Designing technologies for developing world contextsWorkshop at the London Knowledge Lab -- December 11 2007, 10h00-17h00 [Directions]
There is an increasing interest in the design and
development of new technologies for use in developing countries (for
http://www.bgdd.org). However, there is a general recognition
that current methodological approaches primarily focus on Western
design ideals. To address this deficit, it is critical that designers
understand how and why their technologies intersect with the cultures
they aim to impact upon.
ParticipantsLiesbeth De Block is a lecturer (MA Media, Culture and Communications) and researcher in the Centre for the Study of Children Youth and Media which is based in the London Knowledge Lab. She is currently co-ordinating a European Research project looking studying the potential of the internet to promote civic participation amongst young people (www.civicweb.eu). Previously, she co-ordinated a European research project Children in Communication about Migration (CHICAM) which has been studying the ways in which refugee and migrant children can utilize new media and video productions to represent and share their experiences of migration in Europe in order to influence policy in areas directly affecting their lives (www.chicam.org). Her doctorate studied refugee and migrant children’s uses of media in forming and maintaining friendships in London and in transnational family relationships. She hasalso worked as a journalist making international documentaries, as a teacher working with refugee children in London and as a teacher trainer in the Caribbean. Her publications include Global Media, Global Children: migration, media and childhood (2007 Palgrave Macmillan), co-authored with David Buckingham
Johanna Brewer is PhD candidate in the Informatics department at the University of California, Irvine working with Paul Dourish. She has an MA in Computer Science as well as BA's in Computer Science and Philosophy, all from Boston University. She is interested urban computing, particularly in the design of technologies which can forge new types of connections between people and transform or reinforce old ones. Her dissertation research centers around how an examination of mobility in urban spaces, specifically the London Underground and the Orange County Transit systems, might help to inform these designs.
Brock Craft received a PhD in Computer Science at University College London in 2007 and earned an MS in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University (Chicago) in 2001. His BA was in digital imaging and photography at Columbia College Chicago. For 10 years he was a network architect and worked for a Fortune 100 manufacturing subsidiary. He has an extensive background in visual design and development for web-based and visual interfaces. He has regularly chaired the International Symposium for Design and Aesthetics in Visualisation. Brock also creates electronic interactive art, and collaborates with contemporary artists on interactive installations.
Jennifer Gabrys' research focuses on critical ecologies, material culture, and communication technologies. She conducts the interdisciplinary design-research practice, Signal Space (www.signalspace.net), which engages with environments and media, and takes the form of publications, multimedia design and landscape installations. Jennifer has practiced environmental design and art in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Montréal. Currently, she is undertaking a collaborative environmental art, design and research study on climate change, Weather Permitting (www.weatherpermitting.org), with Dr Kathryn Yusoff at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on environments, technology, art and design. Her manuscript on electronic waste, The Natural History of Electronics, is currently under review for publication; and she is working on a new book project that studies ecologies and technonatures, provisionally titled Signal Space.
Jon Gregson is Programme Director: Development and Operations of the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Cedric Kithima is a graduate of Oxford University (2003), and inventor of Impact File, an interactive digital document with a focus on distance learning in Africa. Currently in beta testing, a test project has been completed with Christian Aid.
Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at the London Knowledge Lab and a Visiting Professor at the ideas lab at University of Sussex. The aim of her research is to increase our understanding of the process of learning with technology and to use this to design technology effectively to stimulate curiosity, maintain engagement and foster creativity. She is particularly interested in the development of participatory methods to engage learners and teachers in the process of designing technology to fit their needs and to enable them to access all the resources within their environment that might effectively support learning. She is the Principal Investigator on the VeSeL project, the aim of which is to enable rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa to use advanced digital technology to improve their agricultural practices and literacy levels.
Mike Mimirinis is a researcher with Middlesex University. He has previously worked as an ICT teacher in England and Greece. His current research interests include approaches to learning and Virtual Learning Environment, methodology of internet-based research and integration of learning technologies in cross cultural settings. Mike was involved in an EU-funded project aiming to provide training of e-learning professionals in South East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam).He has also recently co-organised a summer school in educational technology, hosted by the University of Tartu in Estonia.
