. How do things get done at U3A Port Phillip?

U3A Port Phillip is run totally by Volunteers.  Have you ever wondered what do they do behind the scenes?

In this article, we take you into the amazing world of how your Courses are scheduled.

To schedule a Course, we need two things: a Tutor to present a Course and a place to run the Course, either physical or virtual.

For Courses that run all year, Tutors propose the Course they wish to run in October/November of the preceding year.  For Courses that run for a specific period such as one or two Terms, Tutors propose their Course approximately one month in advance.

In their proposals, Tutors also request a place to run their Course, for example:

  • Online
  • A City of Port Phillip venue, such as Mary Kehoe Hall, South Melbourne Community Centre Hall 1, Sol Green Community Centre Hall, Middle Park Community Centre Hall
  • If a Tutor is organising the venue in which the Course will run, the Tutor advises the location such as a private home or a bowling club or a park

For Online Courses, the U3APP IT group purchases the appropriate number of Zoom accounts to enable multiple concurrent Online Courses each day, including suitable gaps between Courses using the same account.

For City of Port Phillip venues, U3APP must apply to CoPP on an annual basis to hire specific rooms for specific dates over the financial year July to June.  In 2021, applications for room hire are submitted during a 2 week time period at the start of May.  After the application period closes, CoPP evaluates the applications, determines the successful applicants and advises the results in June.  Due to the reduction of venues available for hire and capacity limits imposed by COVID requirements, CoPP cannot guarantee that requested days, times and venues will be available.

Once we know the Courses which Tutors wish to give and the venues we can use, then the Course Coordination team, in particular Ann Gibson, can start scheduling.  Face to face Courses requirements, such as a particular venue, a particular day and time, a particular room size, are matched against the specific rooms available.   COVID requirements impose additional restrictions on scheduling face to face Courses, such as longer gaps between Courses in the same room and staggered start times between courses in different rooms in the same venue.  To achieve a workable Course Schedule requires cooperative consultations and a team effort between the Tutors and Course Coordination.  In practice, the fluidity of available face to face rooms caused by COVID restrictions has necessitated continuous consultations since October 2020.

 

. Dates for your Diary

2021

Semester 1: Monday 1 February - Friday 25 June

Saturday 15 May 2:30 pm - Seminar - Webinar: Australian Indigenous Art - from Ancient Times to a Global Contemporary Art Movement
Wednesday 19 May 11:00 am - The Armenians of Singapore - Nadia Wright
Wednesday 26 May 11:00 am - A Pictorial History Of Port Melbourne - Margaret Bride
Friday 28 May 11:00 am - The U3APP Coffee Club - Sandbar Beach Café, 175B Beaconsfield Pde
Monday 14 June - Queen's Birthday Public Holiday - usually no Classes held - check with your Tutor if unsure
Saturday 19 June - Seminar - Webinar: Angela Merkel: The Woman Who Remade German Politics
Friday 25 June 11:00 am - The U3APP Coffee Club - Sandbar Beach Café, 175B Beaconsfield Pde
Friday 25 June - End Term 2

Semester 2: Monday 12 July - Friday 10 December

Monday 12 July - Start Term 3
Saturday 17 July - Seminar - Webinar: Beyond the hero-leader: effective leadership in troubled times
Saturday 21 August - Seminar - Webinar: Art Deco Furniture and Jewellery
Friday 17 September - End Term 3

Saturday 18 September - Sunday 3 October - Term Break

Monday 4 October - Start Term 4
Tuesday 2 November - Melbourne Cup Day - usually no Classes held - check with your Tutor if unsure
Friday 10 December - End Term 4

. Sisters in Crime Australia 15th Law Week event – Witness for the Prosecution: Supporting survivors of sexual assault

Sisters in Crime Australia is again proud to join forces with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, to present its 15th Law Week event.

Free on YouTube from 6pm (AEST), Friday 21 May

An expert panel – Louise Milligan, Jane Patrick, Michele Williams QC and Rachel Spencer – will discuss the experience of survivors of sexual assault and their journey through the Australian legal system. Too often survivors are re-traumatised by their court trial, equating it to reliving the rape or sexual assault because of the questions they are asked, and the details they are required to give about their appearance, behaviour and past experiences.

