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.

WhatsApp for digital beginners

A short course for older learners

NB: This activity has finished.

Four Monday afternoons, October & November 2023

A step-by-step practical guide to using WhatsApp on a phone – for beginners – and people already using WhatsApp – and people who do not have a smartphone.

What you will learn to do or understand

For a detailed list of WhatsApp possibilities, look at WhatsApp features. Here’s our shortened list …

  • Texts, voice calls and video calls to anywhere in the world, using an Internet connection instead of an expensive voice and SMS plan.
  • Use a phone to send photos, videos, recorded voice messages and documents.
  • Join WhatsApp groups with family or friends.
  • WhatsApp Web – do it on a larger screen if your phone is too small for comfort.
  • Learn a lot more about phones and mobile tech in general.

Our training smartphones

  • You will learn and practice WhatsApp with our training smartphones and SIM cards. You won’t need your own phone for the course (so people who don’t have a smartphone will fit in perfectly).
  • By using one of our phones, you won’t be able to do anything that might compromise your online privacy.
  • Our phones are set up identically to suit older learners.
  • When you reserve a place on the course, we also reserve a smartphone for you to use.
  • We have 22 training smartphones, so that is the maximum number of course learners.

Where

  • Mildmay Community Centre (address, map and traval information on our home page).

How to join the course, or ask for more info

  • Email info@50pd.uk
  • Phone / text to 07423 162019

By the way

This course is similar to, but not the same as, the 2022 WhatsApp for Senior Citizens.

Friday Learn My Way

Friday afternoon Learn My Way

  • Mildmay Community Centre – September 2023 to January 2024.
  • Learn My Way is an online resource for digital beginners, people learning for the first time, people who want to learn again — and people who might not be beginners, but would like to help others who are.
  • During February 2024, we will integrate the Learn My Way project with Wednesday afternoon Digital Drop-in.

See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

Making content for the web

Maker Mondays (Creative Together), 2-4 pm

For creative senior citizens who want to make a difference – at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons until November 2023.

Learn how to make content for the web

A web presence could be a website, a blog, social media, podcast, internet radio, photo gallery, or something else you think would be helpful – or all of those things. And it always starts with content.

Your content could be writing, art work, photos, video, podcast, radio, or whatever you can think of – to promote yourself, a project, or even a business idea. Or perhaps creating an online community of people you know.

We can help you with ideas like that — most Monday afternons at Mildmay Community Centre.

Do your own thing?

Other people — we are happy to have you there doing your own thing — it’s part of our plan.

Where and when

  • Mildmay Community Centre.
  • Monday afternoons – 2 to 4 pm.

Questions, comments, etc

  • Email to learning@50pd.uk

Learn My Way

Digital skills courses online

The Learn My Way developer is Good Things Foundation. In their own words –

Learn My Way is a website of free online learning for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.

We think you would like it — and it’s definitely a good drop-in activity.

So here is the link » https://www.learnmyway.com/ «


How to register as a Learn My Way learner

We offer two registration methods …

  1. We can give you a pre-registered LMW account, with a temporary email address
    or
  2. You can make an account using your own email address or phone number.

1. Use one of our pre-registered Learn My Way accounts

This is by far the better method.

We will give you an oven-ready LMW username and password, so you can get started immediately. Please ask a helper at the Wednesday afternoon drop-in.

2. Create an account yourself on the Learn My Way website

For registration, you will need, before you start …

  • An email address that belongs to you
  • A password of at least 12 characters for your Learn My Way account
  • Our centre ID number: 8000601

Now click on this link » https://www.learnmyway.com/ «

The registration links are at the top and bottom of every Learn My Way page.

Do you need a printed guide?
  • Please ask a helper for our A4 handout ‘How to register for Learn My Way’.
A note on your privacy
  • Learn My Way is an education site. It’s not social media — and you can be sure that they will not misuse your information, or try to track your other online activities.
  • We think it is safe to use your personal email address for Learn My Way.

