“The Technology ASU is responsible for the District’s strategy to develop the use of digital media and technology in the Scout programme and increase the digital presence of Scouting on the internet.”
The Technology ASU’s purpose is to transform the Scouting experience and engage young people with new and innovative activities through existing and emerging technology. We also exist to help make Scouting easier for volunteers to undertake their roles e.g. Secure email, an online Scout Shop badge shop or provide support with systems such as Compass.
Technology has the potential to transform Scouting and expose new and innovative ways for young people to experience adventure, explore the world in which they live and develop new Skills. A great example of this is Geocaching – a new activity where technology meets traditional Scouting methods.
The ASU offer a number of different services to groups and units both in and outside of Mersey Weaver whether that’s on a section night, at an event or technical support for day to day Scouting.
We suspect there are hundreds of ideas out there of how digital technology can enhance the Scouting experience.. for example, with the advent of wearable technology like the Google Glass imagine how you could reinvent the wide game for the 21st century?
The District has the following resources available for use by Sections/Groups/Units in the District:
Digital Citizen & Maker Badges
We can help groups and units with the digital part of their programme and with the requirements of the Digital Citizen & Digital Maker Badges. Need some ideas or maybe you’re not that computer savvy and want some help facilitating the badges? Get in touch! We can help with Video & Audio Production, Analogue and Digital Photography, Animation, 3D Printing & Computer Aided Design, Programming, Websites, Radio Communication, Online Safety Awareness and more!
Digital Communication & Email Platforms
We utilise industry leading Microsoft’s Office 365 Enterprise for Non-Profits platform for our email, collaboration and online conferencing tools. With the features that Office 365 provides, we’re eager as a District to expand the platform to our Groups and Units.
What is Office 365?
Office 365 provides anywhere access to professional email, calendar, HD video conferencing, and more. Designed to help nonprofits do more good, this global offering provides groups with access to Office Online, Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools.
What will my Group get?
By hosting your Group’s email with us, you will receive for FREE:
- a free domain name provided by us (e.g. 1stmoorescoutgroup.org.uk, 4thwidnesscoutgroup.org.uk)
- Secure personalised Email (with Exchange Support)
- Contact & Calendar Syncing
- Collaboration services to securely store & backup documents (SharePoint, OneDrive)
- Online conferencing (Skype for Business)
- Secure social media and networking platform (Yammer)
- District-based technical support when you need it
- Access to the district members area based on SharePoint
- Access to the District Directory
What are the advantages of using privately hosted email?
- All emails are hosted on a private enterprise class server meaning potentially sensitive information is kept safe. Free email accounts are consumer products and do not provide users with the same level of privacy, protection or support. Data is also backed up so you can retrieve something you may have deleted by mistake.
- With a custom domain name such as firstname.lastname@example.org, Parents and outside organisations can be a lot more confident of your identity when receiving emails. Anyone can set up a free Gmail or Hotmail account with something similar to email@example.com and pose as a leader. We want to make sure our adult members are protected from identity theft and safeguard our young people from imposters.
- A Scouting email address allows you to manage and maintain a Scout-Life balance by keeping your Scouting mailbox separate from your personal inbox.
- It looks professional. Quite often Scouting will lead you to have contact and dealings with public officials, MPs, large corporations, Business leaders and having your own custom scout email address will give a much better impression.
- When your group sign up for the system, you will automatically get a address book of all the people in your own group and the district which will update as people join the organisation and leave – so you can always get hold of the people you need to.
- Centrally managed distribution lists can be setup so that you can be confident everyone who needs to, receives your email.
The District has a web hosting facility provided by TSOHost and is able to offer the following web services for free to Groups and Units in the District:
- Domain Name registration
- Design, operation and maintenance of Group websites which align with Scout Association trading guidelines.
- Joomla or Wordpress technical support
By hosting your Group website with us, you get:
- worry free hosting – we take care of all the behind the scenes stuff (errors, installing patches, DNS etc) so you don’t have to!
- a free domain name provided by us (e.g. 1stmoorescoutsgroup.org.uk, 4thwidnesscoutgroup.org.uk)
- an easy to use web interface to build a website the way you want whilst meeting Scout Association brand guidelines.
- a helping hand when you get stuck
Great, how do I get a free domain name/website/email/Office 365 system for my Group?
Simply get in touch with us using the form below. We’ll get you set up as soon as we can and we’ll help you along the way if you need it.
While we all want to limit the amount of time young people spend online and encourage them to participative in Adventure and activities outdoors. Having an internet connection in your HQ can be a wonderful resource and open up many new and exciting activities and links to the outside world like never before. Through Scouting we can promote the positive uses of the Internet, such as a participation in Global events like Jamboree On the Internet or The Hour of Code. As more and more services move online, an internet connection can also be useful for leaders or execs for accessing documents stored on cloud storage, Compass or Online Scout Manager.
If you’re thinking of installing an internet connection in your HQ and would like some help or advise – Get in touch! We’ll help you find the best provider to suit your needs and assist with any preparation of the building and installation of any wiring or hardware. We’ll also show you some simple ways of keeping your members safe online and setup content filtering for you.
The District also have an internet based Virtual PBX phone system (VOIP) provided by Nimvelo. We can support Groups to setup their own free phone system though Nimvelo.
The Technology ASU is managed by Colin Chambers
Future Digital Services
As the ASU membership grows, we aim to expand our range of services and invest in more technology to include things like Arduino/Raspberry Pi Kits and more support for Groups to deliver the technical aspects of the new Adventurous programme & Digital Manifesto. We’re a relatively small team and we are always looking for enthusiastic new members to build on this.
Interested in Joining?
There is no need to have been involved in Scouting or Guiding before, all that is required is a willingness to give some of your time to Scouting. In return you will make friends and be able to join with others doing whatever you decide.
If you’re enthusiastic about technology and/or IT minded and you’d like to be involved in sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge, then please register your interest below: