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Considerations for Sustainability

There are several recommendations that we would like to pass along to Reverend Underwood and the congregation. They include recommendations for possible upgrades and for sustainable maintenance of the lab:

Several items that might be of interest and use and could be purchased to compliment the computer lab.

  • Projector
  • Speakers
  • Microphone
  • Microsoft Word for all computers
  • Desktop computer locks may enhance security

Several programming ideas to increase use of the computer lab

  • Basic computer skills classes for adults are available around town and would make the lab valuable for adults interested in learning computer skills. Parkland Community College offers many courses, and technology volunteers frequently hold free classes at the Urbana Free LIbrary. The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UC-IMC) also offers free instruction and repair through its Computer Help Desk.
  • Workshops on multi-media production: We put programs like Audacity, GIMP and Google Sketch-up on the computers but these are specialized enough that it is unlikely that they will be used unless kids (and adults) have specific training in their use. There may be church members with expertise who could lead workshops.
  • Community partners, such as the University of Illinois’ Community Informatics Club at GSLIS, may also be willing to host training workshops.

Web recommendations

The current website URL is https://sites.google.com/site/newfreewillbaptist/. One improvement would be to create an easier URL for the site, something like www.newfreewillchampaign.org.  Here is an article from TechSoup, a non-profit technology resource, on how to purchase a new domain name; it would cost about $35 per year. Also, Google has instructions here for changing the domain name for the Google site.

While there is currently someone knowledgeable of how to update the website, it would be best for a couple of people to be trained in how to maintain it. This will ensure that the page will stay current and useful for the congregation.

Our early conversations with the Underwoods touched on the idea of Internet filters. While we did not install them, this may be something that they are interested in doing in the future. An alternative would be to establish and explain parameters for computer use. ~MBL and GMH