Justice is often elusive in these cases. Almost 90% of sexual assault victims in Australia say they are not willing to go through our justice system. Of the cases that do go to court, approximately 10% end in a conviction, allowing most perpetrators to continue in society unhindered and undeterred. Even when survivors do get justice, the process is so bruising that many wish they had never tried.

Join us as the panel discusses how the justice system could be improved in order to minimise the trauma for survivors, ensure perpetrators are brought to justice, and society made safer.

The event is free to watch through YouTube from 6pm (AEST) on Friday 21 May. You can also help support the work we do to promote women’s crime writing by donating $10 and go in the draw to win one of three $150 book packs (details below).

Louise Milligan tackles these issues in her recent book, Witness (Hachette Australia), the culmination of five years’ work. She charts the experiences of people courageous enough to come forward and face their abusers in high-profile cases of child abuse and sexual assault. Louise saw how witnesses were treated in court and later listened to them relive the associated trauma. She was also a witness herself in the trial of the decade, R v George Pell. Her analysis is enriched by in-depth interviews with prosecutors, defence counsel, solicitors, judges and academics. Witness is a call for change.

Louise is an investigative journalist for ABC TV’s Four Corners and author of the bestselling Cardinal: The rise and fall of George Pell. The case, involving one of the most senior members of the Catholic Church, made international news prior to the trial and throughout successive – and ultimately successful – appeals. Cardinal won the 2017 Walkley Book Award and was highly commended in the Sisters in Crime 2018 Davitt awards. Among the many awards for her work, Louise has received the 2019 Press Freedom Medal, the 2017 Melbourne Press Club’s Gold Quill Award and a 2021 Quill for a Four Corners program on predatory grooming of boys at a Catholic college. Witness is shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize.

Jane Patrick is a retired County Court judge. She sat in the criminal division for 10 years and conducted a large number of sex offence hearings. Jane also sat regularly in the Sex Offences List Directions Hearings. Prior to her County Court appointment, she was a magistrate for eight years. dealing with many sex offence cases. Her previous experience includes work as a barrister at the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission. She has always loved reading crime fiction (especially by women authors), but is not so keen on true crime. Jane is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Michele Williams QC is Chair of the Post Sentence Authority, a new independent statutory body established to monitor and supervise serious sex offenders and serious violent offenders who continue to be an unacceptable risk of committing a further serious offence once their sentence is completed.

Michele has practised as a criminal barrister for thirty years. In 2002 she was appointed a crown prosecutor, taking silk in 2005. She became a senior crown prosecutor the following year.

In that same year Michele was appointed first Head of the Specialist Sexual Offences Unit at the Office of Public Prosecutions, a newly formed unit in response to the Law Reform Commission’s enquiry into the way victims of sexual offences were treated in the criminal justice system.

In 2007 Michele became the first Chair of the Therapeutic Treatment Board, which was established as a pathway to early therapeutic intervention for young children who were exhibiting ongoing sexualised abusive behaviour and as a way of preventing them from becoming adult offenders. Michele was interviewed for Louise Milligan’s book, Witness.

Rachel Spencer, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Monash Law Clinics at Monash University, will compere the panel. Rachel’s diverse three-decade-plus career in the law has included private practice, commercial radio, the wine industry, and the community legal sector. She has taught in clinical legal education programs for twenty years across three universities and has published widely in the areas of legal ethics; law, art and literature; law and popular culture; media representations of lawyers; and access to justice.

Linking her knowledge of the law with her interest in life-writing, Rachel has recently submitted a PhD thesis that includes an exploration of the ethics of true-crime writing and brings together the disciplinary literacies of narrative storytelling, true crime methodologies and legal precedent in the form of a true crime manuscript, which she hopes to publish in the near future. Rachel is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Witness can be bought from Sisters in Crime's long-term supporter, the Sun Bookshop, 10 Ballarat st, Yarraville which now has an on-line order service.

