Vision Meeting 2016

A few weeks ago we had a great time at our annual Vision Meeting at Bella’s LebenGut! It was inspiring, fun, strengthening, bounding and joyful as always and it was a pleasure to spend our time together.
The Vision Meeting was also the general assembly of our association and the attending members voted Georg Steinfelder as our new vice-chairman after Fritz stepped back. They also extended my position as chairman and I would like to express my gratitude for their trust in me.

ICT4D.at members

Florian guided us through the first day and gave us a great structure to have a better understanding of who we are, what we want and how we can achieve our goals and future plans.
We took some notes to persist the outcome, here’s a short summary of some key statements:

  • ICT4D.at
    • has good vibes and we have to keep them
    • is a safe space for our feelings and ideas – it’s a supporting network
    • is a place where at the same time everyone can be a mentor and get a mentor
    • is a dynamic organisation but furthermore with different dynamics and that’s good!
    • let friends succeed and it is wonderful to see that
    • Is a place where we can listen, observe and support
    • is an incubator for ideas and together we share the same realities
    • is a place for curious people
    • has visions and we can reach some of them
  • Discussed ICT4D.at Projects
    • mICT4DMZ – we are still waiting for the funding and we are excited to kick off the project. Paul will handle the project from India with Philipp’s support who is our partner at the INSO.
    • Ghana – Margarete pauses for the moment to finish her PhD, but there are a lot of possibilities. She wants to go there soon and start with fresh ideas. She wishes to have the support from one of our younger members to create a good working team for the project. She recently also got the offer to talk about bigger funding, she will have a meeting in November. Margarete also wants to focus on new and young members for our association to face our new challenges and get new ideas.
    • Team Nimble – There is a lot in the pipeline for our newest project. We will continue our cooperation with the Red Cross. Anders and Georg will have a meeting soon with the Red Cross to support them with their profession. Chloé will support the team from India. It opened many doors and we are still searching for the best way to continue. We also want to create an independent website.
    • Dot Learn – Wolfgang wants to engage himself in the Dot Learn project and this might result in new opportunities for us. He will keep us updated on his efforts, great!
    • Osramba – we tried to start a new project in Ghana but we fail of acquiring the funding. We reflected on it and discussed the process.
  • We want to have more communication and we brought up new and old ideas. A Stammtisch was mentioned and might happen again soon, but we also decided to have repeating Skype calls to stay more in touch and exchange ideas. It was proposed to meet every two weeks online and just talk about opportunities. If someone wants to discuss a topic in detail, then she or he will lead the call. It’s not obligatory and open for everyone since it was also mentioned that we are an association consisting of active and passive members. Anders, Wolfgang and Georg are already interested in hosting one of these calls, so stay tuned.
  • ICT4D.at also means to us to collaborate and combine. We already worked with other organisations and we want to improve on that. We are also proud of having a lot of different professions and we love to exchange and combine our expertises. There is also the possibility to collaborate professionally in the future.
  • We are already 8 years old and we realized that we only have two years left of planing our 10 year anniversary party and we should start ASAP. Bella and Georg already started to compose the official song and there is more to come.

It was a wonderful weekend, but see by yourself:

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Vision Meeting 2016
was published on 27.09.2016 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under global
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Articles about ICT4DMZ in the ÖAD magazine

In the current feature of OEAD-News, the journal of the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and researchl, there are two articles featuring

  • the project ICT4DMZ

  • and Marcia Juvane, the PdH student from Mozambique

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Articles about ICT4DMZ in the ÖAD magazine
was published on 20.06.2014 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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ICT4DMZ – PhD student from Mozambique – Welcome!

In the course of our joint program with University Eduardo Mondlane Maputo and Vienna University of TechnologyICT4DMZ – we have also managed to get funding for a Mozambiquan student to come to Austria for a joint PhD program in informatics.

Two weeks ago Marcia has finally arrived in Vienna and is starting her studies now. Welcome Marcia, we wish you a productice and enjoyable time here.

Thanks to APPEAR, the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education & Research for Development and of course our project team to make this happen!

