Posts Tagged ‘education’

A Campaign Like No Other – Developing Jamaica through Social Media

// October 10th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Social Media Marketing, Technology, Vision 2030 Campaign

Recently I blogged about a recent discussion about Information Communication and Technology development in Jamaica. I found the discussion so remarkable, that there were so many people who were passionate about the cause. The fact is, just talking about it doesn’t help we need greater awareness and action. The more people who know about the plan, the more people discuss it creating a ripple effect for the cause across society. The aim is to create awareness via social media, have it spread to standard social interactions and media to create change. Once the campaign reaches the decision makers: politicans, business leaders, voters, customers, people can demand and expect change. If people don’t know the possibilities or plans in place how can they be executed? This is way bigger than the government, this is about the way society operates. Society needs to adjust their views to the economy, environment, government, ICT use, media etc. The only reason why people settle for the current state of Jamaica, is because they think they cannot change it. One can change it, when we all work together!

Vision 2030 Campaign

The first stage is to create awareness. This is a call to all the bloggers, twitter users, Facebook users. Share the Vision 2030 campaign online and talk about it with your friends, family and coworkers in person. There is no need to re-invent the wheel, many of your suggestions are already outlined in the National Development Plan prepared by the Planning Institute of Jamaica. You can view the development plan at the following locations:

On this blog:

On Scribd :

On Jamaica’s Vision 2030 website:

Ask your online social community to at least read the outline, send links to it as an email to all of your address book. The aim is that people can make decisions in accordance with the 2030 plan. This is not just a government venture, as individuals we all need to promote

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the development of our country. Share the link once a week, or even just once a month. It will help.

Corporate and Organisation Support

Every business and organisation has a core and followers. We need to spread the Vision 2030 plan to all involved, not just creating awareness but also making decisions according to it’s contents. Let employees and members know that they are responsible for executing the plan, that they each need to be a leader of change.

Greater Social Responsibility

As leaders of change for our nation, we need to hold companies and the government responsible for not following the plan. If a company’s business practices are not in line with the plan then support a competitor who is. If a government office or official is making decisions contrary to the plan then petition them, “loud it up”, or don’t re-elect them based on their policies. The only person in control is you.

Remember this is a people driven change, it starts with you, read the relevant sections to you and decide how you can make changes in your home and office. For this to work it has to be an effort from all involved.

I will write another post about this soon, please subscribe to my blog or just keep checking this category : for information related to the campaign.

This is a call to action for YOU to make a difference.

Thank you,

Dmitri Dawkins and future generations.

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Brands, People and Social Media

// September 27th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Technology

Facebook Logo

More and more brands are jumping on to Social Media. Overall this has been received very well in Jamaica and the rest of the world. The idea of a brand using Social Media is to be interactive with customers, get better feedback and to be real time As brands log on to the web I think they should also help promote the medium they are using for their new campaigns.

Foursquare Logo

In a developing country like Jamaica or other Caribbean Countries, it is essential to also promote social networks in order to increase the user base. After-all the more people using these social media networks is the larger your user-base to interact with. As more brands come on board the ratio of brands to people will become distorted, making the opt-in nature of social media feel more like advertising. The point of social media is to interact with friends to share content. Brands are supposed to follow this trend by providing content for fans to interact with. By advertising social media more people will sign up, enhancing the networking aspect of social media. The more people use social media is the greater the opportunity for brands to interact with customers, whether existing or prospective.

Twitter Logo

I think brands should develop programs to help increase internet and social media use in Jamaica, thereby increasing literacy and reducing the barrier of computer illiteracy. A person may not be willing to take a computer class, but by using Facebook or Twitter more often

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they can develop typing and communication skills. Other benefits of increased internet usage are more exposure to world culture, new technology, business opportunities, better English skills and more. I don’t see any negative factors compared to the current trend of education in the majority of Jamaican schools. Exposure is key, let’s get more people exposed in order to help boost business, the economy and education.

Youtube Logo

How can a brand help? Sponsor wifi for a rural community, computers at a local school, computer literacy classes at community centers, help to get more internet kiosks around the island. Brands can also help sponsor free internet access at local restaurants and cafe’s, as well as giving away old internet capable PC’s from the office to staff or members of the public. Additionally we can lobby the Government to make IT mandatory in high schools. This is not an overnight project, it will take years to develop. However the return on investment will be huge, never before has technology been so influential, people will only use it more as time progresses. Let’s not leave Jamaica and the Caribbean behind, let’s get ahead of the curve. Act now.

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Reforming Jamaica’s Education System Using Social Media

// August 23rd, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Life, Technology

Jamaica’s education system is in distress. In the past, Jamaica’s education system used to be hailed internationally for churning out top students. Although we still do, the general standard of education has fallen over the years. In the 90’s a fallout was created when both the UK and US created special programs to recruit our teachers and other professionals. This brain drain coupled with a change in society and home life has fueled our growing education problem. The government now has an even greater issue, in trying to clamp down on spending and to control the country’s debt, it is cutting down on tertiary tuition subsidies.

In the past ten years though the internet has proven how access to information can change lives entirely. What we need to do now is embrace the technology available to us to solve our issues. Back in 2002 or 2003 I submitted an idea to Cable and Wireless for an international competition they were hosting to find the next big idea, unfortunately I didn’t win, however I think it can still be used today. The idea was to create an online platform like Wikipedia to store information for Caribbean school syllabi. Why is this better than wikipedia? Because it is controlled and precise, the information would be relevant to the current syllabus in an easy to read form.

Since then I have attended university online and taken part in web-casts and online tutorials. What was available in 2002 is nothing compared to what is available today. Now information exchange is affordable. Cheap cameras allow every class/lecture to be recorded on the fly. The video can then be uploaded for students to watch again, or to prepare themselves for the next class. Wouldn’t it be easier to do your homework if you could re-watch math class from this morning? We could have the best teachers do video lessons, so every student can have the same access to the best of the best. The tutorials also don’t have to be location specific, members of the diaspora could contribute time to help create a lesson. Also thanks to the Caribbean Examinations Council, all students in the Caribbean follow the same syllabus, so create it for one country and it applies to the whole region.

Today’s generation is fully integrated online, after video lessons / online notes are created they can then be shared using class mailing lists, Facebook, Twitter or any other social network. Allowing students to discuss and share content using platforms they are used to and want to use. Content can be hosted using free course management system Moodle, which is already being used by NCU, UWI and UTech, as well as thousands of schools worldwide.

OLPC XO Laptop

In Jamaica we have the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project. The project is aimed at integrating the XO laptop in our primary schools. The laptop is rugged, affordable and scalable. It is designed to be worked on (literally) by a young child (5-12) and the software is fully open source, with contributors all over the world. If the government and private sector would support a project to roll these out to primary schools it would totally change the way Jamaica learns. The laptops also network with each other, allowing a mesh network to be created to share information between students via wireless without the installation of expensive infrastructure. XO laptops also support Moodle right out of the box!

The fact is, if the government and private sector made an investment in technology and social media for education, we could greatly increase literacy rates and the quality of education overall. This investment would provide even greater returns if it was done as a regional effort. This is far greater than ensuring each school has a computer lab to learn word processing. Everyone would have the same access to information regardless of background or economic conditions. Tutorials can be shared online to give everyone access to the best teachers. The information is there for 24/7 access by anyone, making research and studying easier. Tertiary education costs could also be cut as some classes can be held entirely online, using material previously generated. The greatest gain from a project like this would be what we cannot imagine or measure now. The possibilities are endless.

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