SfEP Cloud Clubs
Page owner: Community director
The SfEP Cloud Clubs were formerly known as SfEP Skype Club.
There are currently two SfEP Cloud Clubs:
- Cloud Club (East) – for those members in time zones within the eastern hemisphere
- Cloud Club (West) – for those members in time zones within the western hemisphere
The SfEP’s Cloud Clubs cater for SfEP members who are located outside of the UK, members who are in remote parts of the UK and members who otherwise find it difficult to get to local group meetings.
Cloud Clubs coordinators
The coordinators of the two Cloud Clubs are:
The foundation of the SfEP’s Cloud Clubs lies in the SfEP’s original videoconferencing group, Skype Club, set up in 2014 by Susan Walton.
Janet MacMillan took over coordination of the group in 2016, and in late 2017 the group switched from Skype to Zoom, renaming itself SfEP Cloud Club in 2018.
The success of what is now Cloud Club (West) was such that, at the end of 2019, members on the opposite side of the world were invited to access the new Cloud Club (East).
Cloud Club (East), hosted from New Zealand, caters for members in time zones in the eastern hemisphere. This group uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Cloud Club (West), hosted from Canada, caters for members in time zones in the western hemisphere. This group uses GMT/BST.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a software application that enables video and/or voice calls using computers, tablets and mobile devices, via the internet. The software is supported on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android platforms.
To use the free version of Zoom, you need to sign up and create an account. To take part in video calls, you will need to use a microphone and camera on your computer or other device. Zoom is free to join, and the video calls are also free.
Taking part in a Cloud Club session
The dates of the meetings of Cloud Club (East) and Cloud Club (West) are announced on the Cloud Clubs forum, by email to all members in Local Groups News and on the Calendar of Events.
To access either meeting, you will use a link that will be posted in the Cloud Clubs forum at the time that the date of the meeting is announced. This allows you to save the link to your diary, along with the date, and helps you to access the meeting with ease.
During the videoconference, if you don’t wish to be seen, or if your broadband doesn’t have enough capacity to carry the video function successfully, you may turn off the video and use only the audio.
As with any technology, the video feed may sometimes freeze, pixelate or simply disappear, or you may experience a dip in quality in the audio signal – but while these can be annoying, it’s par for the course when communicating across countries and Zoom is more reliable than most.
In the rare instance in which both video and audio functions do drop off simultaneously, you can use the instant messaging pane to let other members know you’re still there!
Cloud Clubs forum
The Cloud Clubs forum is a shared space in which members of either or both Cloud Clubs, as well as those members who may not want to participate in video or voice calls but nonetheless want to connect with other SfEP members based internationally or remotely, can keep in touch between meetings and share resources, etc.
Meetings of the two Cloud Clubs will be announced on the forum, clearly prefixed either ‘Cloud Club (East)’ or ‘Cloud Club (West)’. Other threads are likely to be of interest to all Cloud Club members, regardless of where in the world you are based.
To join the Cloud Clubs forum, please see the box in the next column. (Cloud Clubs is at the very top of the dropdown list of groups on the ‘Join a group’ page.)
Details of upcoming Cloud Club meetings can be found in the Calendar of events.