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ICT4DMZ – PhD student from Mozambique – Welcome!
was published on 28.04.2014 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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News from academia

Our member Margarete is busy writing her thesis and has in the course of this recently published a paper about her experiences in Ghana.

Grimus, M.; Ebner, M. Learning and Teaching with Mobile Devices – An Approach in Secondary Education in Ghana.
In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile Learning 2014. IADIS (International Association for Development of the Information Society), Inmaculada Arnedillo Sánchez and Pedro Isaías (Eds.) March 2014.
ISBN: 978-989-8704-02-3 © 2014 IADIS, pp 66-74.

She has also held a presentation at the university of Graz about “Societal aspects of the information technology – mobile learning: chances in education for sub-sahara Africa, e.g. in Ghana”. Below you can watch it – it’s in German.

Gesellschaftliche Aspekte der Informationstechnologie: GADI: “Mobile Learning: Bildungschancen für Sub Sahara Afrika, zB. in Ghana”

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News from academia
was published on 22.04.2014 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Modern software development workshops at the UEM Maptuo

The ICT4DMZ project is now running quite a while and after three amazing weeks in Maputo we are one big step further to reach our goals. Philipp and I (Paul Spiesberger) tried to bring the students of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo on the right track.

In more than eight workshops we gave them the tools and the knowledge to start programming for their projects. At the beginning we tried to find out on which level their skills are and what we can expect. From that point on we knew that we will have to give them a short introduction to modern software development in a team as well. Up to that day the students were exchanging code with Dropbox and they had almost no structure or/and organisation for their teamwork. At that time we were glad that Florian and Anders did great work a few months ago. They helped them with team roles and project documentation a lot. So it was not necessary to cover that important part too. In order to give them an easy tool to handle their code and the organisation of their projects, we introduced them to GIT and Bitbucket. The students were impressed by the GIT workshop and we were happy to see over the next days that some of them were porting their “Dropbox projects” to their new GIT repositories. Working with Bitbucket-Issues was not that successful at the beginning, but we are sure that this will change over time. From that point on we were ready for programming and we split up the group by the two projects:

Complaint Center

The goal of this project is to create a website which can handle complaints about a company or a product. It should gather information or feedback and help to improve their services. Philipp started with a short tutorial about the PlayFramework and helped to set everything up. After that he assisted with his expertise as much as he could.

Philipp with students

FindUEM

The other group is working on an Android app for students to find POI like lecture rooms, Wifi hotspots or public power plugs at the UEM campus. I started to teach them the basics of Android programming and helped them to set up the project. Since Java programming and developing for Android are quite different, it took a little bit longer to write the first line of code. I tried to explain step by step the important parts and assisted as much as I could.

Paul with students

In total we worked about 27 hours in three weeks with the students. We had some troubles finding the right time slots for all students, since they had different time schedules during their weeks. Especially at the beginning we did some workshops twice, so no one missed the introductions to the technologies. After that, not all students attended to our workshops all the time, but we were never alone.

From now on, we will assist via Skype and e-mail remotely from Austria. We have a good feeling for the outgoing of the projects and hopefully the students keep engaged in the next months as they were during our workshops.

Group picture UEM

During our stay we also helped the UEM to use Moodle for a first test run. We hope that in the future this modern way of IT supported teaching will be expanded to other lectures and faculties to strengthen the teaching abilities at the UEM.

In addition Philipp and I were working hard on our master thesis. Philipp is doing research on big data for emerging countries and for that he conducted some expert interviews. I am interested in user interface design for mobile devices in emerging countries like Mozambique. So I did a survey with students to find out their mobile phone usage and habits.

Of course we also found time to travel and to take a look at this beautiful country. When you talk to people in Mozambique, experience the beautiful landscape and take the time to look behind the curtain, then you get the feeling that this country is moving fast forward. The question is in which direction. The currently discovered massive resources (minerals, oil, gas) can have a positive or a negative impact to the society. There is also a new party growing really fast and it is gaining more and more influence. In the last few months the country was almost slipping into a new civil war. But one week before we arrived, they managed to find a compromise and elections are going to happen in the future. But I think that despite the fact of great poverty, corruption and the lack of education, Mozambique has the ability to find the way to a great and rich future.

