Monday, September 25, 2006

Royal Holloway ICT4D Reflection

It's been over a week since the ICT4D Symposium and I have had some time to reflect on what I learned. All the learning has added to my understanding of critical technology, these are my thoughts of what I learned; (it will help if you refer to the critical technology as a graphic from a previous post)

PEDAGOGY - is very much a key to successful development initiatives. Learning needs to be built into the initiative and the learning needs to be localized.

DEVELOPMENT - is a very very important global activity ;) Development needs to be grass roots and fair, collaborative at the community level and have ways to be measured.

TECHNOLOGY - is often misunderstood in the rural developing communities. The closer the community is to large city centres or available connectivity the more technology literacy they have. They still don't understand the why of technology, or maybe it is us who don't understand why have technology? Either way, as we go down the ICT4D path it is important to have a strategic introduction of technology aligned with community initiatives (health, agriculture and education). This will encourage understandability.

CRITICAL PEDAGOGY - was confirmed; as a good number of the ICT4D presentations were critical of technology, particularly how it was implemented. A couple of comments made after my presentation got me thinking about Paulo Freire, see these two previous posts;
  1. Friere's view of differential diagnosis
  2. Millennium Village
It also became very apparent that a tool is required by the critical technologist (and others) to assess the readiness of a communities readiness.

CONSTRUCTIVISM - surprisingly I wasn't the only one talking about constructivist methods, meta-cognition and active learning was mentioned during the conference. It was stressed that active learning methods need to be culturally sensitive regarding learning styles.

ICT4D - ICT requires a community context for it to be successful at the community level (ie. community readiness). ICT is having a lot of success when supporting health information workers.

CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY - I felt the idea was very well received by all in attendance. This was also supported by all the critical content in other presentations. I will continue the development of Critical Technology for I feel it could provide a useful reference for those working in the field.