Learning by teaching

Be a teacher for free
Teaching an individual or a group can be fun.

It’s surprising how much you can learn by teaching something.

Here at the Sarasota Technical Users Group we offer a teaching opportunity. The classes we offer are popular and we’d like to offer more. Yes, YOU can teach… and learn by doing!

You don’t have to be an expert of anything, just share a willingness to explore with others. There are so many apps out there and so much technology others want to learn that many people are missing great learning experiences – even you!

This is the main purpose of STUG – to provide knowledge and learning opportunities using our member volunteers.

Pick a tech topic or app you are enjoying, even if there are many aspects of it you’re still exploring – and have a go at “hosting” a class. We are all volunteers and we need each other to trade our tech experiences. Will you share your experiences with others? That’s all we are asking.

Our volunteer instructors are free to teach almost anything tech-related. Our classes are on Zoom so you don’t even have to leave your home to host a class. You decide the schedule. Those attending your session will help you by asking questions – and there is nothing wrong in saying “I don’t know”. Regardless of the knowledge level, EVERYONE benefits!

Please send me an email at jimcerny123@gmail.com and let’s talk about it. We are very flexible and I would be happy to answer any questions you have and consider your ideas. Pick a topic – how about driverless cars, 3D printing, car-phone connections, using Amazon, buying airline tickets on-line, cable and free TV connections, and so much more.

What tech topics are you most interested in these days? Why not help us help others?


How Hewie gave me a week of my life back.

Now, I don’t mean to single Hewie out from all the helpful souls I know in STUG, ’cause there are many!… but he makes a good headline and besides he has these adorable mutton chops.

You see, I’d spent a week’s worth of spare time trying to do something, looking at programs and apps and basically tearing my hair out, when it occurred to me…

Continue reading “How Hewie gave me a week of my life back.”

You see, I’d spent a week’s worth of spare time trying to do something, looking at programs and apps and basically tearing my hair out, when it occurred to me…

Continue reading “How Hewie gave me a week of my life back.”

So what work did your grandfather (great-grandfather, etc) do?

Did you get enthused by STUG’s monthly meeting about getting started in genealogy? (Did I spell that right?)? Even if you’re not a beginner, but elbow-deep in ancestors, there’s some great info there (listen to why borthdates might not always be as accurate as they could be LOL)

Here’s the meeting’s recording on the STUG YouTube channel.

Get Started in Genealogy

This is one monthly meeting you won’t want to miss! On Wednesday September 1 at 7PM Eastern, via Zoom, you’re invited to learn, free, how to get started, free, with researching family history. Just another perk from thestug.org!

You do need to register beforehand so we can save you a seat and remind you via email that it’s coming.

Designed for the beginning genealogy researcher, you will learn:  

  • How to begin and avoid mistakes;
  • library resources across the country;
  • free genealogy online websites and resources;
  • your computer group and genealogy,
  • plus a word about DNA and social media.

Presenter Susan Mueller is a retired educator and administrator. She leads the monthly Genealogy SIG at Computer Users of Erie PA and has been working seriously on genealogy for more than 25 years.  Sue is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and serves as the local chapter’s registrar.  An active participant and presenter for the Erie Society for Genealogical Research, she also teaches at the Erie County Public Library.

The meeting’s free for all, but joining STUG helps us keep you supplied with ways to make the most of your screen time, and for $30 a year, is the cheapest tech education you’ll ever find! Remember to register … and to let friends and family know about this educational opportunity!

Just the facts, m’am

As Jack Webb on Dragnet was famous for saying,

Just the facts, m’am.

Well Jack would be astounded at the feast of facts our Members-Only newsletter has in it each month. In addition to the “coming attraction” of our monthly virtual meeting (this month, learn about Zwave, Zigbee, Wifi hubs and all sorts of stuff for automating your home), the August issue has a Beginner’s Guide to Zoom (Zoom meetings don’t seem to be going away any time soon…),

Bill Crowe explains (with pictures!) how to bypass phone trees on your iPhone

Phil Sorrentino really digs into “the cloud”

and Jim Cerny waxes lyrical, expanding on my short blog topic of right-clicking and the real difference it can make in your life.

Of course, every monthly issue also includes the details on our presentations of Tech for Seniors, our Help Desk, iPad and iPhones, the MAC Forum, MAC classes, and Members Helping Members, and so much more.

Yup, Ron Brown & Hewie Poplock, Bill Crowe, Bob Gostischa, Jim Cerny, Ray Baxter & Dewey Kloos and Phil Sorrentino are just some visible “facts” and benefits of membership in STUG. Between them and the back-stage folks managing all this… won’t you join us?

Jack Webb would be so proud of you.

Feel like shooting your computer? How about trouble-shooting instead?

I don’t know about you, but images of Annie Oakley and her sharpshooting come to mind whenever something goes wrong with my computer. I can almost smell her buckskin fringe. Or is that the smell of dollars leaving my checking account when I have to hire professional help?

