A special message about Coronavirus and your organisation's digital skills programs
Updated: 26 May 2020
The information on this page is intended to help organisations in the Be Connected Network respond to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, including highlighting support and resources available and providing information on Good Things Foundation's approach to managing grants and programs at this time.
The information on this page may change over time, with the publishing date at the top of the page showing you when it was last updated. Do not use this page for up to date information regarding the spread or impact of COVID-19 in your community.
Reintroducing face-to-face support
Some organisations across the country have started reintroducing face-to-face digital skills sessions to people in their communities with the easing of restrictions in their location.
Please follow your State/Territory Government and organisations advice, policies and legislation when planning the re-introduction of face-to-face sessions.
In particular, we recommend that you:
Follow physical distancing requirements, including maintaining 1.5m spacing between participants (including between digital mentors and learners)
Ask learners to sign in to your sessions and provide contact details, and use hand sanitiser and device cleaning wipes on arrival
Implement appropriate hygiene practices for devices and equipment, and when entering and leaving the learning space
Encourage learners to arrive just before and leave quickly after your session
Ask people to stay home if they are feeling unwell
Supporting your community to learn digital skills remotely
For those not yet able to commence face-to-face support, we have developed resources to support you to stay connected with your community remotely.
Resources on delivering digital skills remotely
Remotely supporting people with low digital skills to learn or connect with others online can be a challenge. We know not all learners have an internet connection or device they can use. For those that do, we are supporting organisations to be innovative around how they deliver support remotely:
You can now easily let us know if you are delivering remote support for learners by updating your organisation's profile on the Be Connected Network Partner website. This is useful to do so that we can refer learners unable to attend a face-to-face session to a Network Partner that is providing support online.
Navigate to "Your organisations" and select "Add or edit organisations"
Click "Edit organisation"
Scroll down to the Services section and tick the two boxes to indicate if you are providing support for learners remotely and accepting referrals.
Save your changes
If you have more than one location registered, please update these details for each branch.
Digital skills topics and session plans
We know that there is a lot of information online about COVID-19 at the moment and people in your community with low or no digital skills may need support to find reliable and up to date information. They may also need support to access government services online, or stay in touch with friends and family.
We have created resources on COVID-19 and digital health literacy:
Australian states and territories have outlined roadmaps to reducing social distancing restrictions, and some libraries, community and recreation centres are now allowed to re-open. Special restrictions remain in place for aged care facilities.
215 Digital Devices grants totalling $1 million have been awarded to organisations in the Be Connected Network to provide loan devices and data to socially isolated or disadvantaged older Australians during the COVID-19 crisis.
In a recent survey, 75% of the Be Connected Network said that learners lacking devices to use at home is an issue in their community. Through the Digital Devices grant, successful Be Connected Network Partners received either $2,500 or $5,000 in funding to provide internet connected devices to learners on a loan basis.
Use existing funding for remote digital skills support
Be Connected Activation, Building Digital Skills or Capacity Building grants can be used to purchase equipment such as webcams or software that assist you to move your support sessions online. For organisations that already hold one of these grants, please reflect the changes in what you spent the funds on in your end of grant financial acquittal.
Be Connected grant holders have now had 3-month extension automatically applied to their grant timeframe, giving you extra time to deliver your programs and manage risks associated with COVID-19. This will apply to all organisations who hold a current:
Community Engagement grant
Building Digital Skills grant
Capacity Building grant
Organisations do not need to contact Good Things Foundation about this - we have automatically adjusted the contract end date.
The extensions will also be applied to grants open in March.
We are working with the Australian Digital Health Agency regarding Health My Way grant timelines. We understand that COVID-19 is impacting on plans to deliver this program and that sessions and events are now cancelled.
The Good things Foundation team are now working remotely from home, but our regular telephone numbers are still operational and emails are still being answered. Please do not hesitate to continue to contact us as you usually would.
We have been sending special email updates to the person in your organisation who receives your monthly survey from us and will continue to include information in our fortnightly newsletter.
If your organisation’s contact details need updating, get in touch. We are also posting on social media, including the Be Connected Network Facebook Group, news and updates from Good Things Foundation.
This page will be updated with our latest news on Good Things Foundation’s response to COVID-19. Check the date at the top of the page to see when it was last edited. Please do not use this page to find up to date information regarding the spread or impact of COVID-19 in your community - refer to official government and health authority information for this.
Good Things Foundation will keep the Network updated as further information arises. Please contact the Good Things Foundation team if you have concerns regarding your digital skills programs.