Jul 12, 2012

Day 3 of the WEB 2.0 Training

Like each day, Day 3 started with an over-view of the topics covered on Day 2. During this process, the facilitators responded to the concerns or questions that the participants had for Day 2 and also circulated reading materials in the room, so that they get a better idea of how the tools that are being taught are used in different context in Agriculture by various individuals or organizations. The facilitators went through the meta cards on "wiki", which was the last activity of the previous day. Each card was read and discussed with the participants. From the meta cards, it was noted that most participants were giving a description of the tool, rather than giving examples on how they would use them, On the other hand, there were also participants who had a clear vision on how they will use these tools. For example, one of the participants who is from the extension services wrote that he plans to create a wiki and integrate a Google Map in it, to have field location of sugarcane planters in Mauritius.

Facilitator reading meta cards
The 2 main topics that were on the Agenda for Day 3 were Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Blogs.  Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) The Concept of VoIP was explained through a Power Point presentation and video projection. Also, examples of different devices connected to the internet and the software used were given. For the purpose of the training, 2 examples of VoIP were given, explained and demonstrated. The first example was Skype, which is one of the most popular VoIP being used in the world. A participant who did not have a Skype account volunteered to create his account live and others who did not have an account followed the different steps shown in the demonstration. 
Participant signing in on Skype after creating his account
The different features of how skype works were explained and demonstrated; search and add contacts, chat, make a call, make a video call, share files, share screen etc.
Demonstration of video call on Skype
In the context of VoIP itself, participants were shown how they can chat on their gmail or download Gtalk, where they can chat and even call the persons who are online.  While these tools are more or less familiar to most of them (as they are already using these in their daily activities), it was observed that participants limited the use of these tools with chatting or just making calls. For example, they were not aware of the possibility to share screens in a Skype conversation and they were amazed by this discovery! Before moving to the next topic, the participants were provided with meta-cards on how they will use VoIP and and also wrote their comments for the Democracy wall.
Participants and Facilitator at the Democracy wall
Blogs Another major topic for Day 3 was Blog. Almost all participants had visited a blog, but did not have a blog of their own or contributing to a blog. The concept of Blogging was explained using Power Point Presentation and video projection. Concrete examples of Blogs being used in Mauritius were also given and the participants were really enthusiastic to learn how to blog. The blogging software used as example was "Blogger", which is recommended for beginners. A volunteer who did not have an account on Blogger was asked to come forward and he created his account. For each step, the participants were also doing same and we moved forward after ensuring that each participant had completed a step together with the volunteer. Once an account on Blogger was created, they were directed to a page, whereby they were asked to give a name to their Blog, describe the blog and choose its address. Examples were given on what kind of name or description can be used for a blog, and almost all the new blogs that were created were Agriculture related. Different features of Blogger were explained and participants created a new post and learnt how to write a text, change the font size, colour etc., add pictures and other media to the blog post, naming and tagging of the post, preview and publish a post. They were also shown how to add gadgets to the blog (labels after each blog post for example).
The volunteer proudly showing his first blog post
It was also shown to the participants how they can choose a template for their blog, to make it more appealing to get a greater audience. Facilitators also gave the participants some tips on how to make their blog post more interesting and "neat". One example is the choice of the size of a picture in the blog post; if the "extra large" size is selected, the picture goes outside the space allocated for the post and covers part of the sidebar.  After going through all the features of Blogger, participants were given some time to practice and get used to the Blogger interface. Before the end of Day 3, they wrote their comments on how they will use blogs and were also provided with meta cards for the democracy wall. Participants also had an exercise to complete for Day 4, which was to write a blog post entitled "Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity - My personal Experience". The address of all the blogs (also email address, skype, twitter name etc.) were documented in a GoogleDoc (Spreadsheet), which was shared with all participants. With this, it was the end of Day 3, also referred as the "Blogging Day"! Please find in the Slideshow below the pictures of Day 3:

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