Anne Beckerleg is making her first steps online
A retired school teacher is getting on-board a new BBC campaign to help people conquer their fears about computers.
Anne Beckerleg, from Wymondham in Norfolk, is taking up First Click's aim to get people online and comfortable with computers.
The 69-year-old is keen to keep up with her grandchildren and stop feeling like she is missing out on information.
Her progress will be charted in an online diary and on BBC Radio Norfolk's Karen Buchanan show.
Seeing her daughter and grandchildren use the computer has spurred her on.
"It's amazing watching them on the computer, but I just feel left out of things," said Anne.
"They even talk in a language I can't understand with dot coms and e-mails," she added.
TV shows and advertisements that signpost to websites have also made Anne feel that she's behind with the times.
"The television automatically assumes you know how to use the internet," she said.
"And after almost every programme they're telling you that you can visit a website. It annoys me, but I also feel like I'm missing out on such a lot of things!"
With relatives around the country, Anne's under increasing pressure to get online to make it easier to stay in touch.
"It was my brother who persuaded me to get a laptop in the first place," she said.
"He lives in Southampton and keeps saying I should e-mail him, whatever that means! It's all a mystery to me!"
With her 70th birthday looming, Anne's determined to set her fears to one side and learn something new.
"I've turned my laptop on before, but I just looked at it and thought, 'What do I do next?'"
"I couldn't get any further than that. Hopefully that'll be different after this week".
22 October 2010
Where has the week gone! It seems only yesterday that I was making my way nervously into BBC Radio Norfolk to kick off the First Click campaign. And such a lot has changed since then!
First of all I had a go at e-mail and found that things like e-mail addresses and the @ symbol, which had been mysteries to me for so long, suddenly began to make sense.
On Thursday I put my practise earlier in the week to good use, as I headed to Wymondham library for a computer course.
We used the
and the wonderful tutors talked us through everything clearly. It was tiring, trying to take it all in, but when the course finished I was excited about getting home and playing with my own computer.
The grandchildren have already offered to give me some lessons, and I'm going to look into getting the internet at home. I heard someone at the course talk about dongles... I'm not really sure what they are, but maybe I can pop one on my Christmas list!
I'm really looking forward to having the internet at home, setting up an e-mail and having a play. I'm less scared that I'll break it now!
To anyone who's wondered whether it's worthwhile giving computers or the internet a go, I'd thoroughly recommend it. I can't believe I've had my laptop for two years and never used it.
It's not anywhere near as scary or complicated as I thought. It's just about getting used to it, and there's so much out there that you can do online, that it's well worth the effort.
21 October 2010
Today was the day I'd been both dreading and forward to: the day of my computer course at Wymondham library!
Knowing nothing about computers, the prospect of being thrown into a room with dozens of other people wasn't appealing, especially as I was sure they would all be far better than me and I'd end up looking stupid!
But, in the end it was nothing like I'd feared. Wymondham library is a lovely, airy, welcoming building and the course was held in a bright corner of the building.
There were only four people and two tutors - both friendly and knowledgeable.
They were always on hand to help and my dread of being the worst one there was unfounded - everyone was at exactly the same level.
We were all making our first clicks, getting to grips with the mouse and making the odd mistake.
I learned lots of things like the fact that when you enter passwords on the internet they come up as stars and not the letters you're typing - that confused me at first!
I came away exhausted, but excited about all the things I can begin trying. Now I just need to enlist the grandchildren...
20 October 2010
It's been a busy day away from computers today, but I'm preparing for my course tomorrow.
I'm not exactly looking forward to it - I'm quite nervous actually - but since I had a go at sending an e-mail the other day, I've felt a little better; that it's not quite such an alien world!
There's plenty of incentive to get online.
I keep thinking about how great it'll be once I can set my computer up to connect to my grandchildren abroad... I'm really looking forward to getting one of those video things so I can see them, even though they're miles away.
It'll be a little while until I know how to do that, but I'll persevere until I can.
19 October 2010
I woke up this morning to a new day having made my first clicks in the online world. And the good news is, I didn't forget everything overnight!
I've been mulling over the notes I made yesterday during my lesson with the BBC Norfolk web team's David Keller.
I keep looking between those and some handy diagrams I was given, which outline sending an e-mail click by click.
It makes a big difference being walked through it without anyone assuming you know what to do next. Computers might be second nature to some people, but the rest of us need a bit more guidance and time.
I was very lucky to have got just that yesterday and I have to say, it all seems to be making sense. Though I think I'm a way off sending an e-mail from my own computer on my own!
18 October 2010
Today was a day of firsts. After nearly 70 years on this planet, I did my first radio interviews and made my first clicks online.
I was very nervous. The computer and the internet have been a mystery to me - a jumble of dot-coms and forward-slashes and double-clicks.
And I wasn't sure I wanted people looming over my shoulder as I tried to take it all in! But I'm glad I took the plunge.
With a little help from the BBC Norfolk web team and, in particular, David Keller, I had a go at sending my first e-mail.
I had my notepad at the ready in an attempt to keep a track of everything he told me and at first I was a little overwhelmed.
But gradually it started to make sense.
Suddenly I know what '@' means, what an e-mail address is, and how to e-mail someone.
The online world is gradually becoming a less confusing place.
Fingers crossed I'll remember what I learned today when I head to my computer course on Thursday.