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104 - Contextualising Information and Communications Technology in Developing Countries



This paper links two perspectives on the problems of introducing information and communications technology (ICT) and ICT education to developing countries. Ongoing projects aimed at establishing ICT provision for Tumaini University in Tanzania have led to the identification of a strategy ("the CATI model") that aspires at contextualising ICT in a progressive fashion, through activities that can be interpreted as first importing, transferring and applying ICT. Independent research at Warwick has highlighted the way in which orthodox ICT-based education promotes a particular variety of learning, where knowledge that can be de-contextualised is privileged. The aspirations for CATI are reviewed with reference to an alternative conception of ICT rooted on a methodology for modelling with dependency ("Empirical Modelling"). An Empirical Modelling perspective on ICT is potentially seen as overcoming some of the obstacles to contextualising information and communications technology in developing countries.  This potential is illustrated with reference to a model of the Linux vim editor that has been developed to bridge the gap between the cultures of the graphical user interface and the command line.


Online in Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Volume 88: Koli Calling at