Conversations

Hi Vijay

I enjoyed our online chat the other day. You suggested we should share it - but I protested that I had made too many typos. Now you have edited them out and sent it to me - so here it is for anyone to see. Andy suggested including it in our Open Letters. Later, if we get more conversations we can bring them together somewhere. I like the title you chose:

The Strength of Dadamac.net 

 Vijay: Hi Pam, hope you are doing fine. Saw the comments on my blog. Interesting!

 Pam: Good to know that. We hope that once our site gets more active, we will feel confident to bring new people here- - people who want to connect with transparent projects with good communication 

Vijay: Good

Pam: Will you be at Dadamac day on Saturday   10.00 GMT'

Vijay: i will definitely try and be there

Pam : It will be very good advert for Dadamac

Vijay: what are you planning for that day

Pam: http://www.dadamac.net/node/80

Vijay: Will take a look

Pam: have also sent you email with more details. How are things with you?

Vijay: I really hope that, before the next Dadamac Day, you have enough people on board.

Pam: I hope that dadamac.net will enable us to build a much wider team. Before the website it was impossible to give people a flavour of who we are and what we do.

Vijay: right

Pam: Your blogs are very helpful - they enable me to say "yes this is what we do" and"no that is not quite our emphasis" etc. Before you came along I had no excuse to do that ;-). I had to try to illustrate everything, not talk about it. Now I can do both in parallel.

Vijay: To tell u the truth, I am not fully satisfied with my blogs..I am still searching for a focus..but it is a start

Pam: They are valuable

Vijay: Thanks for saying that

Pam: Please feel free to ask questions on them

Pam: Also remember that our strength is our people - our networks and knowledge - we introduce people to people. Just use your blog to help us know you better...

Vijay: ok

Pam: And perhaps network on your behalf. You can be a focus for setting up learning groups - like we are starting to do with the twitter group..

Vijay: ok

Pam: Even it you want to do things in groups that it seems the site cannot support yet... make the suggestions..then we take those ideas to Ryan and Andy... if it can be done easily then they will do it quickly for me

 Vijay: ok

Pam: if it is difficult then I have to save up money to pay for it to be done ;-)

Vijay: ok

Pam: so - we can always ask even if we do not always get is that any help? You are a trailblazer in the development of the site. We want Dadamac to help with visibility of our networks and knowledge. and we want to be employed as consultants once people understand how great we are!

Vijay: Do you believe in PR and communications for a site like Dadamac. Or do you think a site like Dadamac promotes itself by virtue of its contents and networks

Pam: a bit of both

Vijay: Suppose I had a question like this for you on the blog and you answered it and then i started a thread. Where will it fit on the blogs

Pam:: I think this is how it will work. This is how it is working for Nikki. She is mentioning things in blogs

Vijay: ok

Pam: The small topic will came up on several occasions. People could of course add comments - but those comments would be scattered around the different blogs

Vijay: ok

Pam: So instead, we are starting new discussion threads if a topic is important enough. You could do this (at least - I could set it up for you and you could develop is - as with the Dadamac day discussions). Now - once we have soemthing "firm" from that we will be ready to do something else. We will put it up as a project - so it is seen from the menu along the top

Vijay: ok

Pam: The "project" area is not quite right at present.. that will happen from time to time... we are feeling our way ... things will evolve..For example at present our front page is static, because we do not have enough coming through to make it dynamic.

But once we know we are getting photos, and tweets, and blogs, then we will feed all of that into a dynamic front page

Vijay: hmm

Pam:: Andy has plans for this - but won't do it until there is enough traffic.. Part of the traffic has to be photos from Nigeria

Vijay: i was just going to say that

Pam:: Marcus of Eco-shelter is in Africa now..he will be at Fantsuam later this month. He will help with getting photos moving.

Vijay: ok

Pam: Kelechi was trying last weekend, but bandwith is a continual problem once we get to photos..we may get people to send CDs and upload from here..At least marcus will bring back good supply

Vijay: but won't photos add to the weight of the site

Pam: "Add to the weight of the site"? We will feed in through Flickr

Vijay: ok good

Pam: Andy will fix it so just the latest few photos will feed in

Vijay: ok

Pam: Do you have a flicks site?

