Computer Literacy for Seniors

Now that everything is digitized. almost all of us own a laptop or any other smart device that could organize our day to day work. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find someone not present on Whatsapp or any other social media platform. That makes us wonder about the ones who were not caught in this global phenomenon and were born before this digital revolution. Is it too late for them to cope and go with the flow? Lebanese families usually have at least one relative living abroad and we all know grandparents have to make sure their children are having good meals every day. The answer? The simplest and most common software; Skype! But to use Skype, first seniors should learn how to use its basic processor; the computer.

This is how the Online Collaborative crew of the American University of Beirut in cooperation with University for Seniors has designed this “Computer Literacy for Beginners” course that tackles the basics of the computer. 

The seniors showed a lot of enthusiasm and were very interested at the first lecture. Some introduced themselves and introduced their interest in that course saying those exact words; “I came to this course because I know nothing about the computer, and my grandchildren use the computer very well so I want to be up to date as well”, or “My children live abroad and I want to learn how to use the computer so I could be able to talk to them.” 

Ayman Jalloul, Treasurer of AUB’s Online Collaborative and instructor of the Computer Literacy course, was very excited for his first lecture as well. He was well prepared, and the class interacted with him pretty well. 

They asked a lot of question and that is what made the class more vibrant. The course is made up of 6 sessions; they are condensed and straight to the point. And remember; it is never too late! Better later than never.

More photos here

Introduction to Social Media for Seniors

On Wednesdays from 4:00 pm till 6:00 pm, the Online Collaborative offers a "Social Media for Beginners" course for seniors enrolled in University for Seniors. After last week's introductory session, this Wednesday’s session kicked off with Weam Al Awar (president of AUB's Online Collaborative) summarizing a bit what the seniors have learned the week before, and then he introduced the topic of the day: Learning how to use Facebook.

A conversation then broke-in after a senior commented on the rapid growth of technology: comparing the computer she used to work on back in the 70s to a Pepsi fridge. Now, everything is tiny, super fast and easy. This led to a small talk about Moore’s law and then each senior was dismissed to a computer waiting eagerly to learn how to use Facebook.

The seniors were all excited and had their happy and child-like face on while either seeing their first glimpse of Facebook, or just checking their usual news feed eager to learn more about all the buttons and pictures out there. The Online Collaborative team and the seniors were not alone, Al Hurra TV was following the seniors and joined us to film a documentary about UfS.

Al Hurra documenting

Weam explained to them what the news feed in Facebook is; your very own street filled with your friend’s “shops” and your own too. He explained what the “like”, “comment” and “share” buttons are and what they mean, and finally what the timeline is.

Each student had one assignment to do during class: tell the world (or themselves) what’s on their minds. At the end of the day, their friend request list was full and so was their notification. Each friended the other and each liked the “assignment” of the other, some even commented on them welcoming them to Facebook.

AUBOC Announces Committee Officers for 2012-2013

After the First General Assembly, members of AUB's Online Collaborative interested in becoming Officers of the club's committees were called for interviews. Those committees are as follows: Community Service, Event Planning/Workshops, Management/HR, Marketing/PR, and News Reporting. Interviewees presented their credentials and specified the committee they would like to become Officers of. The cabinet then selected the Officers based on criteria developed prior to the interviews. The results are as follows:

 Community Service: Hani Farah

Hani Farah is a Biology senior student with a passion for both science and technology and everything they have to offer. With just over 3 years of experience with the AUB Red Cross, he loves giving back to the community and believes the AUBOC has great potential to have an enormous positive impact on the society we live in. Hani can be found on almost every single social media platform but mainly on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Follow him on Twitter @han1farah and stay up to date with his blog:

Event Planning/Workshops: Aline Chirinian

One of the first members of AUB's Online Collaborative, Aline stumbled upon the wonderful world of Social Media a couple of years ago and has been an addict ever since. She runs one of Lebanon's first personal fashion blogs, Nouchaline, where she shares her slight obsession with shoes and nail polish with the world. She is currently in her senior year at AUB studying Business Administration - with an emphasis in Marketing, and a diploma in Media Communication. Twitter: @Nouchaline

Management/HR: Alfred Naayem

Alfred Naayem, yet another AUB freshman, is a tech enthusiast with great experience as a web developer and security specialist. When he's not geeking around the web, he enjoys scuba diving, cooking, sampling the world's finest cuisine, and, most importantly, long walks on the beach. His recent involvement with AUB's Online Collaborative is due to his admiration for the power of social media in marketing and public outreach. Twitter: @pulpish

Marketing/PR: Michelle Jo Daou

After a long journey of transferring majors, Michelle Jo Daou finally found her passion in Public Administration and Public Policy. She hopes to be able to make a change somewhere in the world someday. She loves going out and meeting people, but at the same time, she equally loves staying at home in front of her computer. Michelle is extremely persistent and very opinionated, and will do the impossible to achieve her goals. She believes that hard work pays off. Twitter: @michelledaou

News Reporting: George Zakhour

George Zakhour is a self-proclaimed geek. He’s a hardcore programmer and is passionate about math, which is why he chose Computer Science as his major. His philosophy in the virtual world is Open Source, that is why he started his blog where he shares his experiences, thoughts, pet programs’ documentation, and sometimes his rage. He uses many social networks such as Facebook, Twitter (@AlloGeorge), Vimeo, GithubGeeklist,  and many more. He designed and developed his own website and many other social applications. George dreams about changing the virtual experience and making the new Facebook. That is what interests him in social media and what got him to Online Collaborative.

