at the top of the page and selecting Translate document.

You can also follow along with this transcript.

If you want to slow the video down, you will need to view it directly in YouTube. So tap here for YouTube, tap the Settings icon that looks like a cog and select Playback speed.

Find support services near you

This video shows you how to navigate your way around our Find support services page to identify voluntary and community organisations that can help you with your particular issue.

If you want to slow the video down, you will need to view it directly in YouTube. So tap here for YouTube, tap the Settings icon that looks like a cog and select Playback speed.

Follow along with the transcript.

Scams

The vast majority of digital tasks are carried out online without risk or harm. However, it’s important to be aware that there are people out there with ulterior motives, and sites or emails that may not be what they first appear. Please read our Scams page for more information.

Further digital skills training

  • Hackney Works is a free employment service for residents that also offers training, including in digital skills.
  • Groundwork London runs a six week course Silver Connections – Making the Most of your Mobile for people aged 60+.
  • Make it click runs online courses for people who want to develop their digital skills, principally focussing on tools used at work.
  • Array of online lessons from Learn my way covering the basics up to looking for a job or managing your money online. Audio available.
Page updated on: 21 September 2020