Today, the project I’ve been working on, the Global Broadband and Innovations Program (GBI) announced the launch of the new GBI Portal, a multimedia resource portal and social network for development professionals interested in incorporating ICTs into their work.
The portal brings together news, commentary, and updates from the field on cutting edge technologies and their applications to social and economic development. It also incorporates an extensive (and growing) library of documents and project descriptions related to ICT4D, connectivity and innovations in development.
Created by EGAT/I&E, the portal provides sector specific information and resources for those working in:
Democracy and Governance,
Humanitarian Assistance, as well as
Cross Cutting Programs.
The Portal also provides targeted information about connectivity, mobile and innovations in development.
In addition to providing a wealth of resources, the portal also serves as a social network for development professionals interested in ICT4D. Membership to the portal is free, and gives people a place to meet, network, share ideas and questions, and form groups and participate in forums.
Here’s an interesting resource for teachers. It comes out of England, but its website makes the resources accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Teachers.tv is both a television channel and a website with videos, practical resources and an online community for anyone working in a school.
The videos are excellent quality, shot by the internationally acclaimed documentary production company, Brook Lapping.
There are plenty of sites out there with lesson plans, classroom management techniques, etc. But most of the one’s I’ve seen have a subscription fee for the good stuff. Teachers.tv (as far as I can tell) is completely free.They can be viewed on the site, downloaded and are now available on iTunesU.
Note: Some videos that air on the television channel do not have licensing for international streaming, so if you are outside the UK and looking for videos, the TV guide isn’t the best place to start.
I spend a lot of time looking at ways that nonprofits and activists can use social media to affect change.
Evidently, so does a court in Nigeria.
The Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria was hoping to use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to host debates on the use of amputations as punishments.
But an Islamic court ruled against the use, saying, “An order is hereby given restraining the respondents either by themselves or their agents from opening a chat forum on Facebook, Twitter, or any blog for the purpose of the debate on the amputation of Malam Buba Bello Jangebe.”
Malam Buba Bello Jangebe was the first person in Nigeria to be sentenced to an amputation after stealing a cow in 2000. On the anniversary of his punishment, the Civil Rights Congress had hoped to open up a debate so Nigerians could voice their opinions on Sharia law.
The civil rights group says they plan to appeal the decision.
Next week the US government will host what they are calling a “jam session” for individuals interested in, or working in the field of international development. They are calling it Global Pulse, and it will be held, live and virtual, from March 29-31.
Using the IDM “Innovation Jam” platform, they hope to have upwards of 20,000 participants sharing ideas and brainstorming on issues such as empowering women and girls, eual access to quality education, civil rights, global health, equitable trade and environmental protection.
Its a neat idea, and an interesting use of technology. All that is required is IE6 or Firefox 1.5 or above.
Oh, and a high speed internet connection.
While I understand the technical need for the high speed connection, I wonder how many people who should be a part of the conversation will be left out?
I’ll be attending the sessions as much as possible. I’m particularly interested in how the needs of people with disabilities will be addressed in the discussions, and I’m curious to find out how people in the field are using media and communications in their programs and ideas.
This was one of the questions I addressed in my masters thesis this past summer. Specifically, I wanted to explore how different cultural interpretations of disability would affect communication efforts to reduce stigma in developing countries. More on that later.
As I was doing research, I came across a very interesting campaign from Scotland. The tagline is “See Me,” and they have lots of interesting uses of media in their campaign. In addition to tv and radio ads, they have photography contests, polls and downloadable curriculum packs. They also have a great collection of evaluation tools.
Each TV ad has a very clear target audience in mind, whether children or adults, the ads are aimed a people who know someone affected by mental illness. Take a look:
So, I’m all done. I turned in my Master’s thesis a couple of weeks ago, and unless it was WAY off, I’m finished with my MA in International Media!
So, I’m finishing up the summer with the kids, hanging out, going to the pool, taking them to museums. But their school starts next week and I’m already getting a little restless. Especially when I hear from others who are starting up classes, buying books, going through syllabi…ah, I really do love school.
Of course, I’m applying or jobs – several applications are out, with more on the way. But I’ve decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time… I’m going to go through some of the courses on MIT’s OpenCourseWare. I’ve been drooling over the course offerings there for years… and honestly, it took me several days to figure out which ones to start with.
