What we were up to in 2018-19

04/07/19 – Final Session of the Year – a Fun Introduction to Animation Using Pencil 2D

Diane, one of our very own WDC members, introduced us to the free, easy to  use animation package Pencil2D.  With a little bit of imagination & a sense of fun, members animated Frederina the Frog.

If you weren’t able to join us for the session or if you would like to spend some more time experimenting with Pencil2D, you will find Diane’s detailed instructions here & you can find out about downloading Pencil2D on to your device here.

Pencil2D

27/06/19 – WordPress for Beginners, Session 2

Today was the second of our two sessions aimed at complete beginners to WordPress, led by Monika Ligocka (Digital Services Officer).

20/06/19 – Self-directed Workshop & Learning Python Together

Another of our sessions working alongside each other on different projects, including online courses from Codecademy.

Wordpress

13/06/19 – Careers Session 2, with Mike Scott from the Education Development Trust

The second of our two, bespoke Careers sessions for WDC members.

Education Development Trust

06/06/19 – Careers Session 1, with Mike Scott from the Education Development Trust

The first of two bespoke Careers sessions for WDC members.

23/05/19 – Self-directed Workshop & Learning Python Together

Another of our sessions working on individual projects, including online courses from Codecademy.

16/05/19 – LinkedIn

Today, our very own Paulette took us on a tour of LinkedIn.  Drawing on over 20 years of experience in the IT industry, she encouraged us to consider the variety of purposes for being a part of the LinkedIn community, including following companies that we might be interested in for future employment & the range of networking opportunities that LinkedIn offers.

Great tips included turning off your notification settings in order to make multiple edits without your connections being alerted to every single one individually.  We were also encouraged to visit & research other profiles which are attractive in order to be able to think about how to make our own profiles more attractive & professional.

Discussions also focussed on LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform & the issue of intellectual property rights when uploading articles  (which you can read more about here), the benefits of writing endorsements for those we have worked with effectively & the value of writing & suggesting endorsements for others to post about us.  We were also encouraged to think carefully about when it is appropriate to reject a connection & what we should consider before accepting a connection.

You can view Paulette’s presentation here: LinkedInPresentationMay2019.

linkedin image

09/05/19 – WordPress for Beginners,  Session 1

Today was the first of two sessions aimed at complete beginners to WordPress, led by Monika Ligocka (Digital Services Officer).  As well as sharing examples of blogs that Monika herself has constructed, she encouraged us to consider when it is appropriate to pay a host & the advantages of this when constructing a website for a business.

Monika has provided this useful link:

How To Make a WordPress Website – 2019 – For Beginners

The video lasts over an hour but is a step by step guide to creating a website using WordPress, from getting a domain name to website hosting, installing WordPress & creating your own website.

Wordpress

02/05/19 – Crowdfunding

Our first session of the summer term was a fun, thought-provoking & practical look at Crowdfunding with Su Johnston from Crowdfunder.

As well as impressing upon us the importance of “preparation, preparation, preparation” before going live with a crowdfunding project & giving us an opportunity to create a mind map of networks of possible backers, Su shared with us a wealth of information to help our members who are considering launching their own crowdfunded project…

  • interesting statistics & data to consider when setting up a crowdfunding project relating to timing ( think very carefully about when it will end), how long to go live for (an average of 4 to 6 weeks), how you should use your networks to maximise your visibility (1 in 20 people who see a page will make a pledge), where to look for information & possible inspiration (on average, those people launching a project are more likely to be successful if they have looked at 12 other projects), considerations regarding the appearance of your page & what you do & don’t include (online videos are, on average, viewed for only 8 seconds so your message needs to appear very quickly!), etc.
  • the importance of rewards & how carefully thought through rewards can increase both donations & engagement, including engagement for the longer term
  • the importance of securing initial pledges from close networks, before tapping into wider networks; don’t, for example. try to engage the interest of a celebrity before initial pledges have been secured & are visible
  • the importance of on-ongoing monitoring where your viewers & subscribers are coming from once you have gone live (tweet more if it’s from Twitter) & think about trying to communicate with those who are not responding to find out how you might need to adapt your approach

Su also shared with us information regarding the NatWest & Crowdfunder joint initiative to enable more female entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, Back Her Business.  You can find out more about it here.  Please share this information with your female friends & colleagues.

crowdfunder

04/04/19 – Self-directed Workshop & Learning Python Together

The final session of the term found us working on individual projects, including online courses from Codecademy.  We also spent some time discussing next term’s timetable & planning for the next academic year, all whilst sharing a few Easter treats!

