Guide to online adult learning

There's never been a better time to experience something new.

At Surrey Adult Learning we offer you the opportunity to continue your learning, to upskill or retrain with our wide range of online courses, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Discover Skills for Work, GCSEs, the arts, languages and many more with our online range.

Our online courses are being delivered using Zoom. Please see below some links to help you get to grips with Zoom.

Zoom

You can access Zoom with your computer, laptop or download the app for mobile and/or desktop.


Helping to bridge the digital divide

At Surrey Adult Learning we are proud to promote inclusive learning and we believe that nobody should feel left behind. Digital inclusion is about ensuring that the benefits of the internet and digital technologies are available to everyone. The pandemic has highlighted a real need for people to work in collaboration and help one another. If you cannot attend an IT course with us because you are finding it a challenge to access the hardware to join us, the following organisations may be able to help you.

Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Surrey Coalition of Disabled People is helping to connect people who are digitally excluded through a successful programme called Tech to Community Connect project.

The project aims to provide technology, support in using technology and virtual groups to reduce loneliness and isolation in people with care and support needs across Surrey. The project is supported by "Tech Angels" who are community volunteers that help people improve their digital skills and confidence using technology.

For further information and to register visit the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People website.

If you are interested in applying to become a Tech Angel volunteer, helping people in our community who are digitally excluded, please email getconnected@surreycoaltion.org.uk

Farnham Lions Club

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the local Lions Clubs have donated refurbished devices to help adults with their learning and adults needing help. All those items were generously donated to Lions clubs and were then checked and refurbished by the Lions IT team.

For further information please visit the Farnham Lions Club website.

Godalming Rotary Club

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic the Rotary Club have generously supported individuals with access to digital connectivity.

For further information please visit the Godalming Rotary club website.

Good Things Foundation

A social change charity, helping people improve their lives through digital. For further information visit the Good Things Foundation website.

Citizen's Advice

Call their helpline on 0808 278 7888

For telephone advice, Monday to Thursday 10:00 – 16:00

All calls are FREE using the number above. Alternatively, you can send an email by completing the online enquiry form via the Citizen's Advice website.

Citizen's Online

Surrey County Council has teamed up with Citizen's Online. As a direct response to Covid-19, Citizens Online set up a free national helpline, providing help and support to those new to digital, those who want more confidence online, and as a vital resource for those supporting others to get online.

Do you (or does someone you know) need help to get started using technology or want to build your confidence to do more online? If so, please call 0808 196 5883 and leave a message, or visit the Citizen's Online website.


Frequently asked questions

Who will contact me with my course information, so I know which platform I am using?

Our Customer Service Team will be in touch with you, once you have enrolled, with all the relevant information for your course (including login or link details).

Do I need to prepare anything before my course?

Please check you have read the course details on our website, so you know what the course will cover and if you need any equipment, apart from a computer/laptop/tablet with a reliable internet connection, microphone and webcam.

If you enrol on a Healthy Living course (exercise, cookery etc.), you may be asked to fill out an initial assessment form along with a checklist of equipment needed. This is an important document as it will help the tutor plan the course and will take into account any illnesses or injuries that they need to be aware of. We ask that it is completed and emailed back to use electronically at least 4 working days prior to the start of the course.

I can't login or access my course, who can I go to for help?

Don't panic, double check your link is correct and that you are using the right login and password which has been sent to you. If you are still having technical issues, please contact distancelearning@surreycc.gov.uk.

Top tip: before your course starts, it's a good idea to do a test run and if you need any extra information please use the helpful website links above.

I have enrolled onto a course, but now I can't attend, what should I do?

If you are unable to attend any of your sessions, please contact us so we can inform your tutor of your absence.

I don't have a suitable device, what can I do?

If you would like to enrol on one of our online courses but you don't have a suitable device, you may be eligible to apply for a gifted/loaned or subsidised device through one of the organisations below, subject to their eligibility criteria.

Choose

Choose offer links to free and heavily discounted devices for people who are on low incomes, income support and who have disabilities. They also provide information on cheap broadband and landline packages.

DevicesDotNow

DevicesDotNow is a campaign targeting 1.9 million households who don't have access to the internet. Through the Online Centre Network, a tablet, smart phone or laptop may be gifted, if eligible, to help you get online. As well as this, connectivity in the form of dongles, SIM cards and hot spots are also gifted. Their website also provides a whole range of online resources through the Learn My Way courses for helping you get online, such as using a search engine and using email.

Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Surrey Coalition of Disabled People is a project to support unpaid carers, disabled, elderly, people with mental health conditions, and people with long term health conditions through the loan of technology (a phablet) for 6 months. The phablet is a device which has a SIM card in it so you don't need WI-FI in your home. After 6 months, you can decide to make a donation towards the cost of the phablet so that you can own it. There are also 'Tech Angels' who will visit you in your home (pre-COVID 19) to teach you how to use it. This service is now being run by a remote telephone or text service (post-COVID 19.) There are also guides on the website that can be downloaded such as how to guides.

Social Box

Social Box is an initiative to distribute laptops in order to support those who have never had a computer. If eligible (e.g. those on low income, disabled and the elderly), would be gifted a laptop. There is also a 6 week basic computer literacy class that can be taken. Every Wednesday evening, there is a remote telephone support for computer enquiries.

O2 Community Calling

O2 Community Calling is a successful collaboration between O2 and Hubbub to distribute gifted smart phones and provide free connectivity to the most vulnerable individuals in the UK who are digitally excluded. This project relies on phones which have been donated by the public and then have been re-configured. Each recipient receives 12 months' free data provided by O2, and access to free digital skills training.

Read about plans to expand the campaign to more cities across the UK.