Communication with others
To learn about Zoom in time for AGM or to join various U3A groups using zoom you may be interested in the following links .Just click on them U3A Zoom tuition this link will refer you to the National U3A site and you have to register your interest and Basic Zoom Tuition which is the zoom company tutorial .Again you need to register
The Computer help desk team has come up with many ideas of how members and groups can keep in touch face to face using a variety of electronic methods such as WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom ,Whypay, Facetime and others .Full details below including how to set them up
The communication is available on a pdf file by clicking on the file opposite.For those without pdf readers the full content is shown below
The National U3A has also issued guidance ,but in pictorial form, click on this link to access Keep in touch information it shows :-
Facebook - not recommended as it would be impossible to monitor if non U3A members try to ask for access
Zoom on Laptops,tablets or phones
WhatsApp -making a call
Listening to podcasts
COVID 19 – Uttoxeter U3A response
Many of us joined the U3A for social contact with folk of a similar age and now, suddenly,most of us have been in effective 'lockdown' for well over a week.
As formal group sessions will be impossible during this period, the Computer Help Team has been working on ways that simple technology can make it, at least, a little more bearable: this document outlines some of them below, and follows up with some tuition sheets giving an overview of how to set up communication.
There are simple and easy ways we can communicate with our friends, mainly without cost, and almost as though we were face to face.
Amongst these are :
1.Whatsapp Group. Many of you probably use Whatsapp to communicate with family but did you know one account can allow a number of people to communicate in text &/or pictures so that everyone in the group (BUT only that group) can see them?
The above and similar are ideal for parts or whole of a U3A group or, say, those who meet regularly at Weds Coffee for a chat.
2. For more one-to-one communication Skype, Zoom and Facetime provide video chatting, though they can also be used on a group basis. Zoom, Whypay and Skype in particular may be of benefit to Group Leaders in helping to keep alive the coherence of the existing groups.
3. Conference Telephone Calls where any number of people can chat together on a pre-arranged telephone call. Principally, Zoom (again) and Whypay are the best bets.
The pages overleaf set out various self tuition pages with regard to Whatsapp, Facetime,
Skype and Conference calling – Zoom and Whypay.
Computer Help Team availability
Members are encouraged to use these help sheets and, in each instance, a short additional self exercise in either/or Google or Youtube should help to clear up any uncertainties. However, the three main members of the Computer Help Team are willing to answer telephone enquiries and will generally try to be available in the time frame of Weds to Fri between the hours of 10:00 to 16:00. Please call Philip Jackson as a first contact on 01889 566092. If you're unable to contact immediately please try again later.
WhatsApp can be used on either Android or Apple mobile phones,even on a Windows
computer, so virtually anyone can access it. And, we will make the point now it is
unbelievably secure. It’s great advantage over ordinary mobile texting is that you can send
pictures free of charge and so easily run groups.
If you haven’t already got an account it is very easy to set one up and everyone who is
going to participate in your WhatsApp Group needs to have one.
Go to your phone AppStore, search for WhatsApp and hit the Install button, usually a
green icon. Once installed follow these simple instructions to create an account.
Open WhatsApp. By tapping the green and white WhatsApp icon.
Tap OK when prompted. ...
Tap Agree & Continue. ...
Type in your phone number. ...
Tap Done. ...
Tap OK when prompted. ...
You will then see any messages.
You will probably be surprised how many friends/family already have an account.
Now to create your own WhatsApp group:
Open WhatsApp, if not already open
Tap the CHATS tab at the bottom in WhatsApp.
Then at the top tap New group.
Search for or select contacts to add to the group.
Then tap Next at top right and Enter a group subject (which is the name you are
giving your group)
Finally tap Create.
Your Contacts now includes the WhatsApp Group and you can all send/read
whenever you want.
WhatsApp Video Calling
Once you have got WhatsApp you can always use another of its services VIDEO
CALLING; all it requires is your mobile phone is on the Internet.
Once you have tapped on a Contact you will see a little Video Camera outline near top
Tap the Video and the Contact receives and accepts/rejects your call. Once you are
communicating with one person you can add a couple more by clicking the relevant
WhatsApp contacts. Voice and video ( get your hair done first !!).
As stated, WhatsApp video calling does need the phone to be connected to the internet. If
you are at home, at family etc. you phone should pick up the WiFi and the call will cost
nothing. If, on the other hand, you or the recipient are out and about the connection will be
through your phone’s data package and that may well ignore charges, not large but cost
nonetheless – so stick to home wifi with it.
Skype is a good tool for making free or cheap phone calls and also for keeping in touch
with other users - not only can you call from one Skype account to others for free, but you
can make domestic and international calls at low rates using your device’s data plan or WiFi connection
1. Set up Skype
Once Skype is installed, tap on the app to open it. You will be prompted to sign into your
Skype account (or, if you don’t have a Skype account, to sign up for one), using your
Skype username and password.
2. You will then be prompted to sync your Skype contacts with your phonebook contacts.
You can choose to sync all contacts, add phonebook contacts to your Skype list, or sync
no contacts. If you add phonebook contacts to your Skype list, you’ll be able to easily call
your phonebook contacts directly from the Skype app. Once set up you can later change
your privacy settings in Profile > Settings > Contacts, including how people can find you.
3. Skype will then request to your microphone and camera. Again, you can later change
your permissions at any time in Profile > Settings.