Help us to keep supporting women crime writers

If you would like to support Sisters in Crime Australia and the work it does for Australian women crime writers, please donate $10 by Wednesday 19 May, 5pm through Eventbrite.

Three lucky donors will each win a $150 pack of crime books, kindly donated by publishers. Unfortunately, this bonus is restricted to Australian residents – international postage is just too expensive!

The pack will include Witness by Louise Milligan (Hachette Australia) plus one of these book groups:

  • The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic (Echo Publishing)
  • Operation Playboy by Kathryn Bonella (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Barrenjoey Road by Neil Mercer and Ruby Jones (ABC Books)

OR

  • Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell by Lucie Morris-Marr (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Prisoner: How one woman’s jail term was the making of her by Kerry Tucker with Craig Henderson (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • The Court Reporter by Jamelle Wells (ABC Books)

OR

  • Deal with the Devil: The death of Matthew Leveson by Grace Tobin (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Pure Narco: The real life tales of Luis Antonio Navia AKA ‘El Senador’ by Jesse Fink and Luis Navia (Ebury Press)
  • Hate Mail by Mark Morri (Ebury Press)

A video link to this event will also be posted on Sisters in Crime Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and sent to members and supporters via the e-newsletter, A Stab in the Dark.

Your sister in crime,

Carmel Shute, Secretary & National Co-Convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia, 0412 569 356

www.sistersincrime.org.au

 

. Tutors and Volunteers ‘Thank You’ Celebration

Sixty Tutors and Volunteers gathered at the Middle Park Bowling Club on Friday 26 March for a joyous face to face gathering.

Graham Gosling, U3APP President, welcomed everyone on behalf of the Committee of Management.  He paid tribute to their outstanding contribution during the past year.  Tutors and Volunteers rose to the occasion during Government COVID restrictions and kept Members engaged in learning and with one another.

Graham reported that U3APP is regarded by U3A Network as a model for other Victorian U3As, a proud achievement.

    

   

    

    

While the recipients of Life Membership and Meritorious Awards were announced at the AGM in November 2020, Graham was able to present 2020 recipients with their framed awards for their enormous contributions to U3APP over a ten-year period.

The worthy recipients were Sandra Mason and José Simsa who received Life Membership awards and Ming Tim Yek, a Meritorious Award.

Tutors and Volunteers mingled over a glass of  sparkling and delicious finger food organised by Sandra Mason, U3APP Catering Manager.  Sandra was ably assisted by U3APP Members, Barbara Fisher and Claire Keech.

By Pam Caven, U3APP Committee of Management

 

We've had a wonderful array of photos sent to us by our resident U3APP photographers, Barry 'Mac' McIntosh and Aziza Khamlichi.  We're delighted to be able to show many of them here and thank Mac and Aziza for their time and effort in taking and sending them to us so quickly.

                                                         

      

    

   

  

 

. Message from U3APP President 7 March 2021

To all Members of U3A Port Phillip

In the December 2020 copy of this bulletin, I advised members of the hope that a limited number of classes would be able to resume as face to face events in term 2 of this year.  As the situation currently stands this is a real possibility and there are now steps being put in place to make this a reality.

As a first step, from 15 March until 1 April a Pilot Program will commence at the Mary Kehoe Centre to validate our COVIDSafe Procedures.  A number of Tutors have agreed to be “the guinea pigs” for this Pilot Program and I want to thank them for their support and cooperation.  The list of these Pilot Face-2-Face Courses can be found below.

Due to limited room availability and capacities, and due to Tutor requests, not all Courses will return to Face-2-Face in term 2.  Those Courses with various difficulties in being run online, such as music, art, etc have been the primary focus.  The details of the term 2 Face-2-Face Courses will be announced in April.

To assist members generally, the Office at MKC will be open during the Pilot Program.  For the safety of all, please follow our COVIDSafe Conditions of Entry on every visit to MKC.  Stay well.

