Inclusion Lab

For older people who don’t think digitally

Updated 8 July 2024

What is Inclusion Lab?

Inclusion Lab is a specialised Learning Together project — for you if …

  • you are, or are becoming: economically-active (including DWP job-seekers, self-employed and working-age carers), creatively-active, community-active, or perhaps just an activist
  • you would like support and guidance towards achieving a real-world goal that is not primarily digital (ideally that you have already started)
  • you know that you may have to navigate a few digital potholes on the road to your non-digital destination.

Who

So far, a small, flexible group discovering the potential of the internet to enhance their real world – for their own goals and for the group – and finding new doors waiting to be opened.

So far everyone has a different reason for being in it. Their digital competence varies a lot, but it doesn’t matter – what they have in common is a goal that represents who they are in the real world.

So far – we are pleased that the goals include challenging disadvantage and other words beginning with dis (eg- disability, discrimination).

Where and when

We have just moved Friday afternoon Inclusion Lab from Mildmay Community Centre to the Marie Lloyd Centre (MLC), where we are using the small but delightful Conservatory. Our Friday times are 1 to 4 pm.

The MLC address is: 329 Queensbridge Road, E9 3LA.

What

Some ideas we are working on …

  • Online learning
  • Community engagement
  • Audio blogging
  • Hybrid local and remote help (especially for carers)
  • Music and mixes
  • Podcasting and internet radio
  • Wii Sports (bowling, tennis and others)
  • 50+ co-working spaces
  • 50+ gaming

How to join us

Tell us about your real-world goal (or ask a question) in an email to hello@50pd.uk

If you want to drop in on any Friday afternoon, we will be very happy to see you — but be prepared to discover that Inclusion Lab is very different (more ambitious, more experimental) from our Wednesday afternoon Digital Drop-in.


What Inclusion Lab is not

Inclusion Lab is …

  • not a drop-in (though we guarantee a welcome with optional cup of tea)
  • not a course (though we might plan courses)
  • not a repeat of previous ‘employability’ or ‘Learn My Way’ projects
  • not necessarily about acquiring new digital skills
  • not something we expect anyone to do every week.

Apps for work and community

Learn WorkSpace for yourself or a team

A course for adventurous senior citizens at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons in March 2023

NB: This course has finished.

This is a course about being able to do something useful or essential – apps used by work teams, individual entrepreneurs and creators. You will learn the basics of Google WorkSpace – a package of apps widely used by business and non-profit organisations.

The apps are designed for teams as well as single users – and (like most workplace software now) they all run in the cloud – where you can access them from any location – as well as the computer you are using at home or in an office.

You probably access your personal email in a cloud server. Workplace software extends that kind of access to everything you do at work – vastly increasing productivity – and (a key concept) simplifying immediate collaboration with other people you work with.

This is not new – but if your work experience is not recent, you might not realise how much has changed in the last 10 years. Your tutor has been using this system since 2007, for personal use, community projects, and as a part-time employee of charity MRS – Independent Living (which uses WorkSpace for internal and external processes).

This could be right for you if …

  • You are still in the job market in some way (including self-employment, return to work after retirement, or thinking about it) – or –
  • You are a carer, expecting to resume employment eventually – or –
  • You are interested in digital skills for business, non-profit, volunteering or education – or –
  • You would like to know more about collaborative methods actually used in work places – or –
  • You are a regular user of WorkSpace email such as seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk – or –
  • You are a regular user of Gmail.com, and would like to start using the other apps available to you.

Course level

  • This is not a highly advanced course – but it is definitely not suitable for digital beginners, or anyone who needs 1:1 help.
  • Main guideline: you should have an email address that you know how to use without help (that’s why sign-up is by email only).

Your privacy – if you join …

  • You will not use your personal email or ID.
  • We will provide temporary WorkSpace accounts with access to all the cloud apps.

What are the Workspace cloud apps?

Below is a list of apps that we will look at during the course. If you have email at seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk, you already have all the apps. If you use Gmail.com, you have limited personal versions of most of them.

Obviously, you won’t become proficient in all of those apps during a short course. But you will know what they are, and how to get started.


Organised by MRS – Independent Living (MRS-IL) – Digital Confidence project – 50pd.uk