Monday, October 18, 2010

AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair: Training on video sharing

It has been a busy day today at the AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair taking place in sunny Addis Ababa. The event will officially open only tomorrow, but today already more than 180 participants gathered at the ILRI campus to attend the training and learning day 0, or as it has also been dubbed, the "Day Oh, now I now how... !"

The day has been divided in 2 blocks of 8 parallel training session, each focussing on different tools and methods to share information and knowledge, collaborate and co-create content. These sessions covered topics such as working with audio and radio, making the best out of the media, face to face methods for knowledge sharing, working with Mendeley, using Google Geo products and Google Apps, blogging and collaborative writing. The day was then wrapped up by our social media 'elder' Peter Casier who brought all these different tools - and more - together to provide participant with the broad perspective on social media and how they can be applied to support, enable and make our daily work more effective, as individuals or teams - video recordings will follow.

In the context of this training day, I facilitated 2 sessions on video sharing. Both sessions where really well attended: in fact, with around 25 people in each group, at first I wondered how I could manage such numbers, given the fact that I planned for a very hands on training. Eventually, besides some technical problems with participants not having the possibility to install editing software on their machines, it all worked out for the best.

I kept the introduction part at the minimum, just some 20 minutes to provide participants with a quick intro to video sharing, or 'blipping' as we like to call it. We are not professional filmmakers, but we think there's a great value in recoding short video interviews (on 'blips', indeed) during face to face events, to record a meaningful comment, a provocative thought, or an interesting experience. After the intro, participants divided into small groups and went around the campus, interviewing each others. When back in the room, we went through the editing process together, and then each group tried out editing their videos by themselves, adding subtitles, transition effects and music with Movie Maker. Finally, they uploaded thier content on the Share Fair training account in Blip tv. Check out some of their products, and see how far some of them when in just a couple of hours training.

At the end of the session, I did some blipping myself with 3 of the participants, to capture what they have learned, and get some first impression about how they think they could use video sharing in their work.

Event tought quite intense, the training and the all learning day was agreat success. Now waiting for the official opening of AgKnowlege Africa Share Fair tomorrow morning and the rest of the programme of what promises to be a be a great event.