Online Learning Environment for the Emergency Personnel Network?
- Today I sent out a proposal to http://www.peopleinaid.org to build the
Emergency Personnel Network's website http://www.redr.org/epn as an
Online Learning Environment. I share this as an example of my thinking
of what we can build, and an area where I'd like us to work. Tomorrow I
write my proposal for the OMG Compliance Grid, which I'm very excited about.
Thank you to all for great letters!
I appreciate our thoughts.
Dear Christine Mallinson,
We spoke briefly yesterday (Tuesday). I learned from Nancy White of
your Terms of Reference for the Emergency Personnel Network. I wish to
offer my services and those of my online laboratory, Minciu Sodas,
In 1998, I founded Minciu Sodas as a laboratory for serving and
organizing independent thinkers. We currently have 100 active and 1,000
supportive participants around the world, including Kenya, India, Iran
and Indonesia. We have served 20 clients, especially by "working
openly" so as to engage and include the general public. I would very
much like to share our experience in organizing online community for
inquiry and action.
We have found that emergency response is a great motivator for people to
contribute in making a difference, both in the short term and the long
term. We're therefore especially keen to find opportunities for our
global network to work for you (and learn from you!)
Currently, we're designing an Online Learning Environment for the Wales
Institute of Community Currencies, and we're discussing the creation of
such an online space for the OMG Compliance Grid for IT compliance with
government regulations. These are endeavors which seek to gather
contributions from all manner of specialists, working for pay or for free.
I propose that we build your Emergency Personnel Network as an Online
Learning Environment that might grow in the future with help from online
contributors and ultimately include a social networking system. I
propose that we build your web interface and prepare the content for a
total of 3,000 GBP (or 1,500 GBP for the website and 1,500 GBP for the
editing). We would edit the content and complete the website in time to
meet your deadlines for the conference. We might then agree further how
we might work for you to organize your online community, but certainly
there are a few simple things we might do prior to your conference.
Here are some of the ways that we would organize your content.
Learning modes. Learning is a cyclic process of "taking a stand,
following through and reflecting". Each mode requires a different kind
of help. We would have sections for presenting:
- Self-assessments and principles they help clarify, so that one might
take a stand.
- Design patterns (the "cookbook recipe" approach developed by architect
Christopher Alexander) and help desk resources that help one follow
- Case studies, interpretations and venues for dialogue which foster
I believe that the key points of your content could be organized,
interconnected and presented in this way.
Furthermore, I find it helpful to ground such knowledge in the people
from whom it comes.
You have found certain big open questions to recur. They may be
daunting, but progress can and should be made towards them. I imagine
that for each question there is one or more person who persistently
cares about that. It is productive to organize online activity around
I would interview five or more such people that you select. Each of
them most likely has a "key concept" in life that encompasses all the
others, we have collected quite a list:
I would ask them what they think is the "root cause" of the problems in
the world, it tends to mirror their key concept. I would also ask each
of them to formulate a question that they don't know the answer to, but
intend to answer, with the help of all who might care. Here are some
examples from our lab:
This will make clear who are leaders who would like to work openly. I
would set up one or more working groups (email groups) for them to
encourage activity before the conference. Their vantage points would be
made prominent at the site to help people see the issues and navigate
the related content. If they have weblogs, (and most likely, RSS
feeds), I can integrate them along with the RSS feeds from the email
groups so that you have a live news feed at your site, much as we have
at the right hand side of http://www.ms.lt, but formatted to match your
For the website itself we would have a few custom pages upfront and then
most pages would make use of the ProWiki wiki engine. (Currently we're
working at http://www.openleader.info and migrating from our wiki at
http://www.globalvillages.info ) We would train a few of your
participants how to edit the wiki pages so that they could add content
and new pages as they wish. We would set up the spaces so that as much
content as possible is entering the "Public Domain except as noted" so
as to encourage sharing. The overall result will be custom pages, wiki
pages, documents, working groups, blogs and RSS feeds so that you would
have a dynamic environment with prominent investigators generating
energy that all can share. We have had great success at our laboratory
in setting up such an online environment.
I give you two references to our work. We're discussing with Adrian
Bowles how we might set up an Online Learning Environment for the OMG
Compliance Grid. In an earlier project for him I wrote 69 one-page
summaries of the IT impact of governmental regulations in banking,
accounting, business continuity, outsourcing and data protection. Since
2004, we have worked for the non-profit Wales Institute for Community
Currencies designing an online tool for community currency design, a
system for auditing time banks, and now an Online Learning Environment.
Please contact John Rogers of WICC. I have a Ph.D. in mathematics and
11 years experience in creating database systems and websites. Here is
my CV: http://www.ms.lt/en/andrius/andriuskulikauskascv.html
Finally, we have a new client, Umbau-Verlag, http://www.umbau-verlag.com
publisher of books on pattern languages, and so we have a novel
opportunity to include practitioners of pattern language thinking as
that might be relevant. Indeed, emergency response is an area where
many schools of knowledge management might contribute their best
thinking if only we might make available the expertise and challenges
which you have collected.
In summary, I propose that we build your web interface and prepare the
content for a total of 3,000 GBP (or 1,500 GBP for the website and 1,500
GBP for the editing). We would meet your deadlines for your conference,
but also would work and organize with future possibilities in mind.
I'm excited that we might work for you on this or other projects!
I look forward to your response.
+370 (699) 30003