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Making Sense of Technology – Tablets using Android – U3A Mackay Inc.
Making Sense of Technology – Tablets using Android

Android Devices (Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, etc.)

Become familiar with how your Tablet works by learning how to access all the features built in to its operating system (the bit that makes it into a tablet). Both Android and Apple have many useful apps built into them when you buy your tablet. Additionally you can buy and download many thousands more from the online stores.

Find your way around it and make it work the way that you like

Connect to and use the internet to look at the massive amount of information or shop or download your favourite thing.
Set up and use E-mail
Have fun with the built in camera and your photos.

Other features you can use Tablets for:
e-reader: – digital books from Kindle or Mackay Council Libraries online books and magazines
Listen to music or watch videos including TV and news.
Games – getting and playing
Find your way around – Navigation.

MODERN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
At the recent course co-ordinators meeting there was quite a bit of discussion on how many of our members have difficulties with modern digital technology. By modern digital technology I mean mobile phones, tablets and computers. Discussion centred on how can U3a best help members with their interactions with modern technology, ranging from members who don’t have any and wish to purchase to those who have devices and want to feel more comfortable and or get more out of using them.
Background briefing:
Many members already have at least one of those types of devices, mostly mobiles, because we can consider one of the prime purposes of these technologies is communication! Many have likely experienced pressure from younger family to purchase or have received one of their ‘older’ devices so that they can ‘keep in touch’ as if using modern technology is the only way to communicate. This raises the question, “what have humans been doing for the past millenniums?”
So, often with trepidation, many members use their mobile phones to make and receive calls; fortunately, members are mostly successful at this. As for understanding and using any of the “bells and whistles” (my description of the vast range of abilities of mobiles) I guess that is why the courses U3a currently run are so popular.
Next in popularity and number of members who have one is tablets (which most people refer to as “iPad”, whether they are an iPad or another brand) which mostly are an increase in complexity of the “bells and whistles”, but they can be very useful for communicating using the written word. With the larger screen size one can easily see emails and attached photos. Then, of course, many have a “Facebook” account.
Facebook is one of the giants of ‘social media’. Yes it is great for seeing what people are up to when they life far away from you and for you to tell others about your daily life. If we could be assured that what we ‘post’ (put up on the internet) only goes to and is only seen by those who we intended, then great! However, as has been seen on the news recently Facebook is in trouble for allowing many people and companies and nations to access your information. In reality the whole reason that Facebook has become the big company with its massive income is its business model is to sell information about you. Yet it is still the most popular way people use technology to communicate these days. However, it is not the only way, as many of the younger generations believe.
Thirdly we have computers, in particular these days – laptops. These are the most complex of all, but like tablets are great for written or photographic communication.
Current situation:
U3a is running courses in phones and tablets, with the tablet courses overlapping into phones as many of the features covered are the same. The major difference is screen size. These are run by me, Rob Lucas.
David Dunkley is running a course on emails and Facebook.
Janette Dark has run many courses on computers, divided into beginners and advanced, for some years. At the moment she is taking a break, but hopefully will return later in the year.
Future:
U3a is in real need of someone to take on tutoring courses in computers. With the numbers on waiting lists U3a would benefit from at least two more tutors.
I am in discussions with the committee on having a one of, maybe a couple of sessions, on helping members answer the question “What do I want to do with a phone/tablet/laptop?” This question needs an answer before anyone purchases a device or before one can answer the question “What can I use my phone/ tablet/laptop for?”
Also am discussing with committee a course in ‘BASIC’ computers – concentrating on how to turn on/off; how to use input devices such as the mouse and practise control of it and how to read and understand what the screen is showing you. In my experience it is these very basic interactions with computers that a lot of members have trouble with. Get familiar with that and it will be like driving your car – second nature.
Please let the committee know what you want. Rob Lucas 4957 5558

Cost $8 + Gold coin extra for use of the NBN

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