For those TEAC16 participants who come to Ghent earlier and have registered before August 31, TEAC16 host organization Digipolis offers a guided visit to three different Telecentres in Ghent. Learn more about Ghent telecentres.
by Sara Van Damme, Digipolis Gent
Telecentres were created all over the city for people who don’t have access to a computer at home or at work. Apart from free internet access, the centres allow citizens to work on their digital skills through guided sessions or interactive and hands-on workshops. You can find telecentres in libraries, community centres, local service centres and many more public city facilities.
These telecentres aim to be approachable and easily accessible for people from all social classes and backgrounds, so that everyone has a chance to learn how to work with a computer, write an email or use a certain computer program.
Although all telecentres offer the same basic digital facilities, we do distinguish three different types of telecentres, each with a different focus:
- The first type provides free WIFI, so that visitors can surf the internet and access their email free of charge. Moreover, the basic Microsoft Office programs allow visitors to type out texts and use Word or PowerPoint for example.
- In the second type of telecentre there will always be a supervisor present, who will happily assist and help the visitor with his or her requests and wishes. E.g., (s)he could show them how to send an email, how to work with a tablet, or secure their ICT software with the latest virus scanner.
- The last type of telecentres offer digital courses and lessons on top of all the advantages from the other two types of telecentres. Some courses are free, others require a rather small charge (max. 1 Euro per hour).
Thanks to these three different types of telecentres, we can help and improve the digital skills of all citizens in Ghent, no matter what their needs or requirements may be.
Needless to say that we cannot organize this all by ourselves and depend on the support, help and open mentality of all the supervisors working in the centres. These supervisors are a diverse group of volunteers, who all have one very important thing in common: they like to help people. Their enthusiasm and drive encourage us daily to think and dream big and they allow us to keep on growing and expanding the program.
Together, we will continue to join our efforts and help to reduce digital exclusion.