Developing media skills
Swisscom Academy has taught more than 350,000 people how to handle smartphones, tablets, apps and the Internet since 2005. Swisscom offers more than a dozen courses at twelve locations. Now also online. Through its academy, Swisscom is successfully narrowing the digital gap between generations. Nine out of ten participants are over 55.
Roger Baur, 27 July 2018
Learning to operate a smartphone, buy a train ticket via mobile app or use the Internet securely: these are common and very practical skills taught at the Swisscom Academy. A 12-strong team of trainers teaches basics on the day-to-day use of digital products at 14 locations across Switzerland. Founded primarily to familiarise customers with their new devices, Swisscom Academy has, in recent years, increasingly become a digital bridge builder. “9 out of 10 participants are over 55. And it is clear what motivates them: They want to be part of the digital world,” explains Marcel Curien, trainer at Swisscom Academy.
In the iPhone basic course, participants learn about all the main functions of their smartphones and how to use them for relevant applications. Total length of video 02:42 min.
“They are motivated by simple reasons; keeping in touch with grandchildren via WhatsApp or an interest in social media like Facebook, which they hear about all the time.” Swisscom Academy teaches the digital basics “to give people the confidence to continue developing their skills in everyday life.” The feedback has been resounding – and also heartfelt. “People who have grown up in the digital age in particular often do not realise the trepidation and courage it takes to learn about smartphones at the age of 70 or 80. However, once the first step is taken, the results are nothing short of amazing. We often experience totally changed people in the space of 2 hours.”
Swisscom Academy trainer Marcel Curien shows video workshop participants all they need to know to make successful films.
The figures speak for themselves: At the start of the course, 60% of the participants rate themselves as infrequent users, 30% even as technology refuseniks. “More than 70% of our course participants are women,” says Marcel Curien. “They are far more receptive to digital technologies and also much keener to learn about them. Post-war generation males especially often try to get along by themselves or refuse to entertain new technologies at all.”
Swisscom Academy has trained more than 350,000 participants since 2005 and is continuously expanding its range of courses. It recently added a course module for 3D printing and an info café on media skills for parents with young children. Although these courses in particular are also attended by many younger participants, the focus remains on the large group of older people. Trainer Marcel Curien: “Even by international standards, the older generation in Switzerland is actually very receptive to digitisation. Far from being the exception, retired people with smartphones or tablets have long become the norm.”