Showing posts with label #BloGh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BloGh. Show all posts

Monday, May 5, 2014

Designing a questionnaire in Microsoft Word

So you decide to create a questionnaire for a research of yours. You then resort to your word processor as your sidekick in getting questionnaires to your respondents.
Usually, the normal way is to create your questionnaire, print them and distribute.
Other times, you e-mail the questionnaire to would-be respondents. They then have to print the questionnaire, fill it (in ink), scan it, and e-mail it to you.
What a drag!
How about going paperless and making them fill the questionnaire on their PCs (in Word).
The following quick tutorial will get you on your way. Enjoy

After launching Word, make sure the Developer tab is showing.
If it is not, do the following (in Office 2010) to display the Developer tab:
Click on File, and choose Options.


Under the Customise Ribbon Tab, make sure the checkbox in front of the Developer option is checked.
Click on OK.


The Developer Tab should be visible now, on the Ribbon.
Click on the Design Mode icon.

Type a question for your survey and add a corresponding control from the Controls group.
While the control is active, click on the Properties icon to set properties for the control. An example can be setting the property to make sure the control cannot be deleted.
Example: The Drop down list control properties dialogue box.
Click on Add to add options for your respondents to choose from.
You can choose more controls from the Legacy Tools icon.



When you are done with the design of the questionnaire, click on the Design mode again – to deactivate it. This allows you to see the finished questionnaire the same way your respondents would.

I hope this has been helpful.

PS: Another tool to use is Google forms. It actually creates responses in a spreadsheet and has an analytical part too. I will create another quick tutorial on this soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My language. My identity

Recently a number of my friends ask why I LOVE to engage my online connections with my local language -- Ewe -- quite frequently.
I. Just. Do.
I have been doing it since I became a netizen, but it was mostly in Twi, and sometimes in Ga. The Ewe language (and indeed most Ghanaian languages) has some unique fonts that the 'normal' PC keyboard doesn't support -- yet.
So what chaged and made it easy for me to type in my beloved local languages? Kasahorow.
Kasahorow is a project of the GhanaThink Foundation that seeks to bridge the langage learning gap. I love them. Do download their keyboard for PC and Android.
I was able to write arguably the first blogpost in Ewe (in Ghana) with their android keyboard. Hehe
I see this country moving forward by loving our languages and incorporating them in  our apps to improve productivity of our countryside folk. I made a case for local user interfaces in this post. I look forward to a YouTube revolution of Ghanaian videos having subtitles in the local languages.
Do let me know how your experience goes.

Friday, March 28, 2014

CUCG academic staff embrace Mendeley

Dr. Darko introducing participants to the Mendeley platform

Remember the saying, "Publish or perish?" Well, it is one that is well known in academic circles.
Aside the products of a university (i.e. its students) being a good metric for ranking, research plays a major role too.

In its bid to continue being one of the foremost universities in Ghana, the Catholic University College of Ghana has instituted a 'Seminar series' where lecturers and researchers share insights from their research papers and other experiences, software, and other related academic issues.
On Wednesday, 26th March, 2014,  the CUCG academic staff was privileged to have Dr. Godfred Darko (Mendeley advisor for Africa), introduce them to the software platform.

Hands-on session 
Mendeley has both desktop and web-based interfaces that can be synced for effective collaboration. It allows a researcher to form his/her research group and collaborate on a project.
Mendeley has a web installer that also enables a researcher to seamlessly add any paper he/she finds interesting online, to his/her library.
Another cute, yet powerful feature of Mendeley is how it integrates with Microsoft Word, thus making citations and bibliography insertions in a research paper painless. One can choose any reference style of choice.
Read more about Mendeley from their website, and watch some videos on its use here.

In all, the training session went well. It is a good step in the right direction, and I hope mentoring sessions are held for early career researchers, to build a community that seeks to come out with solutions that would help improve the lot of the community -- and country -- we find ourselves in.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

VOTOmobile platform Hackathon

Photo Credit: www.votomobile.org

Earlier this week, I caught up with George, who works with VOTO Mobile, and asked him a few questions on the company's hackathon happening at iSpace tomorrow.

Here's the discourse:
Me: Who are you and what do you do? (Of course I know him, but I asked for the benefit of you, my readers)
George: I am George Arthur-Sarpong, I am a Senior Software Engineer at VOTO Mobile.

