Qato platform for knowledge sharing; Africa?
- Pamela, I saw this letter by Maria Droujkova and I thought of you. Maria
leads Math Future, http://www.naturalmath.com which is an organic and
extensive community of math educators and students, online and locally.
This might give you ideas how technology is developing and may become
relevant for your online workspace http://www.dadamac.net I also
introduce you to Maria in case she has projects that link up with Africa,
especially Nigeria. Andrius Kulikauskas, ms@...
I am happy to announce Math Future received a corporate sponsorship offer
from DZone, a technology publishing company. We will now have an instance
of their new, enterprise-class platform for knowledge sharing, called
Qato. This answers to the needs of Math Future as a network of
Consider the network structure of Math Future, which I won't attempt to
diagram because of multiple dimensions. It consists of groups with dense
connections (everybody talking with everybody), but also more loose and
distributed conversations among the groups, as well as some communities
with distributed conversations within.
Between groups formed by projects, communities and topics of interest,
there is much overlap, as people participate in multiple threads. Groups
may be long-term, such as the math game group, or short-term, such as
School of the Math Future courses that run for a few weeks. The are also
"flash mobs" that get together around a one-time topic. It is frustrating
trying to have that sort of communication through a forum structure, such
as email groups, as many of you noted.
When people communicate, they need to subscribe to multiple groups and
topics, but not all of them: following a book making or a book review
group, a seminar, a presentation discussion, a brainstorm about a math
game, and so on. Larger topics and groups need to form sub-topics and
sub-groups, which in turn may not involve everybody.
Some of the groups involved with Math Future use our webinar room for
their one-time or regular meetings, which any project organizer is welcome
to do as long as meetings are open. This is supported by Web 2.0 Labs and
LearnCentral (Steve Hargadon) sponsorship. During the events, as we ask
project leaders The Question, "What does your project need and how can
people help?" their answers involve spreading the word and aggregating
communication. Some of the projects don't have any social platforms, or
only have email lists, though leaders usually participate in other
projects' communities. Currently, Math Future members help with such needs
by hand, so to speak, through email or their blogs and microblogs. This is
better than nothing, but it does not scale well.
Qato supports Quora-like interface, but also groups and subgroups within
the community. People can follow particular groups for ongoing
collaborations, and tags for inter-group communication, and individual
topics for one-time discussions. This architecture will allow us to
support the book projects, conferences, and mathematics education
communities much better, because it matches the way Math Future rolls.
Excited and hopeful,
Make math your own, to make your own math.