International Workshop “Social perspective of e-Learning and Development in the Information Era”

On Monday I attended the International Workshop “Social perspective of e-Learning and Development in the Information Era”, organized by the UNESCO Chair in e-Learning of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Here come the notes I took:

 

Mónica G. Luque. Organization of American States.
American vision of the social perspective of e-learning in higher education

e-Learning brings a new concept: learning management. It might not seem new, but it actually is. In presencial learning there’s no learning to manage as everything is in the lecturer’s head: content, the syllabus of the course, students’ feedback, etc.

She quoted Humberto Maturana and his term “lenguajear” (languagize), which is a way of emphasizing the dynamic relational character of language: the definition of terminology, policies, real incorporation of terms and actions, etc. is the path we’re on right now in e-learning, we’re just languagizing e-learning more than learning its language.

Some links she gave:

And the four “distances” that e-Learning helps to save:

  • Geographical
  • Temporal
  • Technological
  • Cultural

 

Tapio Varis. University of Tampere.
Social perspective of e-learning in national education systems.

Quote: “you cannot look at the University if you don’t look at the educational system as a whole”

 

Ramiro Wahrhafitg. Universidad Electrónica del Paraná.
Social perspective of e-learning in Brasil’s higher education system.

Quote: “e-Learning is a borderless education
I think this was already true in distance education, but e-learning has overwhelmingly updated the concept.

 

David Casacuberta. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
E-Learning and social inclusion in the spanish higher education framework.

3 main activity lines in e-development:

  • infrastructure
  • digital literacy
  • development for disabilities: accessibility for Administration websites, etc.

Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize in Economics), in his book Development as Freedom, makes the difference amongst “functions” and “capacities”, i.e., send e-mails or organize a flashmob by using e-mails

We’re used to think in functions but we’d rather shift to capacities: there’s a need of empowerment of ICT

This lack of education in capacities makes it more difficult to accept new technologies, motivation, etc.: “what’s in it for me?” (note to self: I think this is quite related to the success in our online volunteering programme, in the side of the e-volunteer and in the side of the people and organizations receiving e-volunteers).

 

Marco Antonio Rodrígues Gies. United Nations University.
Social perspective of e-learning in the University: a UNESCO’s vision.

Quote: “we have to control intangible goods: education, culture, environment, etc.”

Quote: “education is often dealed as a commodity, but it is too related to a country’s culture or social reality to deal with it under such a concept only”

MIT’s Caddie.net Course Server (II)

Completing Thursday‘s post, there go two more links (via Unintended Consequences):

LINC Caddie.NET Portal Factory: “Developed to be highly scalable across institutions and countries, it can support an unlimited number of courses and students. The CADDIE Collaborative Architectures for a Distributed Instructional Environment is designed to take advantage of the wide range of collaboration technology available on today’s highly calable Web Platforms, including messenger, voice over IP and real time and streaming video.”

CADDIE.NET Team Server Portal: “This site serves as the hub application for information exchange. It provides online news, event and course information, along with interactive discussion forums and students contact information. In a nutshell, everything needed to maintain and run the fast-growing course site.”

MIT’s Caddie.net Course Server

[Via SIT and Bonnie Bracey @ DigitalDivide discussion list]

It looks like MIT has released a F/OSS content management system (CMS). According to them, it also looks like a learning management system (LMS):

Developed to be highly scalable across institutions and countries, it can support an unlimited number of courses and students. The CADDIE Collaborative Architectures for a Distributed Instructional Environment is designed to take advantage of the wide range of collaboration technology available on today’s highly calable Web Platforms, including messenger, voice over IP and real time and streaming video.

It’s a pity I haven’t been able to enter its demo site, ’cause Bonnie says that “the software, which can be downloaded free, allows users to build various portals for the different aspects of a distance-education program. Portals can be built, for example, for registration, course management, or online testing.”

We’ll wait and see.

So far, OpenCourseWare and Caddie.net CourseServer seem to me quite a nice pair.

Spanish-speaking “techie” online volunteers

Jayne Cravens is looking for some Spanish-speaking “techie” online volunteers. Here goes her original mail:

“Does anyone out there know of an online discussion group or association that could help me reach Spanish-speaking “techies” who might be interested in online volunteering?

In particularly, I’m trying to recruit some Spanish-speaking MS Access experts, but other areas of expertise (web site design, online database development, etc.) are also needed.

[snip]

The Online Volunteering service is seeing a big increase in the number of assignments either in Spanish or asking specifically for Spanish-speakers. To view such opportunities, please visit: www.onlinevolunteering.org click on “Search Assignments”, and choose “Spanish” in the language category.”

Contact info:

Jayne Cravens (jayne.cravens@unvolunteers.org)
Online Volunteering Specialist
United Nations Volunteers
www.unvolunteers.org
Bonn, Germany

Online Volunteering: www.onlinevolunteering.org
UNITeS: www.unites.org
Global volunteerism portal: www.worldvolunteerweb.org

[Update: opportunities have been fulfilled… but there’s still a need for profiles like these ;) ]

I Deafblindness Spanish Virtual Congress (official announcement)

Three weeks ago I said we were planning to host the first Virtual Congress about Deafblindness in Spanish. Now this is a fact. From 1st to 30th April 2004.

More info (mainly in Spanish):

I Congreso Virtual Internacional Sobre Sordoceguera:
http://www.sordoceguera.com/ICongreso.htm

Campanya per al reconeixement de la sordceguesa com a discapacitat especfica:
http://www.apascide.org/unica.htm

Foro Mundial Sordoceguera:
http://www.rediris.es/list/info/sordoceguera.es.html

Asociacin Espaola de Padres de Sordociegos:
http://www.apascide.org/

Associaci Catalana Pro Persones Sordcegues:
http://www.xarxabcn.net/apsocecat/

Sense International (Latinoamrica):
http://www.senseintla.org/

Perkins School for the Blind:
http://www.perkins.org/

InterConnection

InterConnection enhances the visibility of non-profit organizations in developing countries.

We use an online network of Virtual Volunteers to provide organizations with professional quality websites, Internet hosting, and training at no or low-cost.

Websites help non-profit organizations obtain support for their social, environmental and humanitarian efforts and improve the quality of life globally.

InterConnection has provided website support to 101 non-profits in 40 countries.

[…]

InterConnection provides an online presence specifically to non-profit organizations in developing countries. Our web design services are refined for groups that are new to the web design process and have limited budgets. Since 1999, we have provided nearly 100 non-profits with websites in 26 countries. We have a unique understanding of this sectors needs and resources.

InterConnection’s web design services are carried out primarily by talented volunteers and professional web designers. This combination of volunteer and professional support allows us to meet the needs of organizations that range from non profits with a small budget to multi-national organizations that have specialized design and programming needs.

Our Services Include:
Virtual Volunteer Web Design
Web Site Hosting
Tech Support
Enhanced Solutions

Will they think of me as a non-profit and redesign my blog for free? ;)
I’ll surely add them in my links list.