In the coming weeks and months we will be developing a wider view of Dadamac here at Dadamac.net, building on our experience so far. We started to experiment with this www.dadamac.net online space about three years ago. Our experimenting is best understood from an integrated ICT4Ed&D viewpoint (ICT4Ed&D = Information and Communication Technology for Education and Development)
From an "Information" viewpoint, we wanted to provide online information about the initiatives and people that we value. We were especially concerned to raise the visibility of John Dada's work at Fantsuam in Nigeria. That is where our initial focus has been. Nikki's blogs tell the story of Dadamac's UK-Nigeria meetings, and most of the initiatives we have written up so far have pulled together information from those meetings. However we have always intended to include information about other "Dadamac people" and their initiatives at some point, and I will be trying to do that wider approach over the coming months.
Communication (or Community)
I have been interested in the "people" side of Information Technology ever since I first started to get interested in "Computers and Computing" (back in the 1970's through an Open University course). I was deeply impressed by the idea that computers would only really do what people wanted them to do if the people who would be using them could actually explain what they really wanted from the computers.
With the best will in the world "outsiders" designing systems on behalf of other people have to act on assumpions and incomplete information about what is needed - no matter how skilled or well meaning the "outsiders" might be. I took this lesson to heart when I wanted computers to do something for me as a teacher in the UK. and it remains one of my obsessions regarding effective ICT4Ed&D. i keep asking:
If ICT4D is about communication - and presumabley it is - then who are the people who will be doing the communicating? What is their purpose in communicating wiht each other? How can ICTs serve this "community"?
From a Communication (or Community) viewpoint the first community to be served by this Dadamac.net site has been the Dadamac UK-Nigeria team. We have collected up our information here, and used the site as a kind of open office. People in the team can find specific information here that they need to show to outsiders, and anyone who wants to look around on their own is free to do so.
The next thing to do is make this online space equally useful to others in our community.
I chose Drupal for this site for a variety of reasons, not least because I wanted to experiment with the way it is able to handle permissions. I had been experimenting with permissions in previous work. That work was with "the friendly wiki" and with a Moodle implementation called Cawdnet Campus. (Cawdnet was a network that gave rise to Dadamac). Other demands have taken precedence over my interest in the power of permissions, but i hope to get back to it. Thanks to Andy Broomfield (our information architect) I have learned other lessons about Drupal and the features it has that enable information to flow through the site in various ways..
I'm a habitual teacher of almost anything I learn (if it's interesting then I want to share it) and I'm a qualified primary school teacher. This teaching interest also shows up in the way I want to share new things I have discovered or am learning about - hence my recent contributions to Despatches from the Invisible Revolution and The Future we Deserve.
Since 2011 we have also started to get involved with communty development in the UK, through our concern with unemployment and its impact on people's lives no matter where they live.
ICT4Ed was where I first applied my "computers and computing" interest, long before I heard of ICT4D. ICT4Ed&D was the concern of my friend the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale, who got me involved with Nigeria in the first place. Dadamac is on ongoing exploration of ICT4Ed&D.