To be distilled into a document for Promo and KDE Edu for future reference
Day 1: Exhibition
Started at 9:00 more or less until 17:00. Held in big hall in Bozar (https://www.bozar.be/en)
- Quite a few teachers knew what GCompris was. Not aware of some of the changes. Maybe using old versions?
- Quite a few robotic + hardware-based booths. Not all directly related to education. Also free software associations, also with tenuous offerings for teachers
- Big screen attracted more visitors to the booth than if we hadn't had it.
- We had in depth conversations with 26 people, 15 were teachers, 24 adults played with GCompris + 1 child from the Lego robotics booth -- he gave it 4 stars.
- Apart from teachers, we talked to an educational events organiser who would like us to take our booth to his events
- We talked about and pushed WikiToLearn to
• Representatives of a teacher association from Argentina • Montepellier organisation API (apifr.com) • Teachers from Abelli (Association Belge de Promotion du Logiciel Libre • http://rdc.domainepublic.net/ABELLI-Association-Belge-de-Promotion-du-Logiciel-Libre.html)
What was done right?
- We soon figure how to interact with assistants non-aggressively and managed to get a lot of them to sit down and try out the software
- Big screen definitely a plus
- We found out first if they were teachers and, if they were, what age group did they teach. We then advised them on what software to play with or what package they should download
- As there were three of us, the booth was always attended and we could often go and find stuff (like water and edibles) outside the event without leaving and empty booth
- It is usual that in exhibitions there is a lot of downtime, as attendees attend talks. We made the most of these quiet periods to network with other exhibitors
What we could improve
- Have posters or vertical banner to better show who we are
- Business cards
- Collect more information from visitors so we can contact them later. Some booths where making a list with name, organisation, and contact email
Day 2: Workshop
GCompris presentation and workshop held from 13:30 to 14:15 at ISIB Campus
- In the workshop we talked about
- GCompris (~ 25 mins)
- Other KDE Edu applications (~ 10 mins)
- WikiToLearn (~ 10 mins)
- There were 11 simultaneous workshops and less than 100 attendees, so attendees were spread out pretty thin. 9 visited our workshop
- 6 primary teachers, 1 speech therapist, 2 businesspeople associated in the educational sector
- Despite technical difficulties (more about this later), workshop started on time, and we powered through by drawing on the board what they should see, which made for some funny moments
- They liked GCompris and there were a few "Oooh" and "Aaah" moments.
- We got some requests, like being able to save individual profiles for students in GCompris
- When we mentioned the admin module, that will allow you to control a classroom of computers and monitor students' progress, they were very interested
- They also liked WikiToLearn and saw how useful it could be and were impressed with the dynamic PDF rendering.
- Attendees took notes and saved carefully the stickers with the URLs for each website (GCompris.net, kdeedu.org, WikiToLearn.org)
- Having three people running the workshop allowed to compensate for the technical difficulties and we could also better assist the attendees on a one-to-one basis
- We could not use our own computer
- The teacher's computer (connected to the overhead projector) was not accepting the password they had given us, so Aleix had to track down an organiser and ask to sort it out
- By that time, we were a good ten minutes into the workshop and improvising with Adriaan's laptop and drawing pictures on the board
- When we did get into the teacher's computer, nobody had bothered to install GCompris (Aleix quickly sorted that out)
- When we run GCompris, not activities were visible (bug? Running on Windows 7, I think). At that point, we decided to ignore the teacher's computer and just made do with holding up Adriaan's laptop, pictures and helping out attendees on a one-to-one basis
- If we had had access to a working version of GCompris the teacher's computer we would've been able to run through some activities along with the attendees.
- There 9 attendees in a classroom that could seat 25. Bearing in mind there were less than 100 people attending all workshops, and 11 simultaneous workshops, we were about average, so there's that
- There was certainly a language barrier. Aleix and Adriaan fortunately both helped with that.
- We picked a couple of leads that we have to look into. One attendee wanted to get in touch for future events. Another told us that the regional government of Brussels was up for elections and that we should contact the ministry (?) of education, as they were eager to hear projects that may boost their program.
- We would also have to follow visits to the sites we gave out stickers for to see if there is any increase in traffic, and see if WikiToLearn gets some users from Belgium.
- We want to keep a record of these notes so that next time we can improve our performance at an external event