Regards, Graham Gosling - President U3APP

 

. Tutors Meeting Report 26 January 2021

The Tutors meeting held on 26th January drew a large crowd of tutors, office volunteers, committee members, course coordination staff and IT members.  In all, there were 53 attendees who were informed and entertained by a variety of speakers. The meeting was recorded and can be found at:

recording of Tutors Meeting 2021-01-26

Jim Pribble (CoM Tutor Support Volunteer and COVID-19 Working Group) opened the meeting and greeted guests:

Graham Gosling, President of U3APP briefly

  • Recounted the difficulties navigated during the most stringent period(s) of lockdown
  • Paid specific mention of the members of the COVID-19 Working Group (Pam Caven, Diane Boyle and Jim Pribble) for their hard work and perseverance to formulate strategic plans continue our mission basically uninterrupted
  • Acknowledged the vital role played by the remainder of the management team (Office Volunteers, The Webmaster Group, Course Coordination Team and the Committee of Management)
  • Outlined his vision of the 2021 ‘school year’, where we can:
    • Begin returning to face-to-face courses, hopefully in Term 2
    • Continue using Zoom as in Term 1 where appropriate
    • Concentrate on scheduling courses for returning to face-to-face presentation

Diane Boyle (CoM IT representative and COVID Working Group) summarised the status of courses and tutors, reporting that the numbers courses, tutors, and members are at about the same as they were a year ago ( 80 courses ,about 60 tutors, and 650+ members).

Pam Caven (CoM Deputy President and COVID Working Group) spoke on the monthly webinar series. She reported that:

  • The monthly webinar series has been very successful (we had to increase out Zoom capacity to accommodate all the participants)
  • The schedule for 2021 is rapidly filling
  • Pam is seeking additional speakers for future webinars

Sheila Quairney (CoM  Privacy and Security Volunteer) discussed the Volunteer Privacy Agreement emphasizing the importance of the concept and the need for all volunteers to read the document, sign it and submit it by 31 January.

Karen English, leader of the Information Technology Enrolment Management team (ITEM) presented an in-depth report:

  • On how tutors access their courses
  • The efficacy of assigning a co--host
  • The value of and recording and reporting attendance at classes
  • Karen also provided a list of IT personnel to contact should tutors encounter a problem while trying to deliver their course

The future of U3APP secure in view of the fact that the support functions required to make things work are in place and working well.  Have a good term, and look forward to ‘seeing’ you.

. Message from U3APP President 13 December 2020

The City of Port Phillip, the owner of the premises we use for Face-2-Face Courses, has now opened communications on Community Centre usage under Covid-19.  We are in discussions with them about facility availability, capacity, timing and our Covid-19 Conditions of Entry.

Our current plan is to continue Term 1 Courses with Online, Email and Outdoors delivery and to commence transition to some Face-2-Face delivery of Courses in Term 2.  We will advise you of progress during Term 1.

BEFORE we can resume Face-2-Face Classes, there is much planning to be done by a number of functional groups in U3APP and CoPP, and actions to be taken to ensure orderly transition to the new regime.  An example of tasks is assessment of various rooms for Classes based on floor space (and therefore maximum Class size), then allocation of Courses and time schedules to fulfil our needs. It is entirely possible that the space requirements per student may change over the next few months, so an allocation of rooms to Classes is premature, as is the time scheduling for Classes.

Another is preparation of the facilities for rehabilitation - sanitisation stations, signage and general deep cleaning of all venues.  This will take time!

The CoM through the Covid-19 Working Group has spent the last months generating a schedule of events and actions required to enact transition (an Action Plan) of some Courses to Face-2-Face or Hybrid.  Our estimate is that it will take about eight weeks from the time of Council clearance to the full or partial implementation of the plan.  All Courses provided during Term 1, 2021 will follow the protocols of Term 4, 2020, i.e., Online, Email or Outdoors.  During Term 1 we will be working to transition some Courses to Face-2-Face or Hybrid, so we can reasonably assume that we will be able to implement at least a partial transition of some Courses by the beginning of Term 2, 2021.

