Empowering, international partnerships for improved digital equity

Empowering, international partnerships for improved digital equity

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Empowering, international partnerships for improved digital equity Ian W. Gibson Australian Centre for Education Studies Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia [email protected] Abstract: This paper provides one answer to the question of how teachers and teacher educators can collaborate in ‘doing and living equity’ at the same time as focusing upon the achievement of local learning goals. The answer rests upon the basis of a systemic plan of action, relying on recognition of the need to create a mental picture of global responsibility in the minds of youth, at the same time as ‘doing equity’ through a collaborative project where global social responsibility is clearly in evidence. Incorporating global experiences in teacher preparation programs and inspiring teachers to incorporate interactive technology and far placed partners into daily lesson plans becomes part of the long range solution. The story of the merging of the Mukuru Technology Partnership Project in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya and the Inaugural Children’s Conference 2006 in Sydney, Australia, is one such example. Background Since 2001 the United Nations ICT Taskforce has been focusing on the achievement of goals related to the more equitable use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of economic and social development. It has done this by “promoting partnerships between public, private, non profit, and civil stakeholders” (Bracey & Culver, 2005) with the aim of advancing efforts in bridging the digital divide. Clearly, while this is a goal of global importance, it is built upon the vision and good will of an increasing number of individuals who are focusing on making a personal difference for those without a vision for their own futures, and to whom existence on a daily basis is the source of all stress and the focus of all of their energies. Those unable to free themselves from the stresses of survival are clearly unable to add to the common good. While there is no doubt of the need for a focus on global social responsibility goals, and on the existence of global partnerships for good, these goals cannot be fully achieved unless the hope and aspirations of targeted individuals are harnessed and supported in the rebuilding of individual hopes and individual dreams. So, harnessing the potential of ICT for reclaiming individual hope and motivation are antecedent imperatives to the larger goal presented to the UN task force. Kofi Annan (2005) has suggested the focus of a recent Global e-Schools and Communities initiative to be the improvement of education, the opening of new markets, strengthening of governance and the means by which the UN’s Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved. He also suggested that it was the schools approach was the means by which indigenous people in the developing world were empowered. It is exactly such a focus that this paper is intent upon supporting. Several intersecting projects aimed at achieving internationally agreed development goals ie global ICT for
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2011 for the course PUK 202 taught by Professor Roth during the Spring '10 term at Universität Klagenfurt.

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Empowering, international partnerships for improved digital equity

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