Yishay Mor is is currently a PhD student at the Institue of Education and a researcher on the CoMo and Pedagogy Planner projects. Yishay holds an MSc in computer science from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. At the London Knowledge Lab he has previously worked as a researcher on the Learning Patterns project and on the WebLabs project. Together with Carey Jewitt, he facilitated the LKL workshop series on knowledge in social software.
Before that he designed and developed web-based network management software for Cisco Systems. His research interests include Programming as a constructionist tool in mathematics and science education, Open Source and education, Web-based systems to support learning communities and Democratic education.
Sara Price is a RCUK Academic Fellow at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education. She has a background in cognitive psychology and her research primarily focuses on the role of digital technologies for learning, and in particular, the role of external representations in mediating cognition. Much of her research explores ways in which emerging digital technologies can enhance learning in terms of their impact on interaction and cognition, and includes research on combined physical /digital learning environments; pervasive and mobile computing and tangible environments for supporting play and learning.
Dorothy Rachovides received her PhD in Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) from Lancaster University in 2004. Her research interests are within the area of Human Computer interaction and usability and evaluation. Her PhD work is in Multimodal interaction, using gaze and two handed gestures. Her main research interest is designing usable interfaces, appropriate for the context and user. Currently she is working on the StoryBank project as Interaction Designer where, using Ethnography and Community Centred Design, she has co-designed the interface of the camera phone application. She is interested in ICT4D (Information and Communication Technologies for Development) and BGDD (Bridging the Global Digital Divide) research and particularly in the ethics attached to this area of research. Other research interests include designing for families and children, multimodal interaction, developing prototyping techniques to test early design ideas “in-situ” especially in Developing countries.
Ella Romanos has a background in software and web development, visual design and user experience design through academic study and working in industry. As a child, she lived in sub-Saharan Africa, where through personal experience and subsequent contact with people working within many areas of economic development for emerging markets, she gained a keen interest in ICT4D. Her mix of design and development skills, and interest and knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa led her to focus my academic research on the field of appropriate development for Africa. A summary of her work can be defined as: 'Internationalisation of User experience design for development of appropriate technology in sub-Saharan Africa.' She is currently working on a development project based on these concepts, and has a blog www.designedforafrica.org which draws on the concepts of user experience design to explore appropriate development of technology for the emerging market within sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to provide a critical evaluation of the broad range of issues involved, to build up a detailed resource for the field. She is also an author of www.africanloft.com, and a student at the University of Plymouth.
John Traxler is a Reader in Mobile Technology for e-Learning and Director of the Learning Lab at the University of Wolverhampton. His books include Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers (F. Lockwood, Ed.). London: Routledge and Mobile Learning in Developing Countries (G. Chin, Ed.). Vancouver, BC: Commonwealth of Learning, both with A. Kukulska-Hulme. He is Co-Director of the International Association for Mobile Learning and Conference Chair of mLearn 2008.
Jose Valente is a Professor with the Multimedia Department, Art Institute and Researcher with the Nucleus of Informatics Applied to Education, (Nied) both at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), and collaborating Professor in the Graduate Program in Education: Curriculum at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica, (Puc-SP). His holds a PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Division for Study and Research in Education, at MIT, MS in the Interdisciplinary Science and Education Program at MIT, and MS in Computer Science at Unicamp. Professor Valente coordinated several nationwide programs for preparing educators from Latin America and Caribbean countries, via Internet, to use ICT in their school activities, financed by the Organization of American States (OAS); and for preparing special education teachers, via Internet, to integrate computers in their classroom activities, financed by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Currently Professor Valente is participating in the implementation of a new undergraduate course, Medialogy, at the Multimedia Department at Unicamp, and is a member of the Federal Government task force to design the “One laptop per student” program in Brazil. Research topics include development of ICT based learning environments and training methodology to be utilized in schools and in socio-economical disadvantaged communities, using face-to-face or on-line approaches, and the study of the potentials of ICT as educational tools.
