How to Prepare for the Technical Aspects of a Bloom Workshop

By far, the biggest hurdle to getting a workshop going is getting Bloom installed on participants’ machines. During preparation for the workshop, make sure you read (or re-read) the following notes.

Notify the Bloom Team about your Workshop Ahead of Time

It really helps us provide support to your workshop if we have the context. Where is the workshop, what organizations are involved, and when is it? In any requests or bug reports, have participants mention the name of the workshop. Then we will know that time is of essence and what workshop leaders to CC in our communications with the reporter. If you have good enough internet, we may even be able to take control of any troublesome computers from our desks and sort things out.

Allocate Enough Time To Get Machines Running

On a clean, up to date Windows computer, Bloom installation takes only 5 minutes. But on an old, out-of-date, virus ridden computer with multiple anti-virus and firewall products that the owner doesn’t even know are installed, it can take an hour or more. If it is at all possible, get Bloom installed on machines ahead of the workshop.

Bring a Techie

If at all possible, have at least one staff person available to work on getting any troublesome machines set up. He or she can often do this while you get the rest of the workshop started. But if you, the workshop leader have to do it, then you have to hold the whole thing up while you do battle with some gremlin-ridden machine. If you can fund airfare and lodging, possibly one of us Bloom developers will come be your techie. You might also contract with SIL in your country to provide technical and/or literacy staff for your workshop.

Don’t Count on Internet Access

A common obstacle during workshops is little or no internet access from the workshop location. Especially if you’re something of an outsider, it’s easy to confuse “oh yes, we have wifi” with “you will find it easy to get the information and files you need from here”. Don’t take that risk. Instead, bring the following things with you:

What To Bring

  • Latest Bloom Release Version

  • Adobe Reader Installer.

  • Last Bloom Vista-compatible Version

  • Last Bloom XP-compatible Version

  • Current 4.6 .net offline installer

  • Current Art Of Reading installer.

  • “How To Fix Installation Problems”

  • Consider bringing a cheap wifi access point, even if there is no internet at the workshop location. Having a local wifi network makes it easy to distribute books from Bloom (4.0+) to participants’ Android phones running Bloom Reader. A phone “hotspot” might work fine too, if your phone’s hotspot does not require that you be connected to a mobile network.

  • Training Videos
    Even if you don’t use them in your training, you might want to leave training videos behind for participants to reference. You can download all the Bloom training videos to your computer so that you can share them with people who don’t have good or inexpensive internet connections. High-resolution videos and Low-resolution videos are available.

  • Aeneas
    If you plan to train people on making Talking Books by recording whole text blocks, rather than one sentence at a time, bring the aeneas installer.

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