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Article: Transforming learning infrastructures in the social sciences through flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning

Article: Transforming learning infrastructures in the social sciences through flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning published on No Comments on Article: Transforming learning infrastructures in the social sciences through flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning

Budka, P., & Schallert, C. 2009. Transforming learning infrastructures in the social sciences through flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning. In: Learning Inquiry, 3(3), 131-142.

Abstract
The changing higher educational landscape in Europe creates new learning infrastructures and transforms existing ones. Students are thus provided with new possibilities and challenges. Through the case study of a newly developed common curriculum for the social sciences of a public university in Austria, this article discusses the interacting social agents, elements, and tools of a flexible and interactive technology-enhanced learning model. In doing so, the transnational, national, and local infrastructural conditions and challenges are critically examined from a socio-technological perspective. Selected evaluation and survey results highlight students’ learning practices, usage behavior, and suggestions to improve their learning situation. The article concludes that student-centered learning models focusing on flexibility and interactivity can support the stable implementation of a common curriculum and its technology-enhanced learning infrastructure for the social sciences at public universities with high student numbers.

Keywords
Higher education – Learning – Infrastructure – Social sciences – Austria

Ontario Asks Canada To Reconsider Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Ontario Asks Canada To Reconsider Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples published on No Comments on Ontario Asks Canada To Reconsider Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Let’s see if it works…

Official Press Release Government of Ontario, December 22, 2009

As part of Ontario’s continued efforts to enhance cooperation, and to build strong relationships with Aboriginal people based on mutual respect, Premier Dalton McGuinty has asked the Government of Canada to reconsider its position on the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ontario supports a review of Canada’s position on the Declaration as a means to demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. Reconsideration of the Declaration would demonstrate Canada’s willingness to foster an open dialogue to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples.

more: http://media.knet.ca/node/7607

U.S. Will Settle Native American Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion

U.S. Will Settle Native American Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion published on No Comments on U.S. Will Settle Native American Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion

from the NYT:

The federal government announced on Tuesday that it intends to pay $3.4 billion to settle claims that it has mismanaged the revenue in American Indian trust funds, potentially ending one of the largest and most complicated class-action lawsuits ever brought against the United States.

The tentative agreement, reached late Monday, would resolve a 13-year-old lawsuit over hundreds of thousands of land trust accounts that date to the 19th century. Specialists in federal tribal law described the lawsuit as one of the most important in the history of legal disputes involving the government’s treatment of American Indians.

more at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/us/09tribes.html

Declaration on ICT for Development

Declaration on ICT for Development published on No Comments on Declaration on ICT for Development

At the World Congress on ICT for Development held 10-12 September 2009 in Beijing, a declaration on ICT for development was created, which includes the following understandings and agreements:

1) Millennium Development Goal, for Remedying the Unbalancing Boat
2) Information Age, New Stage of Human Society
3) ICT, Effective Tool for Development in the New Age
4) Education, Key to the Use of ICT Tool
5) Responsibility for Governments and Citizens
6) Responsibility for International Organizations
7) Public Call

more detailed information: http://www.wcid-cic.org/home/view.php?id=137

Since some quite outdated concepts and views on sociocultural ICT practices are being deployed in this declaration, it certainly needs to consider current research projects and results e.g. from the fields of community informatics and media technology anthropology.

Internet turns 40

Internet turns 40 published on No Comments on Internet turns 40

from the NYT:

Goofy videos weren’t on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. Neither was social networking, for that matter, nor were most of the other easy-to-use applications that have drawn more than a billion people online.

Instead the researchers sought to create an open network for freely exchanging information, an openness that ultimately spurred the innovation that would later spawn the likes of YouTube, Facebook and the World Wide Web.

more

some interesting sites on the web:
http://www.livinginternet.com/
http://www.archive.org/index.php
http://www.scientificcommons.org/

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2009

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2009 published on 1 Comment on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2009

9 August 2008, United Nations Headquarters, New York

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was observed at UN Headquarters on 10 August 2009.
Video, Programme and Documents

History

In 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (Resolution 49/214 of 23 December). The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

The UN General Assembly had proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People, and the same year, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, starting on 10 December 1994 (Resolution 48/163). The goal of the First Decade was to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health.

In 2004, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples through Resolution 59/174. The goal of the Second Decade is to further the “strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development, by means of action-oriented programs and specific projects, increase technical assistance, and relevant standard-setting activities”.

more at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/news_internationalday2009.html

New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference

New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference published on No Comments on New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference

Budka, P., Mader, E. 2009. New forms of socialities on the web? A critical exploration of anthropological concepts to understand sociocultural online practices. Paper at “Web as Culture Conference”, Giessen, 16-18 July.

