Basic to Advanced Topics


1 - Mobile Technology 101 - a primer for those just diving in
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere but many people have not yet taken the plunge. If you don't own one or just make phone calls, text and play games, this class will help you take advantage of these powerful devices. Smartphones and tablets are real computers where the mouse is replaced by your finger. We'll look at the types of devices and help you decide what you need. We'll review basic operations to help you get up and running down this exciting new path.

2 - Where Are We Heading in Technology - the gadgets and the companies that make them
There is so much confusion over the hundreds of smartphones and tablets available it is easy to overlook the dramatic technology changes happening all around us. Not only are the devices different than traditional computers but the companies are different, the hardware is different, the operating systems are different and the applications are different.

Many people are giving up their laptops for an iPad or Android tablet - products that didn't exist three short years ago. Major changes in entertainment will occur with coming advances in connected TV and new gaming systems. TV networks, book publishes and other content providers and delivery services are being disrupted as tech companies storm into the media business.

3 - Business Application of tablets - are these just toys or "real" computers?
We've been enamored with iPads for almost four years now but the nagging issue is whether tablets are really business productivity tools. Of course they work for email, note taking, web surfing and other light duty tasks but what about real office work like presentations, word processing and spreadsheets? This session will show what you can do with these miniature computers and specifically how they deal with Microsoft Office files. We'll discuss other apps including file sharing, remote log in, etc. We'll review important facts to consider when you decide whether tablets really can replace your laptop.

4 - Mobile Tech Talk - interactive roundtables
This is your chance to meet in a small group forum to have your questions answered. The discussion will focus on beginning users and not on the "techies" that often dominate these events. Since the iPad is the most popular tablet, it will be the device used for demonstrations but many of the issues are common to all.

5 - How Things Work - what exactly is the Digital World?
Most people would say we live in a "digital world" with absolutely no idea what that means. Our entire society depends on electronics and the flow of information in our computers and across the billions of computers on the Internet. We use digital cameras and smartphones but are stymied by the confusion between megabytes and megapixels and a hundred other terms that appear regularly in articles and advertisements. Don't be stymied anymore. This session will describe in simple terms how those trillions of zeros and ones are the basis for the modern Information Age.

6 - Digital Photography - why good cameras take bad pictures
The capabilities of modern digital cameras vastly exceed those of their analog ancestors. That combined with the facts that the electronic images they produce are essentially free, an infinite number of perfect copies can be made and those images could last forever is astounding. Imagine a perfect 16-megapixel picture of Julius Cesar or Plato created more than a thousand years ago. That's where we are today; our photos can last a thousand years.

Unfortunately most of the pictures we take don't deserve to survive two weeks much less centuries. This class will explain the basics of good photography and how to better use those miracle digital cameras that we all have. We'll address that all important question "What are all those buttons for, anyway?" Maybe after this discussion you won't have to say "this is not a very good picture but . . ."

6 - Selecting and Evaluating Technology - a step by step guide
Who should be involved in the process?
What are the best sources of information?
What is a consultant’s role?
How do you prepare a Request for Proposals?
What is a reasonable project schedule?