Web 2.0 Training Sessions

With the fast pace of today’s internet, it is difficult to keep up with all the new changes and technology.  Today’s web is so much more then just email and web browsing, we’ve entered into a world known as Web 2.0. The C@P Youth Interns are required to know more and more each summer in order to assist C@P users.

A new technology that has been linked to the internet is the use of GPS‘s, global positioning systems.  GPS units come in different styles and have many different uses. They are used both recreational and for industrial purposes. NS C@P interns were introduced to this technology last summer, and it will be something that future interns will need to have some knowledge of.

We wanted to provide some training to C@P Chairs and C@P Site Managers to keep them abreast of some of this new technology that ICCNS is using and what Youth Interns will need to know or learn.  ICCNS has taken on 2 winter projects this year, one of them will deliver this training.

Two youths have been hired to provide this training, James Ryan and Angela Wiswell. Both youths work part-time for ICCNS – 20 hours/week.

James Ryan

James Ryan

James hails from Inverness and is a student at NSCC in Port Hastings.  James is a Film and Video Technician, he graduated from NSCC with a Screen Arts Degree in June 2003.  He is currently working on obtaining an Electricians Certificate to coincide with his Screen Arts Degree and enhance his skills as a film technician.

James has worked as a freelance film technician, specializing in the electrical department on film sets.  He has also done some work as a Geophysical Analyst, using advanced GPS  technology working as a field surveyor.

James is using his skills to create some video podcasts that will illustrate how to use a GPS and Geocaching.  He will also be providing some training sessions on GPS’s, as well as basic Web 2.0 applications.  James works out of Port Hood, Scotsville and Inverness C@P Sites.

angela

Angela Wiswell

Angela lives close to MacKinnons Harbour in Victoria County. Angela is the mother of two young children and works part time at the Whycocomagh Coop, as well as part time for ICCNS. She is not a new comer to CAP, having worked as a summer youth coordinator and an administrative support manager for Victoria County C@P.  Angela received an Honors Diploma in Administrative Medical Computer from Matech Eduacation.  Angela has created tutorials for students as well as CAP employees and helped establish a consistent curriculm of course modules adaptable for outreach clients using assistive technology.  She will be using her experience and skills to develope some tutorials on Web 2.0 Applications and providing some hands on training sessions.  Angela works out of the Whycocomagh C@P Site.

Angela and Ryan have spent the last month reveiwing material and preparing to provide sites with training sessions.  With their different schedules, they have been trying to work together to share knowledge and skills, each having a experience and expertise in different areas.  Starting this week, sites will be contacted to start setting up dates for training sessions.

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We’re Revamping our Web Site!

WWW.ICCNS.CA was officially launched back in 2004.  That might not seem like such a long time ago, but in the world of the web…it’s ions ago and many changes and improvements have been made to web site development.  Unfortunately, our site has become “static”  and outdated.

karen_photoOne of our Fall/Winter projects is to revamp our website and give it a fresh new look.  We have hired a web designer, Karen Jeane Mills, to do just that.  Karen graduated from NSCAD in 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. She completed a Web Design Internship with Student Connections in Halifax in 2007.  She has since worked as a Freelance Designer, improving existing web sites and brand identities.

NS C@P approached us with the idea of creating a template that could be use for all C@P Regions across the province.  It was suggested that the WEB Site for each C@P Region should have some familiarity to it, seeing that we are all part of the C@P Program.  This would make it easier for viewers to find information as they surf from region to region.  At the same time, each region would have opportunity to make their site unique and representative of their geographical region.

Initially, we had planned to update our present web site by using Dreamweaver and purchase Adobe Contribute for each to use to update and manage their web content.  NS C@P used Joomla, an open source content management system, to create and maintain their website.  As well, a couple of other regions have successfully used this program.  We liked the idea of moving to an open source software, and decided that this would be the direction to take.  Karen did some research for us, and spent some time learning Joomla.  She experienced some frustration with the program and began to look at other options.  She did some comparisons between the different content management systems, and recommended WordPress to us.  ICCNS agreed that this was our best option. While NS C@P agreed that it was a worthy option, they decided to remain with Joomla for the present time and other regions could decide what was best for them.

Karen has been very busy creating the design layout for the template for our new site, which will also be available as a template for other regions to use to create their own web site.  There have been ongoing discussions with both the NS C@P Coordinator’s Technical Committee and Communications Committee as to what the layout should look like, what colour scheme should be used, what branding identies and government logos should be included etc.  A survey was also sent to the ICCNS Site Chairs to obtain their opinions and ideas as to what they would like to see on this new site.

Karen informs us that the New ICCNS web site represents more than just a fresh look for the old pages. Using contemporary Internet tools and trends, we will create a web site that all will enjoy.  A central feature on the new web site is a blog. Instead of writing static articles filed under each community section, staff can contribute dynamic blog entries that display both on the home page and under community sections.  However, much remains to be decided regarding the web site’s content pages, dynamic features, and design.

We will keep you updated and informed on the progress of this project.

Google Apps

I’ve been asked to make a presentation to my colleagues in NS C@P, to describe Google Apps and how we at ICCNS use this tool. I thought that the best way to do this was to blog about it.

The reason I first looked at google apps was for the sole reason of wanting our domain name or organization name reflected in our email address: @iccns.ca as opposed to @gmail.com. I believe that this gives our organization more creditability and looks more professional. Google Apps gave us that and more. Rather then try to explain all this myself, I’m going to insert a video that will do a better job!

We give each youth intern an iccns email address, and that is the email address that they are to use for their work term. Each C@P site, likewise, has an iccns.ca email address. All @iccns.ca email addresses are shared within the organization; if one of the interns needs to contact someone within our organization, that email address would automatically be in his/her contact list.