So, I’ve decided to try a couple. I’ve found LOTS of courses that I’d like to take “someday,” but two jumped out at me as something I’d like to take NOW. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking the following two course, both from the Media Arts and Sciences Department:
Seminar on Deep Engagement– (MAS 961) Innovation in expression, as realized in media, tangible objects, performance and more, generates new questions and new potentials for human engagement. When and how does expression engage us deeply? Many personal stories confirm the hypothesis that once we experience deep engagement, it is a state we long for, remember, and want to repeat. This class will explore what underlying principles and innovative methods can ensure the development of higher-quality “deep engagement” products (artifacts, experiences, environments, performances, etc.) that appeal to a broad audience and that have lasting value over the long term.
Designing Sociable Media– (MAS 961)This course is about social life in the on-line world. Its focus is on how the design of the interface influences people’s interactions with each other and shapes the cultural mores and structures they develop. We will examine the ways social cues are communicated in the real and the virtual world, discuss the limits imposed upon on-line communities by their mediated nature, and explore directions that virtual societies can take that are impossible for physical ones.
Since I won’t have a professor or classmates to answer to, I’ll be posting my reading reflections and assignments here on the blog. Posting related to these courses will be tagged with MAS961-Engage for the Seminar in Deep Engagement and MAS961-Social for the Designing Social Media class, if you’d like to follow along. Of course, I’ll continue my regular postings on media and communications for social change as well!
I’d love to hear feedback on anything I post from these classes – especially if you have taken one of them or a similar course. I’m hoping to maintain the schedule in each syllabus, but I’m not making any promises.
So, without further adieu, I’m off! I’ve got readings to do!
The play on words is great, and evidentally its based on an Argentinian election campaign ad by Lopez Murphy. He didn’t win, but his ad won the Silver Lion at the Cannes Lion Contest in 2006! (small consolation, I’m sure)
A riddle was distributed (via radio, tv, billboards and buses, etc) and people were encouraged to call in with their answer. Then one of the people with the correct answer would win a free cell phone with paid air time!
Nearly 400,000 calls were made by people attempting to answer the riddle, and 25 winners were randomly selected and won a camera phone with paid talk time. According to the BBC World Trust’s impact evaluation of the phase, the campaign reached 52 million men in just 3 weeks.
Stage 2- Changing sport
The second phase of this campaign came in the form of tv, radio and print ads, which integrated local culture with the message. The ads depict a kabaddi match, a team sport where chanting the word “kabaddi” during play is part of the game. In the ad, our hero wins the match by chanting “condom” instead of “kabaddi.” The ad also places more emphasis on an animated parrot, who appears throughout the campaign.
The objective of this phase was to show social support for condoms, and it used a “condom a cappella” ringtone to do it! The ringtone can be downloaded for free on the CondomCondom.org website or through an SMS shortcode in India, and it was promoted through several platforms incuding websties, online games, mobile advertising, as well as tv and radio ads. So far more than 675,000 download requests have been processed, and the website has received over 3.5 million hits. The tagline “the one who understands is a winner” is further reinforced in this phase.
There’s been a lot of buzz about using maps in advocacy, and its been something I’ve been meaning to explore further. I knew about the use of maps to see that damage done in Darfur (you can track as village go missing, and as communities are destroyed in Zimbabwe). And as neat as these were, they didn’t really do anything more than show me what I had just read before I click on “see map.”
But today I came across a completely engaging use of maps.
Buried somewhere in the Oceana website (it really should be easier to find) there is a fun tool for getting people involved in increasing awareness of mercury in seafood. If you visit Oceana’s Green List, you are asked to enter in your zip code. The site will then show you a map of your area with all the local grocery stores marked with either red or green map pins. The green pins indicate the store posts warning about mercury levels in seafood. The red ones indicate stores that have yet to post these warnings. They are on the so called Red List.
If you click on one of these pins, you get the sotre’s name, logo and address and a link that says “Help us get to your store to hang signs.” and “Sign up to speak with your store manager.”
When you click on the link, you fill out a quick form (name, email address) and then you are given a link to a printable comment card that you can drop into the stores comment box.
Personally, I found this very fun and engaging. I would have never thought about lobbying my grocery store on this issue, but now I can ‘t wait to drop this thing off!