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Digital Champions

Everything you need to know if you are, or you're thinking about becoming, a Digital Champion

This guide covers what a Digital Champion is and what they do. It also includes guidance and links to resources to help you to support the learners you’re working with.

What a Digital Champion is

Digital Champions help people who get devices through Connecting Scotland to do things online like:

  • connecting a device to the internet using the Wi-Fi settings, and putting in the password when they need to
  • sharing documents by attaching them to an email
  • understanding that not all online information and content that they see is reliable

The aim is that, with support from Digital Champions, learners will be able to use the internet safely, confidently and effectively.

Digital Champions usually work in frontline positions in third and public sector organisations. For example, support workers, advice officers or befriending volunteers.

But all staff who come into regular contact with service users can be Digital Champions.

You do not need to be a technology expert to be a Digital Champion. But you do need to be confident in your own digital skills. You also need patience, enthusiasm and a desire to help others.

What Digital Champions do

The kinds of things that Digital Champions might help learners to do include:

  • setting up their device
  • setting up an email address
  • showing them how to use video calling
  • showing them how to shop online

Here’s a video of a Digital Champion from Fife Housing Group, talking about his experience of supporting others.

How much time it takes

Support sessions with learners usually take place in person, once or twice a week. But if it’s only possible to provide support sessions remotely, they’ll take place on the phone.

30 – 45 minutes is usually enough time to make some progress without overwhelming the learner.

All this will depend on who you’re working with and what they need. It also depends on how your organisation usually delivers support.

The support relationship should last for up to 6 months. But it could be shorter if your learner picks up all they need, or want, to know pretty quickly.

Building your digital confidence

You probably already have the softer skills you need to be a Digital Champion. For example, active listening, problem solving and empathy. And you may also have most of the digital skills to offer support to others.

But it’s important to check that you’re confident in the digital skills you use inside and outside work.

Use our Essential Digital Skills Checklist to help you measure these skills. It will help you find the main areas you need more support to develop.

Once you’ve worked through the checklist, you’ll get a list of resources to help you build your skills based on the results.

Your online preferences and fears

As well as your skills, it’s important to be honest about your fears, and dislikes, about being online.

We all have them, but it’s important that you’re aware of yours and don’t allow them to have a negative impact on, or scare, your learner.

For example, just because you don't use online banking, it doesn't mean it isn't a useful or safe service for your learner.

Where to get support

You can email if you have any questions about your becoming, or being, a Digital Champion.

You can also chat with other Digital Champions from across Scotland in our Slack workspace. If you would like to join the conversation just click this link.

There are some great resources you can use to help build your own digital skills and confidence. Here are a few examples: