User:Alastair Sweeny

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Congratulations to the WikiEducator Community for hosting this conference, and I'm sorry I can't make the trip to Vancouver.

Here's a short bio posted on Wikipedia.

I am VP of a learning company that publishes four digital textbooks on the Mediawiki platform, and Executive Director of a Canadian non-profit charitable organization, The Civics Channel, dedicated to education in civics and human rights. We publish a digital civics textbook, Civics Canada Online, that we are moving over to the Mediawiki platform, and that we market to Canadian secondary schools. It has been approved for use in British Columbia schools. Proceeds pay for our development and educational work. We're attracted to Web 2.0 and School 2.0 technologies as ways to promote civics and human rights education.

"Our mission is to improve learning and teaching in civics education through innovation and inquiry that promotes civic awareness, exercise and understanding. CC's overarching vision is the integration of research and practice, to help improve the educational experiences of teachers and students. We view technology as a tool to support sustainable advances in student learning and teacher professional development. To meet this goal, The Civics Channel will engage in professional partnerships with similar organizations and stakeholders whose focus is complementary to ours.
Our mission is also to raise awareness and understanding among students of international issues, and to prepare them to live in an increasingly globalised world and to be active citizens shaping better futures."

What interests me about this conference is the international focus. We subscribe to the Global Human Rights Education List and have found that many educators in developing countries need help in developing a human rights curriculum. We are interested in tackling this challenge and helping educators share best practices, activities, and student projects, as well as providing a customizable set of global curriculum standards and resources.

Eventually an open human rights digital textbook with video lessons should emerge.

We think that Mediawiki and its extensibility provides a great platform for this activity, and we're setting up a multilingual wiki testbed.

I'm looking forward to the discussions.

WikiSym 2007

PS: I'd recommend the Wikisym 2007 conference in Montreal this October. Details:

2007 International Symposium on Wikis

Wikis at Work in the World:
Open, Organic, Participatory Media for the 21st Century
October 21-23, 2007, Montreal, Canada