Monday, October 30, 2006

Nelson Mandela is a wise man

I came across this thread of information. It comes from the The World Congress on Communication for Development. It was a conference that just concluded on October 27th. It would seem that Nelson Mandela was a participant and he left with a quote used in a summary document from the conference.
It is people that make the difference. Communication is about people. Communication for development is essential to make the difference happen.


Resources need thought

We are in the process of setting up a virtual classroom for high school music. And the question has come up regarding storage and bandwidth. The variables we need to think about are disk space, number of students, frequency of uploading and downloading, number and size of music files created during the course. For example; lets say each student created 40 minutes of music files per week, and lets consider the school year is 44 weeks. Given each minute of music is 1 megabyte (MB) that would mean each student would create 1,760 MB or 1.7 Gigabytes (GB) of music during the school year or approximately 200 MB per month. Now consider we have 50 students, that means we will require 88 GB of disk space by the end of the year. And if all students are expected to be listening to half of the students work we will need 5 GB of monthly bandwidth. Now 5 GB is a low number for monthly bandwidth and we shouldn’t expect extra bandwidth fees for this low level of traffic. But what happens if the site becomes popular and its popularity spreads like wildfire (which happens within the social web 2.0). We get hit with 10,000 visitors (a potentially low number) downloading a full months worth of music, that would be 100,000,000 MB of bandwidth or a 100 Terrabytes. Now our bandwidth fees shoot off the scale. I think we should limit access to just the students…

Friday, October 27, 2006

iLearn 2.0

I’ve been put back into a focus upon technology and education. I’ve been so busy blogging about my critical technology that I haven’t had much time to blog on the subject of technology and education. I have been asked to be a reseach associate for a project where we are looking at teaching music (the fiddle to be precise) online. A very interesting project where we have a very active and innovative high school teacher who loves to use technology to teach. He really doesn’t have much choice as his students are spread all around the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ll be watching what he does and make suggestions to the lead researchers and they will make the call if they introduce my ideas to him, as they don’t wan’t to disrupt his processes. So here are my thoughts after leaving his talk from Wednesday 25th of November;
  • It really is about community building - how do we take a group of students and turn them into a community of learners who support one another in their learning?
  • ePortfolios really are under utilized. I look forward to the day where ePortfolios become a significant part of assessment.
  • Building something
    together is really a great way to learn. When you play misic it is a collaborative effort, learning should be the same.
  • To what extent do we use rich media as a learning tool? is it under utilized?
  • Community Learning Centers (CLC) are going to be a way station for learners. Soon the business model for the CLC will be sustainable.
  • I’ve heard a lot these days that students
    don’t like to read, particularly males. What I like about what I am hearing is that it isn’t that they should be expected to read. We need to change our methods to not be so dependent on reading. It should be more balanced; reading, video, audio, play, creation, painting, physical, etc, etc, etc…
  • What really is participatory video? Is there such a thing as participatory audio?
  • Does groove fit here? Groove networks has always been an interesting tool. Though, It’s not Open Source. And this needs to be Open Source. For many reasons, to many for this single post.
  • I definately think we need a bliki. We need to build a community wiki and have all the participants blog on how they got the the completed wiki entry.
  • It’s time for me to get back into working on the Mac platform. What participatory features does garage band have? Could the students collaborate on a piece of music online?
  • I need to revisit the features of drupal. Could you create a mySpaces for a learning community?
  • Funny thing is all this leads back to a Community Knowledge Management System (CKMS)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Community Knowledge Management

I've created a concept map for my latest research topic of; Community Knowledge Management Systems for Development (CKMS4D).

ABSTRACT: This article describes the resources and approach required to build a Community Knowledge Management System (CKMS) in rural developing communities. The increased availability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) through telecentres, cellular telephones, rural wireless networks and community schools have increased the likelihood of partnerships successfully creating community repositories of indigenous knowledge. Through the use of free open source software (FOSS), access to the multimedia of video recorders, audio recorders and digital photography combined with the increasing knowledge of how to use these technologies makes a CKMS within reach for many developing communities. Having the methods to gather, store, retrieve and distribute community knowledge through local partnerships and emerging ICT further reduces the knowledge divide. This article reviews development efforts in India, Uganda and ?? to provide further insight into the creation of a CKMS through community partnerships and the utilization of digital resources.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Muhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank win Nobel prize

This is a great choice for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2006. I like it most because it is giving a very public view into microfinance and how every citizen can help toward the plight of poverty. As we decrease the inequity in the world, I believe, the world we become more peaceful. This is the message this choice for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize is sending.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We need gapminder!

In my previous post I was being critical of the way some of the data was being presented in gapminders' World Income Distribution animation. I was even so bold to email my post to gapminder, and to my pleasant surprise I received a comment back from Hans Rosling. The comment spoke of how the animation used a purchasing power dollar. So, using google scholar, I went in seach of papers or some kind of reference that provided me insight how a purchasing power dollar worked. There is a lot to read, the concept goes back to the 1600's and in my quick read I would say the jury isn't out on the concept of purchasing power parity (PPP). So I didn't get the answer I was looking for but I've learned more about the world and how things are "measured". I found a really good quote from 1988 that sums it all up;
...Because of these sensitivities, one must carefully consider summary statements and policy implications derived from cross-national comparisons of poverty and/or inequality.
I am still struggling with the idea that a dollar in 1970 had the same purchasing power as a dollar in 2003 even if in the long-run the products and services have the same purchase price.
So what does this post have to do with needing gapminder? Being a flash programmer, I wanted to create my own animated graph which included two things; inflation and the dollar a day scale not presented as a logarithmic scale. Then I started to think about where would I get the data to base my animated graph upon and gathering the data would be a huge enormous hill to climb! If not impossible. So, this is why we need gapminder. Gapminder wants to make global data available, to everyone, so they can do their reseach and they can create views of the data in new and solid ways. These new views would add to the dialogue and that would make the world a better place.