Does the cost of equipping your computer with software (applications, or apps, to geeks) seem to run up to as big an amount as the cost of purchasing it? With commercial applications this is an all-too-common issue. It doesn’t need to be! Clarborough and Welham IT Group are proponents of the so-called open source movement. Without going into the background and details of this global scene, we just need to know that all open source applications are free to users.
Not only are open source applications free, but they are generally equivalent (‘as good as’) and compatible with market leading commercial products. The IT Group bases its office sessions around either Apache Open Office or Document Foundation’s Libre Office, while image editing centres on Gimp, the open source equivalent to Adobe’s Photoshop.
The group also provides free downloads of these — any other — open source applications as well as a mass of free worksheets (their WorkBooks package) to get you started. All sessions open with ‘gardeners’ question time’, providing you with opportunities to drive lessons in areas that you want. Every session has at least one worksheets/lesson plan for you to take away. Recent topics have covered basic filing skills, keyboard short-cuts, word processing, image editing. Add emails and online safety, research and purchasing — you name it, they’ll try to provide it!
Classes take place in Clarborough Village Hall in five-week blocks (school term-times only) on either Tuesday afternoons (from 1.30pm to 3.00pm) or Wednesday mornings (from 10.00am to 11.30am). Fees are just £20.00 for a full block and include installation of a range of free, open-source, applications. Free wi-fi is available in all classes providing opportunities to explore online topics too.
The group is keen for volunteers to join the current team. Its worth noting that volunteering is a good route back into employment for anyone who has been out of that for a while; the group’s organisers can help with your CV and also provide a reference.
Autumn 2018 classes resume week commencing 17th September so to book, or for any further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Classes run through 30 weeks each year; for a full calendar to July 2019 visit www.cwitgroup.btck.co.uk.