Blog post by new #techmum Lisa
I saw the #techmums course advertised on Essex County Council newsletter. I was instantly intrigued to see what it had to offer. I have been a mum for many years with no work experience for a long period of time. This has led me to be lacking confidence in some situations. With the prospect of my youngest child off to start school full time I thought now was the time to think about myself as a person, not just mum. The thought of going back to work is very daunting. I was hoping to improve my knowledge of computing to help me have better job prospects and to be able to achieve something for myself.
Technology is constantly changing and with that in mind I felt that I had been left behind. My initial idea was to try and recap on my computing skills and hopefully learn some new ones. I did not want to commit myself to a long course as I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. This course is just what I needed to be able to go over basic computer skills and be able to try new ones. I never thought I would have the opportunity to do web design, app design, coding and programming. With the children now learning coding at school I felt completely out of my depth and unable to help with homework. Just by having a taste of this on the course I am so grateful to have an insight and has left me wanting to learn more about it.
I was so anxious about going back into a classroom to learn. It is a massive step to put yourself out there and try something new and different. After the first lesson I was put at ease. The atmosphere was very relaxed with everybody wanting to learn for their own personal reasons. The class wasn’t that large which was a huge benefit for all the mums. This helped as everyone was learning at different levels. We were all able to have time with the 1 of the 2 tutors if we were stuck on anything.
The tutors were fantastic. Simon and Karen were very helpful and informative. They also had so much patience. Nothing was too much to ask. I had to leave every lesson early to be able to pick up my son. This was never an issue. I was talked through what the rest of the lesson was going to involve and with the class handouts I did not feel like I was missing out. I always had the option to email them if I was unsure of anything.
My learning experience at ACL has certainly been a positive one. The staff and tutors were all friendly and enthusiastic. They really wanted to see me succeed on my learning journey.
The #techmums course at ACL has completely changed my life! It has given me the confidence and drive to show myself and others that anything is possible. It has been such a personal achievement that has now given me such a boost when it comes to being Tech savvy. Over the 6 weeks I learnt a lot about myself. I have never been career driven or had life goals that I wanted to achieve. But after doing this course I have found I would like to carry on learning. I took a massive leap and done a maths assessment and have enrolled to resit my Maths GCSE. Something I did not achieve while at school. I now believe this is my time to study. I also wanted to try and get myself back out there and look for work and help my family. I was so worried to put myself out there at the thought of being rejected. I was able to write a positive letter which led to me having an interview and being offered the job!!!
Following on from the course if there was an opportunity to carry the modules onto an advanced level would be fantastic. I have found after finishing it has left me wanting to learn more especially in the web design, coding and programming.
A huge highlight of this course was being able to meet Dr Sue Black. Listening to her journey as a mum first and foremost, and being able to achieve such amazing goals in tech is astonishing. Sue is such an inspirational woman who has and will show so many other mums you can really achieve. I feel so lucky to be part of this.
I am a #techmum
Twice in the last 48 hours #techmums has been mentioned in the media. Firstly Baroness Martha Lane Fox mentioned us during her Dimbleby Lecture at the Science Museum:
“There are exciting projects happening in the UK such as Techmums, Stemettes and Codebar, but there need to be more of them, with bigger impact, so we foster the maximum breadth and depth of digital talent.”
MLF writes in The Guardian about her talk “Tech Giants have too much power. Let’s reclaim the internet”
And secondly Shadow Digital Minister Chi Onwurah mentioned us as part of
An action plan for getting more women into tech
#techmums aims to get everyone in the UK starting with mums. We teach mums tech skills, build their confidence and help them understand what their kids are doing online and at school.
If you are interested in #techmums sign up at techmums.co or tweet us @savvytechmums 😃
Guest post from #techmums trainer Jemima Gibbons
After three days pretty much non-stop rain it was a nice surprise to wake up yesterday morning with sunshine streaming through the window – and the early commute across London to Stepney Green suddenly didn’t seem so bad.
Yesterday morning was my first ever #techmums training course: I’d been teamed up with fellow #techmum Judith Scammell to run a one-off session on social media and online security at Stepney Green Maths & Computing College, East London.
I had many burning questions: What would the mums be like? How difficult would it be to get them talking? How would we run the session without full social media access? Would anyone actually turn up? What sort of place was Stepney Green Maths & Computing College? Did they really name it Ben Johnson Road after the disgraced Canadian athlete and…most importantly…can you buy a decent skinny latte that side of Hoxton?
Luckily, all my fears were laid to rest as soon as Judith and I met the friendly, smiling Ayesha (IT manager) and the fifteen mums who’d signed up for the session. The mums were keen, sharp and full of questions. Most of them had one or more teenage children and were familiar with new technology. One of the mums even told us about a new app, Telegram Messenger, which we’d never heard of (so thanks for the tip)!
As we’d expected, the mums’ main concerns were around online security – especially dodgy pop-ups, and children viewing material they shouldn’t be. This was just what Judith and I had imagined – and in fact we were a little worried about starting the session with an evangelical talk about the wonders of social media.
But the mums also talked about how they loved to share photos and reconnect with old friends on Facebook. And they seemed genuinely inspired and excited by the social media stories we told – from Lauren Luke becoming a hit on YouTube and setting up her own make-up empire, to Sue Black saving Bletchley Park through a humble Twitter campaign.
All in all, it was a great way to spend two hours. I’m off to check my Twitter – who knows, I may have a tweet from one of the Stepney Green mums! That was their homework – mine is to download the Telegram Messenger app (obv).
We are so delighted to have been nominated for the prestigious Nominet Internet Awards 2014 along with fellow BGV alumni the wonderful WriteLatex.
Check out all the fab shortlistees on the Nominet website
Looking forward to a great evening this Thursday at the awards event, good luck everyone!
We will be tweeting on the night using hashtag #NIA2014
Our newest group of #techmums graduated recently. They are such a wonderful group of mums and we have really enjoyed teaching them 🙂
All our #techmums learn app design, web design, social media and much more on our program. Giving them skills that they can use in their everyday lives and knowledge of how tech is changing our world.
Congratulations to all of our graduating #techmums, we are so proud of you.
We are delighted that #techmums hasbeen featured in the Bishop Challoner girls’ school newsletter.
Comment from #techmum AnneMarie Shields about our program
“It has refreshed some of my skills, and taught me new things”
We love our #techmums, they rock!
Thank you to Bishop Challoner girls’ school for all their fabulous support.