viernes, julio 08, 2005

Production, categorization and distribution of knowledge. 

Is on-line multiculturalism a myth?

Since the early nineties I've been concerned about learning and helping others to use the internet for educational activities. Yes, educational institutions are equipped with the tools, and some teachers find them useful. Culturally however, there are voids in the use, comfort and skills of teachers. And that void is most critical if we are committed to the social inclusion idea. Currently I am most puzzled with my understanding that on-line multiculturalism is a myth; and that online multiculturalism is a culture of silence.

The getting computers and not knowing what to do with them seems as a universal experience. Also difficult for many is the opening of a blog account at Blogger and facing an empty page, or navigating a Moodle in a collaborative experience. We can discuss whether the technology responds to the needs of the user, or the other way around. I think that mastery in the use of technology is as important as being able to convey a message.

With opensource there is the ideological assumption that the technology can be altered and modified to suit the user's needs. Although the potential is there to accommodate everyone, I am skeptical about true open engineering remaining open and available to everyone. Not only there is the need to "show off" the latest technology and fastest tool, but will technology be comprehensible in simple words? For me, the most important effort is to find the lowest common denominator and find ways to raise it by education and social justice activities.

Found this file in my old computer....(6/20/04)

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