Cultural & linguistic diversity
An article posted today on the allAfrica.com website reports on the collaborative efforts of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the International Telecommunication Union, and UNESCO to address the multilingualism issue posed by the rapid expansion of the internet.
iCommons announces a new project called the ‘Free Culture House’ project, recognising the growing importance of physical spaces in building the kinds of communities that will spread the global commons. The creative and information commons is by its nature a virtual and intangible thing, and having a physical space where people can learn from and talk to one another, becomes more and more important.
APC member in Canada Web Networks announced that its "Tusaalanga" Inuktitut language online learning platform (developed using the open source Drupal system) has received the prestigious national literacy award. Inuktitut is an indigenous language spoken in Candada and other northern territories.
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Premier technological institute IIT Bombay is to launch the Indian chapter of Creative Commons during its annual Technology Festival of India, later this month (January 2007). The Creative Commons (CC) is a global non-profit working to expand the range of creative work available for others "legally to build upon and share."
Over the past few years, a considerable number of discussions have been conducted on linguistic diversity in the online world. It has brought with it a controversy, in part due to the fact that the spread of the internet is frequently hailed as a cause for the loss of cultural diversity. At the recent Internet Governance Forum though, much attention was given to the protection of our linguistic diversity.
Aside from ‘access to the internet’ – the single most important issue at this weeks first Internet Governance Forum – ‘accessibility’ follows suite in what is to be labelled “priority”. In fact, access to the internet deals with submarine fibre optic cables, gigantic satellite dishes and other infrastructure considerations. That has to come first. But when you break down the story of internet access to the personal level, what is needed, is a strong commitment towards getting women, underprivileged and people with disabilities on board.
The world of technology moves really fast and Highway Africa gives journalists a chance to catch up. The conference has been a great
experience and an eye opener to ideas and experiences in the field of new media and ICTs.
Four APC-Africa-Women Network members are attending the Highway Africa 2006 conference in Grahamstown. The conference started yesterday, September 11 2006, with a diverse group of journalists from the continent. This morning, we have participated in the plenary sessions that were quite interesting. During the sessions on the state of media in Africa this morning, a speaker raised issues African media face, which I found particularly important.
India is making noticeable progress in the field of ‘Open Access’, a growing global trend which could help it get out of the trap which blocks researchers from here reading what other Indians have published.Yet, a lot more still remains to be done, say experts working in the area. "Nearly a hundred journals have already taken the Open Access route," says Chennai (South India)-based Subbiah Arunachalam, an information scientist once called India’s and the developing world’s "great advocate for open access".