A companion course Tech Savvy Beginners will be conducted by Jenny Sawyer on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays 1.30 to 3.30.
This term we have explored Google Apps, briefly looking at the potential of each app. The pace has been cracking and has been a challenge. In the final session for 2016 we will establish which apps should be extended and in 2017 we will dig down into those apps and consolidate. As well, we will take a hands-on approach to connectivity by connecting Bluetooth and Wifi devices, including Bluetooth watch (and make calls Dick Tracey style), Bluetooth speakers, or other selected devices, set up Tethering and join Wifi networks. The 2017 course, code named Tech Savvy Plus, will be held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30.
A companion course Tech Savvy Beginners will be conducted by Jenny Sawyer on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays 1.30 to 3.30.
The Tech Savvy Drop In has now changed to its new shortened format prior to the Google Apps course sessions, with a number of members dropping in with problems or just to check out the action before the start of Terry’s presentation. Discussion of scams is a regular event during the drop in –don’t forget to check out the government's Stay Smart Online website https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service for any concerns
Topics covered to date in the Google Apps course include: Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar including sharing calendars, Drive for backup and sharing and Google Docs.
Terry’s website can be drawn upon for information and review of the Google Apps course he is delivering on Google Apps. See:
Downloadable PDFs are available on Getting Started with Google Mail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, Drive and Docs.
Our final Drop In sessions in the two hour format featured an introduction to simple travel blogs. Jenny Sawyer introduced the Apple Group to the simple yet effective Travel Pod App and also recommended Australia Post’s Postcard App for iPhone users. The Microsoft/Android group checked out the Windows version of Travel pod and also had a look at Blogger. Travel blogging is very effective way of communicating with family and friends – most of the time! Claire shared with us the enjoyment she got out of starting to use Blogspot during her recent Canada trip, and also her frustration when the posts didn’t send, possibly because of Wifi transmission problems.
Drop In questions this month included the use of Messenger and Groups on Facebook; using Drop Box on an iPad; along with queries about current ‘scams’. We highly recommend checking out Staying Smart Online Alerts if you become worried about a possible scam.
We moved to shorter, weekly sessions mid month, with Tech Savvy Drop In from 1.30 to 2.15 pm, followed by Terry Dillon’s Google Apps Course from 2.30 to 3.30pm. If you join Google Apps after the first session, you need to have set up a working gmail account. For further details contact Terry Diillon on 0419 343 129.
News has just been released that Benalla Library is offering Telstra/State Government funded Tech Savvy Seniors classes from October to mid December and from February to April. Tech Savvy Drop In members who had attended these courses previously then came to our Tech Savvy Drop In this year certainly benefited from going to them. As older learners, we benefit from plugging in to a range of learning experiences (and reminders of them!) over time.
For more details about Benalla Library’s Tech Savvy Seniors classes, go to ‘Around the Traps’ on page 11.
August’s first session for both groups looked at the ‘Notes’ features of the Apple and Windows/Android platforms. Margaret Walshe proved inspirational when sharing the many ways in which she uses ‘Notes’ on her iPad with iPad and iPhone users during the Apple session, while Bev transferred this application to OneNote in Windows during the Windows/Android session.
We talked about the many ways in which we keep notes, both paper based and using different features of our devices then moved on to the common features included in ‘Notes’ and ‘OneNote’, including inserting text, links, images and also drawing, which is useful if planning to renovate a room and more.
Our second theme for the month - ‘Online Banking’ - was presented by Margaret Jenkins, who has a particular interest in matters financial and staying safe online. Check out the resources for this theme in the Online Banking page in the TSDI Website's 'Money" package. Everyone had a story to tell about scamming!
During our last Apple iPad session in September Jenny Sawyer will introduce the Apple group to the simple blog format 'Travelpod' she uses when travelling overseas while the Windows/Android group will have a look at Blogger.
From mid September we will be changing to a shorter drop in format preceding the 10 week Google App course being presented by Terry Dillon. If you are interested in attending the ‘Google Apps’ course, put your name on the list on notice board in W4, or email Terry email@example.com. There has been a slight change in the timetable to remove the clash with Let’s Talk Books.
Don’t forget you can check out or revise TSDI resources via the ‘Packages’ drop down menu on the TSDI website.
Our first Drop In theme for July involved exploring the camera features on mobile phones and ipads/tablets and practising simple photo editing. It’s quite a buzz when someone successfully crops a photo or applies a colour filter for the first time.