3 women

Last but not least I would like to say thank you to Emilio Mosse and Andrei Shindyapin. We are lucky to have this partner and friends in Maputo, who are willing to share their valuable time and love with us. Also a big thank you to the students for their great effort and time!

Philipp and I are excited to continue the work and we are looking forward to meeting our friends in Maputo again.

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Modern software development workshops at the UEM Maptuo
was published on 03.03.2014 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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Keta Project Continued – Second Workshop in Ghana

As proposed after the successful workshop at KETASCO last year (see
http://ict4d.at/2012/10/06/keta-project-looking-back/) a follow up workshop on the topic “Learning and Teaching with Digital Technology had taken place in September 2013 in Keta. The school is still growing and hosts now about 2.800 students, another 15 classes in a new block open next year.

The second workshop focused on development of content for mobile learning with teachers and students and was scheduled for three weeks from 9th to 28th September 2013. The aim was to offer a chance for students to access learning material on their own mobile phones whenever they need it and to produce content particular to local demands:

Schedule: two weeks teacher training and a third week teamwork of teachers and students. Topics of the workshop:

  • Development of locally relevant digitized content and upload to mobile phones. Test and peer-review
  • Use of a Dropbox for feedback and reviews. (possibilities. benefits and challenges)
  • Creation of a personal digital portfolio.
  • Didactical methods: Evaluation of digital learning material e.g. Open Content, OER.
  • Guidelines for Best practice: Mobile phones for learning’.

Initially 20 teachers registered; finally 14 fulfilled the requirements for a certificate. During the third week 13 students participated. For testing 20 mobile phones (Nokia E5-00 smartphone with MicroSDHC 2GB inbox) and 5 eReader (TrekSTor E-Book Reader Pyrus mini, 4,3” Digital Ink) were brought from Europe, together with an additional WLAN router to
support mobile Internet access. Noah, an ICT student of KETASCO assisted in technical and organizational aspects, his
support was highly appreciated and contributed to the success of the workshop.

Students were introduced by teachers in creating a digital portfolio and use of a drop-box. Together they created courses for specific subjects and topics:

  • Social Studies: Adolescence Pregnancy
  • Social Studies: Adolesence Chastity
  • Physics: Projectiles
  • Physics: Atom Physics, Basics
  • English Language: Nouns
  • ICT: Classification of Computer Hardware
  • Business Studies: Law of agency
  • Graphics and Art: Elements of Design
  • Chemistry: Inter Atomic Bonds
  • Economics: Demand
  • Mathematics: SET Theory

The courses were presented from a student accompanied by teacher to the auditorium. Finally four external examiners
(teachers from other SHSS) approved the success of the workshop and the quality of the developed material. They gave feedback to the participants in the three categories:

  • Teachers’ Portfolios (evaluation of reports, structure, achieved learning outcomes, keywords, take home statements, summary
  • Content of developed Courseunits (micro-content) developed by teachers and students units (small groups, 1-2 teachers+ 1-2 students). Assessment of course-structure, -design, suitable for small screens, visualization/images. Output as epub and pdf.
  • Guidelines for good practice, posters. The assessment checked on completedness of relevant facts and if the take in account needs of both parts (teachers and students) to gain better acceptance

Challenges were seen in the frequent power outages, which impair the work in the computerlab. Noah is also the tutor of a team working on robotics. They prepare to participate in a comettion on robotics.

Outcome:

The second workshop led to a better understanding of the issue of mobile devices for learning than theoretical statements A similar acceptance was found in the interview with the headmaster. Teamwork with students offered new insights as well for teachers as for students and can be recognized as a basis for further developments in
teaching and learning. Teachers were encouraged to pass their learned skills on to students and colleagues afterwards.

In the opening ceremony the headmaster reported to all students and teachers about the new trends coming up in education. He addressed that this could help to become critical thinkers, referred to new didactical methods and benefits by integrating mobile devices in learning and teaching. He proposed a reform of the guidelines for the use of mobile devices at school. 14 teachers were handed over their certificates of successful completion of the workshops. Finally 4 laptops from Austrian donors were handed to the school to benefit students and teachers in the new built library.

