My week at the ODI Train the Trainer course

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So this is a visualization of my week at the Train The Trainer course of the Open Data Institute (ODI). Let me explain this visualization to you by describing all the days of this very interesting week.

On Monday we arrived at the offices of the ODI, with an excellent mood (smiley face on the diagram)  and very eager to start the course. By the way ODI premises is a really cool place with a lot of special things like dashboards with live data on the walls and the vending machine that releases packs of chips every time that a news item related to recession is recognised in the BBC news feed.

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The atmosphere in the office is great and the ODI people are very kind and always willing to help.

As I was saying on Monday we were relaxed, enjoying the introduction to the course by our great trainers David and Mel. We sat back and started enjoying the first parts (hammock icon in my diagram). We gave our first microcourse of 5 mins. Mine was about the Open Data stakeholders’ ecosystem. Although the course seemed to be quite demanding I was thinking that we will make it.

On Tuesday we started the session on the educational theory and I thought OMG, do we need to integrate all this new theory in our 20 min course? (Face with big open eyes on the diagram). Our great trainer Nancy Copley emphasised how important is to define clear and smart learning outcomes, how to adapt to the different learning styles of our trainees, how to conduct activities aligned to learning outcomes and how to move from surface learning to deep learning. I felt that my mind was overwhelmed by new ideas about how I should set up my 20 min course and it was very clear now that the week will be demanding (icon of  1 ton van in my diagram).

After having a nice dinner and a couple of beers at the city center with a colleague that works with open data for development, I started working on the 5 mins session that I should deliver on Wednesday. I was trying to apply all the educational theory that we were taught. I ended up late with a first version of the 5 min course but really not happy with it.

On Wednesday morning I was stressed and I was feeling that I still had a long way to get at the point where all the things will be integrated and aligned. My 5 mins course was about improving the global food supply through open data. The main objective of the course was to understand how open data can improve the global food supply and which are the challenges of doing so. My 5 mins presentation did not go well. I did not manage to conduct activities aligned to the learning outcomes and my learning outcomes were not very clear. I felt very disappointed (sad face icon on my diagram). I had still very much work to do so I started to work using the comments of our trainers as a reference.

Thursday, the day in which we should present our 20 min course based on which we will be assessed came. My 20 min course went quite well but I felt that there were parts that could be better e.g. the activities. After the end of the presentations (tired face icon in my diagram) the ODI team brought ice creams that were really needed to bring again some smiles on the room.

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The day closed with cold drinks at ODI’s kitchen and some very interesting discussions with ODI members. (party icon on my diagram)

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On Friday we had to prepare our development plan based on the feedback that we received by some members of our team and also our self assessment. With a good mood (smily face icon on the diagram) and with the feeling that now the van has the engine that it needs to get up the high hill I worked on the plan. Simon and Steffica delivered a very interesting course on how to organise a great open data course. The big moment come right after: peer to peer review meetings with trainers. Although marginally but it was a pass. I felt great and really happy.

I would like once again to thank ODI members for the excellent organisation and hosting of the course as well as ODI Athens node for supporting our participation in the course. Special thanks to our trainers Melissa and David.

Before leaving we took some nice pictures with Fiona, a member of the ODI team with whom Agro-Know colleagues worked for the Discussion Paper on improving  Agriculture and Nutrition with open data.

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Eager to start transferring the knowledge to others and to try to change the mindset of the people about the open data.

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