SURELY there are things I can do…

Step #1: Attend our virtual monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 7 at 7pm where Judy Taylour will be presenting

Troubleshooting Your Computer 101

Before you make that $99 tech support call, there are many easy
things you can do to troubleshoot problems that you encounter with
your computer. Can’t start your computer? Does your hard drive
make grinding noises? Is it taking forever to start? Does it randomly
turn off and restart? Has your printer stopped working? This
presentation covers problems and solutions that just might help if
and when….

Register to attend this month’s STUG Zoom meeting here.

And step #2: Join STUG to help keep our educational programs alive and well, and to help fund our community outreach project of providing refurbished computers to those who need them.

Image courtesy Allen & Ginter, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Everything you’re missing. Poor you.

Seriously, our member newsletter is worth the price alone. And that’s before you explore our free-to-members class schedule.

If you aren’t a member of the Sarasota Tech Users Group, this is what you’re missing JUST in this month’s monthly email, which is JUST one of the benefits membership brings you:

  • If you use Zoom for business or family gatherings, how to stop dastardly and often offensive zoombombing by nasty folks.
  • Love your “Notes” on your phone, but hesitate to put private items there (your password to your savings account, the photos of your credit cards)? Learn how to lock your notes, so if your phone is lost or stolen, you still have privacy.
  • Did you know that you can have a temporary phone number? Great when you’re selling that PT Cruiser or those extra lawn chairs….
  • FREE stuff. The single ink cartridge I snagged? Worth almost 3 times my yearly dues.
  • How Walmart saved one man thousands of dollars, by being alert to scam spams focused on soft-hearted seniors.
  • To say nothing of May’s upcoming monthly Zoom meeting. If you love glimpsing into the future, watch Bill Crowe, one of our most popular member-teachers, present some of the big technological advances that we, as consumers, will be seeing in the next few years.

Join us.

World Back Up Day is coming: Are you ready?

Our compeers at APCUG are holding a Zoom for World Back Up Day on March 31 and are inviting STUG members to watch. They write:

Don’t lose any or all of your important data: documents, photos, music, or videos.
• Your computer could be hit by a virus.
• Ransomware could hold your files hostage.
• You should be prepared for a natural disaster
• Hard drives sometimes fail.

We will look at an overview of backing up your hard drive and your smartphone during this workshop. There will also be demonstrations of various back-up apps: Bob Gostischa will demo Aomei, Bill James will show us how the Windows 10 File History works, plus another (TBD) demos of backup programs. Maybe you will find the one for you! 

If you’d like to attend, visit https://forms.gle/5TzUVaPCgyrjK1Fg9
Registration closes at 11:30 pm (your time) on March 30. For your registration to be approved, you must be a member of our Sarasota Technology Users Group.

Get the most out of membership

What can you buy for $30 that’ll last you, and indeed your whole family, for a year? A (smallish) tank of gas in the family car? That won’t last a year.

A 2 pack of cheese balls? (Actually, that would last my family a year, but imagine how stale they’ll get, sitting unopened in the garage…)

Well, for $30 membership in the Sarasota Technology Users Group, you get:

  • Monthly meetings on a wide variety of topics. These are being held by Zoom right now, but soon we’ll be back, hopefully, to the in-real-life gatherings, with great convos, giveaways, a help desk, raffles and free drawings for stuff (I scored a cute mouse one month!) and more.
  • Our monthly e-newsletter, the Monitor, with amazing tips, excellent articles, and ideas to make your e-life more interesting, more fun, and safer.
  • Our Help Desk has now gone virtual for the time being, but it’s still up close and personal: Ask an expert and you’ll get a personalized answer… none of this searching Google for 2 hours nonsense.
  • Members Helping Members: You get the phone numbers of volunteers who will help you with a topic they’re conversant with, from digital imaging to phones to spreadsheets.
  • iPhone/ iPad workshops, Windows 10 Forum, Microsoft Office Forums (on Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Mac classes on Contacts, Calendar, Tips, and Mail and Maps
  • Using PAINT for Windows (it does things you’ve never dreamed of!)
  • And more. Classes have been held, in the past, on just about any tech topic you can think of, from organizing your photos to how to set up a blog for family or business.

All that and MORE, for $30.

Plus you get the joy of helping support the Refurb Group.  These dedicated volunteers accept donated computer equipment for the purpose of refurbishing and updating the equipment. These items are donated to community-based non-profits and individuals who otherwise would be denied the technology due to economic limitations.

Not sure if we’re a good fit for your talents and experience?

Skill levels of our members range from “I don’t know how to turn the ‘thing’ on”  to “let me show you how to disassemble and reassemble this device blindfolded, in a closet, in 27 seconds”.  The truth is we’re all still learning and none of us know everything.

So join us, won’t you?