We hope that the expertise gained in the workshops will affect further developments.

Publications of the project in international journals:

Grimus, M., Ebner, M., Holzinger, A. 2013a. Mobile Learning as a chance to enhance education in developing
countries – in the example of Ghana. In: mLearn 2012 Conference Proceedings. Specht, M., Sharples, M.,
Multisittla, J. (Ed.), Helsinki, Finland, p. 340-345, ISSN 1613-073, Volume 955, http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-955/

Grimus, M. and Ebner, M. 2013b. M-Learning in Sub Saharan Africa Context- What is it about. In . Jan
Herrington et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and
Telecommunications 2013 (pp. 2028-2033). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved 28.10. 2013 from
http://www.editlib.org/p/112251.

Acknowledgments:

The support to the Workshops with mobile devices (mobile phones and laptops) and the provided prices have contributed a lot to the success of the project. This is why I would like to thank Mr. Tom Trauner for assembling of the phones and the donation of lot of material. My thanks address also the Austrian Computer Society which supported the project with pen drives, T-shirts and caps. Many thanks to the anonymous donators who supported the project with laptops via mediation of Dr. Baumer.

Particularly I would want to thank my mentor, Univ. Prof. Dr. Martin Ebner of the University of Technology Graz, who helps me any time with advice and suggestions; his contributions benefit a lot to the success of the project.

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Keta Project Continued – Second Workshop in Ghana
was published on 20.11.2013 by Florian Sturm. It files under sub saharan africa
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ICT4DMZ – course updates & pictures

After two weeks course with the interested and motivated students at Universidaded Eduardo Mondlane the two applications take shape.

We have identified users, use cases and system components and have been working to define these system components in detail. For this we haven’t worked with computers but mainly with moderation cards – a method I prefer to give the students something real to touch and move around.

For the Complaint Center we’ve already had an interview with the president of the consumer rights organisation DECOM (Associação de Defesa do Consumidor) where the students could present their idea for the website and receive valuable feedback.

Also we have worked a lot in smaller groups – focusing on frontend, backend and geographical information systems.

Below you find some pictures of the courses so far.

The next step for this week is now to join the work of the different groups and create a first prototpye for the projects. Afterwards, the next months the students will mainly work on their own – with supervision via mail.

In February two colleagues – Paul and Philipp, both working on their Masters at TU Wien will come and carry on with the implementation of the applications. I’m curious if the application won’t already be finished to a large part by then – as the students show so much interest and dedication to make the two applications reality.

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ICT4DMZ – course updates & pictures
was published on 02.09.2013 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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ICT4DMZ – Course with students about software concept development

After the project ICT4DMZ started in July 2012 – we wrote about it in an older blogpost – we are still on it and right now; Anders and Florian are on the spot for another work package.

This work package is about planning projects that meet the demand of the broader population, while at the same time offering a practical guide to students how to get from a project idea to a software concept. The two software concepts developed in this course will be implemented in the coming work package – in February 2014.

So the course started on Monday with 12 students from 2nd and 3rd year informatics and 2 people from 3rd and 4th year geograpy studies with GIS background. This is a group picture of the students and Florian.

So far we’ve initiated two great ideas which we will develop into a concept:

– Safe/Beautiful Maputo
A service which provides information for places in Maputo. Users and officials from different institutions can share information if places are dangerous, safe, interesting for tourists or have any other special characteristic and how they can be reached. Tourists and citizens of Maputo can use this information to plan activities or their daily trips.

– Complaint Center
This application should provide an interface between customers that have bought a product and want to place a complaint and companies that should care for this complaint. Finally the rating of companies due to their response to complaints will also help future customers decide where to buy a product.

Additionally, we introduced the students to a voluntary excercise called “MyMaputo”, which is an introduction to open source web filmmaking. It could later be applied for client demos of the finalized software concept.

Of course we were also heartly welcomed by our project partners at UEM. We met with the professors Emilio Mosse and Andrei Shindyapin and their staff and they already showed us around in this beautiful city.