Ugo Vallauri is a PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London and a member of the ICT4D Collective working on ICT and grassroots rural development in Kenya. Ugo also works in R&D for Computer Aid International, based in Nairobi and has worked in the not-for-profit sector developing appropriate technologies and communication practices for sustainable agriculture projects in the developing world. He has also consulted for a United Nations ICT project and has been involved in various new media and independent journalism projects. Ugo holds a degree in Communication Studies from the University of Bologna, Italy.
Gipson Varghese is a MA student in Life Long Learning: Policy and Management at the Institute of Education.
Tanja Virtanen is an MSc student at the University of Turku, Department of Information Technology, Work Informatics. His previous BBA thesis was about "IT Deployment in Municipal Council Of Nakuru" and before that he wrote his BA thesis on "The Risks and Assuumptions of Multisided Vocational School Set Up as a result of Developmental Cooperation in Kenya". His Master thesis will most likely focus on IT in developing countries.
Esra Wali holds a BSc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Bahrain (2001) and an MSc. degree in Information Systems from the University of Surrey (2004). She is a teaching and research assistant in the department of Educational Technology at University of Bahrain. Currently, Esra is a PhD candidate at the London Knowledge Lab at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research is concerned with investigating the concept of ‘mobile learning’ through studying the continuity of learners’ activities that take place in multiple contexts. The research investigates mobile learning by exploring students’ utilisation of portable devices (old and new) to accomplish routine learning practices in different contexts (formal and informal). Her research also investigates the relationship between context and learning practices considering context as a factor that influences and is influenced by learning activities.
Kevin Walker holds a BA in anthropology and mass communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in interactive telecommunications from New York University. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the Institute of Education. He is also part of Kaleidoscope, a European Network of Excellence in technology-enhanced learning. His current projects include personalised learning trails, VeSeL, e-Science, and MUSTEL. He also designs interactive museum exhibits and multimedia software and writes a regular column for Educational Technology magazine.
OrganisersNiall Winters is an RCUK Academic Fellow at the London Knowledge Lab. He holds a PhD (2002) in Computer Science from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. His main research interest is in the design and development of new technologies for learning. He is currently PI of the CoMo project, co-directs the LKL's role in the EC FP6 ReMath project, is Co-I on the ESRC/EPSRC MiGen project and collaborates on the VeSeL project. He also runs the LKL's OLPC programme, supervises 4 PhD students and is on the course team for the MA in ICT in Education. Niall has held visiting research positions at IST, Lisbon and Media Lab Europe, Dublin.
Mike Ananny is a PhD student in Stanford University’s Communication department where he researches technology-supported political communication. His emphasis is on the design and evaluation of methods and materials for people to consider their own public opinions and those of their communities as long-term developments. Ananny holds a Bachelors of Science (Honours) from the University of Toronto where he double-majored in Computer Science and Human Biology. While an undergraduate, he was a founding member of Expresto Software, a company that developed movie-making software for young children to make multimedia stories. (The company was sold in August 2002.) He was also Nortel Networks’ on-campus representative and acted as a liaison between Nortel’s Human Resources department and the University of Toronto’s Engineering and Computer Science schools. He then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory where he worked with the Gesture and Narrative Language and Tangible Media groups, designing and evaluating new technological toys to support the language development of very young children. Ananny has consulted with toy design companies, helping to translate the concepts and prototypes he developed at the Media Lab into new product lines. After graduating with a Masters in Media Arts and Sciences, Ananny moved to Ireland as an original member of the research staff of Media Lab Europe, the European research partner of the MIT Media Laboratory. While at Media Lab Europe he worked with the Everyday Learning group to design new technologies to support informal learning and public opinion development.
AcknowledgementsSupported by the London Knowledge Lab, the VeSeL project, Stanford Dept of Communication and the Trudeau Foundation
Last Updated: 5 December 2007