Latest posts by David Sasaki
Cristina Quisbert of the Voces Bolivianas project was invited to this year's BlogHer conference in Chicago as one of five recipients of the International Activist Scholarship. While she was impressed with the free wi-fi in the hotel, she noted that it was much more difficult to find internet access without a costly laptop.
Ceibal Jam! is a community of volunteer programmers, instructors, and technologists who have all come together to develop educational applications for the XO laptops that are now in the hands of every single primary school student in Uruguay.
Engineering a single laptop to serve the educational needs of young students throughout the developing world was probably the easiest piece of the puzzle. Helping teachers incorporate the new machines into the classroom has been a much larger - and more important - struggle.
Representatives from several Rising Voices projects took part in this month's "Soul of the New Machine" conference convened by the University of California at Berkeley's Human Rights Center. Their comments and their projects are indicative of a new era of human rights advocacy.
We have already heard from Prince Tolkpah and Titus Algaba about their implementation of Ceasefire Liberia in Monrovia. In this video we head to the other side of the Atlantic to see how members of the diaspora blogging project in Staten Island, New York will use participatory media to encourage more dialog between Liberians living in New York and Liberia.
The first two years of Project Ceibal have been characterized by implementation and incubation. The laptops have been deployed to schools, manuals have been created, tech savvy volunteer groups have been formed, wireless internet connections have been established, teachers have slowly learned how to implement the laptops into their curricula and classrooms, and, as Rezwan has covered previously, a community of open source programmers have developed educational applications for the laptops including a new customized blogging platform.
It is hard to imagine a place more difficult to keep a blog than a country that just barely has an electric grid. But a few ambitious, aspiring Liberian journalists are working hard to join their colleagues from the DR of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria on the frontiers of African new media.
Just west of Ivory Coast lies Liberia and its roughly 3.5 million inhabitants. Settled by free slaves from the United States in the early 19th century, Liberia fell into a 14-year dark period of civil war and lawlessness that concluded in late 2003 with the presence of ECOWAS and the United Nations.
Last October nine Liberian journalists learned how to blog at a workshop at the American Embassy in Monrovia. I am now back in Monrovia with Kathleen Flynn and Ken Harper to help facilitate more blogging workshops. This video introduces some of Liberia's most recent journalists and students of journalism to try their hands at blogging.
Of the 270 project proposals we received from activists, bloggers, and NGO's all wanting to use citizen media tools to bring new communities - long ignored by both traditional and new media - to the conversational web, the following five are most representative of the innovation, purpose and goodwill that Rising Voices aims to support. Please join me in welcoming our new Rising Voices grantees.
This Monday the citizen journalists of ConVerGentes, a project of HiperBarrio, got together for a video blogging workshop which, among other strategies, showed the journalists how to frame interview subjects using different angles and framings. In this video Catalina Restrepo describes the goals and activities of ConVerGentes.
After a slow couple months the members of HiperBarrio have come up with a plan to inject some enthusiasm and inspiration back into the group and its production of new media.