Abstract

Internet technologies and the World Wide Web promised a lot of things: from instantaneous global communication and fast information gathering to new forms of politics, economy, organizations, and socialities, including a renewed sense of community. By studying these online and “virtual” communities, internet researchers initially focused on their structure and development (e.g. Jones 1995, Smith & Kollock, 1999). Social network theory then changed decisively the way communities on the web have been conceptualized and analyzed. Scholars like Barry Wellman (et al., 2002) and Manuel Castells (2000), argue that in the internet age societies, communities, and individuals all have a network character. Thus the conceptualization of community as social network, by focusing on the interactions in these communities, has become widespread in internet studies.

Community and social network as concepts of sociality have been critically reviewed by anthropologists particularly in the context and process of ethnographic fieldwork. Vered Amit (2002), e.g., states that community is, because of its emotional significance and popularity in public discourses, a rather poor analytical concept. Internet ethnographers hence have been starting to look for alternative ways of understanding online socialities by moving beyond the community/network paradigm (Postill 2008).

In this paper we are critically discussing the potential of alternative concepts of sociality to analyze how people are interacting on the web. In so doing, we are firstly reviewing the quite popular concept of “communitas” developed by Victor Turner to differentiate between society as social structure and society as communitas constituted by concrete idiosyncratic individuals and their interactions. In the context of the sociocultural web, the liminal experience of people switching between these two stages is particularly interesting. Secondly, we are introducing the concept of “conviviality”, coined by Joanna Overing, to internet studies. Conviviality accentuates the affective side of sociality, such as joy, creativity, and the virtues of sharing and generosity, as opposed to the structure or functioning of society. These analytical concepts and tools, derived from anthropological and ethnographic research, are finally applied to an empirical case study of Bollywood fan communities on the web and their sociocultural practices.

References

Amit, Vered (ed.). 2002. Realizing community: concepts, social relationships and sentiments. London & New York: Routledge.
Castells, Manuel. 2000. The rise of the network society. Second Edition. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.
Jones, Steven G. (ed.). 1995. CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Kollock, Peter, Smith, Marc A. (eds.). 1999. Communities in Cyberspace. London & New York: Routledge.
Postill, John. 2008. Localising the internet: beyond communities and networks. In: New Media and Society 10(3), 413-431.
Wellman, Barry, Boase, Jeffrey and Wenhong Chen. 2002. The networked nature of community: online and offline. In: IT&Society 1/1, 151-165.

NishTV

NishTV published on 1 Comment on NishTV

NishTV and its founder Richard Ogima are using new and social media services to cover Aboriginal life in Canada and in particular in the region of Northern Ontario, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. It broadcasts positive and inspiring messages about issues that concern Aboriginal people, e.g. homelessness in Vancouver in connection with the Olympics in 2010, or the challenge of losing weight. And NishTV reports from events and happenings in the Aboriginal communities, e.g. the 2009 Pow-Wow in Thunder Bay.

from http://www.nishtv.com/about-nishtv

NishTV is Northern Ontario’s hottest website that captures the heartbeat of the Anishinabek Community. We use video-media in a youthful, trendy and positive way to give the Native experience more zest and coolness. Our aim is to represent and give exposure to those cool people who never get recognized for the things they are doing or who need a little exposure because they are stepping out in the community with arts, leadership, business or other creative projects.
….

more at:
http://www.nishtv.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/nishtv?gl=CA&hl=en

The Indigenous Online Portal

The Indigenous Online Portal published on No Comments on The Indigenous Online Portal

The Indigenous Portal is a direct outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society where, amongst others, the potential and utilization of information and communication technologies for the world’s indigenous peoples were discussed. It derives from an initiative of the International Indigenous ICT Task Force.

The portal blends services provided by social networking sites, such as myspace or facebook, with information and resources about indigenous peoples worldwide. After registration, users are offered a wide range of applications: from personal profiles to blogs and video uploading. In addition one can access information in form of articles, audio and video files dealing with different issues: from indigenous knowledge to health, education and politics. Using an online translation service, the English content of the portal can be translated – in rather poor quality – into other world languages, such as German, French or Chinese. But there is so far no translation service into an indigenous language.

If this portal is going to become the leading indigenous space in cyberspace remains to be seen.

