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Learning in the cloud, feet in the village

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A brief overview of our recent Pakistan work.

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Learning in the cloud, feet in the village

  1. 1. “Learning in the cloud, feet in the village”Professor Robert FitzgeraldASLP2 - Agriculture Sector Linkages Program in Pakistan (Phase2)
  2. 2. Social research objectives1. To engage the poor and marginalized groups thatcan potentially benefit from participating in theselected value chains of ASLP22. To enhance collaboration across project teams3. To assess and enhance information andcommunication modalities and technologies forcollaboration and value chain enhancement4. To foster effective collaborative development inrural Pakistan
  3. 3. Baseline Survey: Implications• Good access to mobile phones but they arepersonal not business devices• Limited use of SMS, mainly for recreation.• Limited access to computers and internet• Low literacy levels - consider the demonstrationeffect – pictures & videos to tell a story• Regional differences, no one size solution will fit all• Consider different approaches, modalities andtechnologies• Need to address different languages: English, Urduand Sindhi
  4. 4. tools to think with...focus our attention, notnarrow our focushttp://www.ideo.comhttp://www.tpck.org
  5. 5. ICT4D• Augment - increase the size, amount orvalue of something• From passive to active• Multi modal, multimedia, multi-user• Addressing diversity – literacy andlanguage• From problem solving to problem design• AR - beginning with simple marker-basedprojects e.g. labels, images, packing
  6. 6. AR – but just one viewSantana-Fernández, J.; Gómez-Gil, J.; Del-Pozo-San-Cirilo, L. Design andImplementation of a GPS Guidance System for Agricultural Tractors UsingAugmented Reality Technology. Sensors 2010, 10, 10435-10447.
  7. 7. Robust but lite AR• Life is a bit messier where we work• Wide range of users• Wide range of mobile technologies• Limited internet connectivity – butexpanding• Connect up and integrate existing work
  8. 8. Freedom Fone
  9. 9. Farmphone configurationUp to four concurrent usersPrepaid sim cards2N Office RouteGSM SIP Gateway
  10. 10. “Seeing is Believing” (SIB)app• SIB is an iPad app linked to a web database thatallows extension workers to quickly locate andpresent high quality extension material• SIB is based on the following principles:– Applying research methodologies to application,design and replication– Best practice in extension of agricultural researchmethodologies– A review and evaluation cycle
  11. 11. SIB interface
  12. 12. Sample search results for “mango”
  13. 13. Example: A presentation assembled “on thefly” from four video resources located in thedata base
  14. 14. Approach: Users in context• Our approach to exploring possible applications of low-costICTs is participatory – we use the same basic participatoryapproach as we do in our research – to ensure the technologyis useful and used• We focus on flexible, two-way communication systems thatcan be adapted by different communities of users to meettheir particular information and communication needs• Developing more complex and nuanced understandings ofhow ICTs work to reconfigure social relationships andnetworks will allow us to move beyond simple technicalimpact studies and understand the device in context• Question everything!
  15. 15. Neil Postman“Anyone who has studied the history of technology knowsthat technological change is always a Faustian bargain:Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and notalways in equal measure. A new technology sometimescreates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys morethan it creates. But it is never one-sided.”
  16. 16. Six “design” questions (Postman)What is the problem to which this technology is the solutionWhose problem is itWhich people and what institutions might be most seriously harmed by atechnological solutionWhat new problems might be created because we have solved thisproblemWhat sort of people and institutions might acquire special economic andpolitical power because of technological changeWhat changes in language are being enforced by new technologies, andwhat is being gained and lost by such changes

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