• Ekanem Ibokessien

Google Trains Ritman University Students on Digital Skills

Trainers under the auspices of Google Digital Skills for Africa initiative have taught Ritman University students opportunities available on the internet for learning, staying safe online, getting employed and starting businesses.

The training session, facilitated by Konverge Media, held on Tuesday 12 March 2019 at the RU College Auditorium in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State in furtherance of Google’s vision to inculcate digital skills in 10 million Africans within the next five years.

Digital Skills Trainer, Okoli Benjamin, explained that the World Wide Web is just one of the major services running on the internet, others including: email, instant messaging, multiplayer games and the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service. A website, he defined, is a collection of web pages that are grouped together under the same domain (domain being the space rented to host a website). Differentiating between a browser and search engine, he said search engine is a special kind of website that helps users find web pages from other websites, while a browser is a piece of software that retrieves and displays web pages. Examples of search engine are Google, Bing etc.

He listed requirements for creating a website to embrace: a domain name (e.g; a domain registrar and host – Google Domains, GoDaddy, etc; a do-it-yourself website builder like Google Sites, Square Space or Wix, or a web designer; plus digital content, which are the text, images, videos and other media that visitors will see when they come to the site. He advised that pictures used should not be too heavy in bytes and that the website should be suitable for mobile.

He went on to show that only ten per cent – 19.0 million – of Nigerian social media users are active (making a living online) while the majority uses them for pleasure. To get jobs online, he taught students that companies are looking for Knowledge, Experience, Tools and Attitude. The Google trainer encouraged undergraduates to undergo digital marketing courses and acquire technical qualifications such as Adwords and Analytics certification. They were also urged to have entrepreneurial attitude, be adaptable, optimistic and always ready to listen and learn.

Benjamin revealed that hackers exploit outdated and insecure software on websites, steal one’s personal login data, and trick people into downloading dangerous malware. To stay safe online, he said users need to create complex passwords, avoid posting and sharing financial information publicly, avoid posting information about future holidays or travel plans and boost their network security. They should also not share content that they don’t want others to share while also practicing safe surfing and shopping online.

Applications to make online work easier were shown, including: Datally for data management; Files Go, a storage manager that helps free up space, find files faster, and easily share them; Google Go, a lighter, faster way to search that is optimized to save up to 40 per cent data; as well as Youtube Go, an official app from Youtube that allows videos download to Android, which can be accessed from Playstore.

Edidiong Esara 13/03/2019

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