Day 5 was the last day of the first workshop on Web 2.0 Learning opportunities in Mauritius. The training started at 09:00 and the facilitator went over the programme for the day. On the Agenda, there was a session on Social Networking, whereby participants would be exposed to Linkedin and Facebook, and the other sessions were on Dgroups and IMARK.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
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.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro provides a good opportunity to review the viability and success of family farming and agro-ecology. The special Rio+20 edition of our network's magazines is ready, and already being distributed. In terms of food security or climate change, agro-ecology works!
Many debates took place in Rio. The presence and participation of thousands of people at the UN conference and at the parallel meetings has triggered a tremendous stream of information about small-scale family farming and agro-ecology; many ideas are being presented and discussed.
Building on more than 25 years of information shared with readers all over the world, this issue of our magazines provides an overview of the importance of small-scale farming and of an agro-ecological approach to agriculture, paying special attention to the key thematic areas identified by the authors of the Zero Draft: food security, poverty alleviation, energy and climate change. It shows a variety of examples of how family farmers have been practicing a type of agriculture that is not only sustainable, but essential for a green planet and a healthy population. The articles in this issue show the need for scaling-up these approaches, and what could be the steps in the process.
Labels: farming matters
The e-mail conference is now finished and it was a truly inspiring and enthusiastic exchange of experiences, ideas and case studies by people worldwide. Nearly 600 people subscribed and 114 people (20% of the total) from nearly 50 different countries wrote at least one message. Almost 80% of the 242 messages came from people living in developing countries, the most active being India, Cameroon, Italy, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Zambia, Brazil, Sri lanka, Switzerland and the United States of America respectively. Roughly 25% of messages came from people working in research institutes; 20% in universities; 17% in NGOs; 16% from Government ministries or bodies; 9% from the private sector; 6% from FAO and 6% from independent consultants, farmers or development agencies.In response to a couple of requests, we have now put all of the messages from this FAO e-mail conference into a single PDF and made it available on the web.
The file contains in chronological order - the first 3 messages I sent before the conference began (one of which contained the Background Document), - the 242 messages sent by participants - the final message I sent closing the conference, providing also a brief summary about participation. It is available from FAO or can be directly downloaded here. All messages are available on the searchable website of the message archives where the messages posted in: - May 2012, June 2012 and July 2012 are available.
With best regards
John Ruane, PhD
E-conference on agricultural innovation systems and family farming,
FAO Research and Extension Branch,
E-mail address: AIS@fao.org
E-conference website: http://www.fao.org/oek/
The second Day of the Web 2.0 Training in Mauritius started with a recap of Day 1, whereby participants were exposed to Introduction to web 2.0, advanced search on Google and RSS. By the end of Day 1, they were asked to practice some exercises on RSS feeds (for example adding RSS widgets to iGoogle).
Most of the participants had done their "homework" and there were many questions from the floor. Some even went a step further and tried feed burner to combine RSS feeds from different sources. Since they wanted to know about how to combine feeds, a very brief explanation was given to them by Mr. C.Sembhoo, one of the trainers.
Before starting the training for Day 2, the trainers went though the comments on the democracy wall together with the participants and discussed on the different sections (I learnt, I discovered, I suggest, I felt, I noticed). The democracy wall proved to be very efficient since it was a way for the trainers to get feedbacks from participants on how they are finding the sessions, how much they have grasped, what are their concerns etc. and their suggestions have been taken into consideration while conducting the training on Day 2.
|Trainer with the participants at the Democracy wall|
Before starting with Day 2, a Group Photo of the participants with the Facilitators was taken.
On Day 2, training was delivered on GoogleDocs and Wiki. Each session started with a Power-Point Presentation and video to introduce the topic. For GoogleDocs, practical examples on how different types of Gdocs (word, spreadsheet, powerpoint, forms etc. are being used for various purposes (team working on research paper, organising an event, survey, sharing presentations etc.).
Once they got an idea on how these tools can be used, the facilitator demonstrated to the participants on how to create a GoogleDoc, insert content, share the document, download it in the format they want it to be (word, pdf etc.). Participants were also shown about how to upload an existing document (which can be in any format: word, excel, powerpoint, image etc.) as a GoogleDoc, edit and share it. The participants were fascinated with that they could do with GoogleDoc to simplify their work and save time. They practised different exercises on creating and sharing GoogleDocs and were assisted by the facilitators. There was a lot of question and confusion coming from the participants, who required assistance from the trainers and were gradually were getting used to the concept of GoogleDocs with practice.
