PCF5:Global Learning Networks - report 2

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Title of session

Global learning networks

Session details

  • Date: 14 July 2008
  • Time: 2:00 pm

Session papers

  • Topic: an online agriculture knowledge grid

Brief summary: Background/rationale of the topic covered

  1. Online grids for education did not succeed in the past but today its easy
  2. There are education knowledge grids on engineering and other disciplines
  3. Online catalogue
  4. Wiki is a useful tool
  5. To form groups in wiki to discuss various concerns/ issues
  6. A global contribution/ at all levels – educators, students, farmers

Outline of theoretical perspectives explored in the session that has the potential for achieving effective learning and improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Number of large initiatives with number of actors
  2. FAO is a major actor/ CTA a major role player/ NARS- specially in BRIC countries/ CGIAR

What are the unresolved issues and challenges for achieving effective learning for improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Coherence between the important actors and transparency in the knowledge base development process
  2. No forum available for contribution
  3. A supply based system available and proposed/ who wants it/ who would use it
  4. Large investment are difficult in knowledge systems/ most of the investments are for immediate solutions in Agriculture
  5. Lack of knowledge about the availability of existing material drives the lack of demand
  6. There are problems with wikipedia/ less than 1% of the user are actual contributors
  7. Few on agriculture/ agricultural issues
  8. Global agriculture content is absent
  9. Difficult to get the institutions to put up their information in the public domain/ more important issue is of upgradation
  10. Wiki is heavily dependant on bandwidth/ access etc.

What are the potential solutions for these issues and challenges that can make ODL work better for improved livelihoods?

  1. IFAF/ other organizations are looking at knowledge issues but they are not explicit demands
  2. There is a strong need for awareness which the proposed knowledgebase can bank upon and grow with
  3. Its worth testing in an exploratory way and follow the wikipedia path/ without looking at the demand right now and look at the future debates/ arguments and possible
  4. We need sufficient digital reusable objects which would encourage the possible usage
  5. Are we looking at a platform to network agriculture related communities? In that case the involvement of the public should be after we develop the platform/ how is it going to work if the farmers are involved from the very beginning- they are two parallel processes
  6. There is a demand for new “knowledge”
  7. How we organize the access of such knowledge bases/ what are the access to existing knowledge resources/ how do we network them?
  8. We need to start the process irrespective of the knowledge consolidation process that are taking place isolatedly
  9. Do we need to link it up with the existig efforts of knowledge consolidation?
  10. Incorporation of wikimedia/ different information forms
  11. Create a forum to assess the new technology and effectiveness of such new technologies/ a platform for networking thinkers

Suggest useful resources, people or institutions who could contribute to addressing these issues and challenges for achieving the sub theme topic and effective learning for livelihoods?

  1. What would be the type of repository we are talking about? What form information- video? Audio? Text?
  2. Knowledge modeling is important/ wiki is a good platform for aggregation of information and may not serve the purpose of education
  3. Various efforts are going on in India/ Africa for better access and mode of access such as mobile etc.

What role COL can play in strengthening the use of ICT and ODL and in adding value to achieving the sub theme topic towards effective learning for livelihoods?

  1. Support Wiki interface upgradation/ make it more intuitive and spontaneous
  2. Digital knowledge aggregation process at various levels
  3. Initiating the wiki agri educator
  4. Initiatig the reforms wiki may need (integration of wikimapia, wiki educator, wiki media
  5. Initiate the platform of a broad based education moving away from traditional university system
  6. A two years project to initiate the above broad based wiki educator for agriculture and to put down the forward issues involving content, technology and required aggregation

Key agreements/actions/ recommendations

We need to develop the platform keeping in mind the young professionals and farmers. We also need to look at the issues of content and knowledge aggregation seriously; as we must keep in mind the convergence of various technologies. COL could initiate the process by supporting the modification of wiki educator to a suitable form and the initial stages of the content development by bringing in relevant technology professionals and content generators from associates and partners

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