Encouraging Members to Use Unit Websites

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Cyberjunkie-p40
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Out of Touch with Technology

Postby Cyberjunkie-p40 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:56 am

Being out of touch with what technology can help some one is not new or related to age or education. I'm currently working on my Doctorate in Scientific Visualization, and recently my advisor and I met with one of the research scientist for one of the funded projects that our group is working with currently. We were trying to find out other ways that we could help them understand their research data. The most suprising thing for me, is that the techniques that he uses for analyzing his data were the same ones that were available when he recieved his degree about 10 yrs prior. We then realized that we needed to do is show the people how to use the tools we develop and to show them how it can be of a benifit for them.

The reason I bring this up, is that we need to help our members and leadership to understand the tools that have been provided for them. I'm working with my bishop to see about putting together a fireside/ward party where some of us tech savy members can help other non-tech savy member to understand about computers, how to use the internet, and how to keep their computers safe.

It's going to be the same thing with ward websites, but I feel that we need to also improve the websites so that they are more usable and friendly. For me personally I don't go to my ward website, because it is too difficult to find the information that is most interesting to me. And this is comming from someone who is a web savy, with over 5,000 bookmarks in his browser.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:29 pm

Cyberjunkie wrote:I'm working with my bishop to see about putting together a fireside/ward party where some of us tech savy members can help other non-tech savy member to understand about computers, how to use the internet, and how to keep their computers safe.



Great idea! I think I'll mention that to our ward as well.

Tom

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:22 am

Cyberjunkie wrote:I feel that we need to also improve the websites so that they are more usable and friendly. For me personally I don't go to my ward website, because it is too difficult to find the information that is most interesting to me. And this is comming from someone who is a web savy, with over 5,000 bookmarks in his browser.


Any ideas what could be added to make it more user friendly?
- David

margiestroble
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Forgotten usernames and/or passwords

Postby margiestroble » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:05 am

kims wrote:I am also a ward website administrator, newly called. One of the problems I've run into (so far) is that people have forgotten passwords or user names, and no one here knows how to restore them. I get referred to someone at the stake level, who refers me to someone in SLC, who says I should have that info myself. Help! Who is supposed to keep that info for the ward? Any suggestions?



As being a ward webpage admin, you can see people's usernames by logging into the admin area, then clicking on REGISTERED USERS. You can tell people who have forgotten their username what it is. Remember that it has to be EXACTLY as they entered it, whether it is all uppercase, all lowercase or a combination. They then can go to the main signon screen, click on FORGOT PASSWORD and then type in their username. It will ask for their membership number and confirmation date, which they can get from the ward clerk if they don't know what it is, then they can reset their password. Salt Lake does not keep track of people's passwords.

sochsner
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Help

Postby sochsner » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:32 am

Yep, I am also a ward web page admin. We only have around 15 members signed up, and over half of them aren't updated with their current emails.

Is there any suggestions, Like what to announce in sacrament meeting, or add in the sacrament meeting program? (My mom just happens to be the bulletin specialist. Yes, I reside in a small ward) Me and the other admins are desperate for activity.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:38 am

WaddleDee wrote:Is there any suggestions, Like what to announce in sacrament meeting, or add in the sacrament meeting program? (My mom just happens to be the bulletin specialist. Yes, I reside in a small ward) Me and the other admins are desperate for activity.


Someone suggested that you work through your ward activities committee / bishopric to have a "tech" night where people from the ward are invited to come to a meeting to learn how to use the unit web site, how to get an account, how to keep their information up to date. Also in this meeting you could have people there to help others with answers to questions about security on their home computers (virus scanners, firewall, etc). I'm going to propose this in my ward as I think that there are a lot of people that could benefit. You could suggest that there be different tracks. Maybe a 15 minute opening where you talk about ward web site, etc. Then have sessions on virus scanners, popup blockers, spyware, etc. Have the ward clerk there handy to hand out people's information they would need to create an account on lds.org. Possibly even have a computer handy for people to create their accounts right at the meeting. Of course, make it fun and provide food and I think you could get a lot of people to come.

Tom

kristacook-p40
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Please post details from pending ward "tech" nights!

Postby kristacook-p40 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:29 pm

tomw wrote:Someone suggested that you work through your ward activities committee / bishopric to have a "tech" night where people from the ward are invited to come to a meeting to learn how to use the unit web site, how to get an account, how to keep their information up to date.


I, and others hopefully, would really like to hear the details from anyone posting who actually conducts one of the "tech nights" -- how it was publicized, set-up, conducted, perceived success etc. There isn't any point in rediscovering the wheel if we can avoid it.

One caution -- From teaching personnel at the college level, research suggests that many training sessions are geared for a fairly young audience resulting in the young participants gaining the skills and training but not the older crowd -- reinforcing the stereotype that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Older people need training geared to their learning styles.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:25 am

kristacook wrote:One caution -- From teaching personnel at the college level, research suggests that many training sessions are geared for a fairly young audience resulting in the young participants gaining the skills and training but not the older crowd -- reinforcing the stereotype that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Older people need training geared to their learning styles.



So what are some techniques for teaching the older people in the ward? How can we show them the importance and ease for using the website?
- David

kristacook-p40
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Teaching Seniors 50+ computer skills

Postby kristacook-p40 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:38 pm

thedqs wrote:So what are some techniques for teaching the older people in the ward? How can we show them the importance and ease for using the website?


Here are some resources. It's the best I can put together in a short time frame.

Ageless Learner
http://agelesslearner.com/
Look under Adult Learning

AARP
http://www.aarp.org/ Click on “Learning and Technology”
Their Ageline database may have some resources as well, I didn't delve into it in detail.

Center for Aging Services Technologies
http://www.agingtech.org

Cranky (Search engine for 50+)
http://cranky.com/

CyberSeniors
http://www.cyberseniors.org
There are resources for teachers and they address really basic stuff like "Does the mouse need to be fed?"

MyGuide
http://www.myguide.gov.uk
British, obviously, but it shows how computer training is geared toward seniors.

Senior Net
http://www.seniornet.org
Set up to educate seniors on the computer

Teaching, No Greater Call
http://www.lds.org/gospellibrary/materials/teachingnogreater/Start%20Here.pdf
Especially "Teaching Different Age Groups"

I'm guessing, but you may not be able to teach seniors about the ward web sites unless you first teach them basic computer/Internet skills. Also, if the web sites haven't been configured for seniors accessibility and useability then trying to teach them skills is going to be even more difficult.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:07 am

I clicked on several of the links given, but couldn't find any basic examples of the difference or the approach one would take to reach to seniors. If the job was dumped in my lap, I'd be careful not to move too quickly though the lesson to give time for things to soak in, and to not assume too much on everyone's skill set. I'd also have to be careful and not try to make too many references to other websites (they might have never visited MySpace) or using acronyms like MLS (not all that many people outside of top leadership positions know about it.)

However, I'd probably assume that everyone knew how to get on-line, use the mouse and knows what a hyperlink is. If anyone doesn't know that, they probably need more help then is appropriate for a lesson on the ward website that's aimed at the majority of the congregation (in my opinion).


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