This week we had the first planning and practice meeting for Dadamac Day (DD).  The DD team, Chollom and Alheri (in Nigeria) and Nikki and Pam (in UK), e-met through one of Dadamac's usual typed Skype conferences.

Date, time and place.

The date and time are agreed -Saturday November 7th 10:00 GMT, 11:00 Nigerian time, 13:00 East Africa Time.

Chollom and Alheri are arranging the main "physical location" celebration - at the Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC) at Fantsuam Foundation. Pam and Nikki are arranging  the online side. As last year Andrius Kulikauskas is kindly hosting the celebration in his worknets chatroom, where he also hosts Pam's "First Thursday" meetings. (Nikki and Pam plan to get together at the Dadamac UK office, as well as online, for the actual celebration.)

People at KRC

Chollom and Alheri are inviting teachers from ten local schools. These will be teachers with no previous experience of the Internet. Chollom, Alheri and other people from the Nigeria team will also be at the celebration, so they will help the newcomers to join in. People will start to gather at the KRC from 10:00 local time. This gives time for meeting and greeting and generally getting to know what is going to happen before going online. The online session will officially be planned to last an hour, with refreshments afterwards. Judging by previous celebrations, activity online will continue well after the refreshments are served.

Skyping in the background

During the "meet and greet" time at KRC (before the online celebration) the Dadamac Day planning team (UK and Nigeria) will connect up on Skype as usual, so they will have a shared picture of what is happening before moving over together to the chat room. The Skype conference will go on in a corner of the KRC, but will only be on a small screen there. This means it will be like a small group conversation between UK and Nigeria (which other people can "eavesdrop" by seeing what is on that screen if they want, but it won't really be for everyone). We will try to stay on Skype throughout, so we can easily do some ongoing management without disturbing the flow of chat by our guests in the chat room.

Preparations in the chat room

While the KRC group are meeting and greeting, and the team are on Skype, Pam and Nikki will also be going over to the chat room to make sure everything is ready over there, and to greet any early arrivals. They will let the DD team in Nigeria know if there are any problems, and if anyone has arrived in the chat room, and generally prepare them to bring the KRC group over.

All being well the KRC group will be using their projector, so everyone will get a good view of the chat up on the wall. If there is enough bandwidth then they will use several computers around the room. At each computer a named group of people will log in to the chat room, to make it easier for everyone to follow who is saying what.

Spreading the word

Nikki and Pam haven't started formally spreading the word about Dadamac Day yet, but the team in Nigeria asked who else was invited. Pam realised she had mentioned it to half a dozen or so contacts in recent online chats. The team had a quick think about who and where the people in those chats were, and realised that people from four continentsa are already hoping to join in Dadamac Day - from India, Africa (West and East), Europe (East Europe and UK) and North America.

David Mutua and first celebrations

David Mutua was the friend in North America asking about Dadamac Day. He and Pam worked together in Ago-Are and online from 2002-2004, and later at Fantsuam Foudation (FF) where they did the day-by-day presentation of  the first Teachers Talking (TT) course together. The TT participants were the first Dadamac Learners. David and Pam also presented a TT course together in Kenya, so it would be great if he could attend. Dadamac Day started as a small annual celebration and online re-union for TT. At the first anniversary David was leading the chat at FF while Pam was in the UK. Unfortunately David is really in the wrong time zone now for Dadamac Day, but if the informal online chat goes on for a really long time, maybe he wiil be able to join in near the end.

Practice as well as planning

Chollom and Alheri had not been to the chatroom before, so the planning meeting ended with a quick visit to the chat room, to make sure everyone in the team knows how to log in. The next Dadamac  Day Planning and Practice (DDP&P) team meeting will be in a couple of weeks time.