December, 2022 Community Call Recap: A Feast of Tech Tools

Here at CSCCE, we relish opportunities to learn from each other. So, for our annual potlucks, we ask everyone to bring knowledge instead of food! This year, we asked participants to bring their favorite tech tools and tips — and tech problems in search of solutions. Below is a smorgasbord of tools suggested by our Community of Practice, as well as a list of common tech problems with some suggested solutions for you to sink your teeth into. If you weren’t on the call but you’d still like to contribute, no problem! We used a Mural board to brainstorm, and you’re still welcome to add to it.

Our community members’ current tech tools include:

Digital team workspaces

Google Drive: A one stop shop for online office tools such as a word processor and slide decks

Confluence: A well-supplied team workspace

Project management systems

Trello and Jira: Kanban-style project management systems

Asana: A multi-functional team organization platform

Zenhub: Team planning and productivity tracking software

Ways to visualize information and/or collaborate

Jamboard and Mural: Digital whiteboards

Padlet: Virtual bulletin board

Illustrator: A heavy-duty art program

Mindmeister: A way to “map minds”

Online facilitation tools

Gather and Mozilla Hubs: Online worlds where participants interact using avatars

Zoom: The classic “grid-of-faces-in-boxes” virtual meeting platform

Miscellaneous tools

Slack: Messaging app designed for business

GitHub: Online code repository and developer tool

Zenodo: Online document repository

Calendly: A scheduling app

iPhones: What would we do without our phones??? They’re our gateways to everything.

If you’ve got a problem, I’ve got a solution!

Our members collaborated to come up with tools that might address specific problems using this Mural board. We’ve provided summaries of the problems and solutions below, and you can visit the board to read more details and add your thoughts.

A snapshot of a virtual white board with purple and clue sticky notes arranged on a grid. A few of the sticky notes have yellow stars on them. The words on the sticky notes are too small to read, but the link in the caption takes you to the live board.
A snapshot of our Mural board. Take a closer look and add your suggestions!

Problem: What are some ways to gather feedback “in the open” so that all meeting participants can see it?

Solutions: Use Padlet or a well-scaffolded Google Doc

Problem: I need an app that facilitates virtual speed networking-type events.

Solutions: Use a combination of Google Docs and Zoom breakout rooms, virtual spaces in Wonder or Gather, Run the World, or Airmeet.

Problem: I loathe calendering! How can I easily schedule meetings across multiple time zones?

Solutions: Use when2meet, lettuce meet, or Doodle to schedule meetings. lets you easily visualize time differences. 

Problem: How can I find out what members of my working group want to focus on, how much time they can devote to projects, etc?

Solutions: Use Google Forms or Qualtrics.

Problem: I need a tool to make sure our branding is consistent across newsletters, Twitter, etc.

Solutions: Use Canva to design and resize materials or build materials using Adobe templates.

Problem: How can I create a member directory that I won’t have to spend a lot of time building, managing, etc?

Solutions: Use a Google sheet. Allow people to share only the information they’re comfortable putting out into the world.

Problem: How can I give people a safe space to provide feedback on an in-person retreat as it’s progressing?

Solutions: Have a suggestion box where people can submit anonymous comments or use Mentimeter with the anonymous Q&A function. Poll Everywhere and Slido could also help.

Problem: How can I create a choose-your-own-adventure style experience or an interactive decision tree?

Solution: Use Mindmeister.

Thank you, and happy holidays!

This was our last community call of 2022, but we’ll be back in the new year with more community conversations and opportunities to connect and share. A big thank you to everyone who joined a call this month, and this year! We hope this holiday season is a gentle one, and we’ll see you in 2023 (note: CSCCE will be closed 22 December – 9 January).