Staying in touch during Covid-19 isolation

Keeping in touch with friends and family
This is the video calling service that’s built in to all Windows 10 PCs and laptops. It’s got easier to use in recent years – all you need to call
someone is their Microsoft email address. Here’s (briefly) how it works. If you sign in to your PC or laptop with a Microsoft account (most people do) then you can use that same account for Skype.
.To open the app, either click on the start button and find “Skype” in
your all apps list, or search for it using the search box on your taskbar.
. The first time you open it, it’ll probably ask you to sign in with your
Microsoft account and password, check that your microphone and camera are working and that sort of thing.
. Once you’re all set up, you can call someone – if you know their
Microsoft email address, that’s all you need.
.If they don’t answer, you get the option to leave them a little message
With Skype, you’re not only stuck with calling people from one PC to
You can get versions of the app for tablets and smartphones, too.
Skype is designed to work with up to 10 people on the video call at once (or 25 if you’re okay with the rest of them being sound-only). You can either set up a “group” in advance, or just call one person, then use a
little “+” sign on your screen to add more people to the call. 

FaceTime and Google Duo
These are very similar to Skype. FaceTime is the Apple equivalent, so it works on iPads and iPhones. Duo is the Google version, so you get it on most Android phones and tablets.
. To call someone, you need to know their Apple or Google email address, or their mobile phone number.
With FaceTime, you can only call another iPad or iPhone – but if your family all have Apple devices, it works pretty well. Again, you can have more than one person in the video call at once, but it’s a fairly recent
feature.  It only works on newer iPhones and iPads running at least
iOS 12. Before that, you can call more than one person at once, but it’s voice-only.
Duo works with up to 8 people on the call at once, and it comes ready-installed on most Android phones  If yours doesn’t have it and you want to give it a try, you can download it for free from the Play Store. There’s also an iPhone/iPad version of the app, so you’re not stuck with only being able to call Android devices. 

Facebook Messenger
Personally, I use Facebook Messenger for video calling from my phone
or iPad. If you’ve got a Facebook account, you can use it to call any of your Facebook friends.
Here’s how it works:
. If you don’t already have the Messenger app on your phone or tablet,
you can download it for free from your app store.
. Open the app and choose someone to call from your contacts list.
You can only call people who you’re connected to on Messenger – that’s
either people who are already your Facebook friends, or you can send
someone a separate Message Request if you like to ask them to connect
with you.
.Once you’ve got someone selected, you can either type them a little message, or if you want to call them, tap the video camera icon at the top of
the screen.
Again, you can add more people to the call if you like.
.While you’re talking, tap the screen and some options should come up – one of them is an “Add people” option. You can also start a group call by making a “group” of contacts and calling them all at once.

Video Conferencing
There are other options around that are designed to let you call more people at once. They’re for businesses really, but you can use them at home if you like. The most popular options are Microsoft Teams and
As well as video calling, you get a fancy messaging system and the option to share files with people too – they’re great for people who are working from home, or for schools trying to run “virtual classrooms” for the
If all you want to do is call a few friends and family, though, the
simpler systems work absolutely fine.
Lots of options, but my advice would be to find out which system most of your family and friends are already using, and have a go with that one. You might find that you need to have a couple of different systems set up, but they’re all very similar – so once you’re used to using one, you shouldn’t find them too difficult to switch between.

Beechtree needs Volunteers!

IT volunteers wanted

We are looking for volunteers who would be willing to support the local community with IT issues with their mobile phones, laptops, cameras, tablets and Ipads. You certainly don’t need to be specialised in the IT field, but have good general knowledge, with a willingness to support and make a difference to the lives of others.

Benefits for you –

  • Flexibly volunteering as and when
  • If required – enhance your CV
  • All out of pocket expenses with be refunded
  • Feel valued and part of a team
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Using your professional skills and knowledge to benefit other
  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • Chance to socialise
  • Getting to know the local community
  • Best of all a free drink whilst you are here from our Café

Gilda – Digital Inclusion Officer

IT Drop In Session Wednesday’s 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Join us at 1.00pm on Wednesdays if you would like to explore the Internet, discover new apps or learn more about your technical device, purchase a drink from our extensive range of beverages from the Cafe and enjoy the relaxed environment.

(computer, tablet, smart phone, camera etc)

Two New IT sessions for Ebay and Ipad

Gilda is running two sessions for those who would like to learn how to buy and sell on Ebay and also on getting to grips with your IPad, she has the patience of a saint so please do not be afraid to give it a go.

Beginners Guide to using EBay Friday 28th June 2019 10.00am – 12.30pm Have you always wanted to buy and sell on EBay? Well now you can. Step by step guide to using EBay. £12 per person Please bring your laptop or tablet with you, just don’t forget to bring any existing usernames and passwords with you!

 Apple iPads beginners guide Friday 19th July 2019 10.00am – 12.00pm  Have you purchased an IPad but know little about using it? Have you had one as a gift?IPad basics for beginners, tailored to your requirements, if you would like to explore the Internet, discover new apps or learn more about your technical device. £10 per person  Please bring you IPad with you, just don’t forget to bring any existing usernames and passwords with you!(especially email)