REMEMBER please, that we have over 90 Courses, some with unique requirements, to accommodate in the upcoming scheduling process, so PATIENCE should be the operative word.  Use the summer break to enjoy life before returning to your Courses in 2021.  Don't spend your much deserved rest machinating over what is to come.  Rest assured that the team at U3APP 'Headquarters’ will be on the beat over the summer to ensure the best possible outcome for us all. Once the implementation plan is in operation we can then start communicating our progress to you all, on a regular basis.  It is essential that all Tutors and Members understand that this process will take some time to resolve.

Graham Gosling - President U3APP

. Displaying Zoom to a large screen TV

by Kevin English and Dennis Mouy

Kevin and Dennis gave a presentation on screencasting in January 2021 - click here to view the presentation.

Introduction

Do you attend one of our online Zoom classes and find the screen on your device is a bit small, especially for an exercise class or when watching a video in your class?  Would like to see it on your bigger tv screen?

You can connect your device to your TV and you can see everything both on your device and your TV.

You join your Zoom class on your device, but you can then move somewhere else and watch your class on your TV.  Remember that you will only be seen or heard by others in the class if you return to being in front of your device.

There are 2 broad ways to connect your device to your tv: via a cable or via wireless.  Further details are provided below.

Some basic assumptions:

  • The source device (running Zoom) could be any laptop/desktop, tablet or smartphone.
  • The device to be projected to is a flatscreen TV with at least one free HDMI input.
  • The zoom user requires the option of supporting two-way audio and video communication but must return to their device to be seen or heard by others.
  • The TV may or may not be a Smart TV, that is a TV supporting wi-fi connectivity. A Smart TV is assumed to be configured to access the user’s home wi-fi network.

Flowchart

A high level flowchart of the connection options is given below, identifying 4 broad options which are discussed in the later sections.

Option 1 – Wired connection via HDMI

A wired connection via HDMI will in most cases provide the simplest method of broadcasting content to a TV. In the simplest case, both the source device and TV support an HDMI interface looking like this:

All that is required is a standard HDMI male to male cable sufficiently long to reach from the source device to the TV. Suitable cables are:

CableTypical Cost
HDMI (5 metre cable)$15 (Scorptec)
HDMI (10 metre cable)$25 (Scorptec)

For source devices not natively supporting a female HDMI interface a relatively low-cost adapter can often be purchased. A few of the most common interfaces are listed below including the cost of an interface adapter from Officeworks to plug into a standard HDMI cable.

InterfaceEg. supported onAdapter cost (Officeworks)
15-pin VGA female interfaceOlder laptaps/desktops$34 (not from Officeworks)
Apple Lightning connectoriPhone or iPad$74
USB-CSome MacBooks$43.88
Mini DisplayportSome MacBooks$24.88

Article here lists the interfaces supported on recent Apple devices. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201736

Joining a zoom session is relatively straightforward, involving the following broad steps:

  1. Connect the source device to the destination device via a standard HDMI cable in series with the appropriate adaptor device (as above) if necessary.
  2. Select the appropriate HDMI input on the destination TV (procedure differs between TVs)
  3. Set the source device to broadcast to the HDMI interface, eg.
    Windows laptop/desktop: press windows key  plus P then select duplicate
    IPhone: swipe up from bottom then select Screen Mirroring
    Apple Mac: refer to https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT204388
  4. Sign in to zoom class in the normal way.

Option 2 – Smart TV

Many modern TVs support inbuilt wi-fi capabilities which enable content to be sent directly from a source device to the TV screen without a physical connection. However, there are some differences in the capabilities and operating procedures between different TV brands so only the general approach is outlined here.

A good option is to use Google Chrome browser on the source device, supported on windows, Linux, iOS and Android operating systems. Ensure than the source and destination devices are configured on the same Wi-Fi networks and the TV is set to the appropriate HDMI channel. To activate screen sharing, click on the vertical ellipsis () symbol in the top right corner of the Chrome browser screen then click cast, which will bring up a list of compatible destination devices. There is also a dropdown menu labelled sources, which allows selection of browser tab, desktop or file screen casting. Select cast to desktop then click the desired destination device.

If “cast to desktop” is selected (continuously mirroring the source screen to the destination) a popup window will appear, click the image on your desktop to highlight it, then click the Share button.

