[ubuntu-uk] Starting an IT workshop

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Fri Jun 29 18:37:58 UTC 2012

On 28/06/12 22:49, Andres wrote:
> I have just been to a local neighbourhood community [0] meeting and
> thought ann IT workshop would help out. The group already does workshops
> relating to gardening, bicycle maintenance and such.
> My question is: how do I propose it in your experience?
> What I have for the moment is an old laptop,
> I would like to order a bunch ubuntu CDs if I can to hand out
> I know my way around computers but I'm not a professional but I think I
> have a lot of patience explaining IT stuff to children and adults.
> I like talking to people about using libreoffice instead of MS office,
> ubuntu instead of windows,...
> The community can offer an enclosed place "The little House" or the
> library. Both can take about 10 people.
> Would it be best to start with something simple? or look alliance with
> some other community that already exists and are looking for a place to
> do some sort of mini workshop. This is what they did with the bicycle
> workshop.
> So I was asked to source some info to take back to the meeting for next
> month. Can someone point me in the right direction?
> [0] http://www.hamunitedgroup.org.uk

I run a couple of Libre Computing groups in my nearby clubs (U3A as it 
happens, aimed at older  and retired people, like me....)(some members 
can barely walk). I chose the name carefully because I am not 
motivated to continue helping with the everlasting Windows problems 
people have (note).

Web Manager typos and  web page design style aside, you will see that 
they are strongly Ubuntu centric, although retain flexibility. The 
clubs have a thousand members or more and I quickly found up to a 
dozen people interested in each group (1%). Some only wanted (ubuntu) 
dual boot  install, but are not into attending the meetings - ok with 
me - others are still using Windows but are keen enough to attend most 
meets. Some are ex IT admin variously or serious tech types. None 
would  even consider a LUG, I suggest  leave any such thoughts for a 
later date. Not even forums in most cases. It is surprising how much 
people like to gather and chat face to face. Just listen and help.

Initially I did live cd demonstrations and talked. I only use Ubuntu, 
no Windows for many years now, but I understand its siren pull. One 
person used a live usb (with help to create one) for many months then 
installed dual boot. And continued even when some Windows related 
security sw gave us serious trouble. Ended up using clonezilla by 
themselves to image a good PC state to make reinstall of  whatever 
much easier. Impressive, but just needed a bit of chat and confidence.

Topics are wide, but discussions are group introduced  - with a little 
prompting, it works well. I see my basic role as Ubuntu (FLOSS) support.

Internet access will be important.

Any more Q's?

Note: Time was, I helped 1000's of novice users with Windows by 
creating and running the age concern berkshire Computer Centre (Part 
of the then UKOnline facility)--
alan cocks

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