Friday, December 2, 2011

Workshop Participants Highlight Challenges of Using Social Media

Participants concentrating on Web 2.0 practical work
Adoption and use of social media in Africa for work related activities in organizations such as universities, research institutions and libraries is progressing at a very slow pace. This is due to several factors, including the absence of skills to confidently use social media, lack of awareness and understanding of the potential benefits associated with social media use, and the absence of the absence of policies and strategies to support the use of social media tools in the organizations. These challenges have been re-affirmed by participants on a knowledge sharing Chat Show session during the Knowledge Sharing and Web 2.0 training workshop at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

During the Chat Show, Prof. Bakari Lembariti, from the School of Dentistry at MUHAS indicated that many people at MUHAS are not aware of the benefits associated with web 2.0 and social media and there is need to educate the university on these tools. Ms. Rehama Chande-Mallya, an Assistant Librarian at MUHAS, and PhD candidate at the University of Dar es Salaam highlighted the need to encourage information professionals in the country to use social media to enhance the delivery of information services to their clients. The belief by most librarians in the old traditional way of sharing knowledge and provision of library and information services should also change. Mr. Donasian Mabula, Systems and Database Administrator from the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Library emphasized the need to update existing institutional ICT policies so take into account social media.

Thirty-four (34) individuals made up of lecturers and librarians from various institutions in Tanzania are taking part in the four-day Knowledge Sharing and Web 2.0 training workshop MUHAS in Dar es Salaam. The workshop is hosted by MUHAS Library and facilitated by experts from FAO Regional Office for Africa (Ghana), ITOCA East Africa Office (Nairobi) and MUHAS Library. The content of the workshop, which ends on 2 December, includes:

  • Creating blogs using Blogger
  • Creating institutional Facebook pages
  • Using Twitter
  • Collaborating on content development using GoogleDocs
  • Wikipedia
  • Conducting a Knowledge Sharing Self-Assessment
  • Developing a network map using Social Network Mapping
  • Knowledge sharing using Chat Shows
  • Capturing lessons learnt using After Action Reviews