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Report on agropedia and Open Agri Training Workshop, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.


Workshop on agropedia and Open Agri Training Workshop, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.

Introduction

     In the continuation of creating awareness and training about the agropedia, GBPUA&T workshop was jointly organized by the NAIP-IIT Kanpur team and Directorate of Extension Education, Pantnagar on Feb 19,2010 having an objective to train the users of agropedia so that they can comfortably interact with the website while receiving and contributing knowledge with a vision of knowledge sharing. This workshop adds a new milestone to fulfill the envisaged aims and objective of NAIP towards knowledge management. Thirty candidates were nominated earlier, but, Fifty Three participants were present throughout the workshop, Participants include Ph.D. students from different disciplines like Agronomy, agricultural Extension and Communication, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Soil Science, Agro meteorology, Vegetable Science, Home Science, Food Technology, Fisheries Science, Bio-Chemistry, Micro-Biology etc. and they together composed a unique agriculture intelligentsia. The IIT Kanpur team was composed of four experts (Dr. Vimlesh Yadav, Dr. Sharwan Shukla, Mr. Jia vir Singh Yadav), Mr. Deepak (Graphic Designer). and from GBPUAT, Pantnagar team : Dr. Dipali T. Pandey, Dr. Kanchan Nainwal, Dr. G.P.Singh, Dr. Akansha Gupta and Ms. Kiran Yadav were the co-trainers.

Presentation Session

     The presentation and training session was started by the inaugural speech by the PI, Dr. Y.P.S.Dabas. Dr. Dabas has briefed out about what is the NAIP project all about and the purpose of the training. The presentation and training session was conducted in the committee room of Directorate of Extension Education, GBPUAT Pantanagar. The commencement of the presentation session was done by Dr. Vimlesh Yadav. He gave an in depth introduction about the vision and aspirations of agropedia portal. Clearly defining the concept of semantic web application, he drew the distinction between agropedia and other websites on Indian agriculture.

      This was followed by presentation on Open Agri portal with the questions like: What is the need of a platform like 'Open Agri in today's era? How it can help researchers and students like them and many more of the same type, which was further well explained. As the participants of the workshop were all Ph.D. students and all had their Thesis/Reports/Presentations either ready or in the process. So, this dimension of agropedia drove a lot of attention. And in the middle, Ms Kiran Yadav made programme interesting by questioning to participants.

Training Sessions

     In the first session, we were focused primarily to train the participants to use the agropedia website. It was a 'Know What' session where the objectives were to make them familiar with the contents and features of the website so that one can able to click on the right link on the webpage in order to quickly and easily access the right information. In this process we have shown them the 'knowledge models' of various crops created by our NAIP partners.  Then we demonstrated the 'library' where they can search information specific to their need, and add information to it. Further we moved on to 'crop calendar' and 'dos and don'ts' and described the knowledge contained into it.

    After teaching them the methods of receptive interaction, we shifted towards the training of contributive interaction with the agropedia website. During this session, we demonstrated and explained the features of web pages titled 'agroblog', 'agrowiki', 'forum', agrochat and 'users discussion'. Here we trained them on different methods to participate in contributing knowledge to the agropedia. We kept conveying that our sole intention of this website is knowledge creation and sharing.

     The second session was a 'Know How' session where we trained them to use the Cmap tool for creating their own knowledge model. Dr. Sharwan Shukla initially explained the origin and significance of the Cmap tool its effectiveness to the agriculture knowledge modeling. Later on he gave a nice presentation on using the Cmap tool in a step by step manner explaining the use of different shapes and colours of the text box, creating relationships etc. Then all the students were divided into four groups and those groups were assigned a task to make a concept map of Potato. This was further extended, when he taught about the syntax limitations of this tool. He also demonstrated the use of Cmap tools to the participants by taking some simple examples.
This was followed by the winding session by Dr. Vimlesh yadav where functionalities of "Open Agri"- An Agricultural Research Repository were elaborated as in how to search content, how to upload documents and how to tag. She also concluded the first pre lunch session by efficiently elaborating the difference between agropedia and open agri and other agricultural sites.

Lab Exercise

     After training session, we conducted a session of lab exercise and all the participants were asked to create their login and start participating in the website. All our team members were assisting them throughout the session and making them familiar with the functionalities of the website. All the participants were very enthusiastic while practicing new methods of doing things. Most of the participants were satisfied with what we provided them so far.

Issues

     There were several issues that came up during the inaugural and training sessions. These are listed below:

1.    Upload the Agricultural knowledge in easy manner so that ultimate user (Farmer) would be benefitted.

2.    To include other crops of Agricultural importance.

3.    Certificate/Grading for content providers in Library (agropedia) and Open Access.

Conclusion

     One of the objectives of this training workshop was to build capacity among the agriculture experts at various levels to refine and manage the flow of knowledge. Our effort resulted into increased curiosity of agriculture scientists towards creating knowledge models and web participation. The training illuminated the minds of the participants with the potentials of information and communication technology and its contribution in the field of agriculture. At the end of the day Dr. Dabas asked about their experiences about the training and portal and requested them to participate actively. Training ends with a group photo session.   






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