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More help to ‘go digital’ as festival returns

20 December 2016

Hundreds go digital.

Following the success of this year's Rochdale Digital Festival, we have 'hit return' to bring the event back for 2017.

The free 1 day festival - aimed at de-mystifying technology and showing how useful, easy and fun to use it can be - is being staged at Number One Riverside in Rochdale town centre on Saturday, 4 March 2017, with more details to be announced in the New Year.

Organised by us, the day is designed to improve people's digital skills with hands-on help and advice for all age groups.

With almost half the world using the internet as mobile networks grow, visitors will be able to find out how to do online banking, browse products, shop or read a book online, and get tips on using smartphones and tablets. There will also be demonstrations of how to use the council website to avoid telephone calls or making face-to-face visits. There will be friendly faces on hand to show how easy it can be and tablets, phones and computers will be available for people to try.

There'll be lots for under 18s and families too, including Rochdale Coder Dojo - a self-led community group - supported by skilled mentors to learn computer coding through play with the latest digital kit. 

Barclays Digital Eagles will be showing how to do your banking online and the popular 'Help Bar' will return too, for anyone who needs assistance with laptop, tablet and phone issues.

A series of free Masterclasses for businesses will also be held, revealing tricks of the trade in bite-sized sessions.

'A really useful hands-on interactive experience'

Councillor Jacqui Beswick, our cabinet member for corporate services and regulation, said:

"Digital technology is everywhere and using it can save time and money. Over the last year the council has doubled the number of tablets and computers in its libraries, making it easier for everyone to get online for free – and we want to encourage more to try it. Rochdale Digital Festival proved really popular again this year and once again will provide a really useful hands-on interactive experience, and help people understand in a straightforward no nonsense way. 

"Talking to local companies we know how important it is for people to have the right digital skills to get jobs, so this festival will also highlight some of the digital careers and training opportunities available locally. Whether you are a complete beginner, or already into digital technology, the day will have something for you. Access to the internet can help you to compare costs, book travel, download books, shop online, indeed the possibilities are endless."  

Rochdale Digital Festival is being held as part of BeOnline 2017 – a national 2 week campaign to help people discover the internet.

Free help with basic computer skills is available all year round at many of our libraries.  For details of your nearest library go to libraries.