Mohamed from Southern Housing Group talks about how they have used Blogger.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Mohamed Abdullah, I am a community regeneration assistant for Southern Housing Group. I am part of the Digital Inclusion Project and I help co-ordinate, deliver and oversee computer training that is provided for our residents. I have been using computers for studying, personal use and work related activities. In total this adds up to 12 years’ experience on computers and gadgets that require operating systems.
Why did you look for this tool in the first place? What did you need help with?
The team and I were looking for a digital tool that would help us to communicate with our learners after completing IT training with us, as a way of providing extra support. As we increasingly deliver training to a large number of residents across southern England, it has become more challenging to support all our learners, which is why we decided to explore a blog.
How did you find out about the tool?
I have used blogs in the past to buy the latest gadgets. I would find discussions that would relate to the features of products and if they were worth purchasing from people that have bought and tried it first-hand.
What is this tool mainly used for?
Blogspot is used as a platform for communicating both ways ie. author and readers can continuously interact with each other. It is a site for disseminating information and having discussions as well as a tool for responding to questions posted.
What do you use it for?
We use the blog to share stories of our learners’ success, to post testimonials, to share basic revision notes on computer basics, to share a comprehensive glossary, to provide direct access to our online registrations forms, and to provide a space for Q&As. It’s a multifunctional platform!
Why has this tool been useful to you?
Using this tool has saved me a lot of time because I am now able to respond to learner’s enquiries directly using the blog, rather than having to visit learners. It’s also made a big difference to learners as they are able to revise before a training session, which helps us to cover more material and the lesson becomes more smooth flowing.
Is there any cost attached to using this tool?
It is completely FREE.
Are there any online tutorials available?
There are some general tutorials on various blogs, which can be found on Youtube.
Did this application need much of your time to set it up at the beginning?
Yes, time does need to be invested in this tool, especially if you want to use it for lots of different things. It took us three months to investigate what we wanted, think through the risks and management/maintenance implications, and then to get things set up exactly as we wanted them. On the other hand, you could probably get going with something pretty simple in under an hour!
Are there any limitations to using this tool?
It’s a little limited in terms of aesthetics, however it is sufficient enough for our use.
Do you have any top tips for using this tool?
Watch tutorials, use the question and answer section to have any digital query answered.
Do you have any other recommendations of tools that could help you do something similar?
Wordpress, however this is more complicated when setting up because it focuses on the use of HTML coding which is more for professional blog users.
Are there any other online tools that you use that you would recommend and why?
Survey Monkey is a great online survey tool for collecting data. We have used this survey and posted a link on our blog, which is also really useful.