This is a presentation that accompanied the workshop I just did in Tanzania at 

  • State University of Zanzibar
  • University of Dar es Salaam
  • International School of Tanganyika

All three went well and were well received, although there are certain changes I would make to this sequence before attempting this again. What I think remains valid is the focus on visualizing searches before interfacing with the databases themselves. When connectivity is in short supply, this remains critical to maximizing output and I think this poses the greatest disadvantage to developing nations in terms of meaningful use of online resources. The student or researcher in the developing world is not afforded the ability to search via serendipity or discovery. To meander through resources and follow trails based on a scent of relevance. Developing nations’ students need to visualize and refine their searches before even turning the computer on in order to maximize connectivity. Ostensibly, this could provide the advantage of rigid discipline, a certain precision in conducting online searching, but more likely it stunts possible discovery of new and relevant resources. 

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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