First General Assembly 2012 - 2013

On Tuesday October 9th 2012 AUB’sOnline Collaborative held their First General Assembly of the academic year 2012-2013. The cabinet of AUB’s Online Collaborative welcomed the members that filled the auditorium. Weam El-Awar, President of AUBOC started introducing the cabinet: Omar Aridi (Vice-president), Ayman Jalloul (Treasurer), Ali El Dali (Public Relations) and Nour Rifai (Secretary). He then introduced the club advisor Dr. Leila Khauli Hanna, Mohammad Hijazi the founder of AUBOC and Chief Collaborator of the Online Collaborative NGO, and the board of the NGO.

Shot by @JimRamK: @weam_al introducing @AUBOC

After that small introduction, members introduced themselves and briefly stated the reason that made them join the club. They also explained what “Social Media” meant according to them. After that, Weam gave a more specific definition and giving examples of Social Media platforms. He continued by stating the goals and missions of AUBOC. These goals were clarified by a timeline showing AUBOC’s previous and future events.

For organizational purposes, members are divided into five sub-committees; each sub-committee is supervised by a member of the cabinet and has an officer. These five sub-committees were introduced during the meeting and members the sub-committees they want to be in. Also, they were nominated themselves as officers to a certain sub-committee of their choice. Interviews for officers are to be held on Tuesday October 15th.

As social media addicts, the members and the cabinet didn’t forget to live-tweet the General Assembly using the hash tag #AUBOC! It was a great start of the new academic year, as there only remain a few steps before great events start commencing. 

Below are the slides from the assembly.

Overview of Share Beirut

Picture this: A warehouse in the middle of an industrial area transformed into a conference room where intellectuals and Internet passionate gathered to share their Internet related stories with a very interested audience. Because that’s what SHARE is about after all: sharing ideas, knowledge and creativity.

This weekend-long event started Friday October 5th with an opening party on the roof of Solea V, a warehouse in Sin el Fil. The following days were all about conferences with speakers from all around the world, tackling various subjects such as Internet security, empowerment of individuals, censorship, diversity, creation, technology, music and science but also the absence of Internet. Indeed, Abigal H Tar, a Cuban alternative filmmaker and blogger talked about the inaccessibility of Internet in Cuba. She explained that the only way to access Internet there is through a dial-up connection (which is very expensive, 1$ per minute) and thus very few people use it.

Maya Zankoul, a Lebanese graphic designer and illustrator captured the attention of the audience with her remarkable presentation. She shared her success story explaining how she switched from a simple blog where she shared her comics about typical Lebanese anecdotes, to publishing her drawings in the form of a book that made it to the “Top 5” at Virgin Megastore!

First 2012-2013 General Assembly

AUB's Online Collaborative will be hosting its first general assembly for this year on Tuesday October 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM in West Hall Auditorium C (Third floor).

During the meeting:
  • Members will get to meet each other.
  • Members will get introduced to the AUBOC cabinet, adviser and mission/objectives.
  • Discussions will be held regarding SMCL 2 (Social Media Changing Lives), our yearly conference, events and workshops for this year (so bring your creative ideas and suggestions).
  • Nominations will be will be taken for sub-committee officers
Registered members are required to attend the first meeting.

P.S. Bring your AUB friends even if they are not registered yet. They may fill a membership form during the meeting.

Also, like our Facebook page in order to stay in contact with the club’s members and up-to-date with the AUB OC’s latest news and confirm your attendence on the General Assembly's Facebook event. We hope to see you there! :)

#Digiconflb Tweetup: Where Online Collaboration meets Diplomacy

The British Embassy in Lebanon along with the Online Collaborative had the pleasure to host a dinner tweet-up in honor of the 30 delegates of British Embassies from all across the Middle East & North Africa region this Wednesday, October fifth.

The dinner took place at Amarres in Zaitunay Bay. The British Ambassador to Lebanon HMA Tom Fletcher, the delegates, media figures, a group of influential tweeps in Lebanon and distinguished members of Online Collaborative enjoyed the delicious food sponsored by Amarres Bistro & Cafe Fran├žaisAttending delegates from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, SyriaTunisia, and the U.A.E., found the tweetup an opportunity to collaborate with each other, and with the Online Collaborative teams. 

Prior to having dinner, the British Ambassador to Lebanon HMA Tom Fletcher gave a brief speech about how important social media is becoming, especially in this area of the world. He stressed on the idea that the current generation holds the key to a brighter future as it initiates the change. In addition to that, he also encouraged all attendees or “tweeplomats” as he called them, to network and collaborate, as there is a lot to learn from everyone. 

Furthermore, Weam Alawar, the president of AUB's Online Collaborative, presented the AUB OC cabinet members to the attendees. Everyone then enjoyed a wonderful meal thanks to our good friends and hosts at The Alleyway Group!

It is at the core of values of the Online Collaborative to elevate effective usage of Social Media, especially when it comes to diplomacy.

Check out the photos on Online Collaborative's and Amarres's facebook pages.

AUB's Online Collaborative Cabinet Members:
(L-R): Raghd Hamzeh, Ayman Jalloul, Mohammad Hijazi, Nour Rifaï, Weam El-Awar, HMA Tom Fletcher, Omar Z. Aridi and Ali El Dali

Board members of the Online Collaborative NGO:
(L-R) Ziad Kamel, Youssef Alam, Mohammad Hijazi, Darine Sabbagh, Walid Khalife, HMA Tom Fletcher, Garen Yepremian, Yasmine Hajjar, Weam El-Awar and Joseph Maalouf

HMA Tom Fletcher during his speech