High bandwidth connectivity in developing countries?

Assistant Professor Vivek Pai and his research team at Princeton University have developed HashCache, a highly efficient method of storing frequently accessed Web content on a local hard drive instead of using precious bandwidth to retrieve the same information repeatedly. This reduces the cost of networking, and enables small computers such as those used for the One Laptop Per Child project to access high bandwidth content. It also enables classes of students who are likely to be accessing the same content to do this cheaply and quickly.

More details are given in the video:

In this video, Vivek Pai talks about the new technologies that could help make Internet access available to people in remote areas, especially in the developing world — where network access may be available only intermittently or with low reliability.


Social Networking revisited

I can't believe that when I blogged about social networking websites on November 3rd, 2007, I didn't take that opportunity to include one of those wonderfully simple videos by Lee LeFever.

Anway, rather belatedly, here it is:

And here is another one - this time about Twitter - which is a sort of blend of micro-blogging and social networking, based on the question: What are you doing now?

And here's a video from KMBC TV News:


Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean

Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean, Regional Trends and Analysis (Volume 1)

Download volume 1 (1034 KB) This Survey provides a general overview of current activities and issues related to ICT use in education in individual Caribbean countries and territories. It is intended to address the information needs and interests of donor organizations as well as Caribbean education policymakers, strategists, and implementers.

The Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean is intended to meet the need for a comprehensive representation of the current state of ICT use in education in the Caribbean. It focuses on the region's small island developing states (SIDS) so as to maximize understanding of areas of commonality in terms of scale, economic factors, and other conditions.

The study addresses:

  • The state of policy and planning
  • Current usage of ICT in the primary, secondary and tertiary systems
  • Pre-service and in-service TPD
  • Critical challenges

You may also be interested in:

Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean (Volume 2): Country Reports

Background on this survey project is available at: www.infodev.org/en/Project.8.html

Country reports include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Unveiling the "Sixth Sense"

At the MIT Media Lab's new Fluid Interfaces Group, Pattie Maes researches the tools we use to work with information and connect with one another. This demo -- of research work spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED**. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Although it is not much to do with community development yet, I wanted to include it in my blog because I am sure there will be development applications in the future - and anyway - it is fun.

More details at http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/481

** TED -- stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design". It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).


Education for a Digital World

Education for a Digital World: Advice, Guidelines, and Effective Practice from Around the Globe
Co-published by BCcampus and Commonwealth of Learning, 2008

Digital information technologies are transforming the way we work, learn, and communicate. Within this digital revolution are new learning approaches that transform hierarchical, industrial-based models of teaching and learning.

The creation of this book employed the very principles it espouses. It embodied a forming relationships model, and the sharing of ideas to produce new thinking model. A unique interactive, collaborative research model based on the formation of online relationships among 50 contributors from around the world representing research, administration and business communities. The development of the book demonstrates the powerful opportunity afforded by online technologies in this digital revolution era.

Education for a Digital World part 5 (1.8MB PDF)

Education for a Digital World contains a comprehensive collection of proven strategies and tools for effective online teaching, based on the principles of learning as a social process. It offers practical, contemporary guidance to support e-learning decision-making, instructional choices, as well as program and course planning, and development.

Practical advice, real-life examples, case studies, and useful resources supply in-depth perspectives about structuring and fostering socially engaging learning in an online environment. A plethora of e-learning topics provide insights, ideas, and usable tools. Tips and evidence-based theory guide administrators, program and course developers, project teams, and teachers through the development of online learning opportunities.

Education for a Digital World is an indispensable guide, resource, textbook and manual for policymakers and practitioners in developing and developed countries.

More details from the COL website.


ALISON* Free Global Learning

ALISON* is a free online learning resource for basic and essential workplace skills. It provides high-quality, interactive multimedia courseware for certification and standards-based learning.

ALISON's misson is to use its learning platform to provide free education for all around the world, thereby creating a more equitable and sustainable global society.

ALISON believes that all certifiable or standards-based learning for every subject can be made available for free online, and in this way make article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which states "Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free...") will become a reality.

Currently it provides online education in:

Digital Literacy & IT Skills
Enterprise & Business Skills
Financial & Economic Literacy
Health & Safety & Compliance
Health Literacy
Leadership & Management Training
Personal Development & Soft Skills

* ALISON stands for "Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online".


The Theory and Practice of Online Learning

The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, second edition

Edited by Terry Anderson

May 2008
978-1-897425-08-4 (SC)

May 2008
978-1-897425-07-7 (e-book)

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.

Athabasca University Press is pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd edition of the Theory and Practice of Online Learning edited by Terry Anderson. This 2nd edition and its individual chapters continue to be freely available online under a Creative Commons license. The 2nd edition is also available in print for a purchase price of $39.95 Canadian, or you can download the eBook free of charge.

In the second edition, every chapter in the widely distributed first edition has been updated, and four new chapters on current issues such as connectivism and social software innovations have been added. Essays by practitioners and scholars active in the complex, diverse, and rapidly evolving field of distance education blend scholarship and research; practical attention to the details of teaching and learning; and mindful attention to the economics of the business of education.

About the Author

Terry Anderson is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University. He has published extensively in the area of distance education and educational technology.

Table of Contents





PART I: Role and Function of Theory in Online Education Development and Delivery

Chapter 1. Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning

Mohamed Ally

Chapter 2. Towards a Theory of Online Learning

Terry Anderson

Chapter 3. Situating Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) in an Online Learning Environment

Dianne Conrad

Chapter 4. Understanding e-Learning Technologies-in-Practice through Philosophies-in-Practice

Heather Kanuka

PART II: Infrastructure and Support for Content Development

Chapter 5. Developing an Infrastructure for Online Learning

Alan Davis, Paul Little & Brian Stewart

Chapter 6. Technologies of Online Learning (E-learning)

Rory McGreal & Michael Elliott

Chapter 7. Characteristics of Interactive Online Learning Media

Patrick. J. Fahy

Chapter 8. “In-Your-Pocket” and “On-the-Fly:” Meeting the Needs of Today’s New Generation of Online Learners

Maureen Hutchison, Tony Tin & Yang Cao

Chapter 9. Social Software to Support Distance Education Learners

Terry Anderson

PART III: Design and Development of Online Courses

Chapter 10. The Development of Online Courses

Dean Caplan & Rodger Graham

Chapter11. Value Added – The Editor in Design and Development of Online Courses

Jan Thiessen & Vincent Ambrock

Chapter 12. Making Relevant Financial Decisions about Technology in Education

David Annand

Chapter 13. The Quality Dilemma in Online Education Revisited

Nancy K. Parker

PART IV: Delivery, Quality Control, and Student Support of Online Courses

Chapter 14. Teaching in an Online Learning Context

Terry Anderson

Chapter 15. Call Centres in Distance Education

Alex Z. Kondra, Colleen Huber, Kerri Michalczuk & Andrew Woudstra

Chapter 16. Library Support for e-Learners: e-Resources, e-Services, and the Human Factors

Kay Johnson, Houda Trabelsi & Elaine Fabbro

Chapter 17. Supporting the Online Learner

Susan D. Moisey & Judith A. Hughes

Chapter 18. Developing Team Skills and Accomplishing Team Projects Online

Deborah Hurst & Janice Thomas


Basics of what to look for when buying a computer

Here's another excellent video by Lee LeFever of CommonCraft. This one explains the basic parts that make computers work: hard drive, RAM and micro-processor.

And here's a slightly more in-depth view of how these parts relate to what to look for when buying a computer: