Last Friday 23rd I had the luck to attend the third day (out of three) of the IV Encuentro de e-Inclusión: e-inclusión para la construcción de la ciudadanía, a national meeting of telecentre instructors about e-Inclusion that focused on participation and the Web 2.0, and was organized by the Fundación Esplai.
I had committed to impart the opening speech about the general concepts that the Web 2.0 metaphor usually talks about. You can see my simple presentation here:
And also download it both in Spanish (the original) and translated to English:
But, as it is usual in this kind of events, the best was yet to come. The audience — around one hundred telecentre educators — was richest, with a deep knowledge of their work, target, resources and possibilities, mainly due to their highest level of compromise that kept them informed and enthusiastic about e-inclusion, digital literacy and so.
About the different input that I had — during and after my speech — I might stress the following concerns about the role of digital literacy in this three subjects:
- Privacy: What happens with my data spread in all those Web 2.0 apps? Should we teach the user what the implications are of using these platforms
- Reputation: how do I filter content? Will the semantic web really work? What’s the role of virtual communities? is the wisdom of crowds reliable?
- Online Participation: e-Participation is participation? What’s an online volunteer? through e-Participation, can I suggest or also decide? (As an answer to these last questions, I dare suggest reading my paper Online Volunteers: Knowledge Managers in Nonprofits
After my speech, the group split in three workshops, two of which I could parcially attend.
Lead by Jordi Barreda and David Gateu they defined e-Knowledge as the
knowledge built with Web 2.0 technologies and the Web 2.0 as
technology that allows interaction: simple, but pretty clear and effective.
They projected Michael Wesch The Machine is Us/ing Us and Lee Lefever at Commoncraft’s Wikis in Plain English and Social Bookmarking in Plain English, explained the importance of XML and the importance of culture in the use of tools: tools ain’t good or bad, is our use that shapes them.
I lacked the rest of the workshop, but I guess it’s worth citing here some of Jordi Barreda’s comments on his own blog:
The three main ingredients for a social web to work are:
– Personal interest
– A common space
– A management system
[…]everything heading towards a common goal.
The second workshop — lead by Marta García Moreta — was equally interesting.
They collectively gave a definition for e-Participation:
The commitment, at different levels, between people and/or institutions that contribute, cooperate, collaborate in the development of a collective objective, whose goal implies social transformation. [by means of Web 2.0]
The telematic channel should improve and complement the actual mechanisms of participation, including the generation of new ones only possible by means of the Net, and all of them should be taken into account when designing a new integral model of citizen participation. This should, by no means, exclude the existing ways of participation.
And presented some examples of the different types of e-Participation tools, following Alberto Ortiz de Zárate’s typology:
- online synchronous chat
- open forum, not moderated
- online moderated dialogue, with a defined subject
- online survey with a defined subject
- comments function
- political simulation
- online (open) petition/suggestion
- online votation
- online scoring
- direct dialogue through e-mail
- offline channels
- collective editing
- community building
- campaing platform
- signing of petitions
Some of the examples:
- Photodemonstration for women rights, a demonstration that took place on Flickr
- Cuadernos Ciudadanos, a virtual space for the citizens where any citizen can set up a blog, photo repository, etc. Promoted by the city council, free to use by the citizen
- pódcast Cádiz, same as Cuadernos but no need to write: just talk to make any suggestions to your city council
- Madrid Participa, similar to the previous two
- Vivienda Digna, a wiki-based platform to ask for better housing
The Evaluation of e-Inclusion Projects
Last event of the morning — just before conclusions, etc. — was the presentation of the report of the The External Evaluation Model of Red Conecta and Conecta Joven by Rosa Baez, Cristina Pulidoa and Laura López from the research group CREA, University of Barcelona.
They used Critical Communication Methodology to evaluate projects and introduced how Habermas, Chomsky or Beck were authors that tried to unify theories of social action.
Some results of their survey that evaluated the impact of telecentres and the design of their (educational) model:
- Shift from just access to motivation + access + competences / capacity building (based on Paolo Freire)
- Incorporation of learning/apprenticeship in daily life
- Impact on daily life: work, business
- Impact on the community: the telecentre becomes a referral for the community
- Sustainability: economical and social… and of the model itself
- The need to establish an evaluation system, including an interactivity/feedback system with the community
- The evaluation of the network of telecentres has also shown that there’s a sense of network, mainly based on personal affinities or coordination needs (e.g. geographically) but there’s room for further collaboration, specially using the virtual platform to exchange knowledge
Ashish Saboo sends me a presentation related to the topic: Web 2 computing for the people at the Bottom of te Pyramid. Thanks! :)
Jordi Barreda has published the video of the presentation. Thank you.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2007) “Web 2.0 and Telecentres for e-Inclusion” In ICTlogy,
#50, November 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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