So, in summary, to access zoom:

  1. Select three dots menu
  2. Select Cast
  3. Open Sources dropdown menu then Select 'Cast desktop'
  4. Click the destination to cast to
  5. Popup window appears; click the image of your desktop to highlight it
  6. Click the Share button
  7. Go to u3app.org.au, sign-in then start zoom class from the appropriate link.

Note that after clicking Cast, the black symbol  will appear in the top right corner. This will change to a blue symbol while casting is in progress. Using cast to desktop, everything will be cast from the source to the destination device until casting is stopped.

Selecting file at step 3 above allows a file (eg. Movie) on the source device to be selected then cast to the destination device and the source device to then continue with other functions.

Note that Chrome browser on iphones does not directly support casting.

However, for any iphone apps displaying the chromecast icon symbol , simply click this icon then select the appropriate destination device (TV) to initiate casting.

Option 3 – Apple TV device

Airplay is a casting protocol developed by Apple supporting video and/or audio. It is implemented in Apple devices running the IOS operating system and some 3rd party products. It is implemented as a display device in the Apple TV and in selected Smart TVs from Sony, LG, Samsung and others.

Users with an Apple device can choose to connect wirelessly to an HDMI equipped TV with the Apple TV hardware device. There are three current versions of Apple TV

  • Apple TV HD 32 GB $209 (includes 12 months AppleTV+ subscription)
  • Apple TV 4K 32 GB $249 (includes 12 months AppleTV+ subscription)
  • Apple TV 4K 64 GB $279 (includes 12 months AppleTV+ subscription)

An Apple TV (all models) needs to be connected to the home network by WiFi or network cable and is connected to the TV with an HDMI to HDMI cable.

The Apple TV will make any TV with HDMI input smarter because it can have its own apps installed to watch streamed content (ABC iView, SBS OnDemand, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan to name a few) and does not require any other smart device to do this. The Apple TV hardware device has its own remote control or can be controlled with the Remote app for iPhone and iPad

Your Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Macintosh) wirelessly connect to the TV via AirPlay. AirPlay lets you share videos, photos, music and more from Apple devices to your Apple TV, your favourite speakers and popular Smart TVs.

For ZOOM meetings, use Screen Mirroring to see the entire screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
  2. Open Control Centre:
    • On iPhone X or later or iPad with iPadOS or later: Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen.
    • On iPhone 8 or earlier or iOS 11 or earlier: Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.
  3. Tap  Screen Mirroring.
  4. Select your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV from the list.
  5. If an AirPlay passcode appears on your TV screen, enter the passcode on your iOS or iPadOS device.

Your TV uses your iOS or iPadOS device's screen orientation and aspect ratio. To fill your TV screen with the mirrored device screen, change your TV's aspect ratio or zoom settings.

To stop mirroring your iOS or iPadOS device, open Control Centre, tap Screen Mirroring, then tap Stop Mirroring. Or press the Menu button on your Apple TV Remote.

Mirror or extend your Mac display

With Apple TV or an AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV, you can mirror the entire display of your Mac to your TV or use your TV as a separate display.

  1. Connect your Mac to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
  2. On your Mac, click  in the menu bar at the top of your screen. If you don't see  , go to Apple  menu > System Preferences > Displays, then select "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available".
  3. Choose your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
  4. If an AirPlay passcode appears on your TV screen, enter the passcode on your Mac.

Change settings or stop mirroring

To change the size of your desktop mirrored on your TV, click   in the menu bar. Then select Mirror Built-in Display to match the size of your desktop or Mirror Apple TV to match the size of your TV.

AirPlay also lets you use your TV as a separate display for your Mac. Just click  in the menu bar, then select Use As Separate Display.

To stop mirroring or using your TV as a separate display, click  in the menu bar, then choose Turn AirPlay Off. Or press the Menu button on your Apple TV Remote.

Option 4 – Google Chromecast

For non-Apple devices (laptops/desktops, etc.) where a Smart TV or wired connection is not available, the Google Chromecast device is a good option.

