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August 4, 2010 by Zuena Juma   Comments (0)

with refference to one of presentation from Veronica Chuma in Uk, It could be good I dea to start implimentation or to solve the problem that hinder the development of ICT. Becuse she was explaining about the problem which hinder the development of ICT in most areas. Also we can proceed with new ideas when will  we back home and posting  it in enviroment.

video edting

July 28, 2010 by Zuena Juma   Comments (3)

Hi all,my short video is okay now,  you can watch it in the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MSVT41zlj8

 Actually my  aim was to kwon how to edit video during exchange period ,and this is my first time to edit a video I have never done it before. So dont be supprised about the long or short of the video.

Newspaper article about Exchange Participants

July 26, 2010 by clint   Comments (2)

Hi all, 

Thought you would enjoy seeing several of the exchange participants (Papa Dame from Senegal, Millicent from Kenya, Zuena, & Denis from Tanzania) in a local newspaper article. 

http://ict4dconsortium.rhul.ac.uk/elgg/pg/photos/view/9300/

Newspaper article

Also -- great participation in the reports given last Friday. Soon I'll post those to the virtual environment for those who were not able to join from Joensuu.

 

~Clint

You do best, that which you do with passion

July 4, 2010 by Millicent A. Obor   Comments (4)

 

When you sleep, dream, talk and think work for more than 15hrs a day......I bet you will say that it’s not very healthy,

but when you start coordinating Skype meetings in your head, formulating the way forward, jotting down others opinion, delegating duties and setting deadlines-all in your dreams bet you will say this is going a bit too far, too far? How about reading a very nice article from a certain web page, and for future reference and internalization, you save the web page on your desktop only to wake up and realize that it was all a dream?, that your favorite article was never saved?

 

Generally meditation is one of my most treasured hobbies, it comes so easy and naturally to me that I can even do it in the noisiest of places around, but this is an act that my stay in Joensuu has perfected and taken to the next level, partly because there are not so many people to talk to and it’s also a quiet place but also because it gives me a global view of the world-here I get to interact with people from different continents, countries, different cultures and background, and even people from different age groups.

Since most of the time I am alone in our apartment, I have identified my meditation corner, a dining table bench facing the window, from this angle I can watch the sun go down over the surrounding buildings (a phenomena I have come to notice is a bit drastic compared to the smooth setting of the sun back home) and lately with a bowl of ice cream I find my 'me' time which is usually not less than 2hrs almost per day and depending on the days' occurring it can go as long as 4hrs.

During this time, I do not only analyze and evaluate myself but also my country, my continent, the world, people I have interacted with and even people whose lives I have read and followed with interest -people like Dr. Ben Carson (author of gifted hands)-I think of what influences his life, what makes him so humble despite his success and popularity, people like Nick Vuvujick (a man with no hands, no limbs but apparently no limits)-what is behind  his zeal to live life to the fullest, what makes him so happy despite his situation, people like Phillip Onyancha (a man who finds pleasure in splitting other peoples throat and drinking their blood) I think of what forces prompt him to do such inhuman acts, people like Ben Underwood ( a blind person who could 'see' through echo reflection),I also think of why people like Amit would resign from high paying job just to pursue their passion-yes passion, a term I have come to realize carries so much power-passion.

Away from analyzing peoples’ lives, I also take keen interest in phenomena’s like incarnation-for example this young boy who claims he lived before, for instance how would you react to this-you are changing your boys diapers and out of nowhere he tells you,” you know dad, life is very interesting, when I was your age, I use to change your diapers”....... (True story)

 

These are also the times I think of my input in the whole exchange program, my role in the curriculum development group.

Initially I used to be a bit skeptical about the whole thing-I mean I'm only a student with no expertise whatsoever in curriculum development, so How on earth would I be of help? With an intense desire to fit in and be useful, I suggested that I would handle interactive coding of a feedback system, a task I relatively liked but dint do with much passion until John (Mr. Alwala as I'm used to calling him) knowing my interest(Modern communication-wireless and mobility) suggested that I handle (with his help) mobility courses that should be included in a 4 year Bsc IT curriculum and as part of 'HOW TO' task work on 'how to develop  mobile applications'.

 

 

So this is where more than 15hrs and midnight (dream) holding of Skype meeting come from. doing what you love, so much so that you don't care how many hrs you spend doing it.....thrilled to produce the best of results that midnight Skype meetings are just but part of the list, and if you get as disappointed as I'm when you wake up only to find your favorite article was never saved because it was all a dream-then you look for 'undo' button to undo waking up to continue dreaming just to grasp some more tips-but alas, if only it was possible!

 

For all these, I have John to thank, my group members and all the exchange participants

 

N/B Did I tell you I know how to cycle?

