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Recommendations/Plans for Implementation

PLANNING:

During our first visit to the church and in a subsequent meeting with Reverend Underwood and Dr. Underwood we gathered information about how the congregation planned to use the computer lab and what kinds of programs might be useful. We determined that the computer lab would be used primarily as a homework help center. There were also a number of adults interested in learning basic computer skills. The space needed to be flexible since I would be used not only as a computer lab but also as a fellowship hall. The church also had no website.

RESEARCH:

With this information in hand, we created a preliminary list of programs and web links to include on the computers and to link from the homepage. Several group members had special expertise that helped us find resources on basic computer skills training and bible resources.
Once we had a complete proposal, we drafted a letter to the congregation in order to get feedback and see if the congregation had changes or additions:

October 31, 2010

Dear New Free Will Baptist Church Members,

We are four students from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science who are learning how to install and repair computer labs. We will be installing 5-6 computers in the New Free Will Baptist Church multi-purpose space at the end of November or early December. Here is our plan for what free software we plan to install and what training we can provide before the end of the semester. We would love your feedback! Is this list missing programs you want on the computers? Do you want to help maintain the computers or learn more about them? Please talk with Reverend Underwood, Dr. Underwood or Elder Larry to pass along any feedback. Thanks!

IMPLEMENTATION:

We were not able to get feedback from the congregation in time to make changes to our proposal before taking the computers to the church. However, we were able to install an additional program that was suggested by one member of the congregation when we got to the church on our installation day. We also changed our initial list of programs slightly because it was easiest to download programs available on a CD that students from past classes used. We also built rolling desks with a design developed by Professor Wolske that was versatile and movable. Finally, we communicated with Reverend Underwood to plan the installation day for Saturday, December 4th, 2010. We scheduled three hours in the morning for installation and a training session in the afternoon.

Planning Day
Installation day went relatively smoothly; nothing broke and challenges we encountered were successfully resolved. We had a little of trouble hooking the printer to the computers via a wireless workgroup but resolved the problem by consulting our trusty textbook on networking. It also took several tries to make sure that all the computers automatically connected to the Internet. We didn’t want users to have to enter the network password every time they logged on both to increase ease of use and for security reasons. We were able to resolve this as well and found that the Internet connection itself was very strong.
Six members of the church participated in a training session in the afternoon. Three who had more computer experience were introduced to the website and given a tutorial on how to update and add to it (Here is the website). The other three people were introduced to some basic word processing concepts and online resources for learning basic computer skills. We were particularly delighted when Reverend Underwood became enamored of a mouse aerobics exercise which he repeated at least twice, explaining with conviction that repetition would improve his facility with the mouse.
We finished up our day with several final touches and ideas for going forward. In order to facilitate easy of use and administration, we labeled all the computers with colors and created two documents folders, one for adults and one for kids, on each computer. We printed a list of administrative information and contact information which we will hang onto and which we also passed along to Reverend Underwood. Finally, we agreed that we would be in touch during the week to see if we needed a follow-up meeting to answer any questions or address problems in the immediate future. ~MBL