Report: Seminar: “Social Exclusion and information technologies. Challenges and opportunities”

This is the report on the Seminar: “Social Exclusion and information technologies. Challenges and opportunities”.

My presentation was entitled “Acciˇn social en red y en la red” [Networked social action in the Net – I guess this translation is better than my previous “Social action in a network and in the Net” ;)]. The main subject was e-volunteering and here comes some kind of abstract of the whole thing:

I started explaining that the UOC was quite different from presencial universities as its students’ age range was 25-65 y.o. instead of 18-25 as usual. I also pointed that they had families and jobs they had to expend “some” time with. There was sometimes an added fact related to space: difficulties to commute to the university (often the main reason to attend distance learning).

So, if it was possible to study, work or have fun virtually, what about virtually cooperating for development?

The Campus for Peace was set up to offer cooperation for development organizations virtual communities and e-learning services and to foster e-volunteering within the university community.

I then explained what e-volunteers could do in an e-learning for development project:

  • Set up and manage the intranet of the project (virtual) office
  • Teach and ease the use of the intranet. Lead the communication channels.
  • Knowledge management: help the concurrent members of the project know themselves and their different realities, socioeconomic needs and assets, etc.
  • Define the pedagogical path to be run by the students to be trained and arise educational needs
  • Knowledge management (again): act as a backoffice in the definition of the project and later developing in a more technical point of view
  • Authoring of e-learning content and materials
  • E-teaching
  • Academic management and running of the learning management system

The project I presented was an e-learning project based on e-volunteers and using knowledge management as the main capital. This showed (at least for me) some interesting things:

There is a “new” organizational capital: knowledge:

  • we can diminish the loss of capital as e-volunteers remain in the project/organization
  • we can raise the use (“manage”) of this knowledge

There is a “new” actor: e-volunteer

  • with independence of time and space
  • who can manage the NGO and/or its projects
  • who can join other volunteers or NGO staff even if not being “there”

There is a “new” training project: e-learning

  • with decreasing scale costs
  • with high replicability

And that was all. See you next time.


III Seminar on 4th world and social exclusion

On 12/03/2003, Wednesday, I will be speaking at the III Seminar on 4th world and social exclusion [site in Catalan]

I’m having fun preparing my speech as I won’t recycle some other speech but do it brand new. I’m planning something under the title of “Bringing the voice back to the main actors: ICT appropriation by the civil society experiences or the social impact of ICT”

Though I’m just setting up a little abstract and a draft table of contents, I guess it’ll be that way (unsorted, undebugged ;)
Introduction on the internet: no boundaries of time nor space
Experiences: a concept, an example, a site

  • The web as a communication media (the web editorial process)
  • Groups and discussion lists (the working web)
  • The campaigns
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Free software
  • Free content
  • The intranet (the closed web)
  • E-learning
  • E-volunteering

The whole seminar goes like this:

Longlife Education permanent and social participation
M. Mar Galceran, pedagogue

Democracy innovation and citizenship participation
Joan Font, Political Science professor (UAB)

Social impact of ICT
Ismael Pe├▒a, manager of the Campus for Peace (UOC)

Round table of experiences: Digital literacy
Mr. Antonio Collado, Mithra
Mrs. Olivia Ortega, Punt Omnia. CPSFP
Mr. Miguel Prieto, Cibercast. Ajuntament de Castelldefels. GATS


On-line teaching: new paradigm?

I come to Seb Schmoller’s link to e-learning guides at the Learning and Teaching Support Network through e-learnspace.

I after get to his own article “Embedding the skills to teach online – is it technical or personality skills that are needed?” at OLDaily.

All 6 documents (the article and the guides for Senior Managers, Heads of Departments, Teachers, Learning Technologists and Support Staff) offer a reflection about the change of paradigm lying underneath e-teaching. Ok, you might not see it that way, as a change of paradigm, but at least consider e-learning is not presencial learning “technologyfied”. I’m sure the first step on going into e-learning, long before infrastructure, is this required change of mind.

For those having little (or no) resources to spoil, such as NGOs or other non-profit or for development organizations this is a must: corporations still can do accountancy engineering and consider it as losses or less benefit. Developing countries cannot afford this concept.

Nice reading.


Applications and content roaming

For those who can read Spanish, I hearty encourage you to read C├ęsar C├│rcoles entry Cambiar de lector de RSS hace pensar [RSS feeds syndicator shifting makes me think].

In his post he explains that he gave up Sharpreader because he had to maintain two different blogrolls (home and work) and that he’s moving to Bloglines, which is not a local application but a server application. Conclusion: “roaming in applications is something that should be considered more seriously” and that “all applications should access all data all the time”.

Right. I completely agree. Thinking in my “ICTlogy own terms”, one of the advantages of on-line learning is just this: you can follow your training wherever and whenever you want: content (and teachers!) are always there, at your keyboard’s reach. And this is specially important to people with random access to the internet, be it because you surf at work and at home (developed countries) but also because you have to go to some cyber cafe or (public) telecenter (developing countries).

Some months ago someone (cannot remember: I guess it was my colleague Gen├şs Berbel) told me that desktops, laptops, PDAs, cellulars, etc. would, in the future, have just an operating system and no storage drives: all content would be in the Net (in your internet server), even your own profile and preferences, and that you’d access it from the desired device/interface.

Well, we’re not that far from it: the major part of our money is in the bank and we get to it through on-line banking, credit cards or cash street dispensers. It is just a matter of time.


Rich nations flunk in educating poor

“Rich nations flunk in educating poor”, at

Well, mmm…: so sad!!!

My highlight is “how rich countries have performed on promises made during a conference in Dakar in 2000 to supply funds needed to give the world’s children a basic education”. Damned promises. All in all it is always the same: Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, Dakar… We’re running out of city names to testify the greatest lies of the world. It just makes me sick.

I guess I should go back to bed…


NetAid Online Volunteering

Today I added NetAid to my links selection. I surely might have it done before.

Instead of pointing to their home page, I pointed directly the online volunteering page.

The main reason of this post is not making news of this simple update, but focus attention on how they explain what online volunteering is about and what does this mean to non-profits. I usually try and think of the pros and cons of e-volunteers: well, it’s nice to see there’s someone else on it :)

Sorry for digressing. Here come my highlighted pages of their site: