Replace Somewhere with the name of your area group.
Replace photo with a area group meeting photo
Replace photo with the names and titles of leaders.
Update area group name.
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and sign up to this Area Group. If you are already a member
Select Virtual Area Group from the drop down list in Other Area Groups and press the Subscribe to Area Group button.
Provide meeting details
The Virtual Area Group (VAG) is for MERG members only and was started primarily for those too distant from their nearest Area Group. It only meets using Zoom.
During the first two years of the VAG we regularly welcomed members from Australia, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, UK, USA etc and varied weekly meeting times to try to make the calls work for different time zones.
Many Area Groups have switched to using Zoom during Covid and so, temporarily we hope, created many other options for joining in.
At the start of 2021, after a break in the programme and with those other MERG Zoom options which are accessible to members in the western hemisphere, the plan is to resume VAG meeting only once a month on a Tuesday at 10am UK time which suits members in Europe and the Australian times zones.
Meetings are nominally for an hour but typically Zoom will open 15mins before and for 30 mins afterwards for informal chat.
Calls may be recorded and made available all MERG members.
Look in the MERG Diary or “My Upcoming Events”.
* Replace NN with the number of your area group - get from the AG admin page. Update the contact form title. *
|19:30 01-Dec||Monthly Virtual AG meeting||Martin Perry will give a talk about the new CANVINP CBUS module kit. There will also be a chance to share projects you're working on - and anything else of interest.||Online Zoom Meeting|
|19:30 05-Jan||Monthly Virtual AG meeting||Online Zoom Meeting|
In April 2020 we carried out a poll of VAG members and the following topics were identified as the most popular: -
Members can suggest topics at any time using the member email system.
To join in you may need to add a headset with microphone and optionally a camera to your device, if they are not built in. You will receive a link which will get you into the meeting, automatically installing Zoom on your device if necessary.
Calls are scheduled and topics announced in advance.
Zoom provides thumbnails of each video participant and any shared presentations or desktops. The call host facilitates the meeting/questions/discussion. Zoom has developed a lot during Covid and I can't describe all the features here.
Usually everyone mutes their microphone to avoid a lot of noise from phones, clocks chiming, family activity etc. To speak you can just press the spacebar to (after a slight pause) temporarily unmute.
You can select among several icons to, for example raise a hand, clap, agree, vote etc. Useful for questioning.
You can also type “chat” either with everyone or with a selected participant. This is quite a good way to have a one-to-one conversation without involving/annoying everyone else. It can also be used to distribute weblinks etc although there are many other ways to “share” (with permission) screens, documents, open apps, whiteboard and so on.
If you would like to try out Zoom, then there is a test meeting service where you are the only participant and you can experiment with the various options available.
This link is available to anybody, not just members of the virtual area group.