Our second theme, presented by avid reader Heather Sloan, involved exploring on-line borrowing services available through our Library. Heather introduced us to ‘Borrow Box’, from which library members can borrow e-books and audio books on line; and ‘Zinio’, through which library borrowers can register to read from a selection of 60 online magazines, including favourites such as ‘House and Garden’. Library cards and password address books need to be kept handy when locating, installing (and later remembering how to get in to!) these apps.
Next month, Marg Walshe will be presenting on ‘Notes’ and if there’s time, ‘Pages’, while Marg Jenkins will provide a perspective on online banking. During our last Apple iPad session in September Jenny Sawyer will introduce the simple blog format she uses when travelling overseas while the final Android group session will check out a similar blog format.
From mid September we will be changing to a shorter drop in format preceding the 10 week Google App course being presented by Terry Dillon. If you are interested in attending the ‘Google Apps’ course, put your name on the list on notice board in W4, or email Terry firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, If you’d like to check out or revise some of the resources we have been developing for the Drop In –check out out the TSDI website, http://u3abenallatsdropin.weebly.com, particularly the ‘Packages’ section.
Our sessions in June continued with topics from the ‘Grandparents’ resources on the Tech Savvy Drop in website–including sharing news with family and friends via Facetime and Skype. Sending photos via messaging and learning to use GPS on mobiles were among topics explored in small group work. Individual problem-solving requests included help with recording music on an iPad and iPhone and help in changing the formatting from one to two columns in a Word newsletter formatted document.
Margaret Walshe is continuing to provide one to one and in class mentoring for a number of members and is thrilled with the progress they are making. ‘Show and Tell’ included Dorothy proudly showing us her new iPad bought after trialling one of the Drop In’s iPads and Bev her new Chromecaster. A number of members have now purchased their own tablets, freeing iPads for circulation. Please let Bev know if you would like to trial an iPad.
There will continue to be separate two hour Android and Apple sessions in Semester II until mid-September, when there will be a change to a shorter combined Drop In followed by the opportunity in the second hour to take a ten week course in Google Apps.
May’s ‘Drop In’ sessions focused on ‘Sharing’ – sharing of photographs through messaging and emails; forwarding of emails in which others have sent links and an introduction to the use of Drop Box for file sharing. ‘Apps’ for Word puzzles ‘Bonza’ and scrabble-like ‘Words with Friends’ continued to be added to participants’ devices and we’ve had reports of uptake at home. Jenny Sawyer introduced her ‘Three Pillars’ for iPhone users – "keep your Apple ID password handy; develop a comprehensive ‘Contacts’ list and keep a notebook of passwords as so many Apps require them". The Android group also took a look at passwords; using devices as GPS; and file storage on mobile phones.
Tech Savvy Drop In (Android) break out group working with Terry Dillon
on using GPS function in mobile devices.
Planning is already going ahead for next semester. From mid September the TSDI format will change slightly, with an informal ‘Drop In’ component in the first half of our timetabled sessions. In the second half Terry Dillon will be running a ten session ‘Google Apps’ course on the many free features available through Google Apps. Resources continue to be added to the Tech Savvy Drop In website – see for example www.u3abenallatsdropin.weebly.com/sharing.
Speaking of on line word puzzles, did you know that there’s a daily crossword on Victoria’s Seniors Online website at https://www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/services-information/games/crossword?
We have now moved on to fortnightly sessions for each of our two groups. April sessions followed up the suggestion that complete beginners can ‘learn to love’ their smart phones and tablets by installing and becoming comfortable with ‘apps’ for word puzzles such as ‘Bonza’, ‘Bonza National Geographic’ and ‘Words with Friends’.
Most class members were also able to have their individual ‘learning need/s of the day’ addressed and there was much ‘lateral’ learning as participants took an interest in what others were working on and at times worked together on the same issue.
Thanks to Terry Dillon, Judith Borthwick, Lorraine Knox, Marg Jenkins, Ken Jenkins, Heather Sloan, Geraldine McCorkell, Anne Summers, Heather Wallace and Marg Walshe for providing highly valued mentoring during our April sessions.
We all enjoy listening to learners’ ‘aha!’ moments during the Drop In while understanding that often frustrating problem solving is a big part of becoming increasingly tech savvy.
During our first month we became concerned that a month between sessions was too long for most learners. Fortunately additional timeslots became available on the timetable! We have now been able to schedule seven sessions for each group this semester. From the 11th April the Microsoft/ Android group will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday (12th and 26th April; 10th and 24th May; 14th June), the Apple group on the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday (20th April; 3rd and 18th May; 7th and 15th June), all sessions between 1.30 to 3.30 pm in W4.
