The very interesting and informative 05-02-09 presentation made by Andy Pincon and Steven Hoffmann, at the Alado.Net online presentation platform, was attended by BaW09 participants Anisoara (Romania), Eleni (Greece), Ligia and Mary (Venezuela), Mbarek (Morocco), Rita (Portugal), Saeed (Oman), Sarah (Spain), by BaW09 Coordinators Dafne (Spain / Venezuela) and Teresa (Portugal), by BaW09 Moderators José Antônio (Brazil), Hala (Sudan), Maru (México), and Dennis (U.S.A.), and by two unidentified guests, Cristina and Mcodine. The presenters included Andy Pincon (Alado's President and CEO) from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. and his associates Steve Hoffmann (Wisconsin, U.S.A.), Jaime Guzmán, (Chicago), and Debby (U.S.A.).
At least 11 countries (see the first paragraph) and 6 geographic regions (Central Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, North America, South America, Western Europe) were represented among those attending this BaW09 live event. One section of the presentation was made bilingually: the onscreen text was in English, but the presenter spoke in Brazilian Portuguese.
The media-rich presentation focused on two areas: (1) an overview of how computers with monitors are being recycled and re-used as part of a "green" effort to provide jobs and e-learning and (2) an overview of how online teaching tools are being used to match online teaching and learning (particularly with regard to both accessibility and usability) as part of Chicago's Digital Excellence Program and of the Digital Workforce Education Society (for which Andy Pincon is Chair and Executive Director).
IT Alchemy, a "green," environmentally-responsible program of the Digital Workforce Education Society (DWES), not only provides jobs and job training, but also gives underserved populations access to technological resources. Recycling and refurbishing a single computer and monitor can result in saving 30 pounds of hazardous waste and 77 pounds of solid waste, plus 7,719 kilowatts of energy. It can also prevent 1,339 pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. Underserved populations include those living at the poverty level, inhabitants of rural areas, those who are learning English, and prison inmates.
The DWES has also established links and partnerships within the City of Chicago's Digital Excellence program—a resource for community revitalization and redevelopment which targets low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. One such neighborhood mentioned in the presentation was the Pilsen area, a neighborhood on Chicago's west side which began in the mid-1800s as an enclave of Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, Poles, and Lithuanians, but which began to shift during the mid-1960s and is today part of Little Village, Chicago's largest Mexican neighborhood. The DWES provides computers for use in ESL and job-training classes in Pilsen and other areas.
The presentation also included a very informative section on matching online teaching tools with philosophies driving technology. Important points made in this section were making online tools accessible to those with physical challenges (e.g., the blind and deaf), making services available in languages other than English (currently offered: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic), making online sessions available through archived recordings, and making use of tools which foster engagement and interaction (e.g., enabling participants to "raise hands" and speak).
We look forward to your comments on this very interesting session!
NOTE: The recording of this presentation is located HERE.