U3APP has been very active in continuing to add to the course program. For this term, the following new courses, repeat courses and one-off events have been included so far. (The newest courses/changes since the last e-bulletin are highlighted in bold text.)
Saturday 18 September- Sunday 3 October - Term Break
Friday 1 October - International Day of Older Persons Monday 4 October - Start Term 4 Thursday 14 October - Vaccination Day Mary Kehoe Centre - no Face-2-Face Classes. Check with your Tutor as your Class may run via Zoom Tuesday 2 November - Melbourne Cup Day - usually no Classes held - check with your Tutor if unsure Thursday 11 November - Vaccination Day Mary Kehoe Centre - no Face-2-Face Classes. Check with your Tutor as your Class may run via Zoom Saturday 4 December - Annual General Meeting Thursday 9 December - Vaccination Day Mary Kehoe Centre - no Face-2-Face Classes. Check with your Tutor as your Class may run via Zoom Friday 10 December - End Term 4
The U3APP Committee of Management has appointed Committee Member, Libby Smith to the role of U3APP Marketing Manager, for the promotion of U3APP.
The Committee of Management maintains that for the U3APP to prosper we need to promote our organisation and activities in the community in such a way as to inform our Members of our activities and events and to attract new Members and Tutors. It is also important that we promote the health and social benefits we offer to retired and semi-retired people in the Port Phillip area to ensure the ongoing support and goodwill of the Port Phillip Council.
Above all we want U3APP to be widely recognised as a vibrant organisation of volunteers which offers a diverse range of enjoyable and affordable learning and participation opportunities for older people.
Welcome to Term 3 of the 2021 academic year at U3A Port Phillip. We have much to celebrate in the successes we have had negotiating the COVID-19 minefield with its constantly evolving environment and resultant government restrictions.
Our groups responsible for shepherding us to this point have accomplished what initially seemed an impossible task: to restore U3APP to a semblance of normalcy, i.e., to stabilise and expand our curriculum and social atmosphere while ensuring a safe environment in which to operate.
Our present stability has resulted from the concerted efforts of our ‘behind-the-scenes’ groups of dedicated volunteers: the COVID-19 Working Group which devised the strategic plan for recovery and guided implementation of that plan, The IT Team which operated the buttons and levers to enable delivery of the plan, the Enrolment Team which ensured Class rolls and Waitlists were actioned, Office Volunteers who kept the everyday aspects of the organisation running smoothly from remote locations, Course Coordinators who navigated the monumental task of scheduling all the Courses and our dedicated and talented cadre of Tutors, who delivered Courses, all of whom showed remarkable resilience and flexibility.
Some of our Tutors deliver their Courses Face-2-Face in classrooms as was done prior to COVID, although most courses are delivered using Zoom as the delivery platform, and a few still rely on communication by e-mail. Surprisingly as well as pleasingly, U3APP has experienced an increase in Membership during our times of trial, putting even more stress on our Tutorial resources.
So, on behalf of the Committee of Management, I express my gratitude to those dedicated and resourceful individuals who delivered this ‘miracle’. If you would like to be a part of this group, we are always in need of people to help, especially individuals willing to become Tutors. Just raise your hand and someone will be there to help you into the Tutorial Team.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin and Dennis gave a presentation on screencasting in January 2021 - click here to view the presentation.
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.
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:
HDMI (5 metre cable)
HDMI (10 metre cable)
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.
Joining a zoom session is relatively straightforward, involving the following broad steps:
Connect the source device to the destination device via a standard HDMI cable in series with the appropriate adaptor device (as above) if necessary.
Select the appropriate HDMI input on the destination TV (procedure differs between TVs)
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
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 todesktop 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:
Select three dots menu
Open Sources dropdown menu then Select 'Cast desktop'
Click the destination to cast to
Popup window appears; click the image of your desktop to highlight it
Click the Share button
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.
Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
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.
Tap Screen Mirroring.
Select your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV from the list.
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.
Connect your Mac to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
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".
Choose your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV.
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.
Select three dots menu at top-right of Chrome screen
Open Sources dropdown menu then Select 'Cast desktop'
Click the destination to cast to
Popup window appears; click the image of your desktop to highlight it
Click the Share button
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.