Here is an intro video for the course I have been asked to teach beginning January 25th – April 9th, 2010:
ICT for Inter-cultural/Inter-faith Development (ICT4ID)
Bridging the West and the Middle East: A global classroom experience offered in conjunction with students at the University of Stockholm, Sweden; the Universities in Iran; Universities in Jordan; Universities in Finland & Denmark; Universities in the U.S. (Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, MIT, etc…)
The aim of this course is to explore and experience some of the unique capabilities of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in helping to bridge people from different cultural/philosophical/religious backgrounds.
Similar to the ICT4D course I taught earlier this year, students from around the world will participate. In this case, top PhD and Masters students from “the West” (Europe and North America) and “the Middle East” (primarily Iran and Jordan) will work together on virtual teams to discover, collaborate, and create novel solutions to one of the key issues facing our generation — inter-cultural/ inter-faith collaboration. The course will run January 25 — April 9th, and I will be coordinating it while traveling myself (mainly in Europe, U.S., and the Middle East).
We will be meeting through online conferencing software (e.g. Skype), deliver and receive content through ICT4D YouTube videos, online articles, and good-old-fashioned books, – receiving lectures from experts around the world, and discussing concepts through webinars, asynchronous discussion groups and blog conversations.
Questions to be addressed (3 categories):
A – Understanding core issues
* What is really at the heart of existing tensions between people from different cultural/philosophical/religious backgrounds?
* Where have people effectively bridged those differences before, and what can we learn from them?
B – Using ICT to leverage solutions
* How can we help increase the quality of communication (using ICTs) between average people, locally and globally — regardless of race, nationality, or religion?
* How can we then utilize emerging technologies (and effective communication and collaboration principles) to translate meaningful interactions into proactive collaboration — encouraging and enabling joint inter-faith/inter-cultural actions?
C – Maximizing the impact of our participation in this course
* How can we utilize this course to learn from those who might have very different answers to these questions than we have (other students, experts, and normal people around the world), thus creating better solutions overall?
* How can the outputs of this course contribute to larger projects (e.g. AXIS Live) that outlive the term of the course itself?
Intended objectives/outcomes of the course:
1)**Find or create answers the above questions in a way better than anyone has yet:
(a) – Understanding core tensions, differences, and commonalities between people from different cultural/philosophical/religious backgrounds
(b)- Increasing our capacity to use emerging technologies to connect and collaborate in more wide-spread and productive ways than ever before
2)**Contribute to projects that outlive the course:
(a) – Co-author a chapter and/or article on this topic with others in the course, as well as
(b) – Contribute to the creation or enhancement of an online platform and/or interface that can be used for mutual understanding and meaningful collaborative engagement
The multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural nature of the participants who will make up this course offer the opportunity for us to develop a richer understanding of the issues and contribute to creating effective solutions/applications which will continue to be applied beyond the term of the course itself.
This course has a limited enrollment, targeting top students from each of the participating institutions.
If you are interested in participating, please send an email stating: who you are, where you are from, where you live now, and why you would like to participate in this course to Dr. Clint Rogers (clint.rogers2008(at)gmail.com).
Rosenberg , Marshall B, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Arun Gandhi – 2003 – 242 pages
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* Axelrod, Robert, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~axe/research_papers.html
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* United Nations Cyber School Bus, http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/peace/frame.htm
* University of Jyväskylä, Introduction to Intercultural Communication, http://moniviestin.jyu.fi/vanhat/viesti/ics/6
* Ury, William, Getting past no, Amazon.com