More info about the portal:
http://www.indigenousportal.com
http://www.indigenousportal.com/ABOUT.html

Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext

Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext published on 2 Comments on Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext

Budka, P., Trupp, C. 2009. Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext (Cyberactivismo indígena y paisajes de movimientos transnacionales en el contexto latinoamericano / Indigenous cyberactivism and transnational movements in the Latin American context), in J. Kastner & T. Waibel (eds.) „… mit Hilfe der Zeichen | por medio de signos …“ Transnationalismus, soziale Bewegungen und kulturelle Praktiken in Lateinamerika. Münster: LIT-Verlag, pp. 207-226.

Abstract

Prozesse der Globalisierung beeinflussen vor allem jene Menschen, die an den Rand der Gesellschaft gedrängt werden, wie zum Beispiel ein Großteil der rund 30 Millionen Indigenen Lateinamerikas. Ausgeschlossen von politischen, soziokulturellen und ökonomischen Diskursen, wie sie über die Massenmedien geführt werden, verwenden Indigene Bewegungen im zunehmenden Maße Internettechnologien, um sich zu vernetzen, zu (re)präsentieren, Identitäten zu (re)konstruieren und aktivistisch tätig zu sein. Aufgrund eingeschränkten Zugangs zu Internettechnologien sind sie oftmals auf Akteure angewiesen, die ihre Anliegen vertreten und sich mit ihnen solidarisieren. Wie indigene Bewegungen im lateinamerikanischen Kontext transnational distribuierte Internettechnologien nutzen, adaptieren und praktizieren, wird aus kultur- und sozialanthropologischer Perspektive anhand der Zapatisten in Mexiko und der Mapuche in Chile in diesem Beitrag diskutiert.

Los procesos de la globalización influyen sobre todo a aquellas personas que están en el márgen de la sociedad, como por ejemplo una mayoría de los indígenas de latinoamérica. Excluidos del discurso político, sociocultural y económico como lo llevan los medios de masas, los movimientos indígenas utilizan cada vez más la tecnología del internet para conectarse en redes, (re)presentarse, (re)construir identidades y practicar activismo. Debido al restringido acceso a tecnologías de internet muchas veces dependen de actores que representan sus intereses y se solidarizan con ellos. En este artículo se discute desde una perspectiva de la antropología cultural y social de cómo los movimientos indígenas en el contexto latinoamericano usan, adaptan y practican las tecnologías de internet distribuidos transnacionalmente tomando como ejemplos el EZLN en México y los Mapuche en Chile.

Text (PDF) (German)

The end of mailing lists?

The end of mailing lists? published on 1 Comment on The end of mailing lists?
from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Change or Die: Scholarly E-Mail Lists, Once Vibrant, Fight for Relevance
By Jeffrey R. Young

Once they were hosts to lively discussions about academic style and substance, but the time of scholarly e-mail lists has passed, meaningful posts slowing to a trickle as professors migrate to blogs, wikis, Twitter, and social networks like Facebook.

That’s the argument made by T. Mills Kelly, an associate professor of history and associate director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Naturally, he first made the argument on his blog, and he has mentioned it on the technology podcast he hosts with two colleagues.

A close look at some of the largest academic listservs, however, shows signs of enduring life and adaptation to the modern world.

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change – The Anchorage Declaration

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change – The Anchorage Declaration published on No Comments on Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change – The Anchorage Declaration

From 20-24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change. We thank the Ahtna and the Dena’ina Athabascan Peoples in whose lands we gathered.

The Anchorage Declaration
Background documents
The Global Summit

Australia Decides to Sign Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Australia Decides to Sign Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples published on No Comments on Australia Decides to Sign Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

from Cultural Survival

When the United Nations General Assembly voted on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, only four countries voted against it: the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Today, the Rudd government in Australia announced that it would endorse the declaration. The original vote on the declaration was largely the result of the tireless efforts of Cultural Survival board member Les Melezer, and Melezer played a key role in today’s announcement by the Rudd government: he has been in New York for two weeks putting pressure on the Australian ambassador. For more on the decision, click here or here.

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – 8th Session

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – 8th Session published on No Comments on UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – 8th Session

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

Eigth Session 18-29 May 2009
More info and documents: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/session_eighth.html

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger published on No Comments on UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

The online edition of the Atlas includes all of the information in the print edition (soon to be released) and much more. Using this interface, you can browse through the endangered languages listed in the 2009 edition of UNESCO’s Atlas, using combinations of search criteria and/or zooming in the map below (see. browsing functionalities). For more detailed information, please consult the Language names and locations, Contribute your comments and FAQ pages.

UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger