Connecting you to the future
Youtube Facebook Twitter Flickr

Keeping IT in the Family

Keeping IT in the Family is a paper based toolkit, designed to enable children to be the teachers within their families when it comes to ICT skills.

The communities (Aston, Birmingham) targeted suffer from multiple deprivation and were identified as digital excluded. The project was established to 'upskill' the community and educate families in ICT, the central focus was the children and schools they attended.

The project worked in partnership with a number of schools in Aston using the children to help teach their older family members ICT skills. Thechildren were given a 'toolkit' for use at home (which is available for download below) - a set of illustrated comic guides to help them teach other family members how to use the computer for useful everyday tasks taking students and their 'family pupils' through the basics of how to use a computer, set up an email account, how to search the internet, security and shopping online and digital photography.

Nine chapters have been developed, all of which are looked at below. These chapters use storylines that support the sharing of knowledge and skills and establish a framework of guidance and milestones.

Phase 1

Keeping IT in the Family comic booklet front page



The comic book is available for download using this link.

Choose from the five downloadable sections below which includes a quick overview on what's covered.





Section 1: Getting started

Show how to start-up and shut down the computer; Use the internet to help find something of interest using a search engine; Learn how to control the mouse.

Watch Aston Manor pupils performing this section of the resource


Section 2: Searching the internet

Use search engines to find what you want; The cursor changes when it goes over a link from an arrow to a hand; The 'back' button is great when you want to return to your previous page; To print information on the internet just click on the print icon; Get the person you are helping to make their own search!

Section 3: Using email

Set up an email account; Practice sending emails to a friend, add their address to your contact book; Attach a picture for practice; Explain about SPAM and not opening emails from people you don't know; You don't have to have your own computer to have an email account.

Section 4: Shopping and services

Most high street shops also have an online shop - Argos, Woolworths, Asda, Tesco, etc; You can browse online without buying - use a search engine to find an unusual item or favourite shop.
You can renew your library books online, order food shopping or pay for your road tax; Don't forget before you pay to check for the padlock at the bottom of the screen.

Section 5: Digital photos

Digital cameras give you the chance to see the photos without printing them all; You don't have to have a computer to print off your photos - many supermarkets have kiosks for you to view and edit your photos before printing or being saved to disc;Digital photos are easy to share via email, helping to share memories and special occasions.

Phase 2

Keeping IT in the Family 2 was rolled out in 26 schools participating in the KITFComputers for Pupils initiative, as well as being launched on Silver Surfers Day at Acocks Green Library as part of their 'Wired up to Wellbeing' - help with IT for over 60's session on Friday 15th May 2009.

We believe that children are probably more skilled at using IT than anyone else in their family. But we don't want them to keep these skills to themselves, we want all Birmingham families and communities to be as good as they can be at using IT - helping to combat the digital divide and promote digital inclusion.

Keeping IT in the Family's comic style resource, designed to engage young people, particularly school-aged children in order for them to help teach their families important IT skills has been a real success. Originally developed as a pilot with Microsoft, the success of the pilot attracted subsequent funding from BECTA, which has enabled the development of a second series which builds upon the basic IT skills gained from the first series and moves the family on to use those new skills to get the most from digital technologies.

Helping to teach family members new skills will mean they are in a better position to not only further their own development but are able to support their children in their learning and long term goals.

With Becta's support, four more chapters were added, these are also available for download:

Healthy Living

Online Safety


Uploading and Social Networks


Keeping IT in the Family Competition

The Keeping IT in the Family competition was recently won by a local boy, Sherbaz, who had written about how he had helped his grandmother get online for the first time. Watch his story below.

Baseline Impact Assessment

Read Press Story and Birmingham Post coverage

European Award of Excellence 'City for Children Award 2011'

The innovative Keeping IT in the Family scheme was named as the winner of a European Award of Excellence "City for Children" honour during a ceremony in Stuttgart on 6 June 2011.

Click here to read the full press release.


Keeping IT in the Family has been developed in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Microsoft and Citizens Online. The project has received backing from Becta, the Government's lead body for ICT in Education, to support the development of the initiative on a national basis.

Our thanks are expressed to all partners who have suppported and contributed to the development of this work so as to provide a valuable toolkit that can be shared with family members across all of the UK.

If you would like any further information on these resources please email:

Digital Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council initiative and part of a city wide strategic partnership of more than 40 public, private and voluntary organisations

eGovernment National Awards - Winner 2008