4. On the main Skype screen, you’ll see three icons at the base of the screen: Chats, Calls
• Chats – shows chat messages. Your profile picture icon (centre top of screen) is
what you tap to access the Settings. The New Chat at the bottom right is what
you tap to access group features amongst other things (see Group Skype below).
• Calls – The “Call phones” button takes you to a screen where you can call a
physical phone (as opposed to a Skype username), and the “Profile” button lets you
update your profile and status message.allows you to call other Skype members for
free as well as using dial pad to call mobiles and landlines.
• Contacts – for the most part self explanatory, though you may do an echo / sound
test here to ensure that your voice is transmitted to the other talker(s).
1.Tap the New chat button.
2.Select New Group.
3.Set up your group:
• Enter a name for your group, which is required to continue.
• Tap the Picture button to upload, or take a new photo for your group, if you'd like to
add one. Once you are happy with the image you've selected, tap the check mark.
• Tap the Edit button to pick a colour for your group chat, if you'd like to choose one,
and then tap the right arrow to confirm your colour selection.
• Tap the right arrow to start adding contacts. Tap Search, and then type the name of
the contact you want to add. Alternatively, you can select contacts from your
• Continue searching for, and adding as many contacts as you wish to your group.
• Tap Done to create your group, and start chatting.
Facetime is a system provided on virtually every Apple phone (and Ipad if phone enabled - although most aren’t). This is, therefore, restricted to Apple users – you and your friends must all have Apple phones; and at the time of the call be connected to the internet either with your WiFi or by using your phone’s Data.
Apple phones are already loaded with Facetime – a square green icon with a white
camera icon in the middle.
Tap that icon and Facetime opens.
Open FaceTime and tap the plus button in the top-right corner.
Enter the name of your contact or phone number. Then tap either the Audio or
Video button to start the call and assuming they answer you’re in contact.
Just as with the other systems Facetime can be used with a group of people and is just as
simple to use. But there is one important security aspect the phones must be on version
iOS12.1.4 (look in Settings > General > About).
Open FaceTime and tap the plus button in the top-right corner.
Now enter a name or number for the first person you are calling.
Keep adding contacts until all the people you want to add are on the call up to 31
Now tap either Video or Audio to initiate the call.
You can add people during the call using the ‘add’ button.
(If searching for a contact to add to the FaceTime call it is grey rather than blue and won’t
select, their Apple most likely hasn’t been updated to iOS 12.1.)
Zoom is a convenient, powerful and (largely) straightforward system. It is suggested that Uttoxeter U3A members - preferably group leaders - first avail themselves of some of the training modules online:
Zoom Conferencing - Basic instructions
Zoom is available on IOS, Android and also Windows (most laptops have microphone and speakers)
There is a limit on the free system of 40 minutes for any meeting of 3 or more people. You can have up to 100 in a meeting.
It is straightforward to install via Google Play store or Apple App store on mobiles and tablets (I assume it is similar on Microsoft mobiles). Use your browser to find it on laptops.
Search for Zoom cloud meetings; Install the Zoom product on your device. Allow Zoom to
access camera, mic, etc.
On the first screen hit the little cog wheel
Hit Auto-connect to Audio and ensure ‘Use Internet’ is ticked
Return to first screen using the back arrows
Sign up with your email and Name.
Zoom will send an email to you for verification.
When verified then sign in;
There are four buttons shown on the initial screen.
To start a new meeting click on the ‘start meeting’ button you are given a numeric code
(PMI) for the meeting and also a password. This will need to be given to other participants
for them to log in to the meeting.
You can record the meeting but probably decline.
To join an existing meeting hit the ‘join’ button and you will need to enter the meeting
details given by the meeting owner.
When in a meeting you will be able to see the other participants.
Once familiar with the basic actions explore the other options as you wish.
An easy facility to set up: https://whypay.net/
A 'conference room' has to be set up for each group: the moderator controls the room but is not necessary for simple conferences.
Each room is accessed by dialling an 03300 number, chargeable as a normal landline or
To enter the 'room' you;
Dial in the 03300 number given
Enter a room number code followed by
Enter a guest pin followed by
Then talk if other people are in the room.
People need to be given the codes and also a predetermined time to dial in. If you are first
in the room you are told there is no other person in the room, so wait until someone else
General Notes on Conference calling systems
1 The system need to be as simple as possible. All systems depend on reasonable speed Internet. For example, anyone in Doveridge without a fibre link would be out of the running.
Desktops will need speaker and mic, which are not standard provision.
It's not clear that the addition of collaborative phone input is going to work well as
moderators are unlikely be experienced
In all these systems it is essential that one person is in charge, could be the tutor or other
designated person. Not only controlling the conference technically but also how the
conference works i.e. who speaks when. A babble will not work for long!
3 Skype for structured events
This is universal across platforms with a maximum of 10 and also allows audio
4 Google Duo
Is very simple to use with a maximum of 8 users. It works across Android(naturally), IOS
and across other platforms with Duo Web
Allows up to 4 people but only works across mobiles, WhatsApp web is not supported and
IPads do not work directly requiring a work around to be put in place.
5 Face time
Is the best system for Apple to Apple communication. It only works from IOS 12.
6 Wherebye (Appear In)
This is an easy tool for small ad hoc sessions.
Skype is the best general purpose tool, however Google Duo and WhatsApp are simple for
a small group and should the group be all Apple then Facetime is the natural choice for