PMUG membership -- is it worth it?

Do you feel like you’re getting nothing out of your PMUG membership? Are the presentations going over your head or not addressing your concerns? You’re not alone! The purpose of giving presentations at our meetings is to educate our members about possibilities. It’s like planting seeds. To actually get into details about any given topic would convert the meeting into a workshop, and workshops typically require hands-on by all students with a lot of special attention from the instructor. We prefer to scatter seeds at our meetings rather than get into digging up weeds. The meetings are then a field of possibilities, not a full service educational endeavor. We are also akin to a social club where people meet new friends and nourish old friendships.

Hence, to get anything out of the meetings, it is necessary to take notes and then go home and do research and practice. The presenter’s notes are always posted on our website and are available to all members, so it really isn’t necessary to take notes during the meeting unless you want to do your research while it is fresh in your mind.

For others like myself, we enjoy the opportunity to share what we know. If we’re not effective in teaching, it’s because we’re not trained educators. But that won’t keep us from trying.

If what you are looking for is something more like a workshop, there have been times when OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) has provided classes that are more like a workshop.

If you need personal training on any given topic, there are a few people in the area who are available to come to your home for one-on-one mentoring for a fee. And there are hundreds of short video tutorials for free online an any subject imaginable.

The real problem regarding computers is the terminology. If you don’t understand the terms, nothing will make sense. So learning computer terminology is important no matter what task you want to do. What is a Dock? What’s the difference between a browser and a search engine? What’s the difference between a Window and a Desktop and a display? How can I find what I know is on my computer? That all comes under the heading of Computer 101. So maybe we need to offer workshops or spend a little more time in our presentations just about computer terminology and how things work together.

My take on not coming to meetings is like not going out to the garden. You have no idea what will germinate if you don’t pay attention to it.

When I go to a meeting (any club that I belong to), I might go home with only one new piece of information. And for me to spend two hours listening to the same stuff over and over to get one new idea is worth it to me. Because my friends are there.

John Carter