Making IT Personal: Joining the DOTs
This project is creating an innovative online learning community, based on the notion that people often learn best from those they know and trust. It supports volunteer mentors called Digital Outreach Trainers (DOTs) based in local communities – people who are committed to passing on their IT skills.
Anyone with competence in digital technology can become a DOT. Participants get coaching in mentoring, and can access learning resources and courses, including OCN level 2 or 3 accreditation as a Digital Mentor. The scheme offers wider learning opportunities, including literacy, numeracy and employability skills, with DOTs as mentors. Since its launch last year, over 300 mentors have been recruited and over 2,600 learners have participated.
Managed by Barnsley Council and funded by the Innovation and Transnational Strand of the ESF it involves a partnership including local authorities, colleges, the voluntary sector, Sero Consulting, NIACE, UK Online, Job Centre Plus and the Skills Funding Agency.
“You can work at your own pace so it fits into your lifestyle,” says one mentor. “As a single parent this is ideal for me. Through the scheme, I’ve realised how many skills I have to offer, which I took for granted before”, added one learner.