The Commonwealth of Learning (COL), FLOSS4EDU and the World Agro-Forestry Center (ICRAF) organised the first Open Agricultural Education Resources Workshop at the Conference Center, ICRAF, Gigiri, Nairobi, during 5 - 7, June, 2007. Nicholas Kimolo of FLOSS4EDU, and Dr. Rainer Zachmann (COL Consultant) facilitated the workshop.
On 5th June, the first day of the workshop, I started using this page to firstly put in information on myself, uas follows:
NAME: Krishna ALLURI
INSTITUTION: Commonwealth of Learning
ALLURI, Krishna Dr. Krishna Alluri Education Specialist, Food Security and Environment
Commonwealth of Learning 1055 West Hastings Street, Suite 1200 Vancouver, BC V6E 2E9 CANADA
Tel: +1 604 775 8200 Fax: +1 604 775 8210 E-mail: kalluri
Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Vancouver, Canada, Commonwealth of Learning in collaboration with FLOSS4Edu and the World Agro-Forestry Center (ICRAF) organised the "Open Agricultural Education Resources Workshop" that was facilitated by Nicholas Kimolo, Managing Director of fuTuriStic futuristic and Dr. Rainer Zachmann. The information about the Workshop is as follows:
Workshop on Open Agricultural Educational Resources at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi 5 – 7 June 2007
Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Vancouver, Canada, Commonwealth of Learning in collaboration with the organised a workshop in combination with WikiEducator for selected participants to promote development of free educational content in agriculture.
on Open Agricultural Educational Resources (OAER)
Two experts, Nicholas Kimolo (eLearning) and Rainer Zachmann (agricultural education and training), both with extensive African experience, are the Workshop facilitators.
Open Educational Resources (OER) - similar to Free/Libre Open-Source Software (FOSS / FLOSS) - are becoming increasingly attractive and important as an alternative to textbooks. For example, during October 2006, the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) brought together two international communities of interest - FOSS for education and OER - to discuss lessons of the FOSS movement for OER practice (report: firstname.lastname@example.org). The OER practice is still in its infancy, and it is likely that many of the finer points are not yet fully understood by practitioners.
Recently, COL created the WikiEducator. WikiEducator wikieducator is an evolving community intended for collaborative:
- planning of education projects linked with the development of free content
- development of free content on WikiEducator for e-learning
- work on building open educational resources
A "Wiki" is a website which anyone can use for publishing or editing content online. Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, is the most well-known Wiki environment. COL's WikiEducator uses the same free software that is used for Wikipedia. One can edit and modify content on a Wiki from anywhere in the world. Therefore WikiEducator is an excellent tool for international collaboration on free content development, such as OER.
The workshop will be build around a toolkit wikieducator.org/oer_workshop_toolkit. Workshop goals are firstly, to let the participants have hands on experience in using the WikiEducator and practice developing content of their choice. Secondly, to try out an online version of the training toolkit for OER and fine tune the toolkit for pilot test. Outputs will include:
- capacity and skills to use WikiEducator for collaborative electronic content development related to agriculture
- teaching and learning materials that support conducting e-workshops for building capacity
and skills in using WikiEducator for collaborative content development
The workshop will include a small group of mutual collaborators who could benefit from learning the use of WikiEducator and preferably become future trainers for content that could be shared under a free license (e.g. Creative Commons' BY-SA license creativecommons. About 25 participants joined the workshop. They were from Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia (participants from Cameroon and Nigeria were unable to join), the CGIAR Centers Biovarsity International, previously known as ICRAF, CIP, ICARDA, WAFC that was known as ICRAF. They thus represented national agricultural universities, agricultural research, extension and NGO community and the international communty representing the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA and the Consortium Group on International Agricultural Research CGIAR.
Prospective participants were expected to should have hands-on experience and responsibility for the production and dissemination of learning materials. Previous experience shows that workshops proceed best when participants bring example content to convert into the wiki format.
Jan Beniest, Training Unit Manager and Principal Training Scientist at ICRAF, will present his expertise and experience with subjects related to the CGIAR ICT-KM project on On-Line Learning Resources (OLR; http://ictkm.cgiar.org/html/projectindetail/develop/online_learning.html) and the Moodle learning management system. This addition will relate OER to a real and important case.
This is the first COL-initiated pilot workshop with focus on agricultural education and WikiEducator in Africa. It may be taken up by national, African (e.g. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa - FARA) and international institutions (e.g. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research - CGIAR).
Contact: Krishna Alluri, Education Specialist, Food Security & Environment and Team Leader, Learning for Livelihoods, COL, at KAlluri@col.org.
Again for practicing, the information on Krishna Alluri appears at the COL website below as follows:
Dr. Krishna Alluri joined COL in January 1997 on an attachment as a Visiting Fellow and continued as a staff consultant and then in a staff position from July 1999. First working in India, he has been involved in agricultural research, training and development for almost 30 years. Later, he was associated with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which is co-sponsored by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He was an employee of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI, Philippines) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, Nigeria), two of the 16 international agricultural research centres supported by the CGIAR.
Before joining COL, he was the IRRI Liaison Scientist for Africa and Co-ordinator of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER) in Africa. His aim is to contribute towards poverty alleviation by empowering the rural poor through the extension of education and improved agricultural technologies. In collaboration with some developing countries and CGIAR centres, he is currently working on non-formal education projects involving training, research and extension.
As an Education Specialist, Food Security expert and Environment manager, he is responsible for developing activities where distance education and open learning applications could be promoted and encouraged in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors, including all ongoing work, in Africa.
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE, I am married to Fe Malagayo and we have two children, Hari and Rina. Hari is married to Anna Griffith and are presently living in Toronto in Vancouver. Rina is presently living in Basel, Switzeraland and is working with the Swiss Peace Foundation.
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Information on Sri Lanka L3 Farmers is available at: http://www.wikieducator.org/Sri_Lanka/L3_Farmers