28/03/19 – Business Support in your Library

Peta Lawrence (Senior Digital Services Officer, Surrey Libraries) gave us an overview of the free business resources available in your local library.

21/03/19 – Self-directed Workshop & Learning Python Together

The fourth of our sessions working alongside each other on a variety of projects; this week, members worked on online courses from Codecademy, email accounts & individual Canva projects.  If you would like the opportunity of a quiet space & a supportive atmosphere, please feel free to join us next time.  There are laptops available to use during the session & free wifi.

14/03/19 – Using Canva to create professional looking promotional & marketing materials easily & quickly

Ash Green (Digital Services Lead, Surrey Libraries) introduced us to the wonderful world of Canva & how to create professional looking promotional & marketing materials easily & quickly.  You can take a look at Ash’s presentation here: 2019 Canva introduction presentation.

19-03-14 Canva 3

07/03/19 – Learning to Program Together – continued

Today was the third of our sessions working alongside each other & following online courses from Codecademy. Members are working at their own pace, so anyone can join us at any time to start one of the courses, which are free to users & have no specified end date, letting you decide your own pace of learning. We will be working in this way every fortnight; our next ‘Learning to Program’ session is 21/03/19 , so if you would like the support & motivation of working in a group, please join us. If you would like more information about the courses we are following, including the opportunity to chat about your endeavours virtually, please contact us via email.

28/02/19 – Setting Up Your Socials: Twitter

This was a practical session with Peta Lawrence (Senior Digital Services Officer, Surrey Libraries).  Amongst other aspects, we looked at how to make our accounts secure & at the notifications settings, to ensure that our social media accounts don’t control us.

Twitter 2

14/02/19 – Setting Up Your Socials: Instagram

This was another in our series of sessions on Social Media.  This week, Peta Lawrence (Senior Digital Services Officer, Surrey Libraries) focussed on Instagram.

Instagram

07/02/19 – Learning to Program Together – continued

Today was the second of our sessions working alongside each other & following online courses from Codecademy. Members are working at their own pace, so anyone can join us at any time to start one of the courses, which are free to users & have no specified end date, letting you decide your own pace of learning. We will be working in this way every fortnight; our next ‘Learning to Program’ session is 21/02/19 , so if you would like the support & motivation of working in a group, please join us. If you would like more information about the courses we are following, including the opportunity to chat about your endeavours virtually, please contact us via email.

31/01/19 – Self-Publishing in a Digital Age

Poet & writer Haley Jenkins, from Selcouth Station, shared her experiences with us today of setting up a press whilst working fulltime, including the challenging decisions that are necessary to make as a publisher, editor & reviewer, as well as the online support available.  As part of her fascinating talk, Haley shared examples of the creative writers Selcouth Station has published & the beautiful artwork that has been commissioned to illustrate the work.  She also introduced us to a variety of useful websites, such as Hootsuite (for managing social media, including scheduling tweets) & Calibre (for transferring e-books from one device to another & converting different file types).

19-01-31haleyjenkins
Haley Jenkins

Ash Green (Digital Services Lead, Surrey Libraries) followed this with an introduction to a number of book review blogs for self-published & independent authors.  So, if you are a writer who is keen to get their work reviewed, you will find a variety of appropriate websites, for a variety of genres here.

31-01-19self-publishingsession2

24/01/19 – Learning to Program Together

Today was the first of our sessions working alongside each other & following online courses from Codecademy.  Members are working at their own pace, so anyone can join us at any time to start one of the courses, which are free to users & have no specified end date, letting you decide your own pace of learning.  We will be working in this way every fortnight; our next ‘Learning to Program’ session is 07/02/19 , so if you would like the support & motivation of working in a group, please join us.  If you would like more information about the courses we are following, including the opportunity to chat about your endeavours virtually, please contact us via email.

