Topic outline

  • General

    Course introduction

    Welcome to the course ICT4D with focus on technology

    The course offers opportunity to acquire broad knowledge on how information and communication technologies function, what are the challenges faced when implemented in developing countries and how to select apprpriate technology for a particular setting. It is assumed that students have knowledge in using ICT, hence the focus is on the operation and implementation of different technologies.

    After finishing the course students are expected to achieve the following.

    • Understand how Internet works and the reasons behind the digital divide (uneven spread of the Internet);
    • Recognise ICT devices that are low-power, robust, and affordable;
    • Categorise different types of network connectivity and their characteristics;
    • Differentiate between free and open access software and hardware and understand its importance for developing world;
    • Identify the significance of cloud computing and Web 2.0 for developing world;
    • Analyse whether particular problems can be addressed by using ICT with respect to the available resources (financial, human, technological);
    • Select appropriate ICT and create concept map for its implementation and evaluation in situations where this is feasible, desirable and brings positive change.

    Read the Learner's guide for all details about the course. In case you cannot find answers in the Larner's guied use the discussion forum for all questions about the course.

  • About the teacher

    Iskra Popova was born and spent most of her life in a developing country where she was engaged in establishing the first Internet connection at St. Kiril and Metodij University. Her PhD thesis is in the area of routing algorithms and congestion control in packet-switched networks. Currently, she is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Interaction Design and Learning Lab (IDEAL) at DSV, Stockholm University.

    • Course structure

      There are four sections in the course. Each section has the following learning activities: slides, literature, self-assessment test, assignment together with peer assessment, and quiz. The slides present the summary of the topics for the section. The literature consists of links to texts, videos or animations and is divided in compulsory and additional literature. The self-assessment tests contain questions through which you can test your understanding of the topics studied during the week. The assignment together with peer assessment and the quiz are aimed to test your knowledge.

      Section 1 and 3 contain additional activities. In the first, the glossary and the project assignment are placed. The glossary is a tool you can use to enter new terms and acronyms and learn from each other. The project assignment offers you opportunity to show your creativity and skills in designing ICT4D project scenario. The discussion regarding the project is plased in the third project.

      The following picture illustrates the course structure.

    • Examination

      Four assignments together with peer-assessments, four quizzes and the project are to be successfully completed to obtain 7.5 hp. Assignments together with peer assessments, as well as the quizzes contribute with 1.5 hp.each to the course. They are graded Pass/Fail. For a passing grade 60% correct answers are required on each assignment and each quiz. Assignments are worth 8 points and each assessment 1 point (you will do two assessments). Quizzes have 10 questions, each worth 1 point.

      Assignments are submitted each Thursday (by 23:55). Peer assessments are made each Saturday (by 23:55). The quizzes have time limitation of 30 minutes and can be taken multiple times throughout the duration of the course.

      In cases when all quizzes and assignments are completed before submitting the project, the score obtained on quizzes and assignments contributes with 10% to the final grade.

      The project consists of a written essay and oral presentation. It contributes with 4.5 points to the course. Grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx or F are used for assessment. The grading criteria are described in the Learner's guide.  The schedule with all deadlines is there, too.

      The picture below illustrates the examination. 

    • Section 1: Introduction

      The focus is on the following issues:

      1. Definition of ICT, terminology and acronyms

      2. Advantages of digital technology

      3. Digital divide and e-readiness

      4. Challenges with ICT in developing regions

      Besides the usual learning activities, this section includes:

      1. Glossary - the tool for you to enter or search the term and acronyms you will learn during the course.

      2. Assignment template - RTF file to be used as a template for the assignments 

      3. Project - This is the assignment submitted and graded (A-F) at the end of the course.

      4. Project template - A document to help you write the report for the project.

    • Section 2: The Internet

      The focus is on the following issues.

      1. Computer networks

      2. Packet vs. circuit switching

      3. Internet, basic concepts and terminology

      4. Internet protocol, IPv4

      5. Other protocols

      6. Access, peering and Internet exchange points

    • Section 3: Afordable connectivity and devices

      This week the focus is on the following topics.

      1. Connectivity and other networks

      2. Wireless tecnologies

      3. Affordable devices and sharing

      Besides the usual learning activities this week includes discussion about the first three phases of the project.

    • Section 4: Software, content, interfaces and other issues

      The focus is on the following issues

      1. Free and open source software

      2. Local content

      3. Human Computer Interfaces

      4. Cloud computing

      5. Other issues (electricity supply, security, green ICT)

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