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Training News

Rich and Sean from Bristol Wireless have arranged with ECC to use their
computer suite to put on computing training for novices using
Open-Source materials. The idea is to get in the recipients of the
recently distributed Suse installed machines and give them an
introductory grounding in using the Operating Sytem.

The course we have agreed is split into 4 parts

1 Introduction to the Operating system (KDE desktop)
2.Introduction to office (Open Office)
3.Intoduction to the editing digital images (Gimp)
4.Introduction to the Internet (Mozilla)

This will run initially twice over 4 weeks on a thursday evening from

Dates are –

23rd October
30th October
6th November
13th November

27th November
4th December
11th December
18th December

We will be looking for tutors and tutor-support volunteers for all of
the above dates. No funding as yet, but both ECC and us are working on

We also want to try to develop some good course materials as teaching
aids. The idea would be to produce them colloboratively using the wiki
and the bbs ( The possibility of using
the materials as a base to expand the courses so that they could be used
for longer courses such as a proper Gimp course or Opensource ECDL would
be good as well.

OSFoundation and Linux IT are working towards similar objectives from
the other end of the training spectrum (i.e professional linux
accreditation) and we hope to be able to do some work together on this.
As an aside there may be scope for people to do some Linux Professional
Instutute ( accreditation exams at a small cost (or we will
try to get some funding for that too)– more details soon.

Anyone wanting to do the preparation necessary for this could take a
look at the following

11 Responses to Training News

  1. sean October 9, 2003 at 3:12 pm #

    Week 1 – 23/10/03 Introduction to the Desktop
    Using mouse and keyboard
    Turning machine on and off
    Logging on and logging off
    The K menu
    Common programmes

    Week 2 – 30/10/03 Introduction to Open Office
    Word processing
    Saving documents
    File managment

    Week 3 – 6/11/03 Introdution to digital images
    Using the Graphical Image Manipulation Programme (GIMP)

    Week 4 – 13/10/03 Introdution to the internet
    Using the browser
    Search engines
    Composing web pages

    All software used will be free open source packages as distributed with your free machine.

  2. sean October 17, 2003 at 12:15 am #

    looks like we’ll be mob handed at the community centre tomorrow morning then, as we are also preparing the ICT suite machines to be dual boot by installing Suse Linux on them all in preparation for the training. Anybody who wants to come along and help or just watch welcome.

  3. mike October 24, 2003 at 8:01 pm #

    Firstly, some cool ones for getting really neat effects, and learning how to use the more advanced stuff.:

    Then, a pretty good beginners tutorial:

    And another:

    Then, the dmoz listing, including some of the above…:,_Help_and_Tutorials/

    As to scope of the course, I guess week 1 is real basic basic, like red square, blue circle, and adding text. Saving and exporting. Done.

    Week two, if they can take the excitement, could look at layers. I think this is usefull, because without an understanding of layers, you can never doing much good. But we can base this on how they do in the first week.

  4. sean October 27, 2003 at 8:51 am #

    The first training session, last Thursday, went very well. As usual our marketing wasn’t up to scratch, so we only got 4 students, who as far as we can tell have little or no experience of using a computer at all.
    We worked through all the material for session1 on the wiki
    and everyone enjoyed it and seemed to go away very happy.

    I led the training session and (Tall)Paul and Rich did personal tutor support to those that were having difficulty (usually problems of learning to control the mouse).

    I’m a bit behind on preparation for Session 2, which Paul is tutoring, but should have something up some time today, probably midnight though.

  5. sean October 30, 2003 at 9:19 am #

    The notes for the second session of free training are now up on the TempClan wiki at

    spell and grammar checking appreciated.

  6. Anonymous October 30, 2003 at 9:55 am #

    Nice one, Sean. I’ve fixed a couple of errors, but the document seems to vary in the expected level of expertise. For example, it says to use the "X" in the top-right of the paragraph styles window to close it, but nothing specific on how to select the documents directory or how to "close down" Star Office and search. How much do the students know thus far? Should this be a click here, then click here exercise, or should it be a guidance? I’d suggest the latter, as people generally learn more if they figure it out themselves anyway.


  7. sean October 30, 2003 at 12:26 pm #

    Thanks for that Andy.

    Yeah, the handouts are supposed to be used in concert with a tutor and tutor-helpers guiding the students through each section and "filling in the blanks" as it were. They are also supposed to be used in conjunction with the tutor session plan –

    It’s difficult to know where to pitch it. In a perfect world I ‘d like to produce a full manual for using the machines we’re giving away, hopefully these are a work in progress. The wiki format allows us all to go back and improve upon them as and when we feel the need.

    Apparently there is an effort starting in Devon and Cornwall to produce a full online wiki manual for the ECDL course with a non- distrubution specific ethos. Unfortunately they have only done one page so far! –

  8. Anonymous November 7, 2003 at 10:13 am #

    The Gimp Workshop seemed to go well last night. The notes are on the web at – I need to complete this as I ran out of time.

    The format was very loose – having 3 instructors for 5/6 people is great. Also, with the drawing tools, people really did play around and I left plenty of time for this.

