ICT4D

Education WorldwideICT4D

Mobile Voices: The Vozmob Project

François Bar is Associate Professor of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.  He presented Thursday 25 Mobile Voices: The Vozmob Project at the IN3. Mobile Voices is an[…]

Gender & ICTsICT4D

ICTs for Women Empowerment

The UNESCO Chair in e-Learning held a roundtable on December 10, with Juliet Webster and Cecilia Castaño under the title ICTs for Women Empowerment. Juliet Webster is researcher and consultant on women’s working lives in the[…]

ICT4D

Tim Unwin video: ICT4D

We finally have the 10 minutes video that summarizes Tim Unwin‘s talk at UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Fifth International Seminar. One of the most “fighting the digital divide” talks, focused on the development of[…]

ICT4D

Tim Unwin’s ICT4D conference teaser

Last month we made a break in the publication of the videos recorded during our Fifth International Seminar, but we had another good video instead: Jack Dorsey talked with us about possible educational uses of[…]

Education WorldwideICT4D

OECD: Higher education to 2030

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just published a monograph studying the demography of education. Under the title “Higher Education to 2030”, this 300 pages document (read only document) summarizes the next[…]

ICT4DLearning Technologies

“Mobile telephones will reduce the digital divide”

Shantanu Narayen (1964, Hyderabad, India) is managing director of Adobe, the second software company in the world. Products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign or PDF have been created on their laboratories. The sentence above is the[…]

Education WorldwideICT4D

The hole in the wall: the holes in my thinking and my life


a line of screens, originally uploaded by phitar.

Note: this was mostly written last Friday, and I only write here a small fraction of what I wanted… But I do not want to hold this post hostage until I get it right.

I do not have the time, bandwidth (technological, cognitive), or battery life to properly respond to this week’s sessions at the UOC’s Open EdTech and Digital Divide conferences. Though again, I am pleased to point you to Ismael’s incredible liveblogging performance – and I believe the video archives will soon be available.

I will say that I was as provoked and moved by Dr. Sugata Mitra’s session on his Hole in the Wall project (also here) and subsequent work as by any session I have ever attended. I won’t attempt a synthesis, but will suggest that watching his TED Talk will be twenty minutes very well spent.

And two sets of related questions that I can’t get out of my head:

  • If we can so rapidly mobilize a trillion dollars or more to rescue a financial system from the incompetence, greed and depradations of the people who are still in charge of it, is it not in our self-interest to spend a small fraction of that amount for the countless millions of extraordinarily deprived and vulnerable children of the world? Dr. Mitra estimates a cost of 3 cents US per student per day for his method. If we won’t do it because it’s the humane thing to do, let’s do it out of our own self-interest and self-preservation (if nothing else, think of the global conflict and security implications).
  • What are the broader implications of “minimally invasive education” and “self-organizing educational systems”? Dr. Mitra is convinced that these methods cannot work for adults. Based on my own instinct and experience, I have to reluctantly agree with him. Why not? And what would adults need to unlearn in order to learn the way these kids do? I again find myself thinking that the teaching of skills is less important than changing attitudes – but I have no idea how best to do so.

Finally, thanks to the scale and intimacy of this week’s events, I (and members of my family) had the privilege to spend time interacting socially with Dr. Mitra in a casual environment. He was unfailingly kind, generous, irreverent and immensely amusing, evidently more or less devoid of ego… Funny how so often the most impressive people I meet in this field seem to share those attributes.

Hopefully I’ll have more reflections on this remarkable week in future posts.

Education WorldwideICT4D

UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning | Fifth International Seminar – Reflections & Conclusions

Notes from the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Fifth International Seminar. Fighting the Digital Divide through Education)
Reflections & Conclusions

The real fact of the digital divide

Multiple factors
Many different (digital) divides, in relationship to context: culture, geography, education, wealth
Where to start? Many and different approaches

Importance of the “digital” issue

The “digital” embedded in the socioeconomic divide
The “digital” embedded […]

Education WorldwideICT4D

UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning | Fifth International Seminar – Round Table: the Fight against the Digital Divide in Spain

Notes from the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Fifth International Seminar. Fighting the Digital Divide through Education)
Begoña Gros, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
65% have computers at home, but half of them have access to the Internet. 70% of companies have access to the Internet, but the use of the Internet drops to 50%. Access of citizens […]

Education WorldwideICT4D

UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning | Fifth International Seminar – Sugata Mitra: Hole in the Wall

Notes from the UOC UNESCO Chair in e-Learning Fifth International Seminar. Fighting the Digital Divide through Education)
Hole in the WallSugata Mitra, Newcastle University
Strong correlation between school performance and geographical distance from Delhi, the capital: the longer the distance, the lower the performance. Teachers from rural areas, indeed, do want to move to Delhi or closer […]