Maximizing the Benefits of ICT/Multimedia
for Education in the South Pacific
The research titled "Maximizing the
Benefits of ICT/Multimedia in the South Pacific:
Cultural Pedagogy and Usability Factors"
was started to determine how Educational ICT/Multimedia
can be developed so as to be responsive to the
particular needs of the region, and to apply these
findings to produce a model Educational Multimedia
project such as an interactive CD-ROM or website.
The report concludes in a nutshell, there is
a need for educational multimedia to utilize vernacular
languages, examples and metaphors, and to provide
avenues for further customization by staff and
students. It also states that we must not assume
group-oriented learning activities are the best
solution for all students. Nevertheless it suggests
that individual multimedia activities can be designed
to take advantage of the beneficial aspects of
group learning by providing multiple perspectives,
as well as a degree of "e-anonymity" (such as
email or virtual peers) to encourage questions
from reticent students more comfortable with indirect
modes of questioning. Educational multimedia developers
must also create complements to the long texts
that dominate most students' learning materials,
providing information in a variety of more concise,
visual formats, as well as audio voice-overs.
This research generated a lot of interest nationally
and some interest internationally as well. Locally
there was a number of media coverage, in the USP
Beat and in the local Fiji Times (6/3/05). Mr.
Robbins was also invited to present his findings
on 23rd August 2004 during the PacInet 2004, a
Conference organized by the Pacific Islands Chapter
of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in Vanuatu.
From 12th to 13th December 2004, Mr. Christopher
Robbins was invited by United Nations to the Power
Users of Information and Communication Technology
Summit in New York to present a paper titled "Harnessing
power users' skills to create culturally-relevant
educational technology in the South Pacific".