    Everyone printed out a picture to take away, and if we can grab the images from each machine at some point, we should put them on the website. The standard was suprisingly good – after last week I was worried that we would just get stuck on the real basic stuff and get nowhere. That;s why the notes start out in so much detail.

    One user expressed some difficulty in using the mouse, particularly with the double click but also with the right click. Can we organise some direct help next week, say for half an hour at the start, to get the computer settings changed? Also, can Easton CC provide / obtain a bigger mouse / other pointing device for people with special needs. I would have thought the ‘UK-online’ or whatever would have sorted this. Ideally a number of different devices to compare, see what works best, and to educate the users in what is available. If people go into work, they need to know what to ask for.

    As an aside, I would be really interested in getting one of the machines to run more accessibility sioftware [linux of course]. I believe Mozilla can hook into some text-to-speech software that can even read special tags out of css in web pages – for phonetics or something…

    The informal meeting in the pub afterwards seems to be a nice chance to chat. Maybee the funding can assist with some beer money? 🙂

  9. sean November 10, 2003 at 9:28 am #

    Only just had a chance to look, Mike, but those notes look really good, really clear step by step screen shots. Now the training material wiki is back up I’ll try and move them over and help you finish them off (for the next run of the course). I’ve had a week of IpCop woes so apologies for not having the wiki up before when you were preparing them.

  10. sean December 3, 2003 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi all,

    we’ve been asked to run the courses at the ECA again, and have been in negotiation with Nigel the ICT co-ordinator who has been sorting proper funding for the tutors, however this was going to be reliant on charging for the courses – £25 waged, £5 unwaged which will be payable to ECA towards tutor costs any balance (unlikely) paid to Bristol Wireless funds. Not exactly a free course but students would still qualify for a free computer.

    > Course 1 ­ daytime 9.30 to 11.30
    > Thurs Jan 29th
    > Thurs Feb 5th
    > Thurs Feb 12th
    > Thurs Feb 19th
    > This came about as a result of a request from the Single Parents Action
    > Network who said that some of their clients wanted to do the course, but
    > because of child care issues couldn’t do the Evening classes.
    > and one in the evening
    > Course 2 ­ evening 6pm to 8pm
    > on the same dates.

    We can sort tutors at a meeting in early January I assume

  11. rich January 2, 2004 at 1:11 pm #

    Hi Sean, Richard, Ian

    I trust you are all well and that you had an excellent festive season. Sean it was unfortunate that you were unable to make the meeting that we had scheduled, however it was informative and a proactive outline for the year ahead was established.

    As I mentioned to Ian during the meeting the majority of my conversations have been with Richard over the course of the past six months however the meeting with Ian as well as Paul has given me a broader overview.

    Our meeting followed an outline similar to that drafted in your meeting agenda. I explained that the main focus for the centre has been the attraction of new learners through the gateways of Basic IT, Multimedia and Music as well as the centre’s own drive towards sustainability There was some discussion as to the need to create new definitions around multimedia in order to provide learners with definite outcome, however this term is used rather like Basic IT and Music as a broad way of assessing learner needs and then directing them to a best fit solution that will have long term impact. The aim of the introductory Linux course was to provide an additional gateway through which learners can be introduced to Linux as an operating system as well as applications, but on a broader scale the capacity for delivery that your network has on a variety of subjects not necessarily Linux based, also needs to be explored in an organised way.

    Moving into the new year we discussed the possibility of firming a timetable that we can work towards and effectively market.
    My idea on this front is that we need to develop Thursdays at the community centre ( I have enquired about crèche facilities etc re the daytime Thursday course) and that the Linux openday/surgery becomes a regular monthly occurrence. My reasoning for this is that it will

    Break down the logistics of these events into a manageable timeframe
    Maintain profil
    e of the Wireless Project in association with the Centre making it easier to inform on courses etc Provide grass roots access to new and existing users allowing us the opportunity to gauge and evidence need for funded projects

    The dates for the next Linux course have now been booked. Further to this and in conjunction with our discussion about content and tutor provision/development, We discussed the possibility of timetabling one of the existing courses, where content and tutor materials have already been developed. The course suggested was Open Access Radio Programming. There were a couple of purposes behind this in that it would provide the opportunity to gauge interest, assist with tutor development in terms of hours accrued as well as provide the opportunity to source funding.

    As always the major issue with projects of this nature is sustainability and the inevitable dependence on volunteers. It was agreed that the actions that we have set out to do, should form part of a longer term plan that provides the basis for provision within Easton as well as across the city. To assist this we need to research the appropriate funding resources.

    The centre reopens on Jan 5th.
    Could we please arrange the following:

    Confirm date for first Open Day/surgery as well as suggestions for future dates Confirm dates for the Radio Programming course I do not have Paul’s email address. Could you ask him to write to me with some material for the radio course so that this can be placed on the website and other material Dates for the next media focus group meeting Tentative date for a further meeting to agree the broader plan

    Please email me if there are any areas that I have neglected to mention.

    Happy New Year

    Speak Soon