Me: How long have you worked with VOTO Mobile?
George: I have been on #teamVOTO since January 2013.

Me: What exactly does VOTO Mobile do?
George: At VOTO Mobile, we look to solving solutions to communication barriers between organizations, governments and institutions and the people they serve.
Our tools, available via the VOTO platform enables organizations to engage thousands to millions of people in decision making, feedback gathering, monitoring and evaluation, general information dissemination and    mass education through a simple phone call in the language of the receiving individual.
Our hopes are that these tools amplify the 'voices' of the under heard making them important stakeholders in decision making. It in turn directs and makes organization projects and programmes much more effective by reaching the masses through channels they can easily understand and thus achieving impact.

Me:
What is the hackathon about? What  are participants expected to get out of it?
George: Our Mobile Engagement platform for voice and SMS has been developed over the past year into a robust and global platform with excitingly new features every two weeks.
Also in line with our vision for open communication and towards Social impact, we created our API to engage firstly as in the case of this weekend's hackathon, the Ghana developer community on smart and innovative tools and apps that can be built to reach masses via voice and or SMS.
Let's call it an 'out-dooring' where it's officially open to third party app developers to do wonderful things with it.
Participants would be motivated and rewarded for their efforts at the end of the 2-day event.
They would be judged and awarded in three categories
  1. Most innovative application: The one that causes us to step back and say, "Wow – never thought of that!"
  2. Strongest execution: The most complete, most polished, ready-to-use application
  3. Strongest social impact potential: An idea that thoughtfully creates impact on a local or national issue.
So yeah there is a lot of interesting and thrilling prospects for the Hackathon happening at iSpace in Osu-Accra this weekend and of course, the entire #teamVOTO is in Accra to join our Accra developer community hack with VOTO.

Me: Why is the event being held in Accra, as VOTO Mobile is a Kumasi-based firm?
George: Yeah we are based in Kumasi operating globally, and we had and still have interactions with our local developer community in Kumasi.
We chose Accra this time to also have a feel of the developer community outside Kumasi.
So yes, it's an opportunity to interact and see what's the latest also in Accra, and meet and hack with the developers you know via mail or social media in person.

Me: Okay, sounds like a fun-packed weekend. Thanks for this opportunity. (hand shake)
George: Thanks for the time. Glad I was able to do this with you.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Plisionship: An e-commerce solution

The ONE United Against Malaria bead
Photo credit: ONE.org
A couple of months ago, I decided to purchase a couple of ONE.org's beads online.
My late mum was a beads trader, so I am a sucker for beads.
After selecting the items to buy, I realised the shipping cost was more than I had expected, so I decided to look for a friend who loves beads as myself. We decided it was best to order as one and share the shipping cost.

Problem solved.

What we did is almost the same as the platform my friend Ilias, and his Plisionship team are building.
Plisionship loosely translated means friendship. Plision is a Greek word that refers to someone who is close to you and is ready to help you. In helping you, he/she helps himself/herself.

The concept is this simple: once you see an item you wish to buy online, you share it within your network and see if any other friend of yours wants to buy the same item, or even a different item (but from the same e-shop). You then create a group (after logging in) of individuals willing to buy some products from the same e-shop and buy as a group. The creation of the group is only once. So whenever one wishes to buy something, he shares it by posting it. The shipping costs may be reduced (as you share it) or even eliminated if you bargain with the e-tailer. Plisionship looks at individuals linking with their networks (especially people close to them geographically), so as to share interests in goods and services, and share delivery costs.

Remember that, your 'network' on this platform does not only refer to friends and family. Whoever you have a simple relationship with: at home, at your workplace, any other place you hang out, can be part of this group ('your network').

Do visit their website  and register to try out the service.
The video below sheds more light on Plisionship:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Keeping a pre-paid heart

He loves her with every fibre in him; yet he is keeping a pre-paid heart.
He eagerly awaits her love to recharge his -- which is at her beck and call.

She says she wants to love him.
To recharge his love.
He acquiesces, and gives her his love.
Then he 'runs' out of love.
His heart is back in pre-paid mode.

