The long-term online training course “Information and Communications Technologies Innovation for Development” will bring together 20-25 participants from across the world to learn, network, engage in critical discussion and critically reflect around the theme of ICT for Development.
In a world where some of the most pressing problems are problems of commons, such as: climate change, financial inequality, poverty, inaccessible healthcare, internet surveillance, etc. – the questions we should ask is: can we return to democratic principles of active participation to tackle the problems of commons or they should be solely left to be tackled by the experts alone?
Technology and Internet have proved fundamental tools to engage young people, citizens, issue-experts, organizations and institute, whose ability to ‘hack’ and re-appropriate technologies for local and international developments resulted with tremendous successful initiatives.
From citizen science initiatives such as “Safecast” in Japan, where citizens engaged in participatory scientific research, using open source and low-cost DIY technologies, to discover alarming levels of radiation in Fukushima; to “Ushahidi”, where informal groups of developers deployed crowdsourcing map as a space for citizens to report and speak up against election frauds. But, it’s not only citizens and informal collectives that have benefited from technological advancements. Organizations such as Unicef have launched “Rapid Pro” – an open-source platform of applications that can help governments deliver rapid and vital real-time information and connect communities to lifesaving services.
The long-term training course on “Information and Communications Technologies Innovation for Development” will review and explore the existing global and local initiatives and their impact in society, as well as critically analyze, adopt for local needs, as well as practice variety of methods, tools and techniques that strengthen and further develop the practical skills and theoretical knowledge of participants.
The course will be concluded with the Public Barcamp, where participants will have the opportunity to present their Final Projects and win the chance for seed-funding – up to 2000 euro.
This is the second edition of the course organized by ONG 2.0 and supported by Fondazione Cariplo and Compagnia San Paolo, in partnership with Opes Impact Fund, Fondazione Acra, We Make, Ouagalab, Fablab To, ISI Foundation, Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and Nexa center for internet & society Università di Torino, Politecnico di Torino.
The course programme and methodology will feature issue-experts, working groups, assignments, theoretical readings, practical simulations and creative moments that will help participants develop their competencies. The course is designed through ‘blended learning approach’ through the following educational elements:
- Thematic and theoretical inputs by module lecturers and/r guest speakers;
- Practical work through fieldwork demonstration and simulations, and use of various tools, platforms, methods and technologies;
- Module assignments which should be completed by the end of the module, as a moment and space for participants to pass through ‘experiential learning’ process;
- Encouragement and facilitation of peer to peer learning among the participants, as well as dialogical learning with the module lecturer and/or guest speaker, and course coordinator.
- Conceptualization, development and public presentation of the Final Project, where participants can put their knowledge and skills in action and win the chance for seed-funding – up to 2.000 euro.
The course is organized completely online, based on online educational methodologies developed by ONG 2.0, featuring live webinars (audio-video) and interactive web training (weblab). These methodologies have great advantages—except allowing participants to explore and practice the potential of digital technologies for meeting and learning in distance, it results also with immense economical advantages comparing to analogue courses (that requires physical presence in the class) and thus, enabling the opportunity for anyone, from across the world, to participate in the courses.
When we speak about online courses, we do not mean e-learning or video-lessons that one follows alone at home – but instead, a real-time and face-to-face meetings with lecturers and other participants through the online environments. In our ‘digital classes’ everyone can see each other: you can see the lecturer as well as the lecturer can see and follow other participants through webcam. Moreover, participants can pose questions to the lecturer or the whole group, by writing in chat or through voice; a number of real-time simulation exercises, individual and/or in group, are core elements of our course, thanks also to our latest technologies that we use in our ‘digital classes’.
The course anticipates also the creation and curation of an online internal space, which will serve as a space to share thoughts, materials and resources, experiences, as well as network and connect with each other. This space won’t be closed after the course, as we aim to create a community of practitioners that can connect and collaborate also beyond the course.
Although interactivity is one of our central principles of our educational methodologies, all the sessions are recorded and shared with participants, in order for participants to not miss even a minute from the course. So, except the live sessions, participants can also follow the recorded sessions, in case the participation in real-time was not possible.