NG Media arrived in Patjarr on last week to install 4 new desktop computers and begin a 4 day Everyday Digital Skills workshop with the locals. The welcome from the small but vibrant community was very enthusiastic with furniture assembled, computers set up and a range of software installed in a single busy morning.
Everyday Digital Skills Trainers, Michelle Williams and Paul Sutton, brought 10 iPads with them and these were an instant hit. With a little instruction from the trainers, the community was soon engaged in shooting photos and videos of each other and the community, exploring the often hilarious photo effects available and rapidly discovering the wide range of things an iPad can do. This was the essence of the workshop intent.
This workshop series specialises in “Just in Time” learning focussing on what participants want to learn and taking that learning further.
A good example of how this works is people’s interest in photos. In one day, seven people in Patjarr took 377 useable photos of themselves and their country (after the experiments and duds were removed!). These became a workshop resource for the making of collages of special people and places by printing and laminating them. Others made slideshows set to music while the more adventurous used selected photos and video clips to make simple movies about things important to them.
Transferring photos from phones to computer and printing a selection was a very popular if challenging request. When the original charging/data cable is lost, it is very difficult to transfer media to and from the phone and it was not always successful.
In other places where public internet is available, the workshop includes online safety discussions - especially when using Facebook. Equally important is good data management on phones and tablets in communities where there is limited public WiFi. The automatic updates and other background processes on phones can easily use half of the available data allowance each month and slowing the internet for everyone.
There are too many other workshop activities to mention here. The content is not the important thing. These workshops are like a stone dropped in a pond. The trainers start the ripples. It is the ripples that go out and on long after we leave that are the important things. Participants discover new things they can do. Most importantly, they learn how to learn everyday digital skills and the computers that remain in the community allow that learning to continue.