An experiment in online gatherings and workshops
Saturday 20 Oct, 2 to 4 pm
An online drop-in?
This is something we have been thinking about for several years. We don’t like the fact that our inclusive drop-in sessions do not include some of the people who most need it – people who are housebound, always or occasionally, for any reason.
What can we do about that?
Can we create an online drop-in that is tied to the real drop-in, so that everybody feels that they belong, everybody feels more connected, and everybody gets help and support if they want it?
Online gatherings with video and sound are not new. Businesses have been doing it for at least 20 years. The technology already works well. It’s available to anyone who has an Internet connection (at home or anywhere else) and a device with a video camera and a microphone. That’s a lot of people. The challenge is learning how to make it work for everybody who visits the IT drop-in, and everybody who cannot.
Right now, it’s not obvious how we could include housebound IT beginners. That’s a goal we should work towards, from where we are now – a plausible starting point, which we think could be Hangouts Meet.
Piloting Hangouts Meet
Learners on our recent mini-course G Suite apps helped to test Hangouts Meet, which we can offer as a free resource for chat, information and learning. Of course, we couldn’t test it fully because we were all in the same room! But it seems to have everything we need: business-level privacy, designed for regular scheduled sessions at which everyone can get to know everyone else, good sound quality over wifi (reasonable video too), the ability to break out to smaller group chats, participants can create their own sessions if they want to, and even the possibility of running online workshops.
So the next step is to pilot it — schedule a date and time for an open online session in which nearly everybody will be somewhere else, probably at home. We hope you can find time next Saturday to join an experimental session. Details below …
Help us test an online drop-in
Sat 20 October, 2 to 4 pm (it’s a drop-in, so start and finish as you please).
- It should work on most smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
- If you have an account at gmail.com, seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk – sign in to that first.
- Then follow this link:
If you would like more information about this idea, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like help with your equipment, or maybe even try a dummy run, please come to one of our four drop-in sessions this week.