17/01/19 – Setting Up Your Socials

For our first meeting of the New Year, we had a practical session for those wishing to set up or review their social media.  As it turned out, we only had time to look at Facebook, but we have plans to do the same with Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn in the future.  Thanks, once again, to Peta Lawrence (from Surrey Library Service) for leading us through the session; you can find her presentation from this morning here.

facebook

13/12/18 – Christmas Social, with a Chance to use the Padcaster

It was great to see all those who were able to make it to our Christmas Social.

Thank you for all your efforts with ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’; at some point, we will use the video editing software to produce our very own version of the poem, but rest assured that any rumours of a date for a film release at the cinema are wildly exaggerated..! 😉

Wishing you & all those you love a very happy Christmas & a happy & healthy New Year!

06/12/18 – A gentle & practical introduction to Scratch (for members)

This was a chance to explore the block-based visual programming language Scratch, developed by the MIT Media Lab.

Scratch is primarily targeted at children aged 8 to 16 & is used in both Primary & Secondary schools to introduce them to the fundamentals of programming, however it is used in a much wider variety of settings.  It is currently used in more than 150 countries & is available in more than 40 languages. (To change languages for yourself, simply click the language menu button at the bottom of the Scratch homepage.)

For those of you who would like to explore Scratch at home, you can download the software for free from the MIT website here, which will enable you to use Scratch offline, without an internet connection.

Alternatively, you can visit the Scratch homepage, create an account (just click on the ‘Join Scratch’ button), which will then allow you to save any work you do online; it’s entirely free, you will just need an email address to create a username & password.

Towards the end of the session, we briefly looked at another programming language developed at MIT: Logo.  If you would like to download & explore Logo, you can find out about software here.

Scratch

29/11/18 – In a Whirl – a brief guide to Social Media

This was an opportunity to consider the four largest platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  Peta Lawrence (from Surrey Library Service) introduced us to the basic vocabulary associated with social media and the features of each platform.  She encouraged us to consider how the potential audience, purpose and message we want to communicate might influence the choices we make.  We are hoping to follow up this session with a practical session in the future.  You will find Peta’s presentation here.

22/11/18 – Explanation of GDPR and what it means for us

Matthew Stevenson (from Surrey Library Service) gave us an overview of GDPR, including how it can affect a start-up and the implications for data retention and security.  You will find Matt’s presentation here, along with the ICO Guide to GDPR, which Matt found useful when he was starting to plan for the GDPR changes.  He has also very kindly provided an example of a data map that can be used to determine what is required under GDPR; unfortunately, the website doesn’t support the format of the document, but if you would find it useful, please contact the WDC email address & we will send it to you.

GDPR

15/11/18 – Overview of how to make videos using the Padcaster

Lois Marshall, founder of Rent a Mum  and member of the Women’s Digital Group, talked to us about how she used the Padcaster to make her Youtube videos for her website. Lois also talked us through some of the additional things she used along the way, including useful equipment and designing a logo using fiver.

08/11/18 – Using local social media sites to buy, sell and give things away

Today’s talk was from one of our members, and University of Surrey lecturer, Christine Hine.  She discussed all the weird and wonderful ways in which we can buy, sell or give away locally online.

A variety of popular local social media platforms operate in Guildford such as the Freecycle Group which has 36,000 members, Freegle and local Facebook groups, all of which are aimed at promoting the re-use of unwanted items and reducing landfill.

We looked at these various local groups and explored some of the issues members face as they work out which items to give away, who to give them to and how to manage a safe and convenient collection.

Christine has put together some useful resources which can be viewed via this link.

Freecycle

01/11/18 – Overview of programming concepts 

This week Liz, a member of the Women’s Digital Group, took us on a whistle-stop tour of basic programming terminologies, starting with what an algorithm is and moving on to different types of programming languages and their uses. We looked at repetition, variables, basic syntax and finished with a ‘Hello world’ first program. The presentation will be available here soon.

11/10/18 – Pycom & the Internet of Things

Bettina Rubek Slater took us on a fascinating tour of Pycom, with a particular focus on Pylife.  For more information, follow @pycomiot and @mypylife on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or if you would like to learn more about Bettina herself, visit Women of Wearables.

Pycom