The Microsoft/Android group began their March session with a short presentation by Terry Dillon on some basic features of the Android mobile/tablet ‘smart devices’. Terry has included beginners’ resources on the http://teedee.com.au website he is currently developing (links on TSDI website). Learners then formed into clusters, pairs or worked individually with mentors on particular issues.
The Apple group continued on their steep learning curve in March; beginning by discussing ‘Apps’. This was followed up by work on the treasure hunt for the Tech Savvy Drop In website; adding websites to home pages –and lots of problem solving together and with mentors.
Many participants took photos using their iPhones and iPads, then emailed the photos to Bev as attachments. Check out the photos below!
Thank you so much to the many mentors who have attended the drop in sessions to date and to those who are providing one to one support for some learners. Thanks also go to our learners for sharing their learning with one another – our drop in sessions are certainly ‘mutual aid’ groups.
The interest in both groups on photography/editing photographs will be reflected in our next sessions.
Tech Savvy Drop In
W4 3rd Wednesday - and from May new sessions on 1st Tuesday - from 1.30 to 3.30 pm - 7 sessions in total
1. Wednesday 17th Feb
2. Wednesday 16th March
3. Wednesday 20th April
4. Tuesday 3rd May
5. Wednesday 18th May
6. Tuesday 7th June
7. Wednesday 15th June
Microsoft/Android (eg. Samsung) Users*
W4 (Changed from 4th & 5th Mondays to) 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 1.30 to 3.30 pm - 7 sessions in total
1. Monday 22nd (29th February)
2. Tuesday 22nd March
3. Tuesday 12th April
4. Tuesday 26th April
5. Tuesday 10th May
6. Tuesday 24th May
7. Tuesday 14th June
Note: *We have timetabled two groups – an Apple users group and a Microsoft/Android users group - to provide the best possible learning opportunities. If you are unable to attend on the day set aside for the device/system you are using it is possible to attend the other group as there will usually be mentors available who are familiar with both systems.
With over 50 enrollees, the welcome/orientation session of Tech Savvy Drop In was presented twice and an additional Drop In session has been timetabled. The original ‘third Wednesday’ from 1.30 to 3.30 pm Drop in will focus on Apple/iPad/iPhone users, while the added fourth (and fifth) Monday session from 1.30 to 3.30 pm will focus on Microsoft/Android users.
Each 'welcome/orientation' session began with an introductory questionnaire and sharing activity. There were sounds of identification as a number of members shared stories of tablets or smart phones being given to them by their children –in one instance with a scrappy page of notes and the instruction to ‘Go for it, Mum!’ The mentors planning group from Tech Savvy and other Tech Savvy members who had come along to provide added support and mentoring were introduced to Drop In participants. Mentors will be a key resource for the Drop In, along with a wide range of free learning materials available through the ‘Tech Savvy Drop In’ website at http://u3abenallatsdropin.weebly.com.
An extended coffee break and website Treasure Hunt activity provided the opportunity for lots of sharing and problem solving, with a number of participants learning how to connect up to WiFi. The idea of using ‘packages’ in planning the group –such as ‘Grandparents’, ‘Memory’ and ‘Entertainment’ packages, was taken up positively.
Towards the end of the session participants were asked to fill in a form relating to their individual learning goals, the last question on which was ‘How will you know when you’re there?’ Answers included ‘When I can take photos and send emails’; and ‘When I have skills in Banking online; Facebook, Skype/Facetime; Maps and Directions’. We hope the Tech Savvy Drop In will prove effective in helping participants to achieve their learning goals and more.
Are there things you would like to learn to do on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone? Perhaps you need help with word processing or have been given an iPad and don’t know where to start. Perhaps you would like to learn how to pay a bill by mail; check out your Centrelink account on line or take photos using the camera on your phone.
A monthly ‘drop in’ session facilitated by the Tech Savvy group is beginning in 2016 for members keen to develop computer skills and solve problems which come up when using computers.
Tech Savvy members will provide one to one assistance and small group tuition when a number of members have the same learning need. If the problem is outside Tech Savvy members’ expertise, you will be referred on to IT specialists in the area.
About the Tech Savvy Drop In
Revised schedule from week beginning 19th Sept: 1st Wednesday, 2nd Tuesday; 3rd Wednesday; 4th Tuesday there will be a shorter drop in from 1:30 to 2.15 prior to the 'Google App's' 10 week course which is on the same day from 2.30 to 3.30 pm. W4