Blog Archives

Drones For (Thoughtful) Development

One of Appropriate IT’s research areas is robotics and artificial intelligence, which includes a topic that has taken on quite a bad reputation in recent times – drones. Why the bad rep is a whole another discussion. I can see a few of you rolling your eyes (no Colby, I am not thinking of you :)) and saying “Drones for Development: Really?” There is an

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Categories: solutions, tools

A Four Step Plan For When Life Sends You On A Detour

When 2013 dawned, we had one mega plan for Appropriate IT (AI). We had successfully tested our curriculum and established demand for a radically different type of corporate training in India. All that was left was to launch the first physical center for Appropriate IT Development Academy in Coimbatore, India by the end of 2013.

The last quarter of 2013 did indeed witness a launch.

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Categories: africa, appropriate it, featured, innovation lab

Connectivism: Learning Theory for the Future?

The “future of education” – that fancy-sounding terminology is always on the top of our minds here at AIDA. Like many other sectors of society today, education sector is in the middle of a massive transition. There is general consensus that we need to rethink everything about education – people, processes, output, outcome, impact – from the ground up. (see RSA Animate video of Sir

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Categories: resources

Showers and Supportive Work Environments

Guardian has an interesting article on Youth unemployment: can mobile technology improve employability? by Linda Raftree (@meowtree) and Nick Martin (@ncmart). Excerpts:

The ILO reported that 74.8 million youth between 15 and 24 years were unemployed in 2011, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. Globally, the youth unemployment rate is almost 13%, and youth are nearly three times

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Categories: asia, resources

Can Empathy be ‘Taught’ to Adults?

Empathy plays a critical role in AIDA’s learning program. And, we are constantly looking for new ways to incorporate it into our curriculum.

Here is one such example from Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back (great book by the way, highly recommended)

Arthur Aron and Elaine Aron are husband and wife as well as research partners and writing collaborators at Stony Brook University. They have made

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Categories: resources

Writing on the Wall as Appropriate Technology for Transparency

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (known widely as NREGA) is the rural employment guarantee scheme implemented by the Indian government in August 2005. The law guarantees 100 days of work for a pay of Rs 120 a day (see MGNREGA on Wikipedia). With its Rs 40,000 crore budget, it is no surprise that the project is bedeviled by charges of corruption and

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Categories: asia, featured, regions

Rote Memorization Fail: Thiruvilayadal vs. Konar Tamil Urai

Recently we were watching the movie Thiruvilayadal at a friend’s place. Without going into too much of the plot (since that does not add anything to the subject of this post), there is a segment in it where Nakkeeran, the court poet, finds fault with a poetic piece composed by none other than god Shiva himself. Here is the piece, cued to start at 55

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Categories: asia, solutions

Required Skills for the Future Work Force

Apollo Research Institute (formerly University of Phoenix Research Institute) has identified 10 work skills that are critical for the future work force:

Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
Novel and adaptive thinking: proficiency at thinking and

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Categories: tools

Small Revolutions Expand Epic Innovations

Gutenberg’s printing press is widely (and rightfully!) celebrated as an innovation of epic scale. It fundamentally changed society as it existed up until that point. Printed materials became easy to produce, heralding a new age of information and idea dissemination.

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations has a related invention that is not as commonly known:

In 1501 Aldus

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Categories: solutions

Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) Heralds a New Era for Access to Information

2011 has been a great year for Kenya in the areas of access to information and open data.

First, in April 2011, Kenya Gazette Notices dating back to 1906 were digitized and made available online through a partnership between Kenya Law Review and Google Kenya.

Then, in July, Kenya partnered with Google Books to release 60 years of Kenya’s Hansard (the official report of parliamentary

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Categories: africa, regions
Featured Posts
  • Krishi Janani: Stepping Out Into the Great Unknown

    Krishi Janani: Ag Tech Network

    So…Appropriate IT is working on a new sustainable agriculture technology platform – Krishi Janani. We have been at it for a while now, launching a partially working prototype earlier this year. Before I go into the ‘Great Unknown’ parts of the story, a quick summary:

    Krishi Janani is an ag tech network (online platform + young women-led rural ag tech centers) enabling organic and sustainable

  • Pay It Forward: A Training in Namakkal

    Namakkal Training 6

    A three day technology training in building websites with WordPress at PGP college in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu

    By Alexandra de Vogel, Assistant Trainer

    With a background in Industrial design and innovation management, being part of this training was a first experience for me. But now I know that it will definitely not be my last experience in this field. These three days in Namakkal

  • Learning is a Mindset

    AIDA Inauguration 5

    (Guest blog by Heather A. Moore)

    Usha recently invited me to share some words of advice with the inspiring young women that had recently graduated from the pilot program of AIDA, Appropriate IT’s Development Academy, and with those from the community. Having gathered some sage advice from a few wise and generous mentors throughout my career, as well as the hard earned wisdom that comes

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