Web Literacy at Nanaware Night School

For the first time, I was conducting a Web Literacy campaign at night school. So, it was totally a new experience for me right from the inception of the idea. From past 2-3 years, few V.J.T.I. students of B.Tech and M.Tech were actively participating in activities of various night schools including “Nanaware”. Their contribution was in terms of giving lectures, conducting competitions and helping schools organize annual functions. This year, they had planned two new activities in their schedule, first was the science day and other was the Web Literacy Drive. Being a volunteer this year, I was suggested to conduct one.

In the previous week, I had visited the school twice to familiarize with the students. I came to know about the ethics and discipline that a night school usually follows. The school comprised of children of very tender age without any adult student.

Challenges in front of me: As a Mozilla Rep, I was used to deliver talks to students, developers, entrepreneurs and professionals, but I was going to face children for the first time. Also, I was told not to have any preconceptions about their innate knowledge. Hence, I had to start right from “What is Computer” and reach till “How to use Internet effectively”. Secondly, it was a Marathi medium school. Hence, not only that I had to speak in Marathi, but also prepare slides in the same.

Fortunately, I managed to prepare well and with the help of other volunteers, the infrastructural requirements like projector were arranged very smoothly. I started with the talk mentioning that it will be an interactive session and hence, I will keep on asking questions. Students were extremely enthusiastic and I felt synergy propagating towards me. All of them actively participated in every kind of discussion. I really admire their ability to listen without a pinch of boredom.

I started with “What is Computer” and migrated through hardware and software devices including different types of computers. Then explained bit about the i/o and processing. After that, I briefed about how computers are useful in modern world. The next section was about Internet. I started from basics to general working. I focused more on how Internet is a boon to the society and how one should use it properly. Also, I made students aware of the negative side of Internet, how people become victim to frauds and how children get addicted. Lastly, I ended my session with few tips on “Do’s and Don’ts” while using Internet for social networking.

Next activity was to introduce “MS powerpoint” to kids. I explained few operations which students demonstrated on laptop under the supervision of volunteers. They were very excited as they got to handle the computer and at the same time got some productive learning.

I loved interacting with kids as it helped me discovering a child within me. I became one amongst those while conducting the activities. It gave me more confidence which would help me in my further presentations. Also, one thing I discovered that there are hardly any tutorials or presentations available regarding computer basics and web in our local languages. Hence, we must come forward and take initiative individually to develop those. I will upload the slides, not only on this topic, but develop on other tech topics as well. Overall, the event was an amazing experience for me. Thanks to “Friends of Nanaware” for the initiative and overall support. I would write the blog post on the main event soon.


My MozTalk on OWA

Hello Friends. Here I am going to explain what I delivered at MozTalk. I, along with Abhishek Potnis and Pratik Patil (who are my college-mates and project team members), successfully completed an open source project of Mozilla titled “An Open Web App for Editing Rich Text Documents”. For more details on concept of OWA, click here. You may also refer my slides which i presented at Talk.

Here I am going to explain right from how exactly we came across the topic to the completion of the project. The steps that we followed are:

1. Mozilla Student Projects: It was David Teller [:Yoric] who brought the project topic to our notice. He had created a list of student projects at github (Click here to see the list). When we had checked that time, there were only 7 issues in the list which today has increased to 55. We see that there are two tabs : Open and Closed issues. Open issues means that the projects are yet to be completed and Closed means they have been completed successfully. So we selected the issue #1 and commented on it to show our interest and also started working on it.

2. Github Repository : Github is one of the best methodologies of online collaboration. People residing at different geographical regions can collaborate easily on the same piece of code using github. Abhishek created a repository named editOnTheGo and we committed changes there. There are two approaches as concerned with repositories: fork an existing repository and work on it OR maintain a single repository and commit changes there. I was suggested the second approach to avoid merge-conflicts.

3. Hosting on github: As you can see on github repository, there are 2 branches: master and gh-pages. “master” is the default branch whereas “gh-pages” is used for hosting the page on github server. our project is hosted at abhishekvp.github.com/editOnTheGo/

3. Issues: A list of issues were created which symbolizes the tasks to be completed in the project. Here as well follows the same concept of Open and Closed issues. We self-assigned issues and started working on it.

4. Review by mentor: We used to notify the mentor on the completion on the issue. The mentor would review the code and ensure the working and well as check for any dead or redundant code. If there exists any, he would comment to bring it to our notice. Click here to view an instance of this.

5. Demonstrate on Firefox OS Simulator: OWA are primarily made to run on Firefox OS. Hence it is essential to test it on Simulator. It is available freely as an addon. Click here to add it to your firefox browser.

In this way, following the above steps, our project got completed in duration of around 6-8 months. There are few bugs and issues remaining but most of them are due to shortcomings of owa.Hope this information was helpful to you. In case of any discrepancies, feel free to comment here or contact me. My nickname is greatwarrior at IRC
Please make this post worth by extending your contribution to Mozilla bugs and student projects. Remember that even a small piece of code can bring a lot of change. We Mozillians encourage you all to participate to make the product even more better.

Note: Since I am a beginner, I may be wrong somewhere. So feel free to comment here and help rectify me.

First MozTalk @ IITB

Even today while writing the post, I find it difficult to believe that two days before I gave a MozTalk at IITB, a place which is a treasure of brilliance. Thanks to Ankit Bahuguna and Sushant Hiray for inviting me to share my experience about Open Web Apps (OWA). Ankit, who is a Research Engineer at IITB, was also the chief organizer of the event. Sushant is the manager of Web and Coding Club at IITB.

Ankit began the session by giving the introduction about Mozilla. Abhishek Potnis, who is also a Mozilla Representative, shared his experience about bug-squashing. Then I discussed the concept of OWA and presented a demo of my project. Ankit concluded the session by a small quiz, giving Mozilla t-shirts to the winners.

Please visit the gallery for snaps.

It was my greatest opportunity to interact with IITB students. What I presented there have been posted here, so that students who weren’t able to attend the talk can get the details.

Enter the Open Source World of Mozilla !

A simple and straight forward meaning of open source is ‘there is no concept of copyright ‘. Any developer from any part of the world can sneak in, make some useful contributions or invent something new from the existing and share it to the entire community.

When i came to know about open source, i was easily attracted to it since coding and debugging is my hobby and thought of giving it a try.

I came to know that things aren’t easy. One must have a lot of patience and must willing to learn all the time. The world of HTML,CSS, JavaScript, C/C++, Java is very vast and one must keep himself/herself updated with it. A moment of lethargy can land us too behind.

I thank all the mentors of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Moznet server who got me started. Prime amongst them are: David Rajchenbach-Teller [:Yoric], Mark Capella [:capella], Scott Johnson [:jwir3], Ms2ger and Josh Matthews [:jdm].

Currently I have pocketed few bugs and even completed a student project as well. I have also  been recently vouched as a MozillianRecently I have also become a Mozilla Representative of Mumbai.