We live in a changing world. Some of the recent ICT changes in the Pacific Islands region: The proliferation of mobile phones, especially over the last 2 years throughout the Pacific Islands is quite remarkable. Here in PNG, consumer demand and service provider competition have been apparent drivers. It would be interesting to know what is driving the consumer demand - there may be lessons for the policy makers. The development of a Pacific Islands digital strategy and the launching of the Pacific Rural Internet Connectivity System (PACRICS) pilot project to introduce Vsat terminals into rural areas. The introduction of the OLPC project which had a grand plan to provide computers and internet access to children in the developing world. With direction from the PIF countries, SPC is collaborating with National Education Departments to conduct pilot trials to assess the use of the OLPC in Pacific Island schools. Initial trials are underway in PNG, SI, Niue and Nauru with Niue actually having all school children with their own computer. In the global framework, the upsurge in &quot;Cloud&quot; computing with Google Docs, Hotmail Skydrive and the like where you can get storage capacity and personal or collaborative work environments which surpass or are simply not possible within the organisation networks.
The interest with the OLPC is not only with the children. While the children remain the primary focus, they have wider community potential. Child able to share their experience and guide in use of the technology
While ICT can apply to any media, I will follow the trends and focus on internet based systems which I suggest are most appropriate for the purpose and target groups relating to building a science based critical mass. That said, the effectiveness of internet information delivery in the wider Pacific Islands is often questioned and is another area where some real research data is needed. E-learning brings a new dimension in allowing remote facilitators and students to access courses in other locations One of the features of the SciCom graduate certificate program was the cross institutional use of facilitators. Module facilitators at any single location were taken from any of the universities and also from research institutes. This was helped through the relationships built during the course development process. The use of non-institutional facilitator inputs is an important feature which helps maintain a connection between stakeholders and is something which should be encouraged.
Willingness - As mentioned by Dr Saulei, researchers can be protective of their information, even though it may be considered to be &quot;Public Domain&quot; A challenge - How to build an environment of trust .......built on ethical behaviour standards
Responsible use of the internet Contribute - share relevant information Focussed use of the internet Use of alerts, RSS to keep up to date with minimal input
MOODLE (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) For our team&apos;s collaborative development of training materials, we settled on the Moodle e-learning framework. Moodle or Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, was chosen as it is the e-learning platform currently used by USP, POHLN, SIDLCP and SPC and provides a suite of inbuilt collaboration features...and by using the system, the team would come to know the system and so be better equipped to assist training institutions as online tutors if the situation arises.
A CMS based web site provides a good public face and a place to present articles etc. ....a good adjunct to a an email listserv based discussion group.
An older and trusted technology – we use it successfully for our project and tends to be widely used by Regional organisations because of better access. Yahoo groups, Google docs, groups, calendar etc provide another option for collaboration. We looked at Google Docs, but while it is good, we would have been confusing ourselves with too many platforms.
ICTs will not do the job on their own. To work and be sustainable, the requirements go beyond mere physical system establishment. There needs to be clear purpose and benefit from the collaboration. The IP situation needs to be clear and agreed Ground rules need to be established.
While I have no “clout”, I suggest SPC has the expertise to contribute at least in these areas. SPC conducts training related to its work but seeks to partner with training providers where it is more applicable.
It is important to nurture a research and publication ethic – it will enhance our critical mass
Ensure library / reference management services are technically up to date - We need to ensure the critical mass is effective – develop the resources to support research and publication. An area of concern for me is in the effectiveness of the resources we have available. Does your library have the ability to export directly into personal bibliography programs. A small feature maybe, but one which removes some unnecessary drudgery and will likely have a positive effect on students....well, who really likes extra work? Quite often bibliography programs are not introduced into the undergraduate course due to licensing costs. The availability of quality free programs like Zotero now allows their earlier introduction.
The Zotero extension for the Firefox web browser allows you to capture search results from Google scholar and other institutional systems such as the illustrated demonstration library database for animal health at SPC. Zotero is free software – more info and download at www.zotero.org
Citations from Zotero can be inserted into either MsWord or Open Office and automatically generate the associated bibliography. Functionality similar to the commercial Bibliography programs such as Endnote and Reference Manager.
The eXe learning program is a user friendly way of producing quality learning materials for a flexible learning situation. The program available free of charge. www.exelearning.org
Science for Impact- building the critical massUsing Information and Communication Technologies
Science for Impact
- building the critical mass
Using Information and
Web based ICT application
• Networking for....
• Partnership in development of materials
and course delivery
• Sharing of information and resources
• Collaboration / pre-submission peer
review of publications and proposals
• Internet access, system knowledge,
• Cost, policy & regulatory
• Willingness to share / trust and ethics
• Time available to participate
• Preference for F2F workshops
• Language / terminology
Web Tools for networking
• E-learning frameworks
• Content Management Systems
• Email listservers
• Information databases
• The prominent e-
used in the Pacific is
MOODLE . The
system is currently
used by USP, POHLN,
SIDLCP and SPC.
CMS based web-sites
• Content Management Systems (CMS) are
dynamic web site frameworks which ease the
development and maintenance of web sites
and provide interactive capacity.
• Joomla and glFusion are two good CMS
frameworks for which discussion forums and
wiki can be added for additional interaction.
• Advantage of email access - internet
browsing capability not required to
• Messages are emailed to subscribers
and archive messages are accessible via
Encouraging ICT based collaboration
• Ensure good access to collaboration system
• KIS – and clear user instructions
• Minimise impact on user time
• Place limits / boundaries on activity
• Ensure tangible benefits to participation
• Ensure the IP situation is clear and agreed
• Collaboratively establish ground rules for
SPC has the potential
to bring to partnerships:
• Web based collaboration system – web
site and or mailing list system
• IT support / web & database servers
• Publication / media support (dependent
on work load)
• Agricultural technical expertise
• Course materials / resources
Packaging Online and CD resources
• Situation analysis
• Change management processes
• Defining and targeting the desired
• Defining the individual or group
attributes necessary for the critical mass
to be effective