He loves her with every fibre in him; yet he is keeping a pre-paid heart.
He eagerly awaits her love to recharge his -- which is at her beck and call.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dream . Initiate . Create


In 2008, some friends and I decided to set up a web development firm -- techsonetGH -- that is currently re-branding itself. In getting a sort of slogan for ourselves and to portray our core values to clients  we settled on dream.initiate.create.
We believe that all achievement stems from dreaming. Seeing the results of one's imaginations before they even materialise.
However, dreaming alone won't make any change. The Good Book even says, "Faith without works, is meaningless."
Once the dream has been fully captured, followed by an initiative to see it through, the creation is inevitable.
Whether the creation is accepted by folks or not, the satisfaction got is that you took a step.
So let's dream, initiate, and create.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Duolingo -- an effective language learning app!

Learning a new language can be very stressful -- more so when the study of the language is undertaken outside the natural environment of the language.

There are a number of apps that try to make the learning of languages fun and interactive: Babbel, and Rosetta Stone.
However, one app I have fallen in love with is Duolingo. It has both mobile and web versions.
Its fun as you play while you learn. You have three(3) hearts at the beginning of every lesson, and you lose a heart, when you get an activity wrong.
I love the fact that there's a new button that breaks sentences into separate syllables and is very useful for beginners.
It's a whole mix of visuals and text.
Check out these snapshots from my phone:

Friday, January 3, 2014

God, the image processor

You may have seen a similar picture/illustration to the one above. Inasmuch as it is true, I believe that of God is even ‘crazier’ and mysterious than one can ever fathom.
In an image processing class, this became evident to me. When one zooms in on a perfect picture, the pixels (picture elements) look out of place. It shows one really how the picture looks, and not the ‘perfect’ one, we are accustomed to seeing.
God indeed does take our shortcomings and make perfect, lovable beings out of us.
I pray this year sees God’s favour remains with all of us, and that He strengthens us to achieve our goals for the year and beyond.
A blessed NewYear to you all.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mobile apps in Church?

Switch OFF Mobile phones!
The above sign is a common one in Churches nowadays. This has become necessary as mobile phone users disturb proceedings at Church with ringtones and other notification tones.
However, the ever increasing popularity of smartphones and mobile apps such as Bibles, make it difficult to enforce the 'switch off mobile phone' warning.
It is common now to hear Pastors say, "Turn your Bibles with me to ...", and find some members of the congregation rather 'querying' their Bible apps for the quotation given.
I should state here that, the Bible-app-querying trend does not happen (a negligible percentage do though) in the Catholic Church as the congregation do not read the Bible in Church, but rather listen to a Lector.
Now, the story is different in Catholic Churches, with the advent of the Catholic Hymnal mobile app. Some members of the congregation -- predominantly the youth enjoy singing hymns on their phones.
I asked some users why they enjoy reading the Bible on their phones and singing using the mobile app, and the commonest response is that, it is convenient. Some don't like carrying the 'heavy' paperback Bibles and hymnals. Another reason for convenience is that, most can't locate books in the Bible if they are asked to, so the mobile app comes to their aid.
Yes ke!
A pastor at one of the Churches I visited told the congregation, "Your phone is not a Bible, stop showing me your phone when I ask you to show your Bibles!"
Others do not like the idea of using these mobile apps inside the Church because of distractions. The thing is, some of the Bible apps that are out there (like YouVersion) require mobile data (access to the internet) to function. Once your mobile data is on, and your Auto Sync functionality is also on, you find notifications popping up, as and when they are received on your phone. This can distract the individual (the Church would only be disturbed if your sound profile is not silent).
A couple of tips on using mobile apps in Church:
  • Do turn off the volume on your phone. (Your sound profile should be silent)
  • Do switch off your Auto Sync feature so you do not get interrupted by notifications from other apps like Whatsapp and GMail.
  • Download Bible apps that do not require access to the Internet to function. Some examples are Olive Tree, Word of Promise apps.

Personally I don't think singing with the mobile app is a bother. I only pray for self control and discipline for users.
By the way, do you know the Catholic Catechism has been developed into a mobile app? It's in Italian now. Other language translations are coming soon.
I will like to know what you think about mobile apps being used during Church services. Do comment on this post. Thanks

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Marriage has no spare parts...

Over the weekend, I attended the wedding of my friends in Bolgatanga (Upper East region of Ghana). It was my first time in that town, and I am looking forward to visiting it again.

Usually, I daydream -- a bit -- during the ceremony, but this year I decided to ACTUALLY capture some quotes from the homily (as they would come in handy soon).

Some sights captured by my phone have been shared in this post
This post is just to share some of the quotes.

