Archive for December, 2004

How do we make sense of the horrible death and destruction visited upon South and Southeast Asia (and indeed, even Africa)?  Some may see the hand of a capricious God.  Others may ponder the impotence of humankind against the forces of nature.  For me, the real lesson is the persistence of underdevelopment in the world, and its profound affect on life opportunities.

If a similar-sized earthquake and tsunami had occurred near the U.S. coast, the death toll would have been only a tiny fraction of that in Asia.  Death, injury, and illness from the current earthquate and tsunamis in Asia have been multiplied  by a host of developmental factors, ranging from lack of warning systems, insufficient communication infrastructure, fragile housing structures, inadequate health care systems, and lack of modern water supply and distribution systems.

I hope that everyone reading this message who is able will reach deep into their pockets to make donations to disaster relief groups.  Beyond that, though, I hope we — and by we I refer both to the readers of this blog and the broader we of the human race — can commit ourselves more fully to understanding and reducing international poverty, social exclusion, and underdevelopment in 2005 and beyond.

May 2005 be a better year for the world, and may all of you reading this find peace and joy in the new year.


Read Full Post »

Wikipedia on disaster

The Wikipedia–an open-source encyclopedia constantly updated by thousands of volunteers around the world–is proving to be one of the most thorough sources of information on the Indian Ocean earthquake and multiple tsunamis.

Read Full Post »


I join with others around the world in expressing my deepest condolences to people in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Somalia, and elsewhere suffering the terrible tragedy of this past week’s tsunamis.  Knowing the pain of losing my own child, I am especially horrified to see so many children die around the world.

It is particularly difficult to fathom this tragedy knowing that the majority of the victims were killed hours after scientists first became aware of the earthquake and tsunamis, but that no system was in place to pass on the knowledge.  Another tragic lesson of the power of information and media — or lack of access to the same — in people’s lives.

Those of you who use Amazon can make a one-click donation to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. Or here’s a broader list of aid groups accepting donations for the victims of the tragedy.

Read Full Post »

Here’s an article from the techno-pessimists and a book from the techno-optimists.  For a more realist perspective on the social and educational impact of technology, see Academic Gamers.

Read Full Post »

Digital Divide Network

The Digital Divide Network has developed a new Website, with articles on topics such as How to Create a DDN Blog, What’s RSS and Why Should I Care About it?, A Quick and Easy Guide to Creative Commons Licenses, A Quick and Easy Guide to Creative Commons Licenses, and lots more.

Read Full Post »

A Global Virtual Library?

Google is announcing that it will digitize the book collections from a number of major libraries, including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, University of Michigan, and New York Public Library, and will eventually make all this material available for searching.  The process may take a decade but will be a step in the direction of a global virtual library.

Read Full Post »

End of email era?

It’s common knowledge that most young people prefer instant messaging, text messaging, and other forms of instant communication to email.  Here’s a brief article about the phenomena in Korea.

See further discussion in Polyglot Conspiracy.

Read Full Post »

Paul Dourish, a colleage at UCI, teaches at course  that explores "aspects of emerging and contemporary cultural practices based around ‘cyberspace’ broadly construed — the Internet, digital culture, digital wireless technologies, etc."

His syllabus includes links to lots of interesting writings on social and cultural aspects of new technology use (genre analysis of blogs, new media practicies, identities, rhetoric of cyberspace, etc.)

Read Full Post »

New Journal

(From Stewart Marshall)

Dear all

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new refereed e-journal: "International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT)" located at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/. Articles in the first issue will be published early in 2005.

The journal is published on the WWW as an open resource journal, i.e., with free and open access to all, but it has the status of commercially published journals by having an International Editorial Board and academic peer-reviewed articles.

The journal concentrates on ICT in education and development in hitherto less developed parts of the world, e.g., developing countries (especially small states), and rural and remote regions of developed countries. It has a research section for academic, peer-reviewed articles, and a "studies from the field" section for edited (but not peer reviewed) case studies/reports.

Call for Papers
We are now calling for research papers, case studies, reports from the field, book reviews and other submissions you may wish to offer to this community. There is no set deadline – articles are published as soon as they have been reviewed and copyedited.

For further details on how to submit your article, please visit the IJEDICT website located at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/.


Stewart & Wal

Professor Stewart Marshall
Director, Distance Education Centre
The University of the West Indies, BARBADOS
phone:    +1 246 417 4497       fax:    +1 246 421 6753
email:    stewart.marshall@uwichill.edu.bb
url:      http://www.dec.uwi.edu/smarshall

Professor Wal Taylor
Capetown University of Technology, SOUTH AFRICA
phone:    +27 21 460 3232        fax:   +27 21 460 3985
email:    TaylorW@ctech.ac.za
url:      http://www.cqnet.com.au/~user/waltaylor

Please view the recently published books edited by Marshall, Taylor & Yu:
"Closing the Digital Divide"
"Using Community Informatics to Transform Regions"
"Encyclopedia of Developing Regional Communities with Information
  and Communication Technology"

Read Full Post »


Anybody out there using Firefox browser?  For Mac users, here’s a free program to export your safari bookmarks.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »