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Intercultural Communication via the Internet: Receiving the Message and Sending a Response*
- What educational, health, cultural, management, training or community development experiences do you know that have used the Internet or computer systems and that you would consider as possible models for replication?
*The ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not necessarily of the OAS nor of its member states. The opinions expressed are the responsibility of the authors.
Virtual communities provide an opportunity for persons with common intersts across the globe, to connect. Increasingly, persons are able to share their experiences, research and lifeworld with persons across boundries. Exposure to varied cultures enables the broadening of ones world view and could be a medium for influencing attitude change and behavior.
Infinite, given the nature of the Internet: decentralized and
Immediate communication with previously remote areas by way of email.
Bring to communities, particularly indigenous ones, appropriate and up-to-date information about means of communication that can be selectively
incorporated into their own patterns of behavior.
As a support and complement to formal education.
Government extension offices across the rural and urban scene should make available WEB-connected computers for free use. Some training should also be available. This should allow small organizations such as womens groups establishing local businesses or water-users associations to learn from others experiences, and to access a wealth of training material.
There are many, but the student, the curriculum, and the school have to change and recognize that they need more languages and language styles.
2. What are some potential applications of the Internet and
other information technology tools in maintaining and promoting knowledge
about individual, remote, or marginalized cultures (those cultures
that fall outside of the mainstream culture within a particular country)?
1. Provide and promote knowledge of marginalized cultures thorugh traditional media. 2. Provide opportunity for increased access to the internet for other remote communities, allowing them to build partnerships with similar remote communities. 3. Train marginalized community groups to use internet and to use it to share information about their particular culture; traits, industry,and uniqueness etc.
Let others know about their existence, their customs and and about
their culture in general, that is, that the world knows about them.
The possibility of exchanging literature, folklore, traditional medicine, languages, and symbols. In this way, one can spread knowledge of their own culture and get to know other cultures.
The application of the Internet to distance education is creating a radical change in the dynamics of education. However, it is important to define what it is that the the State requires as obligatory knowledge for each grade or level, and to what extent elective and diverse knowledge should be accepted, evaluated and recognized acadmically into this structure, one that has historically not included diverse cultures into its mainstream approach.
3. What educational, health, cultural, management, training
or community development experiences do you know that have used the
Internet or computer systems and that you would consider as possible
models for replication?
There are some community projects supported by the OAS Youth Entrepreneurship project, UNESCO: community internet access that provide taining and information access through the internet. The universal access,that could result in atleast one internet connection for each youth group or community group and which could be used to provide collective training in various aspects of business, health management, and the documentation of cultural and historical creations, is yet to be realized. Even as this is written (internet focused) my current research informs me that we must find a way to marry the use of the mobile phone to the internet through convergence technology. This is how the change will be realized. How do we use the cell phone to tap into the internet system to draw down, share, find, curculate pertinent information on health, education, new knowledge about business, economics and community issues? For example, the farmer must be able to access the database of the Export, Import Agency to see live pictures of how his produce should look, the price it would fetch, when he should harvest and and where to sell. The trouble is that the farmer only has a cell phone. How are we going to provide that bridge between the internet and the mobile phone in developing economies?
SciDevNet (http://www.scidev.net) - A new website dedicated to
science, technology, and development.
MISTICA Project (http://funredes.org/mistica/) - A community that is part collaborative, part cooperative, part think tank, part utopian experiment; and all virtual.
Ashánika (http://www.rcp.net.pe/ashaninka/) - The Asháninka view the Internet as a means to share their traditions, while strengthening their culture and language. In an open grass hut on the edge of the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon jungle, an unlikely sight heralds a revolution: a computer on a rough plank table, displaying Internet web pages. The Asháninka do not see the Internet as a cultural invasion. Rather, they have seized it as a tool to reinforce and perpetuate their own culture, to build a larger sense of community purpose among the 400-odd Asháninka villages scattered across
South America, and to tell their own story to the world.
How to set up a community base internet site. Go to http://www.iadb.org/ict4dev/telecenters/ and click on presentation. Short presentation on how to set up a community based internet site and the challenges and advantages.
The best contribution that can be made to the modernization of educational technology focuses on access to information, and the evaluation and efficiency of that information.
I am living proof. I refused to use this media as a tool. I am a teacher and at one time my materials were some chalk and the blackboard, then I moved on to dry-erase markers, and now they are a computer and a projector.
Public discussion groups with community participation.