Google cast is a proprietary protocol developed by Google and built into the Google Chromecast device. The protocol was published in 2014 and has since been built into a range of 3rd party Android TV products from Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and others.

Chromecast is a line of digital media players developed by Google for screen casting via Google cast to any device supporting an HDMI interface. It presently comes in two main variants:

  • Google Chromecast 3rd Generation ($55 in Officeworks) supporting Full HD resolution video
  • Google Chromecast Ultra ($96 in Officeworks) supporting Ultra HD (4K) video

In both cases, the small dongle plugs into any HDMI interface and has a USB interface for charging. It is then setup via the Google Home app on an Android phone or iPhone. This mainly involving configuring Wi-Fi. The host TV needs to be set to the appropriate HDMI channel into which the dongle is plugged, then it should be ready to start displaying anything from a Google cast compatible device.

Using Google Chrome browser, the procedure for casting a zoom call is then identical to that for a Smart TV, ie.

  1. Select three dots menu at top-right of Chrome screen
  2. Select Cast
  3. Open Sources dropdown menu then Select 'Cast desktop'
  4. Click the destination to cast to
  5. Popup window appears; click the image of your desktop to highlight it
  6. Click the Share button
  7. Go to u3app.org.au, sign-in then start zoom class from the appropriate link

Google Chromecast will not easily work to wirelessly connect ZOOM from Apple devices to a TV. There is an additional app (Apowermirror, lifetime cost of $59.95) that enables ZOOM from Apple iPhone and iPad to Chromecast.

At $55 the Google Chromecast is good value to “smarten-up” any TV, so a relatively low-cost entry point. I believe for many people this could be a good starting point to check out wireless connection with a larger (TV) screen.

Note that use of Chromecast is likely to add to the data that Google collects about its users. All the “free” stuff we get from Google has to be paid for and Google gets revenue from selling information about us to providers of goods and services. On the other hand, Apple is very deliberate about not collecting any more data than is necessary and does not sell it on to other parties, which, in part, is the reason that Apple devices always seem to cost more.

. Covid-19 Working Group Report 13 September 2020

U3APP in 2021 – Planning for the future

U3APP has enjoyed enormous success in 2020 in moving 70% of classes online. Not only that, we have been kept connected via our highly entertaining weekly e-bulletins, stimulated via our well attended Saturday seminars, engaged via our holiday programs, and creatively enhanced via our photography exhibition. Our membership has increased!

But what of next year? The U3APP COVID 19 Working Group is on the case. The Working Group is planning for a COVID safe environment, consistent with Government regulations and City of Port Phillip processes and procedures. The Group is scenario planning options for the delivery of classes and will be consulting soon with tutors and members.

Pam Caven

. Report from U3APP President, Graham Gosling 13 September 2020

Dear members

September marks 6 months since U3A Port Phillip ceased face to face classes and activities.  Thanks to the work of the COVID Working Group, the IT team and the enthusiastic tutors and you, our members, we have risen to the challenge and over 70% of U3APP classes are online with over 600 participants.

Nevertheless, we understand that the conduct of online classes by Zoom impacts on the sense of connectedness of some members that comes through direct in person participation. This sense of connectedness built up over the past years is such an important aspect of U3APP operations and the basis as to why we have been able to continue to be successful in the online environment.

In the meantime, the closure of all facilities used by U3APP is set to continue and there is no indication as to when they may reopen. In light of this situation, for the remainder of 2020 all classes and activities will continue to be conducted either online using Zoom technology or via email in limited circumstances. Those classes that have been postponed since the closure will not recommence in Term 4, with the possible exception, post restrictions, of the courses conducted outdoors.

The U3APP Annual General Meeting this year will also be held utilising online facilities.

On a personal reflection Thursday this week was national RUOK day. This day and the phrase arose out of one family’s tragedy but now serves as a great reminder that whilst many members are coping well and enjoying life many others are struggling.  A simple genuine gesture of asking “are you OK” can have a very positive impact. I urge you to consider this with family, friends, acquaintances and your fellow U3A members.

Please stay safe and well.

Regards - Graham Gosling