We were positively surprised to find out that just across our office is the Centro de Informatica – CAICC (http://www.caicc.org.mz) which includes an ICT4D department. We got in contact with Polly Gaster and Luís Neves, who were kind enough to brief us on their mision and current activities.

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ICT4DMZ – Course with students about software concept development
was published on 21.08.2013 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Keta project – looking back

As already mentioned in the last post, our in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School is over now and Margarete is back in Austria again. So it’s time for a sum-up and some lessons learned.

Here’s a group picture of all the participants.

The participants of the group have received their certificates (posing in ECDL T- shirts, a gift from the Austrian Computer Society, http://www.ocg.at)

.

School

Keta Senior High Technical School is a very large school with about 80 teachers and more than 2,000 pupils (due to Margarete’s informations). Some of the teachers participated in our program – it was a voluntary decision to expand their knowledge about information and communication technologies.

In the beginning it was necessary to find out what the teachers wanted to learn – considering the different skills levels of the participants

  • figuring out what the best outcome will be
  • every day Margarete assessed the interest of the particpants  and adjusted her program to the audience

Currently there has been a government program put into place where teachers are given laptops to use them in their courses. The timing of this government program fits nicely with our project.

The projector donated by Fritz, another of our members, was very helpful during the course.

Generally the feedback of the teachers was very good . They expressed their appreciation to learn more about ICT and digital literacy. The participants enhanced their ICT skills during the two weeks course and they developed new ideas for their class teaching. Different methods of pedagogy in class teaching (Ghana / European practice) were figured out.

The topics covered in the course included

  • basic ICT literacy
  • usage of MS Office programs such as MS Word, MS Excel and MS Powerpoint
  • basic internet-skills –how to use internet for better learning and teaching good practice skills (e.g. evaluation of websites)
  • how to enhance teaching and learning using digital devices
  • creating a digital portfolio (as an example for future teaching experience)

Challenges with the lab

  • internet connection only on the last day
  • PCs were no too well maintained – many disconnected parts & the working ones were full of viruses
  • power outages – but only 1 full day course had to be cancelled

Headmaster Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu was involved and is very positive and forward-thinking. He is very much interested in the potentials of ICT in teaching and learning.

Ministry

The day before departure Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu and Margarete met Mr. Abu Stephen.

  • Mr. Abu is Deputy Director-General & Director at the Basic Education Division and reponsible for ICT in education
  • Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu & Mr. Abu are looking forward to further activities
  • Keta School could become a pioneer project

It was a very interesting meeting, Mr. Abu already answered to a mail of Margarete – looking for further cooperation

Margarete also met with Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu, country manager of the Right To Play project who handed over Margarete a present on behalf of the Keta School alumnis to Margarete – a wooden stool with the sign of Keta School carved in.

Planning

We should continue with this project and plan for a next course, maybe continuing with the same group to widen their experience and build up a Trainee group, or maybe same content with another group of teachers

Organisation of the course and Margarete’s arrival and stay in Keta was perfectly fine, the mobile internet (MTN) worked perfect and and allowed her to stay connceted with Florian and Fritz in Austria and Worlali in the Netherlands.

Margarete will try to get Gameli and Eldad involved in an online project in Graz – already
talked with doctor father about this.

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Finally we want to express our sincere thanks especially to Gameli Adzaho and to Charles Amega-Selorm who organised everything on the spot and headmaster Mr. D.K. Sedanu-Kwawu. It was very kind of him to offer Keta Senior High Technical School to help make this project a success.

We’re looking forward to working with you soon again!

Big thanks and appreciation also to our member Worlali Senyo who initiated the project and virtually kept in touch with everybody during the whole period.

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Keta project – looking back
was published on 06.10.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course

The first part of our project in Keta with Margarete Grimus holding the in-service training for teachers in digital media skills in public schools in Ghana at Keta Senior High Technical School has finished now. Margarete has done a great job in these almost three weeks and met some interesting people on the spot – so the next step is to assess the outcomes and possible ways to go further. From what Margarete is writing, however, there will definitely be a next part and we will continue the project.

So before we post a summary and our lessons learned, here’s some pictures of the course:

Make sure you check back soon, not to miss our summary.

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News & pics from our Keta project after two weeks course
was published on 25.09.2012 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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