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Planning ahead: June 6-24

January 5, 2011
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The blog has been quiet in November and December. Now we start up again.

Integrate the web

Today, all schools and universities take the technologies of paper, print and writing for granted. We hold that education needs to integrate the web in a similar way.

The LATINA project explores the new forms of teaching and learning that the web makes possible.  In countries with fast and stable web connections, immediate access to the web is the normal situation. The LATINA courses we have held in Norway, Finland and China could take the web for granted. In most of Africa, that is not the case.

Access is expanding rapidly – particularly through mobile, phone-based services. But for the next five or ten years, we need an approach that allows us to use the tremendous resources of the web under less than ideal conditions. The course in Kampala will therefore be based on what we call LATINA-in-a-box.

This means that we store all course materials – as well as a multi-user blog program (WordPress) – on a local server. We set up a local hot-spot (wireless link to the server), so that students and teachers can utilize the resoucres on the server with normal digital tools (portable PCs, tablets, smart phones). Since web access will occasionally be available, we are not isolated from the web. We can download from – and upload to –  the web from time to time. That means we can continue to work in a web-based manner – in Kampala, in Uganda, in most of Africa.

Since equipment prices have fallen radically the last couple of years, LATINA-in-a-box will not be more expensive than traditional desktops and servers – rather the opposite.

Many devices

Another important trend is the rapid shift towards mobile computing. This means that people are using a variety of small and portable devices – laptops (with phone modems), tablets and smart phones – to stay connected to the web. As part of our development work, we try to design learning resources – text, pictures, video – so that they will work on many different devices. Learners, students and practitioners will have access to information and communication in all their activities – on and off campus. What this implies for – say –  field workers, village teachers, local nurses and school librarians can be imagined.

The LATINA 2011 course in Kampala will also be a test of these opportunities.

Three weeks + one

The time for the course has been moved from July to June. The course itself will run from Monday June 6 to Friday June 24.

The week before the course itself starts (May 30-June 3) will be used by the full production team (4 persons from Oslo, 5 from Kampala)

  1. to set up the digital and audio-visual infrastructure at Makerere University Library
  2. to train and experiment with the equipment
  3. to prepare the last details of the full course itself
  4. to conduct a one-day course as an introduction to LATINA for leaders of libraries
  5. to conduct a one-day course on Statistics for Advocacy for library leaders, staff and teachers

Board

The project, which is also described here, is directed by a Board consisting of:

  • Ane Landøy (Bergen), head of the Social Sciences Library, University of Bergen (finances)
  • Helge Høivik (Oslo), professor and director of the LATINA lab (project director)
  • Lars Egeland (Oslo), director of Oslo University College Learning Centre
  • Maria Musoke (Kampala), director of Makerere University Library

Production Team

The Production Team, which is developing the technical infrastructure – and will conduct the course in Kampala,  currently consists of

  • Adoma Philliam (Kampala)
  • Agnes Namaganda (coordinator, Kampala)
  • Aslak Ormestad (digital support/teaching, Oslo)
  • Fred Lugya (digital support, Kampala)
  • Irene Mbawaki (blog editor, Kampala)
  • Lars Egeland (co-director, Oslo)
  • Monica Naluwooza (Kampala)
  • Stian Hubener (audio-visual production, Oslo)
  • Tord Høivik (course director, Oslo)

Contact details here.

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