Presentation on theme: "Small Technologies with Big Potential: Lessons Learned from Colleagues and Friends in Challenging Contexts Susan Crichton University of Calgary / University."— Presentation transcript:
Small Technologies with Big Potential: Lessons Learned from Colleagues and Friends in Challenging Contexts Susan Crichton University of Calgary / University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus
The average North American home has 25 or more products … consuming electricity 24 hours a day … and theres 1,441,000,000 people in the world without electricity … at all …for anything …
Did you know? The average lifespan of computers in developed countries has dropped from 6 years in 1997 to just 2 years in 2005. Mobile phones have a lifecycle of less than 2 years in developed countries. … and then there is eWaste which we wont even get into this morning …
… but this talk isnt about us … … its about how we all might do more with less … and considering how less might be more ?
… its about appropriate technologies* *tools or practices that are the simplest and most benign solutions to a problem
These technologies provide options for minimally invasive education
… and serve as prompts for self organizing systems
While theres always a range within any solution … $15 $310,000
Picking the best option remains our work … For example, mLearning in East Africa
Safe Motherhood Project - Pakistan Text messages sent to pregnant women to create awareness about timely vaccination, etc. CHALLENGE Husbands became upset when wives got text messages. SOLUTION Lady health worker saved the number with her name so in the future when the women received text messages everyone in the family knew that the messages were sent by the lady health worker CHALLENGE Families of the lady health workers created problems when the project cell phones arrived. SOLUTION The families had to be informed why the cell phones were necessary
… BUT we have to wade through the hype and find the advantage
Working through the hype Functionality Social value – image / symbol Epistemic – curiosity / urge to experiment Emotional – aesthetics, beauty, artistry Conditional value – context (e.g. a lovely winter coat in February; sandals in July)
Deciding factors … Emotional Epistemic Social Functional
… which takes us back to the issue of appropriate technologies
Yes, Smartphones are fine but what about the actual screen readability … the content real estate?
A Story: The jiFUNzeni approach in actual practice in rural Kenya
Handheld devices, solar power, affordable clean water … an appropriate package for change
Is it magic or science? Changed practice through seeing active teaching and learning Changed relationships Authentic inquiry / activities – solar & biosand filter (www.cawst.org)www.cawst.org … or is it just a combination of small technologies – each with BIG potential?