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Re: Request for Information, Suggestions, Help

Nov 22, 1997 07:28 PM
by JRC

Eldon ...

>>             1. What level of knowledge are you assuming in your
>>participants (i.e., are they people that have never even logged onto the
>>Internet and need even the basic concepts of email, browsers & etc., or
>>they already computer competent, and your purpose will be to show them
>>resources exist for Theosophy as a specific subject)?
>The backgrounds will be varied. The pool of people will be those that
>typically attend programs at Krotona, perhaps minus those afraid of 
>computers and plus those with computers and a special interest in the
                The hardest seminars I've had to do were those with mixed
crowds - where some had a good deal of experience and others almost none ...
to be useful to the second group means being completely beyond the
understanding of the first. And to be useful to the first means boring the
pants off the second. I actually did do a four hour seminar once with a
mixed group ... don't know if it will be possible for you to do this, but
.. I asked the people who had experience to take the first hour off ... and
just worked with the group that needed the raw basics ... how to hook up a
modem, how to find an ISP, how to configure the communications software, the
basics of email, Internet addressing,  POP servers, browsers, etc. ... the
newbies felt much more comfortable asking "dumb" questions that they may not
have mentioned with experienced users around.  For the main body of the
seminar it was then possible to assume that everybody had at least a basic

>>            2. How many computers will you have in the seminar - i.e.,
>>most be able to be at a keyboard and logged to sites & etc., or will you
>>have one computer that everyone will be milling around?
>There will probably be a laptop and a desktop with a 20 inch montior.
>I'll have access to an overhead projector. I'd like to rent a lcd
>display for the overhead projector for a day if I can come across one.
               For those who have a lot of time online, hands-on isn't
really needed, the information is enough ... but for beginners (IMO) its
almost essential for them to have at least one or two opportunities to
actually hit a keyboard. In fact, I've found that teaching computer stuff is
rather different than teaching almost anything else - most things have a
sort of learning curve ... but computers have something more like learning
"walls" - almost any single aspect, email, or getting used to lists, or
using the web for research, etc., etc., generally seems impossibly complex
to someone that's never done it, but after they've done it even a few times,
seems like the easiest thing in the world. 
               I wonder ... if you logged on at the beginning of the
seminar, ... and had several people send greetings or questions to theos-l
.. probably by the last half hour of the seminar several of us would have
sent responses - kind of a nice positive feedback thing for participants to

>>           3. What sort of demonstration software will you have - a couple
>>different browsers, email programs & etc.? Or will you be stuck witha
>>computer with only one set of tools? 
>I'm not sure yet how much variety I'll have as to showing different
>kinds of software. I'd like both a computer demo and some talk about
>what is going on, with personal stories and a sampling of email to
>read, to give an impression of what one can experience and what one
>can do in terms of helpful things for others. 
               The last sounds especially good in a group of Theosophists -
explaining how the Internet might be used for service - things like the
several people who have been putting TS texts online, the stuff Liesel was
doing with communicating with that guy in Russia, etc., etc. 
                On the whole, it sounds like an interesting seminar (I
almost can't imagine the Net being taught at Krotona). Good luck, -JRC

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