Google custom search for the field of ICT and Development

Karl Brown has just created a custom search using Google Co-op for the field of ICT and Development.

He conviced somehow ;) the following people to contribute / be part of the team developing the custom search:

I must admit that it is an honor to be listed besides people like these :)

Karl Brown created also a site to host the custom search and, who knows, what might become of its evolution:

To give it a try:


Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data? (Future)

[notes from the Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data?]

Things that might happen in the future:

  • Universities losing power
  • Content providers and private institutions to issue degrees
  • Data privacy concerns
  • ePortfolio to win weight in job market
Report of the Bazaar Seminar at the Bazaar Wiki


Bazaar Seminar (2006)

Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data? (Scoping of Issues II)

[notes from the Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data?]

Aspects issued during the presentations about scoping of issues:

  • Where do I publish my data? in my server or the Institution’s?
  • Whose is the data produced during the process of learning? mine (student or faculty) or the institution’s?
  • How to balance the ways of accessing content which usually are (a) control (i.e. institutional repositories) (b) shortcuts (web 2.0 apps)?
  • How to manage a needed degree of (creative) anarchy within the institution with the need to correctly assess to get your degree?
  • Is it impossible/too hard to reinvent the educational institutions as the web 2.0 seems to be asking for?
  • Will the University get sidelined by other institutions?
  • What happens to quality of content? and quality in the use/application of content?
  • Is there a place for some kind of clearing house services to intermediate between individuals and institutions and the different ways to store their data?


Bazaar Seminar (2006)

Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data? (Presentation and Scoping of Issues)

[notes from the Bazaar Seminar: Hey Dude, Where’s My Data?]

Goals of the seminar:

  • To explore issues arising from implementation of web 2.0 and the development of web services
  • To examine the nature of dispersed personal data and what it means for the future
  • To discuss the implications of these developments for education
  • To study the future scenarios and possible responses

Possible outcomes:

  • scoping of issues
  • possible scenarios for future
  • identification of impilcations
  • recommendations
  • further research issues identification

People in the meeting: Graham Attwell, Josep Blat, Julia Silies, Dai Grifiths, Stuart Yates, Ramon Ovelar, Ben Werdmuller, John Smith, Jan Hylen, George Bekiaridis, Sakis Marantos, Núria Ferran, Ismael Peña-López, Chris Lakin.

Scoping of issues

Dai Grifiths:

  • the (educational) institution is years behind the practice (of the student)
  • the ease of installing new Virtual Learning Environments… what impact would this have in institutions?
  • what happens with the institution if everything goes virtual?

Stuart Yates:

  • big concern with intellectual property rights
  • who spends the money to store data?

John Smith

  • students are already playing with data and institutions are not
  • conflict among security (technical and legal) vs. flexibility

George Bekiaridis

  • Why people/students use web 2.0 apps? Quick, cheap, powerful. Can (educational) institutions provide such services?
  • maybe small (personal?) servers, connected in sort of a P2P netword would be a solution

Núria Ferran

  • Libraries could play an important role in keeping data as a public service… as they have always done with knowledge in general

Ismael Peña-López

  • focus on people rather than data: digital identities
  • A data store is much more than a tool, as a house is much more than bricks. We need a data home, not a data house
  • Long life learning: long life e-portfolio, such as Scott Wilson’s personal learning environment
  • Difference among stock data (what do I want to keep that defines my digital persona) vs. flow data (data I exchange and can be erased once the communication is over)
  • “I’d rather trackback than comment”

Graham Attwell

  • Not “where’s my data” but “what’s my data”. What’s important to keep?


Bazaar Seminar (2006)

Position Paper for the Bazaar Seminar “Hey Dude, Where’s My Data?”

With the rise in popularity of ePortfolios many have asked; what happens to an ePortfolio after the student has left the institution? What happens to this content – where are learners supposed to store it? Can the student still access it?

This is the starting point of a seminar organized by The Bazaar, a community portal for people who want to use, exchange and share Open Source Software and resources to support learning.

There’s people attending from all over the world and all kinds of academic procedences. Of course, there’s people from Elgg and, besides me, Núria Ferran comes also from UOC.

We have been asked to write a two pages “position paper” just to have something to start the debate with. Here comes mine:

Flow vs. stock of digital information

Our physical (off-line) identity and property is, long since, perfectly defined and delimitated. You live in a concrete place (most of the times), go and take part in events, and your belongings can (most of the times too) be locked or kept into the place you live in. Everything we build or write (print) is stored in our garages or shelves. Hard and pen drives are good options too, and slightly more up-to-date.

But we keep on going on-line, doing more and more things digitally, from communicating to actually creating things: code (first thing that comes in mind) but also writings (ideas, thoughts, expressions of feelings, reflections, papers), photos, videos…

Where does this happen? Where this does should happen?

My opinion is that distinguishing among stock and flow makes the difference.

Stock is everything that lasts — or should last.

Flow is everything that is not intended to stay for long, just an exchange.

Digital Identity

Building one’s digital identity will become — if it is not already — a must for every citizen living in the Information Society. One’s digital identity will be created by adding up the “disclosures” of a digital persona (“I am…” “I do…” “I work…” “I live…”) and his digital works, related to him explicitly or implicitly (i.e. through metadata).

Having full ownership of these works is crucial, thus, for two reasons:

  1. control one’s (implicit) digital identity
  2. retain one’s works (trivial, but true)

My point of view is students, but also scholars and other people with a high level of digital output, should consider:

  • publish / self-archive all their data and files under their own domain
  • use FLOSS tools, either for their cost, availability of external support and openness to standards and data sharing with other applications (other applications for self use, same applications of other people)
  • use clear and explicit intellectual property licenses. CC, GNU FDL or others the like a choice to be considered.

Web 2.0 proprietary remote applications should only be used as temporary exchange places where conversations can take place, and even collaborative work with productive output. Nevertheless, once the knowledge becomes (more or less) static, it should be migrated to one’s own site (meaning “one’s site” a person’s site or a collective, institutional, site. Sites such Wikipedia or Connexions are, under this definition, institutional sites. Writely or Blogger are not.).

How to

While now maintaining one’s own site – even setting it up – might seem difficult for many, it is far more difficult to build one’s house, and (almost) everyone got one. It’s just a matter of

  1. digital literacy
  2. the existence of a competitive ICT sector
  3. founding

Digital literacy should not be an issue for forthcoming cohorts of students, all of them digital natives.

The existence of a competitive ICT sector is about to be accomplished in the developed countries (where, actually, this debate makes sense) and will be in lesser developed countries in short.

Founding is quite related with the existence of a competitive ICT sector: the more competitive, the less crucial the issue of founding will be. Grants, public subsidies… or public virtual spaces could be steps to be taken into account to foster digital personae.


Bazaar Seminar (2006)

Book: Overselling the Web: Development and the Internet

By its presentation, you might think that Charles Kenny new book, Overselling the Web: Development and the Internet might be seen the product of a cyberskeptics. I’d rather call it the product of cyberbalance.

Just reading the preface and first chapter, the personal references (Juan Navas-Sabater, Richard Heeks or Michael Best, among others) and a cautious point of view the like of “yes, but…” clearly show that it is calm criticism — not destruction — what seems to lead the book.

Just as always, promise to review in deep if… if I can ;)