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As you have pointed out before, there are special needs in Africa, and the context calls for innovation.

Part of the answer to your question is to facilitate communication across initiatives, and develop a common vision and a common understanding of the context and the wayforward.

The context is constantly changing and we need a realistic plan leading towards a desired future.

Here are two perspectives:

  1. ALL investment should go into enabling access. Only then do we even think about content, and enable this via the local communities. Actually, it is not about content - it is aboutlearning activities which will be greatly enhanced when it is possible to engage with the global knowledge society.
  2. Focus on developing (libre) learning resources among those who have access. These automatically become a foundation as soon as new communities gain access. Moreover, in thisprocess, local skills will be developed to take it forward.

5. Wayne Mackintosh - May 7th, 2007 at 11:58 am

Hey Kim - Enabling access is a strategic priority in Africa - couldn’t agree more. In addition to enabling access - I would like to add aleft-brain strategy, namely projects which generate universal demand for access - in other words generating the need for access in parallel to technical infrastructure.

For this reason I believe that libre content is a missing link in the chain. Learning activities are derived from our pursuit of knowledge and I suggest that themore free content we can produce - the greater the need for access.

Conceptually it is possible to provide access to the 1.7 million free content articles of Wikipedia by creating wiki ==>pdf functionality. This could be a foundation for billions of learners - especially those without textbooks to high qualitycontent, even though they may not have access to the web themselves.

I was playing around with a use case scenario - still needs a little work, but you’ll get the gist of my thinking. See: Thinking creatively about access to free content

Chat to you soon. Wayne

6. Ken Udas - May 9th, 2007 at 5:12 am

Response to Kim

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate the links you have provided and the questions that you have posed. Together we are generating a lot of questions,and I would like to focus on a small group of them that flowed from a question that I asked in my first comment, in which I asked:

Would it help to generate a culture that supports and actively promotes peer development, investment in technologies that support collaborative creation, law that favors(reduces barriers and creates incentives) community production, etc?

And you followed up with these other questions:

Kim: Would it help what? (reduce inequalities of access to knowledge/learning?).

Yes, it seems that complex problems are not well suited to centralized and authoritarian solution generation and decision-making. Traditional “top of thepyramid” oriented decision making tends to disproportionably (sometimes exclusively) respect and reflect the values of the decision maker or the group that he or sherepresents. This will frequently result in marginalizing, to varying degrees (sometimes extremely), the values held by other less powerful groups. By definition, the decision makeris in some sort of local power position, which might extend to a global scale depending on the nature of the political and economic organization that the decision-maker is representing. Isee commons-based peer development as a method to normatively balance concentration of power with the investment of communal decision-making. I was really pointing to commons-based peerdevelopment as a way of seeding values in organizations. Education is an important area because of its impact on the development and transmission of values. These values are thenimbued, ala Freire, in the cultural artifacts that are created, which could include learning materials, technologies, organizational structure, governance, etc. There is a positivelyreinforcing cycle that starts with applying principles of commons-based peer development to OER and FLOSS, including the methods in teacher education, and the general curriculum, keepingin mind that curriculum extend outside of the “schoolhouse”.

Kim: Whom would it help in what way? (those that are ahead already may simply move further ahead together at a faster rate).

I might have at least partially responded to this question above, while also perhaps exposing a certain naivety and idyllic notion of how things work, or at leastmight work. A culture that supported the underlying values of commons-based peer development would benefit everybody because it would, I think, lead to a sustainable society. This ofcourse assumes that as individual and societies we never really have enough resources to meet everybody’s appetites. That is, if left to market forces we will always haveunlimited wants and needs and limited resources. On a societal scale wealth and resources are concentrated creating inequity, which is not a humane or sustainable way to manage a societyor planet. Everybody feels the consequences eventually. This obviously is not only about social change, it is also about effective teaching and learning and basic access to qualityand locally relevant educational resources, but if we can move mountains in the process, why not?

Kim: When? (only after people have physical access to computers and the Internet?).

Great question, no, I do not think that this starts only after everybody has access to computers and the Internet. I will follow your and Wayne’s lead onthis. Commons-based peer development, OER, FLOSS, CIT, education, crime, economic development, etc. are all part of an ecosystem that that will develop together, systemically, andholistically. Investment in developing paper-based OER using commons-based peer development will create demand for CIT, and CIT will become more impactful when they are made available ifa process and culture of commons-based peer development is already in place. This will beparticularly true if commons-based peer development is already being taught as part of the curriculum and being modeled in educational environments including schools

Kim: Why do we think this is important? (will it lead to a sustainable planet and world peace?).

Oops, I responded to this above.

7. Kim Tucker - May 23rd, 2007 at 3:29 am

A link of interest to this discussion (apologies if this is duplication): (External Link)

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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