I had the good fortune of accompanying Ashwin, where I conducted workshops
on the OpenStreetMap project . It was a unique learning as well as a fun
experience to do this along with him.
These kind of outreach efforts, especially to less connected areas like the
northeast are extremely important and I hope more such events take place
for the students of that region. From what we could gauge, the level of
exposure to latest technological trends and especially the open source
movement is fairly limited. There seems to be no form of tech community or
any kind of activities taking place in the entire region with the possible
exception of IIT Guwahati. It was particularly sad to see that such a large
number of young and bright students who are so eager to learn have
absolutely no one to mentor them on the possibilities out there with
Ashwin and I managed to build a very good relationship with the students at
both NERIST and NIT Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from the wikipedia and osm
workshops, we also made sure we exposed the philosophies behind these open
projects and what FOSS is all about. I feel its our responsibilities as
ambassadors for these kind of projects to make sure that people can make
the connect between sharing, openness and the subsequent impact that this
has on each of our own lives, and not just limiting ourselves to 'how to
My personal opinion is that our outreach efforts should be less about power
point presentations and more about educating others on why we do this.
After all I'm sure a good portion of us wikipedians who love what we do
never learnt any of this by sitting through a lecture. We learnt it because
we were curious and somewhere found some meaning in taking the effort to
PS: Is there any particular place where there is a collection of notes from
the different wiki academies in India? One understands a lot by conducting
these workshops and it would be nice if I could share that knowledge so
someone who wants to do it for the first time can be prepared to the kind
of questions and issues he will face. This will make it so much easier for
more people to give talks in other places.
On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM, Ashwin Baindur <ashwin.baindur(a)gmail.com>wrote;wrote:
I was lucky enough to get to go to Arunachal Pradesh.
One of my
friends, could not go to the Northeast Regional Institute of Science
and Technology (NERIST) so he recommended me instead. The NERIST
wanted a speaker on Wikipedia and he recommended me for which I am
deeply grateful. They sent me an air ticket and off I went....
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