Vijay: the rest will go to the Flickr archives

Pam: he will feed in from a dadamac Uk site...a dadamac nigeria site.. later we will have more...

Vijay: no I don't ..use Picasa

Pam: dadamac delhi perhaps :-) please send Picasa link to Andy

Vijay: But these are for personal use

Pam: so - something separate for not personal. Perhaps you should start a dadamac delhi

Vijay: ok..but how does Delhi fit in the Dadamac plan

Pam: we are still discovering.. but this is my thinking. First - we value you - and you have many interests that overlap what we do in Africa

Vijay: ok true

Pam: Way back when I first wrote about my work in SW Nigeria, I was describing the problems of "all projects like ours' to someone in Canada..To my surprise there were follow-up emails from India..saying yes - it is the same here .. what Pam has said.. she has also spoken for us!

Vijay: wow !

Pam: it was on an email list called South to South

Vijay: ok

Pam: no Voices of the South. It was preparing for WSIS meeting, trying to get inputs from grassroots

Pam: so I think there is value in us rubbing minds and including you as much as you want ... wherever you see overlap of interest. Dadamac community is a network, a place where people are stronger because they are together.. dadamac.net is supposed to be our new online home - it will develop accordign to the people who become active there..it is organic

Pam: Remember my first interest was not Africa - it was the way that computers (and then the Internet) change the roles of teachers a learners

Vijay: ok

Pam: if you help me to explore that then I will be happy

Vijay: i didnt know that..i would love to do that..you are actually talking about a collaborative model

Pam: yes - 21st century collaboration, not competition

Vijay: if the model works in Africa, it can be replicated anywhere else

Pam: yes, the idea is that we try things in practice with John's people on the ground, then other people can go there to learn...

Vijay: hmm

Pam: but gradually as people go for face to face training we will the develop good training materials

Vijay: ok

Pam: so it will make it easy for them to replicate the training back home and in the end the training materials will be so good that they will not need to visit Fantsuam Foundation - they will have all they need online.. some things do not need visits - like twitter skills ;-)

Vijay: but are these training materials going to deal with specific issues, or will it be an online school curricula

Pam: it will be what is needed ....what people ask for

Vijay: ok

Pam: it will start as informal discussion - self help groups..then we will tidy up the informaion we have found useful - perhaps a wiki  perhaps FAQs..then perhaps - after a period of time--an interactive online course - we could use Moodle..but that is only when materials are very well tested and well structured

Vijay: ok

Pam: It will be little gouprs of learners helping each other..

Vijay: ok

Pam: and then someone else can follow in the same footsteps at first .. and then branch out in a different way....always starting with the person..self directed learning mentors

Vijay: ok

Pam: but the mentor also learning from the person who is learning.. )the only exception is when someone wants to learn from us and they want to learn quickly .. and we are not learning anything in return - such people must pay us in money!)

Vijay: ok..quite fascinating..Am I right in guessing that you are a teacher by profession

Pam: yes, we are always discovered - we are so obvious!

Vijay: ha ha! The passion for teaching shows in every sentence of yours

Pam: ;-) I am just a lazy person who wants everyone else to be able to do what I am doing so I can ask them to do it for me ;-)

Vijay: ha ha ha! How long have you been teaching?

Pam: since I was very tiny - I remember my mother quoting something a next door neighbour overheard me saying when I was tiny - "teaching" her daughter ballet - because I had just been to a classand as a teenager I would teach ballroom dancing on the netball court on Wednesday playtimes because I went dancing on a Tuesday night and learned all the new steps.. I trained as a teacher in the 1970s

Pam: I have enjoyed our chat - but must go back to my other - less interesting - tasks soon

Vijay: i think the conversation was interesting

Pam: thank you :-)

Vijay: could we have a special section called conversations

Pam: that is an interesting idea

Vijay: and we can put up interesting, self-explanatory chats there

Pam: Andy will be here tomorrow we can ask him

Vijay: ok thanks, bye for now…

Open Letters: