This is a selection of talks/presentations on a variety of technology topics. These are generally 1 or 2 hours in length and intended for information and discussion rather than the workshop style of our other courses. You won’t be asked to work on your devices, but you are welcome to explore and try things if you wish.


Activity Trackers (Step Counters For All)

  • Description: Many people are interested in measuring their activity levels. There are a wide variety of modern activity trackers – these go well beyond the step counters of the past. We can now get reports on our level of activity, heart rate and sleep patterns. Join us for a discussion of device features and apps to help sort out the features that are important to you before you purchase.
  • Audience: People interested in activity/fitness.
  • Duration: 2 hour in total

Android and iOS: Operating Systems and Ecosystems

  • Description: The most popular smartphone operating systems are Android, provided by Google, and iOS, which runs on Apple phones and tablets. These operating systems allow us to do many of the same tasks, but to get the maximum benefit from our devices we need to have accounts that tie us into an ecosystem of services provided by either Google or Apple. We will discuss  the accounts we need to get the most from our devices and how these accounts benefit us. Bring your devices and your questions.
  • Audience: Smartphone and tablet users – iOS and Android
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Avoiding Those Roaming Fees

  • Description: Phone plans are sometimes hard to decipher as far as the rules for travel are concerned. Cell phones often connect automatically to a network when activated in a new location. We will discuss how cell networks operate, and settings to help you control data usage and cell connection. This may help you avoid a surprise bill for hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
  • Audience: Smartphone users – iPhone, Android or Windows
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Email: Connection, Spam and Phishing

  • Description:  Email remains widely used as a means of communication in the connected world. There are many sources of email accounts, and lots of applications to use as email clients. This session covers concepts common to all email providers and clients: the stucture of an email address, where our email goes when we send it and how our devices receive email from our friends. Some dangers that can come in email will also be discussed.
  • Audience: Smartphone and tablet users – iOS and Android
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Finding Your Devices (iOS and Android)

  • Description:  Misplacing or losing our devices is at best inconvenient and at worst can be an expensive loss of hardware and personal information. Both iOS and Android devices can be located using apps: “Find My iPhone” on iOS and “Find My Device” on Android. We will discuss how we can use the apps to find, lock and erase our devices if they are no longer in our possession.
  • Audience: Smartphone and tablet users – iOS and Android
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Google Docs

  • Description: Google Docs provides word processing capabilities for documents stored in your Google Drive account. We will examine the tools for document creation, formatting and sharing. These documents can be exported in formats compatible with other word processing software such as Microsoft Office and others. Documents shared with others can be edited simultaneously in real time.
  • Audience: Participants should be comfortable with computer and Internet use.
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Know your Search Engine

  • Description:  The first search engine was created in 1990 and named Archie. The purpose of a web search engine is to organize all the web pages it can find and then return the most relevant results to any question we ask of it. We will discuss how this works and some of the search engines currently available to us.
  • Audience: Anyone accessing the Internet.
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Location Services and Finding Your Devices (iOS and Android)

  • Description:  Modern devices have the ability to know their location through various means. This fact allows us to interact with our devices to some degree when they are lost – as long as they have Internet access. We will provide an overview of location services and then demonstrate how this works with the Find Your Device apps available on different operating systems.
  • Audience: Users of any modern devices
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Smartphone Security

  • Description: Smartphones place many of the capabilities of the desktop computer into our pockets. Along with this power, they also bring some security issues. The apps we download generally require access to some form of data available on our phone in order to be useful. We will discuss the various forms of access that apps may request and learn to control them through the phone settings panel.
  • Audience: Smartphone users – iPhone, Android or Windows
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Technology Buying Guide

  • Description: What tasks would you like to do with your computer or device? Answering this question will help you purchase the device that works best for you. If you want to email your friends, you don’t need to spend $5000 on a gamer’s rig! We will consider a range of devices from small handhelds to desktop systems, discussing advantages of the different form factors. Group participation is encouraged – bring a notepad. (We are not affiliated with any particular brands – we won’t try to sell you anything.)
  • Audience: People considering a new technology purchase
  • Duration: 2 hours in total

The Internet

  • Description: Your computer is connected to a network of billions of other computers around the world. You can communicate via email, shop for a huge variety of things and find many different services. This is about using web browsers and web applications to help you navigate this electronic world. Banking, shopping and ordering supper can all be done from your couch.
  • Audience: People interested in modern technology
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

What Does a Web Browser Really Do??

  • Description: Phones, tablets and computers all come with web browsers – these are programs that allow us to access Information from the Internet. The browser connects to a remote computer to ask for information and then formats the page so that we can read it. We will discuss this process and look at some features common to our favourite browsers.
  • Audience: People interested in modern technology
  • Duration: 1 hour in total

Windows vs macOS – Which is Better??

  • Description: When we interact with the computer in our homes, we will typically be using either Windows, from Microsoft, or macOS from Apple. They both allow us to do tasks such as create documents, send email, manipulate images and a wide variety of other things. We will discuss some of the similarities and differences between these operating systems and the hardware they run on. We will try to help you answer the question: “Which is better for me?”
  • Audience: People considering a new computer purchase
  • Duration: 1 hour in total