As technology advances, we become more and more dependent on it. For most people, this means maintaining a steady internet connection and streaming our favorite shows on the television. For the late adopters of this newfound technology, they tend to find themselves lost down a rabbit hole of which they can find no escape. I think we’ve all gone through the often taxing experience of teaching our elders how to navigate the internet of things. The good news is, you can put your worries aside because the Public Library Association has a solution.
In a press release on February 4, 2020, the ALA announced a free online course in how to navigate YouTube. The course is very brief at just 21-minutes long and can be done in one sitting. There are 7 activities, each exploring a different topic, such as: What is YouTube, searching YouTube, creating an account, etc. There are also practice modules where they can test out performing the skills they were just taught.
The course is offered through digitallearn.org which has a total of 25 different courses in various subjects concerning the digital world. Notable course offerings include Getting Started on a Computer, Intro to Email, Using a Mac, Online Job Searching, and Online Scams. These courses are free, take very little time to complete, and are offered in both English and Spanish with the option for subtitles for the hearing impaired.
Leighann Wood, PLA program manager, said in a statement, “The public library is a trusted access point to find, understand, and act on information of all kinds, including the wealth of content offered on YouTube. But we can’t expect people who aren’t familiar with technology to be able to jump in and go, especially when we want them to explore online safely and effectively. That’s why we create courses for DigitalLearn.org, to help foster engagement with technology and to teach people the digital skills they need to be successful in today’s world.” You can thank your public libraries for stepping in and teaching your grandparents how to RickRoll you until your ears bleed.
Digital literacy is very important and an issue that the PLA takes very serious. If you have parents or grandparents that have a difficult time figuring out why the picture on their computer monitor is upside down or are concerned about them after they sent your entire inheritance to a couple of Nigerian Princes via Western Union, then show them this website. The ironic thing about it all is that you’ll probably still have to show them how to access the website to do the modules, but it’ll be time well spent.