It was also shown to participants that a form can be created by using GoogleDoc. An existing form that was created using GoogleDoc was used as example and together with the facilitator, they created a form, select the type of question they want to add (open-ended, multiple choice, check-box etc.), select a template and share it with other participants. After getting a response they were also shown how to view their form in different formats and see the responses in a spreadsheet or as summary. After this session on GoogleDocs, participants wrote on how they would use the tool meta-cards, which they pinned on the wall and the facilitator went through them and commented before moving to the next topic, which was on wiki.
The session on wiki started with an energising activity that was proposed to the participants, which brought back some energy in the room. The concept of a wiki was explained through a presentation and video. Then a concrete example of how a wiki is being used in Mauritius was shown to the participants. Also, the difference between GoogleDocs and a wiki was highlighted by the facilitator. Each participant had to create an account on pbworks.com, create a workspace and invite people to collaborate. All participants learnt how to edit the front page, insert text, image, Links (internal and extertal) and creating pages and link them to the front page. They were assisted by the facilitators during this process.
Day 2 was full of new discoveries for the participants and they had been very enthusiastic in learning the tools which were new to most of them. It was also realised that to master these tools, a lot of practice is needed!
Please find in the Slideshow below the pictures of Day 2:
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
- Prof. Y. Jaufeerally-Fakim, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture,
- Prof. H.C.S Rughooputh, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius,
- Prof. S.Jugessur, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius,
- Mr. J.Ramkissoon, Director General of the Food and Agricultural Research Council
|The Dean of FOA addressing the audience|
|The Vice-Chancellor addressing the audience|
|The Pro-Chancellor of UoM addressing the audience|
|The Director of FARC addressing the audience|
|The Minister addressing the audience|
There were 25 participants selected for the training on web 2.0 for development and they were from different organizations and fields: Research, Extension, Fisheries, Forestry, private sector, agriculture graduates among others.
The training started with an ice-breaker session whereby the participants had to talk to the person sitting next to him/her for 5 minutes and then introduce that person.
The trainers introduced the democracy wall, which was in the corridor next to the room, whereby the participants had to share their ideas/opinions/thoughts on the training based on the following:
- I learnt
- I discovered
- I suggest
- I felt
- I noticed
|Participants sharing their opinions on the democracy wall|
- Introduction to Web 2.0 for Dev
- Selective access to information using Google as search engine for advanced search
- Alerts and RSS (Google Alerts, Google Reader, iGoogle)
|The trainers in action|
For each session, the trainers explained what the tool is about, what is the objective of using it, how does it function, giving examples and after demonstration, participants had time to practice different exercises.
After each session, participants were provided with meta cards (2 colours) and they had to write on the following and pin it on the wall:
- Do you Think you can make use of Web 2.0 Tools? If so, How? (Yellow Cards)
- What are your concerns (Pink Cards)
|Participants pinning the meta cards after each session|
According to the comments made by the participants, Day 1 was interesting and they discovered many things that would help them in their daily activities!
All Tweets for the launching ceremony and the training can be found with #web2mru
Please find in the Slideshow below the pictures of Day 1:
Monday, July 9, 2012
Dr the Honourable Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology has just launched the 2 training sessions (9-13 July 2012 & 23-27 July 2012) on WEB 2.0 organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with the University of Mauritius, Faculty of Agriculture (FoA) and the Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC) at the R.Burrenchobay Lecture Theatre. Also present at this ceremony:
- Prof. S. Juggessur, Pro-Chancellor, UoM
- Prof. H.C.S Rughooputh, Vice-Chancellor, UoM
- Prof. Y. J.Fakim, Dean, Faculty Agriculture
- Mr J. Ramkissoon, Director, FARC
|Prof. Rughooputh, Vice-Chancellor delivering his speech.|
- Increasing awareness among development actors on Web 2.0 applications;
- Increasing skills in adopting and using selected Web 2.0 applications.
The proceedings of the opening ceremony was live tweeted and the training sessions will also be tweeted and can be followed at #web2mru.
Thank You and Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, July 6, 2012
The latest edition of New Agriculturist (2012-4) is now online at www.new-ag.info. As the dust settles after the Rio +20 Earth Summit, we look at the role of sustainable agriculture as an integral part of a green economy and highlight a variety of initiatives and approaches for the efficient and sustainable use of water in agriculture.
Labels: Agriculture Newsletter