It seems like every country I go to, all the newspapers and TV are full of news from home.
Even the conversations seem to revolve around the same thing – Obama.
In Tanzania, it seemed like I often had conversations like this:
“Where are you from?”
A smile breaks across their face, they point at me and without containing their joy say “Obama!”
Here are some pictures from Tanzania (pictures of Obama on buses, and as screen savers on phones)
One of the most interesting moments for me was when I was watching the news with my friend who is from a war torn eastern European country:
“That is an amazing picture.” (he said)
“Which one?” (I asked)
“The one with Obama and Bush together. You don’t realize how incredible that is. People criticize America all the time, but it really is the best example of democracy that exists – to have that kind of peaceful transition of power is amazing. In my country, the president did not want to leave office, so they brought arms and a lot of people died.”
Perhaps Presiden Obama’s inauguration was the focus of more of the world’s consciousness than any other event in history?
I just hope we don’t depend too much on him to do things that all of us can do together, using a combination of our best intentions and intelligence. Time to recharge our “bettery”.
I’m curious – what are your expectations of Obama and the U.S. (especially over the next 4 years)?
Just finishing up a 10-day workshop in Tanzania as part of the ICT4D Consortium of African and European Universities. We had people from 8 different institutions and 11 different countries – a very international and interdisciplinary group.
It has been fun to see practical concrete examples of when people from very different perspectives and backgrounds can come up with better ideas and creative solutions together than any one could on their own.
In the work we are doing, I had an African cheif from a tribe in Ghana offer to make me a “soft” chief (a lower level chief) and have one of his wives (a woman promised to him) …particularly if I can gain a little weight and have a little money.
More pictures and stories to follow…
I have written (or am in the process of writing) several chapters on web analytics in education. The following is a list of some of these readings about Web Analytics. Feel free to comment and share other helpful sources.
Web Analytics References
Ballardvale Research (2007). Market Trends – Web Analytics: History and Future. Online document. Retrieved 8/24/2007 from http://www.ballardvale.com/free/WAHistory.htm
Burby, J., & Atchison, S. (2007). Actionable Web Analytics: Using data to make smart business decisions. Web Publishing, Inc. Indianapolis: Indiana.
Cadez, I., Heckerman, D., Meek, C., Smyth, P., & White, S. (2003). Model-based clustering and visualization of navigation patterns on a Web site. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 7, 399-424.
Comunale, C. L., Sexton, T. R., & Voss, D. J. P. (2001-2002). The effectiveness of course Web sites in higher education: An exploratory study. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 30(2), 171-190.
Gao, T., & Lehman, J. D. (2003). The effects of different levels of interaction on the achievement and motivational perceptions of college students in a Web-based learning environment. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 14(4), 367-386.
Hellwege, J., Gleadow, A., & McNaught, C. (1996). Paperless lectures on the Web: An evaluation of the educational outcomes of teaching Geology using the Web. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary education (ASCILITE ’96), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 289-299.
Horváth, A., & Jókai, E. (2007). Evaluation of University E-learning Courses Based on Data Mining Methods. Presented at the 6th European Distance Education Network (EDEN) Conference. Stockholm, Sweden.
Hwang, W.-Y., & Li, C.-C. (2002). What the user log shows based on learning time distribution. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18, 232-236.
McIsaac, M. S., Blolcher, J. M., Mahes, V., & Vrasidas, C. (1999). Student and teacher perceptions of interaction in online computer-mediated communication. Educational Media International, 36(2), 121-131.
Nachmias, R., & Segev, L. (2003). Students’ use of content in Web-supported academic courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 6, 145-157.
Peled, A., & Rashty, D. (1999). Logging for success: Advancing the use of WWW logs to improve computer mediated distance learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 21(4), 413-431.
Rafaeli, S., & Ravid, G. (1997). Online, Web-based learning environment for an information systems course: Access logs, linearity and performance. Proceedings of the Information Systems Education conference (ISECON ’97), Orlando, Florida, USA, 92-99.
Rieger, R. H., & Sturgill, A. (1999). Evaluating Online Environments: Tools for observing users and gathering feedback. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 84, 45-58.
Rogers, P.C., Flores, D., Matthews, K. (2007, Sept). The Learner/Teacher, Online Platforms, and Web Analytics in Learning Design. Presented at the Open Education 2007: Localizing and Learning, Utah State, Logan, Utah.
SenGupta, S., Hopson, R., & Thompson-Robinson, M. (2004). Cultural competence in evaluation: An overview. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 102, 5-19.
Sheard, J. I. (2007). An Investigation of Student Behaviour in Web-based Learning Environments. A dissertation accepted by the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.
Watt, J. H. (1999). Internet Systems for Evaluation Research. New Direction for Evaluation, Number 84, 23-43.
Zaiane O., Han J. (2001) Mining for E-Learning Gold. Retrieved from http://wildcat.iat.sfu.ca/theme3/Zaiane1.html