We are running a 4 day training next week in East Africa for staff from 4 countries in the region. Would really like to set up a SoMe tool which participants can use to communcaite / collaborate / embed learning etc. If successful we would then use this as a way to demonstrate the value of SoMe to the wider organisation.
Can any one receommend any particular tool? It would need to be easy to use and use low band width connectivity as many of our staff are in remote lcoations with dodgy connection and limited IT support,
Am new to this group - look forward to learning from you all!
I have personally found Yammer to be effective in dodgy connections. Why don't you try it?
Thanks Kavita. It is either going to be facebook or yammer - we ahvent confirmed yet. I was listening to Jane's webinar last week and one of the messages that came through strongly was to use tools that users are already familiar with and integrate it into their usual daily tasks - that way we'll have much more ee and higher acceptance. I know that most course participants already use facebook but will all be new to yammer so I am inclined to plump for the former.
But anything that works in very remote locations with low bandwidth is worth a look! We are also looking into http://www.frontlinesms.com/ and possibiliites of using this for our Africa programs .
thanks for your advice
Being based in Africa myself, I think any platform that has mobile delivery through both Smartphones and feature phones (text/sms) will do the trick. You can't assume that people will have laptops or computers to access a rich web interface, and when at home in the evenings and weekends they will almost certainly not have DSL or wifi access.
Both Yammer and Facebook have mobile apps, with Facebook possibly a bit ahead in that there are also apps for Symbian (Nokia - widely used in Africa!) like Snaptu that can provide access to FaceBook groups. Again, though, this requires a mobile data connection (3G/EDGE/HSDPA) that not all phones have.
Whatever you choose, do heed the cost aspect. Data costs a lot of money in Africa. And lower-income users are likely to have prepaid mobile and/or internet packages that could run out. The more money you cost them, the less likely they will be to participate.
You may want to look into Mxit, actually. It's a low cost text-based service that is widely used in Africa, and there have been a couple of learning projects that have used this platform quite successfully. However, the audience is key here. Mxit is geared more towards secondary school and university students, rather than working adults, so you may find few of your course participants already using the platform.