           Yeah, life teachings from Joensuu :)

 

ICT - Education, Government & Poverty Alleviation

June 29, 2010 by Yaw Ameyaw   Comments (1)

Education

The establishment of ICT Vocational Centres in all districts to offer training to students, teachers and Heads of institutions will help spread the propagation of ICT for all. This will help qualified students to easily apply for on-line admissions to our universities. In-service courses should be given to teachers on the proper use of multimedia tools for effective teaching. Very soon I will release an article on the topic, ''The attitudes of in-service teachers on the use of multimedia as a tool for science taeching''. The only sad thing is that you do not have a wider coverage like other journals, but if you can assure me of a good coverage and acceptable heading, then it will posted to you.

Government

Making all goverment ministries/institutions, ICT sensitive, and this can be achieved by offering workshops for selected workers, who will later become trainers in their ministries. It could be workshops on how to retrive information, documentation, etc.

Poverty alleviation

This can be done by having computer garages established in all districts to offer training in the assemblage of new computers, repair of old ones, transfer of technical-know-how of computers, etc. The above will definately open up for the youth in our communities to in the near future to establish their own garages to gain some income to support their families.

Curriculum for Database Design

June 25, 2010 by Yaw Ameyaw   Comments (1)

Hi Clint,
What I have observed is that ICT must be the master key to almost all concepts, if truely, we want to see its benefit. Initially, I thought as being not a Computer Scientist, I was not going to fit well into the program. My inclusion in the multimedia group has given me a wider focus that everybody is needed in that field. With my experience, it has given me the ability to design many concept maps on paper for medicinal/herbal plant products and herbarium documentation.
 
The ICT Departments in all educational institutions should be linked to all the other departments, in order to give training to staff/lecturers and students to provide them with ideas for the creation of simple educational technologies, such as multimedia conecpt mapping construction. According to Novak, this will help compress volumes of lecture notes into a more consigned reader materials.
 
A database design curriculum should be hands-on-activities/practical oriented but not theory/lecture method.
 
Thank you.
 
Yaw.   

Second blog report on Contextual ICT Team progress

June 24, 2010 by Dame Ba   Comments (13)

A summary about the work of the contextual ICT is the use of mobile technologies (phones, sensors) to help rural areas; in fact, as we said in our last blog report, a similar project to ours was done and consisted of leveraging wireless technologies and shareware to create innovative, low-cost applications tailored to the need of poor, largely illiterate rural populations; in other words, it was developped new human-machine interfaces that allow illiterate populations to access information using voice or graphic icons on portable telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Why the use of sensors in such project? If it is really needed, how to use it? That was the questions we tried to answer this week!

 

The existing project

Senegal’s ICT Resource Centre developed ICT applications that addressed the needs of village communities. This research and development focused on new human-machine interfaces that allow illiterate populations to access information using voice or graphic icons on portable telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

 The development goals were to bring the benefits of information and communication technology to people who can’t read or write. It was a critical question, because excluding such people from the digital economy serves to further marginalize them.

 The context was that ICTs can help the marginalized and disadvantaged gain access to resources for community and personal development, but personal computers and commercial software can be prohibitively expensive, and in rural areas both the electrical supply and fixed-line connectivity are often unreliable. In Senegal, lower-cost wireless technologies (especially cellular telephones) running royalty-free shareware have the potential to overcome these barriers, but only when applications are tailored to the specific needs of a largely illiterate rural population.

 

To reduce the risks they face, pastoralists practice mobility of the cattle that appears as a strategy for using resources. The transhumance is the heart of the debate of this strategy. It takes a great importance during the dry seasons, in the form of migration to areas of dry season grazing. However,
transhumance is still facing several problems. The first is the identification of transhumance tracks to avoid confrontations between ranchers and farmers. The second problem is the management of water points in these areas. The lack of information on wells, boreholes and pools creates overload of these items and sometimes even unnecessary travels because water points may not be available (inoperative, dried, loaded, etc. It should be noted that information systems traditionally used by communities as a basis for informing seem to have reached their limits. The disruption of space-resource by lack of information results in a low productivity of cattle.

In pastoral systems, local knowledge feeds the two main survival strategies that are pastoral mobility and diversification. However, despite the existence of local knowledge, the information system that forms endogenously may be poorly structured and untraceable, since they rely on memory and orality. Furthermore, among the major constraints hindering the socioeconomic development of pastoral populations, we have:
- Environmental constraints, marked by the expansion of crops that compete pastoral ranching in its most vital: access to resources and mobility; this is reflected by the gradual disappearance of pasture areas used for agriculture at times leading to conflicts agro.
- The zoo-sanitary constraints, which represent the major health risk in pastoral area, they are characterized by the periodicity and the emergence of diseases in animals rally around pools ; the temporary nature of these pools forced farmers to make long distance for watering the cattle, with the resulting weakening of the animals and a spatio-temporal diffusion of diseases.

This system can be improved through the use of free software, mobile and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
In fact, the role of communication, use of innovative tools and decentralization of information is enormous and it illustrated his importance in the context of helping rural people to better monetize their pastoral practices. However, any innovation is complex because it always combines a technical dimension and social dynamics, it is now more crucial than ever to adapt modern information systems to information systems endogenous.

