Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Getting best use of the group laptop




 
Exciting news!  We are about to buy the laptop to aid training for the group. We need to be clear on the benefits of this laptop and how it can be put to ‘best use’. In order to do this we need your input.

This is very important!........and is costing the group a great deal of the hard earned GRANT Funds.

It is envisaged that the laptop will have two main functions plus a few options to be considered:

  • Firstly to provide a means to present information to the group at the regular monthly meetings. Until now we have relied on the use of members’ and guest speakers’ own computers.

  • Secondly, the laptop will be loaded with software including, image processing software, MS Office Suite and other  packages which would beneficial to the members of the group. 
 
  • The purpose of this will be to enable training on the use of this software to the group through both the monthly meetings and, potentially, on a 1 to 1 or 1 to a smaller group as required. This is the area which we need most input from members as it is important for us to understand what features of training will be of most use and how we can provide this.
 
  • Providing Internet connectivity for occasions where it is available for accessing and training on using on-line resources. There are also on-line training resources that could be used such as YouTube features. The provision of ‘interface software’ to allow the connection of other hardware such as tablets, phones etc is also under consideration for future ideas the group is considering.
  • With the point above in mind, the group will also have to install, and keep updated, anti-virus software. This will have a recurring annual cost.
 
  • The laptop will also be the primary storage place for the administration files of the group. These will be in a separate section from the 'member' section and will be passworded. The password will only be shared with those who need access for administrator duties.

With all of these points in mind , we will put out a poll to gather information in the near future. This would be a good opportunity to test the mailing system that the group has set up recently. With this in mind, here is  a link to enrol on our members’ list on Mail-Chimp which is the package we are using to provide this service. 

http://eepurl.com/bbn-Rb

It is VERY IMPORTANT that each group member enroll on this as this will be our primary list of members to maintain our charity status. It will be used so we may reach ALL members, at the same time, should we need to cancel or postpone a meeting, event or photo outing, at the last minute.

ALL members must be on this list, so we need you to make sure you all register.

Your data is safe and this particular software package, which is used by government departments,  is set up to ensure that we follow both data protection and ‘spamming’ rules about storing and using data.

 

So many improvements, so little time!

Onward and upward,

Cliff Astles,    Mel Smith

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