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Re: [school-discuss] Re: [IIEP] Masters module on Art, Design and Technology in the Ar ab States

Hello all,
I visited the 8th conference of Schoolnet Iran in Neishabur September 13-16, 2005. I wonder if Iran is going to "fall in between" as it does not belong neither to the Arab States nor to European countries. How are the countries in the Middle East taken into account in international educational cooperation and collaboration?

Anyway, we started horizontal FinnIran collaborative pilot project as you can see in http://ejournal.eduprojects.net/finniran and http://ejournal.eduprojects.net/iran .
Students, future scientists of in Iran :-), were interested in issues like Articifial Intelligence & Cognitive IT, Linux and LTSP in schools, energy and mathematics of Islamic-Persian architecture.

I think there should be more contacts with them :-),

Ilpo Halonen
COMP@CT WWW projects

----- Original Message ----- From: "Teemu Leinonen" <teemu.leinonen@xxxxxxx>
To: <ELEARN-OPENSOURCE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 4:12 PM
Subject: [school-discuss] Re: [IIEP] Masters module on Art, Design and Technology in the Ar ab States

Hi Wayne,

Wayne Mackintosh kirjoitti 29.9.2005 kello 0:37:

Wow - that's an interesting proejct - pitty I'm mot from an Arab
State as
I'd be keen to enrol for the experience <smile>.

hah :-) I am sure you would be a great addition to our team and could contribute a lot to the community. We are trying to build a community where students will teach and learn from each other and there would be a lot of use for your expertise.

But... this time this is only for people from the Arab States, which
also means that our role in Finland is just to help in the
instructional design, content production and to host the online
learning environment. There is no students of teachers from Finland.

Maybe we can come-up with something similar on some other topic

I note that there is
extensive collaboration among different Universities, an international
agency plus design work from Finland - a prime example of global
collaboration. The project itself - I would assume - has relied on
software for collaboration.

To be honest we could use much more social software, than we actually are. Design and planning of the program has took place mainly with e- email (mailing list) and with the Moodle server.

To explain how the online learning may take place we made a prototype
of the online environment with Moodle in very early stage of the
process. This helped people to visualize how the program could be.
When project members were proposing some study module to the program
we tried to "implement" it as fast as possible as a course inside
Moodle and this way make the abstract proposal concrete.

Do you have any thoughts, insights or advice on successful
collaboration and
design work across international and cultural boundaries? Didsocial
play a role here?

Huh... a big question. :-) I guess we all know that this kind of collaboration requires time and patience (passion, too) from all partners. We should never underestimate the cultural factors. However, I have to say that this process has been much, much easier than some collaborative projects among our European partners. :-)

What comes to the social software, my philosophy of using software
tools is to try to choose the best tool to the activity. In this case
the conclusion was that the most accessible - culturally,
organizationally and technologically - online learning environment
was Moodle. It is a good tool for teachers and students who have
never took part in any online learning / online communities before
and all in all not experienced in online culture(s).

Moodle provides a well-structured and process oriented framework that
is not "too far out" from traditional university and distant-learning
paradigm. In the part 3 - the last part of the program where student
are doing their own projects in small groups  - we will, I hope, use
more social software (Fle3, blogs, wikis etc.).

Best regards,

    - Teemu

Teemu Leinonen
+358 50 351 6796
Media Lab
University of Art and Design Helsinki