This is a follow up to the previous post about potentially using Ushahidi and Frontline SMS (and maybe some open source CMS, Drupal, WordPress, etc.) for bridging communities of interest in higher education in Africa. I was specifically referring to Plant Science, allowing higher education plant/natural science departments with meager resources (ie, all of them) to potentially network the academic community with the practitioners (farmers, horticulturalists) in developing nations. All of this could be done cheaply, quickly, and efficiently with respect to the limitations (and opportunities) presented by SMS mobile phones in Africa. This is all part of activities we are doing for the #MobiMOOC open course for mobile learning.

A fellow learner in the course, Sean Abajian (and Sean, this post is just a poor attempt to start a dialogue with you on this) quickly put together at the beginning of the course a crowdmap of activity on #MobiMOOC using Ushahidi to demonstrate how fast and effective this tool is. In fact, I fully suspect this was the inspiration for my previous post.  So, basically what Sean did was create a crowdmap, as seen in the screenshot below. Learners/classmates submit a SMS message, or email, or tweet with the #mobimooc hashtag and it is represented on the map along with the contents of the tweet.


Sean's #mobimooc Crowdmap

What Sean’s map does most of all (at least in my estimation) is prove that these networks can be put together fast and (cost and time) efficiently. It also heartens me to believe that my meager tech abilities might be sufficient to get something of my own together as well. A great proof of concept for the hundreds of participants on the #mobimooc course.

So, my impressions on where to from here in regards to the crowdmap.

Other applications (Sean has me thinking here):

All just some rudimentary ideas, but great ideas, Sean!


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