Clarborough & Welham IT Group
Page Last Updated: 10.06.19
Clarborough & Welham IT Group
Clarborough & Welham IT Group has been actively promoting the use of computers across the wider Bassetlaw community since 2003. We have a suite of a dozen laptops equipped with Windows 10 which is now our focus although we have loads of experience of earlier versions too.
Since its beginnings, the Group has provided easily accessible hands-on experience across a broad range of 'computing' skills (these days the terms IT or ICT are found attached to more academic courses - standing for Information Technology or Information and Communication Technology respectively). We prefer to keep it simple!
The Group has considerable expertise in a wide range of areas; particular interests include family and local history, photography and particularly editing of digital images, social media and use of the internet including e-mail skills. The Group also edits and publishes Clarborough & Welham Newsletter. The Group has also helped our wider community launch their own website (www.clarborough-welham.org.uk) and has added website development tuition to our programmes.
Classes all take place in Clarborough Village Hall, are competitively priced (currently £20 for a full block of five consecutive weekly sessions) and scheduled within school term-times to avoid holidays. They are grouped in five-week blocks through 30 weeks per year and at two different times per week to maximise access. Currently class times are:
Tuesdays 13:30 - 15:00
Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:30
Classes are particularly designed for beginners - so, if you have never even touched a computer, come along and use one of ours! Classes provide a relaxed, friendly - occassionally 'off-the-wall' - atmosphere in which members also help each other (and occassionally tutors!) get the best from sessions.
Laptops are provided - or bring your own. A friendly atmosphere and a bit of a laugh are provided free!
We aim to develop basic keyboard and desktop skills with 'hand-holding' support (and that smile and joke) always nearby. Our first aim is to free members from that 'fear' of the computer, something that members have been happy to say that we are good at doing. Access to the internet and e-mail topics always figure early in our programmes.
Sessions include 'Gardeners' Question-time' type opportunities during which members can seek answers to any of their niggling issues that trouble them. We have a small library of texts and magazines that can be used to research topics that escape our tutors too!
We aim to teach 'transferable' skills - we do not just teach members how to use specific software packages, but rather aim to give wide experience so that members feel confident to experiment in new situations. We do, however, start simple and 'hold hands' until such time that members have the self-confidence to launch out on their own.
Our programmes are all built around so-called open-source software applications. The main advantage to users is that all of these applications ('apps') are free - completely legally so! As a starting point we help new recruits install these free apps on their own laptops - or provide the dowload files on flash drives so that they can do the same at home.
The key apps we build our programmes around are Apache Open Office and/or Document Foundation's Libre Office. These are both powerful suites equivalent to the likes of Microsoft Office. They are also able to read and write files in Microsoft Office formats to interface seamlessly with other systems.
We also build our image editing programmes around Gimp, another open source app eqivalent to Adobe's Photoshop; note the 'cut-down' version often distributed with new cameras but the full-featured professional verson.
We have a range of free security apps for members as well as a range of other, more specialised, applications covering a range of topics.
We build our internet connectivity (free wi-fi in the Hall) through Mozilla's Firefox web browser.