See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

Learn My Way, 24 April 2023

Online learning – in your own way

A workshop for senior citizens at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday 24 April, 2 to 4 pm

NB: this workshop has finished.

Learn My Way is a website of free online learning for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.

This is a new version of Learn My Way. It’s obviously intended for people who don’t have much internet experience, but it’s not just for total beginners. We think you would like it — and it’s definitely a good drop-in activity.

So here is the link » https://www.learnmyway.com/ «

About the workshop

Where and when

  • Mildmay Community Centre (main hall).
  • 2 to 4 pm (it’s ok to arrive early – the café area is a nice place to wait).

What you will do and learn

  • It’s a one-off workshop to get you started with Learn My Way.
  • You will register as a learner (for that, you will need an email address that you can access at the workshop).
  • You will understand how to use the Learn My Way modules, and follow your own  progress.
  • And you will definitely learn something new.

How to sign up

  • Signing up in advance is not essential – but if we know you are coming, we will keep your place until 2:05 pm (ie- for five minutes). You can tell us you are coming in an email to learning@50pd.uk
  • Otherwise, it’s first come – first served.

After the workshop

  • You can carry on with Learn My Way whenever you like – anywhere you have internet access.
  • Our Wednesday afternoon drop-in would be a ideal place to continue Learn My Way. You can use our laptops with the community centre wifi, and help from our volunteers.

More information


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

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

Learning with laptops

How to use our drop-in laptops

A double workshop at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons in February 2023

NB: this workshop has finished.

How to be a classier laptopper

We have recently acquired more laptop computers, which will help to double the number of people who can learn effectively at the Wednesday afternoon drop-in.

This workshop will help you understand how to use the laptops (new and previous) …

  • to do all the things you have always wanted to do
    • (especially word-processing)
  • as well as some of the things you didn’t know you could do.

We will also investigate the best possible use of the space in the main hall — as we did during the last smartphone course (we discovered that we should project onto the large drop-down screen – and that community centre should upgrade the main hall wifi, which they have done).

One workshop – two afternoons

  • This will be a single workshop, spread out over two sessions.

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

Exploring the web with smartphones

A beginner-friendly introduction course

4 Monday afternoons — January 2023 — at Mildmay Community Centre.

NB: this course has finished.

About the course

A step-by-step practical guide to finding incredibly useful things to do on the World Wide Web – and how to do them on a phone – safely and sensibly.

As always, you will start with your priorities and ambitions – and you will finish with important digital skills that perhaps you didn’t know existed.

Just as important – you will be more confident in your own ability to keep exploring and learning.

Online safety first …

For your personal security – you will not use your own device, your own email address or your own phone number as part of the course.

Everyone will use our safety-first smartphones – set up for older people who don’t have a lot of internet experience – so we can all focus together on what is really important.

You are welcome to bring your own device if you want to – but we cannot offer 1:1 help with it as part of the course.


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

How to be safe on the internet

How to be safe on the internet

Learn to use the Internet safely and sensibly

A beginner-friendly course at Whitmore Community Centre, Friday afternoons in December 2022

NB: this course has finished.

Enjoy all the advantages of being online – avoid the risks

You are an internet citizen now, so wouldn’t it be nice to spend your online time in those parts of the internet where there are no risks, no exploitation, no deceit?

It’s easily done, because that is still most of the internet. It’s still about contact and communication with friends, family and people you could never have met in any other way — inhabited by optimists who are expanding their horizons and learning more about the real world that they return to safely when they switch off their device.

Join our course, and use our safe smartphones to explore and understand how the internet works – for you.

Online safety first

This is about your safety concerns, not about devices. For your personal security – you will not use your own device, your own email address or your own phone number as part of the course.

Everyone will use our safety-first smartphones – set up for older people who don’t have a lot of internet experience – so we can all focus together on what is really important.

You are welcome to bring your own device if you want to – but we cannot offer 1:1 help with it. That’s because we don’t have time to help individuals when there are 11 other people on the course. This approach always works best for everybody.

Venue: Whitmore Community Centre


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops