Tuesday, September 30, 2003

elearnspace blog - Learning Communities and Learning Networks

"Courses are artifacts of a learning model that is becoming obsolete. Courses work in an environment when knowledge/information is fairly static and developing slowly. The more rapidly information develops, the more quickly courses cease to serve the needs of learners. The information is outdated before the ink is dry."

I would tend to agree. However, even in fields where information is changing rapidly, there is a place for courses. Courses are a perfectly good way of providing a general background knowledge that is necessary to be able to digest and analyze rapidly changing information. Courses can provide the basics. Learning networks allow people to continue learning about the latest information available throughout their lifetime.

I also see courses as opening up opportunities for people to start enlarging their learning networks and as offering opportunities for the creation of learning networks.

I don't think we go to college and take courses to know the latest information. We go to college to learn the basics in a particular field and then we learn through experience and personal learning networks for the rest of our careers/lives.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Social Edge - What Does it Take to Be a Social Entrepreneur?

This online discussion is taking place between September 22 and October 5 on the Social Edge web site. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, is a Special Guest in the discussions.

Other Social Entrepreneurship resources:

Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship - Duke University
Institute for Social Entrepreneurship
National Center for Social Entrepreneurs
Social Entrepreneurship Resources
Center for Social Innovation - Stanford

Two reasons for me to be interested in this:
1. I think of myself as a social entrepreneur
2. There is a need for more emphasis on sustainable and/or commercially viable solutions in the ICT for Development sector.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Issue 18, July 2003
"Developing Capacities for ICT Enabled Development"

This new issue of the quarterly newsletter includes four key articles:
- Rethinking external support for ICT-enabled development
- Public-private partnerships for ICT development: the Ghanaian experience
- National competencies for ICT: the role of education and training
- The role of civil-society organizations in ICT capacity-building

Monday, September 15, 2003

Why Johnny Won't Post in "Converge", August 2003.

This is a short article highlighting 4 main explanations for students' resistance to participation in group discussion activities in online classes. These four explanations are: logistical, personal, educational, instructor-related.

We must always also remember a few things:
1) online learning is a new way for learning for many students to that while they may not participate much in their first online course, it's quite possible that once they get used to the idea and have more experience, they will be more comfortable participating in online discussions;

2) the same participation problems exist in traditional, face-to-face classroom and the fact that the same people are always quiet in a traditional classroom does not seem to worry to many instructors;

3) an online classroom where everyone participates in the discussions can become difficult to manage and the discussions can become difficult to follow. Small group discussions become essential.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Lessons learned from an Internet-based course on dynamics of the water sector

Some interesting lessons about a course for the international development community, somewhat more sophisticated and therefore more costly than what I have been implementing.
Still, the challenges remain very similar!
The european Network University

The European Network University offers a number of interesting courses for development professionals, including:
- Transforming Civil Conflict
- Post-conflict Transformation
- Gender and Conflict Transformation
- Socially Responsible Investment
- Dynamics of the Water Sector