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Connecting Justice Communities

Top Ten Tech Tips (Spring 2013)

Posted in Legal Services, Pro Bono, Technology

LSNTAP and Pro Bono Net kicked off their spring webinar series on Wednesday April 24th. First up in the Community Training Series was the ever popular 50 Tech Tips. The presenters included Anna Hineline, of Legal Assistance of Western New York,  Leah Peabbles of Colorado Legal Services, Kim Marshall of the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, and Liz Keith of Pro Bono Net. Out of the 50 tips presented on the webinar, we’ve highlighted what we consider to be the Top Ten.  Those interested in discovering the other 40 tech tips will be able to find the webinar on lsntap.org, where it will be uploaded in several shorter videos over the course of the next few weeks. For those who are members of the SWEB support site, the power point slides used in the webinar are available here in the SWEB training section.

THE TOP TEN TECH TIPS

1. Online Training Resources

Several websites that provide free tech training were mentioned during the hour. These sites can be valuable tools in educating your staff about how to best utilize online resources.

  • http://www.howto.gov/training provides a number of useful tutorials and workshops, and while their newest workshops have a fee attached, there is enough free content in the archives to be a big help.
  • Teachparentstech.org is another site mentioned during the tech tips webinar, which provides a more basic set of tutorials for efficient computer use.

2. 7-Zip

7-Zip is a tool for compressing and uncompressing files with versions available for PC and Mac. It is comparable to WinRAR, but as the advantage of being free. 7-Zip is a reliable way to deal with all your file archiving needs.

3. ShareLaw.org

ShareLaw.org is an LSC funded website that provides access to a library of legal aid resources. Legal aid organizations, including Vermont Law Help and the Arkansas Legal Services Partnership, upload many resources to ShareLaw on over 50 topics and numerous sub-topics.

4. Chrome Remote Desktop.

For users of Google Chrome, the Chrome Remote Desktop feature allows others temporary access to remotely control your computer. It can be very helpful for tech support or quick collaboration on projects.

5. Ninite.com

Ninite.com is another useful site, as it lists some of the best and most useful free programs from across the web. If you are looking for a way to quickly and easily install a number of important programs, Ninite is one of the best ways to do so.  Ninite will also work to quickly and automatically install updates to any of the programs you have chosen, keeping you constantly equipped with the latest updates.

6. Password Tips

A number of tips were provided for improving your password strength and thus increasing security. While Microsoft provides some Tips for password creation, websites like PasswordSavvy.org  can be used to complicate existing passwords.

7. Google Apps

Google Apps can be a vital tool for modern businesses. Tools like Google Drive and Google Docs allow for easy collaboration and updates on group projects, while Gmail and Google Talk (gchat) help keep team members in touch. The Google Apps support pages are also very helpful for familiarizing yourself with the services offered by Google Apps and transitioning from Microsoft Office programs. Another tool provided by Google that got a specific mention was Google Keep, a note taking program similar to Evernote.

8. Ustream.tv

Ustream allows users to stream live video on their own channels. It is relatively easy to use and only requires a webcam and an internet connection. An account can be created and put into use within minutes.  This is an easy way to get around the participant restrictions imposed by programs like Skype and Google hangouts. Also, it is great for lectures, presentations, or other events.

9. Toggl Timekeeping

Toggl Timekeeping is a free tool that can be used to monitor the way you spend your time at work, and can give you valuable information which can be used to increase your efficiency. While the basic uses of Toggl Timekeeping are free, there are advanced features that can be unlocked with a small fee. Toggl can also be used with other programs such as Google calendar and can be used by multiple people to coordinate their timekeeping.

10. Songza

Songza is a free, online music website that allows you to listen to playlists made up by music experts that are recommended based on the time or day or your activity. With playlists such as “Boosting Your Energy” and “Working to Background Beats”, Songza is well suited to use at work and can help keep interest and enthusiasm up while working on time consuming projects.

Stay tuned for the next webinar in this series produced by Pro Bono Net, “Developing a Mobile Strategy to Reach Our Clients, which takes place on Wednesday, June 19th from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Time). Registration for that webinar will open soon, so be sure to sign up at the LSNTAP website.