Open Knowledge Nepal: Internal Data Learning Sessions

Starting March 22, 2014, we have started Internal Data Learning Sessions of OKFN Nepal.

These sessions are an attempt to learn data skills by sharing our knowledge with each other and learning together. The plan is to learn Google’s Making Sense of Data together, teaching data analysis and data visualization skills to each other, and also consulting contents from School of Data for further learning.

We meet every Saturday from 4 pm to 6 pm, Nepal Standard Time.

First Session: March 22, 2014

Preparation:

  •     Go through the link of the course and getting an overview.
  •     Finish the initial test to test our current data knowledge, so that we know how much we have learned come end of the course.

The agendas for our first session were:

  1. Knowing where we are in terms of data
  2. Knowing what we can teach each other

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon in Kathmandu. 6 people attended the party! We started with the pre course assessment of Making Sense of Data. We scored an 8 out of 10 on average. We continued with the units of the course, discussing whatever confusions and curiosities we had about the course.

The session ended with the decision that we would continue with the course at our own pace; and meet next Saturday, same time. We decided to focus only on this course till it ends.

Second Session: March 29, 2014

It was a warm Saturday afternoon. Logistics were challenging us from beginning. While we waited out of GPF Building (our venue) for key, we began discussing about OKFN, the growing impact we were having on the Open Community of Nepal, sustainability of Open projects, and MOOCs. We shared our views and experiences about the topics that kept coming up. Good warm up for our session till Rajesh came with the key for building gates. So far so good!

When we went in, our power backups were not working. So, we were restricted to doing our session offline. We continued with the discussions from outside the building. The topics were now more focused on OKFN Nepal. We discussed plans, and many platforms from OKFN that we can use.

We also discussed about Open Spending Nepal. How to move ahead by collecting spending data from different government bodies and people who can help us. We also talked about the projects we could start in near future.

In the end, we all went home with a bit more knowledge about openness and a bit more enthusiasm to continue than we came with. Next meeting was scheduled to be be exactly a week later, same time, same place.

Third session: April 05, 2014

So Google’s course finally came to an end. In the end 3 from our bunch managed to complete the course (by submitting a data visualization project and scoring at least 70% in final assessment). We learned a lot about visualizing data using Google Fusion Tables.

After studying the course, we have become confident that we can teach this extremely valuable tool to other people. Learning a new skill is empowering.

We have decided to organize a single day training on Google Fusion Table and basics of spreadsheet by the name of ‘Extracting Stories form Data’. We plan on teaching basic spreadsheet for an hour, and Google Fusion Tables for next two. We are targeting about 20 to 30 participants. We also plan to include a presentation by Kuber dai, an economic journalist about how stories can be made from data. If, at the end of the day, the participants can make a useful visualization from data, we will consider the day to be a success.

Open Spending Nepal is nearing its launch. We are planning to open data about government budget that we have an place it in our site. Work of opening the data will be divided among interested members of our team by the amount of data they think they can open up in available time.

We taught Tabula, a data extracting open software, to few students of CSIT from Madan Bhandari Memorial College who had come after being interested in Open Knowledge through one of our sessions at Islington College. Our community is slowly growing.

The sessions continue each Saturday, same place, same time.

As a result, Open Knowledge Nepal has been able to successfully conduct a one day hands-on training session on basics of Data Journalism called: “Extracting Stories from Data.”