ICT4HD. Ermanno Pietrosémoli: The ICTP-UNESCO Wireless Training Kit

Notes from the I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development, at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and held in Fuenlabrada, Spain, on May 13th and 14th, 2010. More notes on this event: ict4hd10.

Ermanno Pietrosémoli: The ICTP-UNESCO Wireless Training Kit

The ICTP-UNESCO Wireless Training Kit has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union and it is aimed at training people in developing countries so that they can install and manage wireless technologies. It is developed by Rob Flickenger, Carlo Fonda, Marco Zennaro, Ermanno Pietrosémoli and S.M. Radicella.

Advantages of wireless networks:

  • Cost-effective ways to provide connectivity where other usual technologies — e.g. fibre — are difficult to deploy.
  • Operate in a wave spectrum that is free in most countries.
  • Interference issues are less severe in rural areas, where there actually is less supply of telecommunication solutions.

WiFi was designed for short distances,, but with some firmware modifications, it can be used in longer distances, achieving a maximum of 382 km.

One of the main advantages of WiFi-based technologies is that they can be managed and maintained by the local communities themselves.

The training kit includes all the devices and materials needed to run a training workshop on wireless networks. It also includes electronic books, support materials (slides, guides, exercises), WiFi devices, antennas and other equipment to run a full training course.

The cost of the kit was initially 1,000€, but all the “software” (including learning materials) is freely available on the net. And the hardware can be built and/or distributed by many agents, hence the cost can even be reduced.

If you cannot see the slides please visit <a href="http://ictlogy.net/?p=3372">http://ictlogy.net/?p=3372</a>

Related initiatives:

  • Repository with open materials related to training on wireless networks: WirelessU.org.
  • Book: Flickenger, R., Aichele, C. E., Fonda, C., Forster, J., Howard, I., Krag, T. & Zennaro, M. (2006). Wireless Networking in the Developing World. Morrisville: Limehouse Book Sprint Team.

Discussion

Valentín Villarroel: who is the toolkit aimed at? Ermanno Pietrosémoli: especially trainers of trainers. On the other hand, it is also aimed at communities that already have some basic structure and can dedicate a person to these matters.

I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development (2010)

Book: Science Dissemination using Open Access

Enrique Canessa and Marco Zennaro — both from the Science Dissemination Unit of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics — have collected a a compendium of selected literature on Open Access in their new book Science Dissemination using Open Access.

The book is part of the effort that the ICTP Science Dissemination Unit is doing to promote Open Access as a driver for development (including the Using Open Access Models for Science Dissemination seminar), being a means to enable knowledge diffusion within, towards and from developing countries, by leveraging the potential that open access specially brings to science both at the institutional and individual levels.

The book’s concept is to be a practical tool to steward the open access paradigm with real examples and by also providing actual solutions to most common problems. Hence, it is divided in two parts:

  • Part 1, with selected literature about the main concepts and some best practices and reflections on the opportunities that open access can bring to science and scholars in developing countries,
  • Part 2, with a list and how-to explanations on how to install and implant open access procedures and software.

I want to thank Enrico Canessa and Marco Zennaro for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the book with a paper of mine. Here entitled Web 2.0 and Open Access, it is an adaptation of my former article The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access for development published in Knowledge for Management Journal.

The book, following the line of previous joined efforts between the ICTP and Rob Flickenger (see below), is fully accessible online under a Creative Commons license.

More information

Update:

More information about the seminar

Conferences 2.0: Scientists and Web 2.0

First of my three seminars imparted at the he Rich-Media Webcasting Technologies for Science Dissemination Workshop, organized by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics Science Dissemination Unit.

Main aspects
  • Introduction to the Web 2.0, stressing the fact that the web is the platform, that putting up content to the web has been made quite easy — caveat: provided you have access to a computer and good bandwidth —, the power of RSS, the challenge of filtering and content quality.
  • Conferences are one dimensional: content delivered at one time and one place
  • Conferences should shift from information exchange to knowledge exchange
  • Before conferences: data and information sharing through websites, blogs, social networks
  • During conferences: knowledge sharing through instant messaging, browsing, blogging and nanoblogging, social bookmarking, shared list of resources/bibliographies, multimedia files, presentations, paper repositories, etc.
  • During conferences: interaction fostered by wikis, blogging (comments)
  • After conferences: strengthening the network using social software, blogrolls, keeping the track of conference “official” tags, feedreading, etc.
  • Opennes, a must
  • Going digital, or how to create huge (infinite?) economies of scale
  • The web is the platform, the way to overcome space (and time) barriers
  • Link, link, link, or how to contribute to reputation and filtering
Live recording of the session

Using the EyA System — thanks to Carlo Fonda for making it possible!

Slides

Click here to download, or watch them on Slideshare:

Rich-Media Webcasting Technologies for Science Dissemination Workshop

Next December 3, 4 and 5 I’ll be in Trieste at the Rich-Media Webcasting Technologies for Science Dissemination Workshop, organized by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics Science Dissemination Unit.

The whole set of names is quite eerie — for a social scientist like me — but once read you realize this is a very interesting workshop on scientific diffusion in developing countries, being ICT4D a deepest commitment of the organizers.

As you can see in the programme, I’ll be teaching three seminars, namely:

I have to sincerely thank Marco Zennaro for insisting that the Conferences 2.0: Scientists and Web 2.0 speech became the keynote/opening session speech, which really, really, really honors me so much. As I’ve been asked to provide a summary to publicize the speech, I wonder whether this session will be open to anyone. Hence, here comes the outline:

Conferences 2.0: Scientists and Web 2.0

Information and Communication Technologies, the Internet, and most especially, the so called Web 2.0 have radically changed – at least potentially – the way scholarly diffusion is or can be made.

On one hand, the traditional constrains of space, time, publishing costs, etc. have almost completely disappeared or have entered huge economies of scale. Diffusion is – or, again, could be considered – easier and cheaper than ever.

On the other hand, and partly due to the former aspects, we are beginning to see an increasing demand for more accountability and transparency of research and researchers, resulting in both a claim for a deeper and wider popularization of science and a call for better and denser research networks.

The seminar “Conferences 2.0: Scientists and Web 2.0” will be split into three parts.

First part, Web 2.0, will point out the main characteristics of the Web 2.0 – a part that can be overridden depending on the knowledge on the issue by the attendees.

Second part, What’s a Conference 2.0, will to summarize how things have changed in the field of scholarly diffusion in the last years or, more specifically, since the advent of the Internet, the web browser and Web 2.0 applications.

Las part, the bulk of the seminar, will draw the “perfect” conference – and/or scientific diffusion strategy – by revisiting some good practices and some interesting applications existing around.

Anyhow, the focus and the stress will be put in both the change of paradigm in scholarly communication and the creation of a showcase of real practices and tools that are setting up this new path.