Is banning Powerpoint from the classroom the best we can do for digital, inclusive education?

Copenhagen Business School Professor Bent Meier Sörensen shared his interesting piece Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures – it makes students more stupid and professors more boring on The Conservation - a blog/discussion space I can only recommend highly for academically-driven content that often includes a nuanced debate The overall tone of the his post is clear: Banning Powerpoint from the classroom leaves teachers and students better off. Based on my experience with our blended learning Communication for Development MA and the discussions within our Glocal Classroom network of universities , I tend to disagree - not with the general sentiment that all of us have suffered through a more than fair share of bad Powerpoint presentations, but with the notion of a technology-free, disconnected classroom and the traditional learning environment it often represents. In my comment, I will focus on three aspects: First, the dominance of one-size-fits all technology approaches through

Links & Contents I Liked 146

Hi all, The busy end-of-term weeks are approaching fast, so I sort of skipped one link review and focused on other content instead (see below). But it also means that there are lots of interesting reads for being inspired over the weekend! Development News features an overview of the reflexivity turn in aid work; persistent problems with the Global NGO ranking ; the challenges for educated women in the Middle East, the ‘university in a box’ in Rwanda, pharmaceuticalization of global health, why design for development is rather a band aid; lots of new social media and open data readings; the neoliberal political economy of Oprah , researching facebook’s filter bubble ; and Academia features a bibliometrics manifesto , a study on the impact of . how to build your brand as an (academic) writer and the question whether we should ban PowerPoints form lectures (spoiler alert: I disagree…). Enjoy! New from aidnography New research on International Development TED Talks &

Jeffrey Sachs-The Strange Case of Dr Shock and Mr Aid (book review)

As the recent long interview of Jeffrey Sachs by Tyler Cowen confirmed, Sachs remains one of the most visible, discussed and engaging thinkers of international development. Japhy Wilson’s book Jeffrey Sachs-The Strange Case of Dr Shock and Mr Aid is a critical, thorough and detailed review of Sachs’s life and work that extends beyond dismissive blogs posts or snarky Twitter conversations. Starting with his appearance at an ‘Occupy Wall Street’ event, Wilson outlines the purpose of his book: why was Jeffrey Sachs now railing against neoliberalism, given that had been one of its chief architects and most prominent apologists? (…) It just doesn’t make sense . This is the conundrum that this book explores. (p.4) As paradoxical as it may sound, the book’s biggest strength is that it ultimately fails to deliver on exploring said conundrum. While Wilson tries hard to stick to Sachs’s professional and academic career, projects and shifts in thinking he rightly argues ‘that neoliberalis

New research on International Development TED Talks & their role for communication for social change

Daniel Esser and I are very happy to share our latest research publication with you! TED Talks on International Development: Trans-Hegemonic Promise and Ritualistic Constraints is probably the first research article that specifically analyzes TED talks on international development topics. As part of a special journal issue on Advocacy and C ommunication for S ocial C hange we undertook a critical, empirical analysis of 38 TED talks that addressed international development issues: Despite their global popularity and relevance to Communication for Development (C4D), TED talks have not yet been systematically examined from the vantage point of C4D. We offer the first theoretical and empirical investigation of both content and structure of talks on international development by leveraging definitions of C4D as well as literature on mediatization, rituals in international relations, and online activism. Our analysis suggests that TED talks succeed in disseminating ideas and sparking

Links & Contents I Liked 145

Hi all, I am very glad that all of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances in Kathmandu and beyond are physically well after the earth quake. However, with one exceptional link, I will not share content about Nepal in this review; partly, because I have been overwhelmed in my news feeds and many good articles have been shared widely. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know your basic humanitarian disaster response 101. So this week's review is pretty much a regular review, featuring Development news on how WHO and UN struggle with critique and organizational learning, some good readings on the 'data revolution' beyond numbers, framing local messages and critically engag ing with 'digital humanitarians'; new readings on ICT4D, climate change and...(anti-)witches; Digital lives on engaging with books white people write & like; how men pretend to work 80-hour weeks & the age of mega-algorithms; and finally Academia on how an arms manuf

Of drones, encounters nothing short of life-changing & building a movement – how the BBC reports on ICT4D & technological solutionism

‘Getting aid to a war zone in a swarm of drones’ popped up in my BBC app among many other articles over the weekend. It seemed like one of many articles that you have probably come across as well that highlight how new technologies can be employed to deliver aid in humanitarian contexts. But a closer analysis revealed a very interesting and also very typical narrative and turned this article into an almost textbook-like example of how mainstream media often write about ICT4D and technological innovation. Since we are currently teaching a course on Cooperation, Culture & Media Analysis in our Communication for Development MA I thought I might take the chance and analyze the narrative more in detail: On an airfield in Sacramento a group of aircraft enthusiasts make noisy toy helicopters perform stunts in the air. Right from the beginning we are taken to a place thousands of miles away from an actual crisis and outside of any humanitarian or development context; the underlying mes

Links & Contents I Liked 144

Hi all, Greetings from Stockholm where I participated in an interesting consultation meeting about the World Development Report 2016 (I live-tweeted with the #spiderwdr2016 hashtag yesterday). But before we enter our well-deserved weekend, I want to share some interesting development- and digital culture readings with you: The ICT4DJester talks about the temptation of anecdotal evidence and lack of impact in ICT4D; WHO publishes a surprisingly frank statement on lessons learned from Ebola; UNICEF tries out Snapchat; The World Bank lets down resettled people; U.S. drones kill aid workers; and more personal reflections from a photographer on the limited power of images, from a veteran international correspondent on what he brought back, from a former Peace Corps volunteer who struggles with the legacy of her rape in Mozambique and from a frequent traveler on the changing face of passport visa. Digital lives comes with a must-read on why technology people avoid to work for government age