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ICT for Development The importance of place: language, culture and identity ICT4D Lecture 16 Tim Unwin
Lecture 16 Outline Places and languages Literacies WSIS ICT4D Forum Local content issues Lessons from COLs literacy project COLLIT Bangladesh mobile boats Languages of disability
Lecture 16 Place in a globalised world Globalisation as tension Between the local and the global Between ones own identity and the identity of the masses The challenge of democracy: Individual freedoms and majority decision making The importance of literacies in an increasingly globalised world
Lecture 16 Local languages My original thoughts Make everything available in relevant local languages Enable local communities to communicate But in practice Many people want to use new technologies to communicate with others Hence the importance of English Need for balance
Lecture 16 Literacies Traditional meaning of literacy The ability to use text to communicate across space and time In modern context Reading and writing at a level to communicate at certain levels of a society Other kinds of literacy Digital Literacy (Gilster) The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers Visual literacy Numeracy
Lecture 16 Literacies Challenges for the future Will people need to learn to read and write? Computers reading to you, and writing your voices? Will computer literacy become the most important literacy? Literacy and development Literate people can be trained less expensively than illiterates Hence, literacy contributes to development But earlier research on effects of literacy on development are now challenged
Lecture 16 WSIS-ICT4D Forum 2003 Lessons learnt: local content and knowledge ICTs can empower disadvantaged language communities New technologies can sustain nomadic cultural systems Different lifestyles may imply different notions of time and space affecting design and use of ICTs Importance of documentation of knowledges Local content development can empower local communities Importance of networking local content
Lecture 16 WSIS-ICT4D Forum 2003 Trends and innovations Shift to enabling local communities to develop their own solutions User-centred learning is changing our notions of literacy Linguistic diversity on the Internet is increasing Priorities Cell phones and easy communication enabling sense of belonging Need to facilitate use of non-roman scripts, domain names and e-mail addresses Need to enhance status of local languages
Lecture 16 WSIS-ICT4D Forum 2003 Key questions How can ICT4D projects aimed at linguistic and other minorities be made sustainable? How can the right of individuals to use their language in the Information Society be ensured? How can we foster cross-cultural/linguistic information flows? How can local and indigenous knowledge be shared avoiding negative economic, social or cultural impact on the local community?
Lecture 16 COL Literacy Project Pilot project in India and Zambia To explore how literacy projects might be enhanced with appropriate technologies Main finding The most profound impact of these literacy initiatives was the effect it had on the learners self- esteem and on the way they used their newly acquired literacy skills.
Lecture 16 COL Literacy Project Findings Most learners start to use new literacy skills immediately Bus schedules, adverts, signs Reading used more than writing But ability to sign name and doing small written tasks enhances self-esteem Numeracy skills valuable for money Most profound effects on people over 40 Parents who were involved developed a more positive attitude to schooling
Lecture 16 COL Literacy Project Use of ICT Computers, digital cameras, some Internet, cassette recorders Used mainly for word processing and PowerPoint lessons Many problems Connectivity, delays in setting up, lack of electricity Focus was largely on hardware rather than on learning Value of use of ICT Unclear? Impossible to calculate accurate cost-benefit figures
Lecture 16 Bangladesh: Mobile Internet- Educational Unit on Boats Shidulai Swanirvar Sangstha (NGO) Boats for students in riverside areas Using computers and projectors Education programmes Library facilities Micro-enterprise development Evening educational programmes on large screens Distance education for farmers Particular focus on girls Literacy lowering abuse and earlier marriages
Lecture 16 Use of ICT for people with disabilities Different kinds of literacies Potential for ICTs to enhance communications Signing for people with hearing impairment Visual impairment Accessibility Hardware and software Mac Universal Access Seeing Visual enhancement Spoken user preferences Voice commands Text under mouse Boy playing games in school for deaf people in Ghana
Conclusions Literacy now used in many different ways Need to be clear what we mean by it The local and the global A place for both ICTs have much to contribute To enhancing local cultural recognition and communication For overcoming disabilities Enhancing literacies
Opportunity for questions and discussion
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