We encourage employees to use this Start Page, but some choose to forward their iccns.ca email to their personal email account – which is their decision.

For a more in depth look you can view the following video:

I’m a big fan of Google, and had already been using GMail and GCalendar, so it was easy for me to migrate to google apps. I know that this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I wanted to share the positive experience we’ve had with this application with you.

Darlene

Another Season Ends

C@P Sites across the province have said goodbye to another group of youth interns, as they finished up projects, final reports and headed back to school.   Besides gaining some valuable work experience, I hope that each student learned some work place skills that will prove to be beneficial to them. On behalf of ICCNS, I would like to thank our interns for the work they did this summer.

Mellisa Hines – Meat Cove            Evan Fitzgerald – Pleasant Bay

Kyle MacLennan – Margaree          Sean Larade  – Inverness

Jolene MacKinnon – Scotsville        Ian Hays – Whycocomagh

Jessica MacLennan – Mabou           Donnie MacInnis – Glendale

Brittany MacIsaac – Judique            Adam Procter – Port Hawkesbury

Tianna MacLeod  – Port Hood         Coady Bustin  -Youth Coordinator

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Geocaching at CAP

The theme for this summer’s Youth Initiative Program is Healthy Active Living. You might ask “What does Active Living have to do with computers?” There are many ways to integrate computers, information technology and current electronics with healthy living such as: using the internet to search for healthy alternatives, recipies, activities, exercises; using the computer to log physical activity and diet and tracking results; participating in active living discussion groups etc.

An increasingly popular activity that combines both physical activity and information technology is the use of global positioning units, or GPS’s. One of the most popular activities using a gps is Geocaching. Our youth interns are busy learning how to use GPS’s and all about geocaching, so they can assist the public with the use of their own gps’s and give assistance to anyone who wants to get involved in geocaching.

To learn more about geocaching watch the below videos then go to http://www.geocaching.com/.

How To Geocache

Nova Scotia Come To Life

Come to Life by Bruce Guthro

On June 3rd, Eric Stackhouse (Chair for NS CAP) signed the Nova Scotia Come to Life charter on behalf of the members of Nova Scotia C@P, officially making us chartered members of Nova Scotia Come to Life.

The Nova Scotia Come to Life charter members are organizations, associations, universities and business in Nova Scotia that represent our collective strengths and successes as a province. Members sign an official charter document which formalizes their involvement in telling Nova Scotia’s story to the world.

Becoming a charter member means working with other Nova Scotia leaders to:

  • help promote Come to life activities as they are launched
  • participate in a variety of advisory opportunities that help guide the evolution of the initiative
  • promote the key attributes of Nova Scotia at every opportunity through marketing and communications activities
  • act as an ambassador of Nova Scotia when called upon to participate in Come to life activities.
  • share initiative communications with business colleagues and associates, including customers and employees whenever possible encourage other businesses and private groups to support the Come to life initiative.

A Unique Advantage

To be successful, the Nova Scotia Come to life initiative must be a partnership with leadership from both the public and private sectors. No one sector alone can redefine Nova Scotia and change perceptions about the province. It must be a combined effort with active partners.

Additional benefits of becoming a charter member include:

  • access to, and participation in Come to life activities, seminars, workshops, missions, etc.
  • opportunities to provide input on development of the initiative
  • inclusion in Come to life communications activities
  • access to the network of Come to life charter members
  • opportunities to consult with government officials on Come to life activities

Our Youth Interns and volunteers welcome visitors into their C@P sites everyday. Some of these visitors are tourists, other are local residents. We have the perfect opportunity to act as ambassadors for Nova Scotia and pretty much already do so by sharing our success stories and helping people connect to the world.

Pictures from Charter Signing:

Youth Coordinator Hired

ICCNS has hired Coady Bustin as their Summer Youth Coordinator (Mentor). Coady resides in Skye Glen and attends Memorial University in Newfoundland where is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Law & Society.

Coady was a national recipient for the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation in 2006, as well as the Lieutenant Governor’s Medallion and the Governor General’s Academic Medal. He is on the Dean’s List at Memorial University.

Coady’s interest in politics are evident as he is the Nova Scotia Caucus Chair, MYP Candidate for Cape Breton–Canso.

He should be able to help us “Go Green at C@P” (our theme from last summer) as he was Environmental Coordinator for his residence at MUN, where he developed recycling and green initiatives.

Coady is very proficient with computers, both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems. He has first-hand knowledge with desktop publishing, graphics, and word processing software. He has already created a lovely new brochure for ICCNS, updated the ICCNS Youth Forum and helped me out with a number of computer related tasks.

Being not just a scout but a Chief Scout – receiving the Cheif Scout’s Award, the highest possible award in Canadian Scouting; Coady has taken our theme for this summer – Geocaching at C@P – and run with it. I mean this literally! He ran with the GPS that was given to our region from NS C@P before I had a chance to open the box! We’re both really excited about this project, and he was anxious to get his hands on the GPS and learn everything about it. I can relate, because when I received a second GPS for ICCNS yesterday, I did the same!

Another one of Coady’s interests is in theatre. He has been a member of the Centre Stage Players Group for the past couple of years and has performed in the large summer production of a two-act play, “Office Hours” and just recently “Cobbler, Stick to Thy Last” – which the play group performed at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival.

Coady has many skills and talents to bring to the table, and we at ICCNS are looking forward to an exciting and successful summer with him in place as Youth Coordinator.  Check out his blog –Blog at High Dough.

Darlene Cameron