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Re: [iiep-oer] IIEP OER Questionnaire - some highlights

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  • Pamela McLean
    (Copied to LFEO list because LFEO is mentioned - and people are invited to join.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Susan and everyone. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2007
      (Copied to LFEO list because LFEO is mentioned - and people are invited
      to join.)
      Susan and everyone.

      I gradually dropped out of active involvement in this group because I
      felt it was really for formal education at tertiary level - but Susan
      has encouraged me back by her mention of "recognising the scope of all
      the education sector" and UNESCO's role. I heard Abdul Waheed Khan of
      UNESCO speak recently about new models of educational provision and
      UNESCO's model of knowledge societies. He included a diagram titled
      "Re-engineering Higher Education III" which showed links to Community
      Learning Centres - reminding me of the ones I know that are struggling
      to establish and develop themselves in various locations. Therefore,
      newly encouraged, I am trying to contribute this post before the list
      closes again.

      # Regarding research and the comparative lack of interest in research by
      the "developing" side of the list

      I hope this comment does not cause offense, but, I'm not an academic,
      and when I want to research something I pick people's brains by turning
      to communities and networks (like this group for example). If moderators
      can summarise, or report. as Susan has done, and if researchers can add
      analysis, like David Wiley has done - so much the better. It is useful
      to me. It is about what people are thinking and doing now. At one time I
      used to read academic research avidly - because I wanted to copy good
      practice, know what was happening, and develop my ideas - but when I
      discovered how historic research seems to be by the time it is published
      I stopped bothering to read it. Academic research doesn't seem relevant
      to me, which I regret, because I value the level of thinking and
      analysis that academics can bring.

      # Ref financing and awareness raising:

      The point was well made that awareness raising is often a necessary step
      towards raising funds. There are so many benefits of practical
      demonstration - "walking the talk" - not just talking it. In my
      experience (The Teachers Talking about ICT programme for example) if you
      are very small you can either spend virtually all your time and
      resources trying to get money - and very possibly get nowhere - or you
      can plod slowly on with minimum resources and maximum networking and
      collaboration (using the power of the Internet) and know you are
      gradually getting somewhere. At least that way there is definitely the
      satisfaction of something achieved, even though it will only be small
      scale. Maybe later it may attract resources for replication and, even if
      it doesn't, at least the local implementation will have happened.

      Andrius Kulikauskus has some interesting ideas on financing - which he
      explains in some detail in "The economics of giving everything away" and
      "Minciu Sodas business plan" - I don't have links to hand but could find
      them if anyone is genuinely interested and google doesn't find them for you.

      # Ref information about real projects
      Wayne suggested sharing information about real projects, related to the
      top five priorities on the list, so here is my contribution regarding
      communities and networking. There is a yahoo group called "Learning from
      Each Other" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/
      where we are exploring various practical issues of ICT4D and ICT4Ed -
      with an Open Source and Public Domain emphasis. Regarding grass roots
      involvement, we currently focus mainly on specific East African
      locations and projects (reflecting how the group started) but the
      practicalities are relevant elsewhere. At present we are exploring,
      amongst other challenges, how to make Internet based communities and
      resources more accessible to people in our network who are "bandwidth
      challenged". In addition to posting to our yahoo group we are exploring
      real time meetings through chat, Skype, and (thanks to Trainerspod)
      Elluminate Webinars. We have recently been considering the practical
      difficulties faced by people who are joining in from cyber cafes - while
      other "bandwidth rich" people are using their own computers - with
      speakers and mics - in less public spaces. We delivered headsets to some
      of the cyber cafe users (via people meeting in Nairobi for the recent
      E-learning conference) and we will be e-meeting again on Thursday
      afternoon to see what difference it makes. As far as I am concerned this
      is a learning-by-doing project, investigating the theory and practice of
      ICT4Ed and ICT4D. (It is other things to other people.) List members are
      welcome to join the group.

      My thanks to Susan, the Hewlett foundation, UNESCO, and contributors for
      ideas shared and insights given through this list. May we continued to
      pull the differing thread and stakeholders together, as we try to build
      appropriate education systems for the 21st Century.

      Pam McLean
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