"Every perfect gift comes from God!" Therefore see your marriage as a gift from God.
"Whatever you will do to enjoy THIS marriage, DO it!" This reminds me of one of my favourite songs by Ne-Yo, Make it Work.
Men, know this: "Women are like eggs. Handle them with care!"
"Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it". Be unique in whatever you do in your marriage. If you copy what people did and failed, you will also fail. "Live your lives such that celibates would regret for not marrying".
"Woman, be submissive!"

Marriage runs on two compulsory pillars: Prayer and the Word of God. "A true man is a man of prayer."
"The scripture is like medicine, until you take it, u won't know it's efficacy."
"God won't start anything He can't complete, unless we don't cooperate."
Then a friend also shared this, " When your wife (or husband) gets on your nerves, do not over react. Think twice and remember all the people who made time and spent money to witness your union. If you think you can disrespect those faces, then go ahead and misbehave...
... and eerrrmmm, as a man always make sure there's adult music in the background. That's all!

Some Bible quotations for reflections
Colossians 3:12
1st Corinthians 13
John 15:5
Ecclesiastes 3:14
Matthew 7
James 1

 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bolgatanga, through my phone's lenses

Church bells at the Bolgatanga Cathedral
Monument marking the 100th anniversary of the diocese
The Bolgatanga Catholic Cathedral from a distance
Ramsey Sports stadium
Some Pajeros parked outside a church

EPL fixtures at the Black Star hotel
Party time, no?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The ticket that swerved me

If you patronise public transportation in Ghana (especially MMT), you understand the frustrations one can go through.

Buses poorly maintained. Passengers being taken for granted. Blah blah blah.

Yesterday, I had to travel from Kumasi to Sunyani  and decided to pick a MMT bus. The queue I met can only be described as $$##_++@?@&@%@+*!!!

After being in the queue for a long while, a bus arrived. Then I heard my name being shouted after a while. It was a friend who had bought an extra ticket for me! Hmmm, how bad I felt (because I detest folks jumping the queue).

Well I boarded the bus only to realise 'my' ticket had not been bought. Oh charley!
The smart move wasn't so smart after all.

I just got off the bus, and had to move to Kejetia to pick a cosmo jet.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fuschia -- Clothing & Crafts

In an earlier post, I commented on how Ghanaians have taken to Ghanaian fabrics being used to create crafts such as handbags, wallets, purses, shoes, and of course, great dresses for every occasion.
A number of innovative individuals are really doing a lot in this area.
You can check out Trends and Blends who writes exclusively on fashion.
A lady who is doing a lot in this fashion innovation crusade is Abena Woode of Fuschia Ghana. She is based in Kumasi. As the Innovation Director of Fuschia, she's always on the look out for what steps to take to improve the services and customer satisfaction, Fuschia delivers.

Do check out Fuschia's Facebook page, like it and hold your breath for a surprise this festive season.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Why be ungrateful?

When I tell my friends that I feel -- I know -- I insult God any time I complain about where I wish I was in life, and how 'fucked up' my life is, they seldom get it.
I have been blessed with a lot of opportunities, and have had the pleasure of meeting angels on earth. My sweetest taboo is one of such earth angels.
You see, most folks don't have it 'as easy' as I do. An example is the mother of eight I just met in Adum,  Kumasi. She's been walking through town since morning, begging for alms. Her last two kids are with her -- under the scorching sun.
I asked where her husband is and she says the father of her first four children is dead. The father of the 2nd set of four has refused to look after the children.
I then asked why she is not farming, and if there was a piece of land she could farm on. Apparently, her uncle has sold the land she could have farmed on!
I know there's more I could do to help her, but I couldn't.
One thing for sure though is that, the image of her and her kids would pay in my mind for some weeks to come.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The TWEBA1D hangover

The guys were not very happy about how the exams went. The course was one that they would have loved more, had the lecturer used a 'concept-understanding' approach.
They decided to get over their disappointment and hang out -- joy in brotherhood. They went to a spot by their hostel and communicated with some bottles.
Not satisfied, they decided to go all out and hangout for the remainder of the day, after all, "yɛ bɛ wo nti, yɛ nda?"

All plans to study for the Electronics & Microprocessors paper (due the following day) were cancelled.

Their next stop was another spot. The guys shared stories and discussed issues that were important to them. After about 3 hours, the guys were on the move again.

Their final spot was one that was considered 'family'. The guys did not only drink, but had grasscutter soup as well. They stayed till about 10:30 pm -- just chatting  and sharing future aspirations.

