NUCA film makers inspire offliners to take first click

Student animators hope to inspire the UK's offline population to take their first click

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Animation students from the Norwich University College of the Arts have created a series of inspirational films about the benefits of being online.

Research has shown 39% of adults in the east region aged 55 and over do not use the internet, but many would be willing to try if shown by somebody they know.

In the UK more than nine million adults are not online.

"I was shocked that so many people don't use the internet... it quite worrying," said student Alex Searle.

The films have been created in support of BBC First Click Friends which aims to mobilise and support the millions of people already using the internet to help a relative, neighbour or friend to get online.

Animation students at Norwich University College of the Arts Student animators hope films will inspire people to get online

A survey by Age UK revealed that more than 40% of people over 65 thought that keeping in touch with friends and family would make the biggest difference to their lives if they used the internet.

"The students were absolutely horrified to hear that 9.2m people in the UK are not online," said animation lecturer Jodie Wick.

"In their world everybody is on the internet. This project has completely highlighted to the students the need for a very large part of this country to increase people's awareness of how to get online.

"Often it's just a very small amount of time you have to spend with people that can make sure a big difference," she added.

'Joys of internet'

In a drive to help more people get online, UK digital champion Martha Lane Fox has announced a volunteer task-force of 100,000 local '"digital champions". Their challenge is to help millions more people in the UK get online by the beginning of the London 2012 Olympics.

'Offliners' in the UK

  • A quarter of adults in the UK do not have the internet at home. Seven in 10 of them said they have no plans to do so in the next 12 months
  • 78% cite lack of interest as the cause, while 35% say cost is the barrier
  • 'Offliners' are interested in e-mailing, transferring photos to a computer and online shopping
  • Two in 10 non-users have asked someone else to use the internet on their behalf

Source: Ofcom

Speaking ahead of the national digital conference ND'11 on Wednesday, Ms Fox said: "Those people, it's a very simple task - they need to engage people with the joys of being on the internet.

"All the research shows, all the projects I've seen, all the people I've met - there's a very simple piece of insight - if you're not online yet, the only person you're really going to trust to get you online is somebody that you think talks sense at you."

The films created by the degree students at Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) marks the eighth collaboration with the BBC.

Previous commissions have included a series of nature films inspired by the popular wildlife series Springwatch and A History of the World, a partnership between the BBC and the British Museum looking at the history of humanity through the objects we have made.

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