 

 

 

 

Project issues

 A problem is how the server can get knowledge about the effective availability of a water point. Also, why not adding quality control of the water as extra information for the end user?

 A possible solution is the use of a wireless sensor network (WSN). Let’s explore what is a WSN before trying to adapt it to our problem.

Wireless sensor networks in some words

Wireless sensor networking is an emerging technology that promises a wide range
of potential applications in both civilian and military areas. A wireless sensor
network (WSN) typically consists of a large number of low - cost, low - power, and
multifunctional sensor nodes that are deployed in a region of interest. These
sensor nodes are small in size but are equipped with sensors, embedded microprocessors,
and radio transceivers. Therefore, they have not only sensing, but also
data processing and communicating capabilities. They communicate over short
distance via a wireless medium and collaborate to accomplish a common task,
for example, environment monitoring, military surveillance, and industrial process
control. In many WSN applications, the deployment of sensor nodes is performed
in an ad hoc fashion without careful preplanning and engineering. Once deployed,
the sensor nodes must be able to autonomously organize themselves into a wireless
communication network. In particular, sensor nodes are typically battery -
powered and should operate without attendance for a relatively long period of
time. In most cases, it is very diffi cult and even impossible to change or recharge
batteries for the sensor nodes. Distinguished from traditional wireless networks,
WSNs are characterized with denser levels of node deployment, higher unreliability
of sensor nodes, and severe power, computation, and memory constraints.
The unique characteristics and constraints present many new challenges for the
development and application of WSNs. Due to the wide range of potential applications,
WSNs have received tremendous attentions from both academia and
industry all over the world in recent years.[*]

*Source:Zheng, J.; Jamalipour, A.; , "A Networking Perspective," Wireless Sensor Networks , vol., no., pp.500

Here is the architecture of a wireless sensor network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The sink may communicate with the task manager node via Internet or Satellite.
  • The sensor nodes are usually scattered in a sensor field
  • Each of these scattered sensor nodes has the capabilities to collect data and route data back to the sink

Environmental monitoring is one of the earliest applications of sensor networks. In environmental monitoring, sensors are used to monitor a variety of environmental parameters or conditions.
• Habitat Monitoring. Sensors can be used to monitor the conditions of wild animals or plants in wild habitats, as well as the environmental parameters of the habitats. For example, researchers , from the University of California at Berkeley and the college of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, conducted
an experiment to monitor the habitat of the nesting petrels on Great Duck Land in Maine by deploying 190 wireless sensors, including humidity, pressure, temperature, and radiation.
• Air or Water Quality Monitoring. Sensors can be deployed on the ground or under water to monitor air or water quality. For example, water quality monitoring can be used in the hydrochemistry fi eld. Air quality monitoring can be used for air pollution control.
• Hazard Monitoring. Sensors can be used to monitor biological or chemical hazards in locations, for example, a chemical plant or a battlefield.
• Disaster Monitoring. Sensors can be densely deployed in an intended region to detect natural or non - natural disasters. For example, sensors can be scattered in forests or revivers to detect forest fi res or fl oods. Seismic sensors can be instrumented in a building to detect the direction and magnitude of a quake and provide an assessment of the building safety.

 

The use of sensors in such project

If we take a classical WSN in our project, we can consider that the water point is the sensor field; then the sensor nodes send back data to our server that represents the task manager node through the sink that is a special computer really powerful in energy. The first problem is sensor nodes are energy constrained, so their range of communication with the sink should be as short as possible to save the energy. The second problem is the sink; if we lose the sink, we lose the network, so the concept of fault tolerance should be taken into consideration; another challenge is to make that sink invisible for people to preserve it against curiosity; an idea is to use mobile phones of our application’s users as sinks to route data back to our server. How is it possible? We are going to give the response in our next blog report!

 

 

 

Curriculum Development: Status Report

June 24, 2010 by John Alwala   Comments (1)

The three sub groups are making substantive progress in the various activities. Several tasks are lined up for the week:

  • BSc ICT. Years one to three courses identified. Year four courses, electives for year four and year three, and inserting course topics or descriptions for year one will be the major activity of the week.
  • ICT Teacher Training curriculum: course topics have been identified and arranged under semessters one and two. A few more theoretical courses to be incorporated, as well as course descriptions for semeter one courses.
  • Interactive Course evaluation: a generally acceptable format now available. Need to add more specific questions on satisfaction levels for each course based on thecurriculum Learning Objectives.

 

Database Design

June 23, 2010 by Yaw Ameyaw   Comments (1)

Database design We have now moved away from the html to the main database using the JSP to design a menu for concept and sub-concept. We have inserted the University of Eastern Finland logo. Kindly, see the attached document.

Ameyaw, Hao, Ding, Denis & Mgova