Re: Internet Roundtable
John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Mon, 8 Jul 1996 16:54:53 -0500
At our last Roundtable I did a similar presentation, as a ticket item.
First, I only had five minutes to work with! This meant I had to keep it
short and simple. This was most difficult and I ended up rushing. Luckily
thanks to a list already prepared by someone else on this list (Thanks!) I
had a lengthy hand out to give to anyone interested. I also supplemented
this with a list of sites I had accumulated -- before my laptop crashed. :(
This leads to the next caution.
REMEMBER YOUR AUDIENCE! Yes, I did mean to shout that. Even in a district
that is technologically "advanced" it is likely the vast majority of people
in the audience are not computer users of the sort who go "surfing" around
the various aspects internet. You need to keep it simple for them and yet
relevant to the others. Technical discussions should be avoided at all
costs. Entice them with the various types of resources available within the
commercial providers and on the internet itself. Briefly explain the
differences. Address and assuage their fears. Pornography fears are big
in many places right now. Some people instintively connect the internet
with child pornography. You need to set them straight: yes, it exists but
it is not prevalent and you have to look for it.
Deal with them straight and explain the shortcomings of computer use as a
Scouting resource. Don't portray this as a panacea: it isn't. It's a good
and useful tool, but there are still problems and complications. For
example, I gave my presentation using a flip chart! Not a computer! There
was a very good reason for this as one of my units previously discovered.
In my area it is very difficult to log on to *any* of the providers in the
evening hours. Connections are often all busy and, if you get in, very
slow. Here in my little corner of suburban Chicago, WWW means World Wide
Wait. Maybe it's that dark cloud that hangs over my head, but I doubt
it. <g> The only time I try web pages at night is when I want to clean my
apartment. Even with a 28.8 connection it commonly takes several minutes to
load an average page, regardless of what service I use, due to the load -
about long enough to comfortably vacuum a room. I also use this time to
read e-mail that had been downloaded to my laptop. If they want to use a
computer for Scouting purposes they need to be aware of this.
One of my units was trying to show their youth how to use a pc when working
on communications. They couldn't get into AOL or CIS, or Prodigy. Luckily
I had my laptop with me. I logged into Delphi after a couple of tries and
should them a few things about e-mail. I was plan C. The catch (and
lesson) was that Delphi is text only. Besides that, the meeting was a
failure for them.
The most important thing to have I mentioned already: handouts. You don't
want to discuss specifics in a large forum (remember your audience). Use
handouts to give a list of sites and addresses. Not only does this speed
things up, but it saves on notetaking. You can answer specific questions
outside of the general presentation.
Those are a few thoughts on this subject. I'm sure I will think of more
after I send this! <g>
John Pannell, Unit Commissioner
Three Fires Council, IL
I used to be a buffalo (SR-92, working ticket)
but will always be an Eagle (1981)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City