Instead of going home, they passed by a girls' hostel to 'make noise'.  They sang most of their favourite 'jama' songs.

Finally, they went home.

The following morning, most of the guys had hangovers. 'sia!
The paper was at 2pm and so they went to campus, and began to revise their notes. They used approximately 2 hiurs to do that -- 10am to 12: 20pm.

What really is amazing about these guys is that they ALL passed the paper, inspite of their hangover.

Today, they are all working towards their dreams, and are succesful at what they currently do.
The brothers are there for one another, and this extends to all their acquaintances. This brotherhood is for life!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kofi's dilemma

Kofi has always loved lifelong learning -- education that has no end. After his first degree, he was fortunate to be retained at his alma mater as a faculty intern.
The love for teaching increased and he realised that to really fit this 'penguin' environment, he needed to further his education.
Thus began his frustrations and disappointments.
Just a year into his internship, he had a half scholarship to study at the AIT in Greece. That didn't work out because he didn't have sufficient funds -- someone also commented that he hadn't served for 2 years to qualify for a study leave. Yeah.

The following year, he stumbled upon WrUT by chance -- and got admitted. The requirements for the visa processing saw him go through the offices of the accrediatation board, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Intrgration, and the West Afrca Examinations Council. These were all to legalise his documents!

Then came the pendulum-like convos and movements to the Polish Embassy in Abuja. (This saga would be in a different post).

After his unfortunate encounters with the embassy, Kofi re-examined his 'obssession' with abrokyire education.

'sia.

Why is it that such 'good' chances come his way and do not materialise in the end?
He also felt abandoned by his employers who wanted him to upgrade himself; yet watched on as he 'struggled'.

This year is walaahi year for Kofi. He had wanted -- and still wants -- to leave his current job for a while. Perhaps his kismet is elsewhere, no?
Not putting all your eggs in one basket came in handy too, this year. Kofi is currently at the KNUST, 'upgrading' himself. There's no telling what the future holds, but he's optimistic. He's resorted to live his life as a peacock in the midst of penguins.

I am Kofi. This is my story.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tadodzinu ka ele asi wo?

Le eƒe akpe deka, alafa asieke, bla asieke vɔ enyi me la, me ditsa yi de nye tɔgbui kpli mama gbɔ le aƒe.
Dzidzɔ yɔ ye ƒe nkeke wo le wo gbɔ. Tɔdi nyewo kpli tasi nyewo fiam lɔlɔ vavã.

Me yi de agble hã - me ƒo dzakpa koraa.
Gake esi me kpɔ agbe si sɔhɛ wo nɔ fafiam la, nye dzi gba.

Sɔhɛ gede wo le edɔ srɔm le egeŋ, vɔ ega vi si kpɔm wo le la, wo va aƒe eye wo'ŋi de ekpemɛ. Tadodzinu deke me le wo si o. Edefu ŋtɔ.
Mlɔeba la, ehia be wo ava ƒo dzakpa afi akpɔ ega akɔyi egeŋ.

ENGLISH:
In 1998, I visited my grandparents.
My visit with them was full of joy. My uncles and aunts showed me real love.

I went to the farm -- and I even cleared a plot of land for planting.
But when I saw the lives the youth lived in the village, my heart was broken. 

Most of the youth were learning a trade in Accra, and visited the village often, but the little earnings they had, they spent on girls, and other 'useless' stuff. They had no purpose. A real worry indeed.

In the end, they had to do menial jobs such as weeding of farms, in order to get some money for their transport back to Accra.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Harnessing (available) resources for development

Barcamp Sunyani 2013 advert
Last year, the very first barcamp was held in Sunyani. It was an event that saw stakeholders in the region, meet to network and discuss issues related to its development.
This year, another barcamp beckons. As an agricultural hub of Ghana, there is the need to find out the resources available to us, to improve the sector.
  • What information is available to farmers and those in agriculture?
  • What role does (or can) ICT play in agriculture?
  • What organisations are doing a lot to better the agricultural sector in Ghana as a whole?
  • What can I do as an individual to help in the development of my community?
For answers to these and other questions, join us at Barcamp Sunyani on the 9th of November, 2013 at the University of Energy and Renewable Resources, at 9am prompt.
Do follow discussions on twitter via the hashtag #bcsyi. You can also register for the event online.
See you when I see you...