Category Archives: Digital Strategy

UPenn Gamification Course on Coursera

I just completed a six week online course on gamification offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.  The course was hosted and delivered using the online learning platform, Coursera.  I took this course for two main reasons. The first is that I am very interested in gamificiation, particularly as it relates to education and learning. The second is that I am also very interested in online learning and the various platforms that are popping up to provide such a learning experience (for free much of the time).

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2012 Fletcher Summer Institute

From June 24th to June 30th, ICNC in partnership with the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, hosted the 7th annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict. As usual, myself, my ICNC colleagues, along with Fletcher faculty and staff worked tirelessly for months to bring 42 participants from all over the world to participate in this intensive week-long institute. Check out this blog posting I wrote for the Fletcher Features blog to get an overview of some of the highlights from the week. Personally, one of my highlights was meeting many of the amazing participants who attended this year.  However, I did not get to know them as well as I would have liked due to the various aspects of the week for which I responsible.

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ICNC/Rutgers University Online Course

From April 23rd to June 5th, ICNC partnered with Rutgers University to deliver a 6 week online course on civil resistance and the dynamics of nonviolent conflict. I was the primary designer of the course, having structured it off a similar layout I used for the online course ICNC did with USIP the previous year.  I was also a co-facilitator of the course with my colleague Maciej Bartkowski. There were 22 participants in the course from all over the world.  The partnership was encouraged and supported by one of ICNC’s academic advisors, Dr. Kurt Shock, who is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Affairs.

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Producing a Social Media Show

Its fairly common these days to walk into a university classroom and see students equipped with some amazing gizmos, gadgets and tech giving them the ability to take pictures, record HD video, browse the internet, record audio, and publish content to social media sites.  It is fairly uncommon, though, to see those powerful devices being put to use in the learning process.

I set out to integrate these devises into one of our Education for International Development classes this semester.  The goal of the class session was to explore (i) the impact violent conflict can have on development, particularly the MDGs, (ii) the role education can play in creating or causing violent conflict, (iii) the role education (formal, nonformal, and informal) can play in building peace, and (iv) the role of technologies, both old and new, and social media in building peace through informal education.

Check out the Storify board to see the final product and to see what was discussed and shared during the class.  Continue reading to see how the whole process unfolded.

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Presentation at Point Conference in Sarajevo

This past weekend I gave a presentation (via Skype) on the use of ICT for nonviolent action at the Point Conference in Sarajevo.  I was invited to participate by my friend, Darko Brkan, who had attended ICNC’s 2010 Fletcher Summer Institute.  You can learn more about Darko by checking out this On the Ground Interview I conducted with him a couple years ago.

My presentation looked at four main ways nonviolent movements have been leveraging ICT in their struggles – communication, mobilization, organizing/coordinating, and documentation.  Continue reading to watch and listen to a slidecast of the presentation…

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USIP/ICNC Online Course on Civil Resistance

From October 20th – December 8th, ICNC partnered with the United States Institute of Peace to deliver an online course, Civil Resistance and Dynamics of Nonviolent Conflict.  I was the primary designer of the course and, with the help of three of my colleagues, co-facilitated the eight-week course for 15 participants from all over the world and from a variety of professional backgrounds.  We had participants from Italy, Spain, Ghana, Egypt, West Papua, and the United States.  We had participants working for small NGOs, large international institutions, and graduate students.

This was the first fully online course that ICNC and USIP had ever facilitated and I can say with confidence that it was a success.  One of the participants, who is an educator herself, in their final evaluation shared that her experience taking this course was, “adult learning at it’s best.”  To highlight some of the ways the course was designed I reference a blog posting titled, 5 Ways to Enhance Your Social Presence in Online Courses.  I came across this article soon after the course ended and was pleased to see that we incorporated pretty much all of these suggestions.  Continue reading to learn more…

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Global Innovations for Digital Organizing

For the past three weeks I was moderator and guest expert for the Tech Change online course, Global Innovations for Digital Organizing.  The course explores how technological innovation has resulted in the development of new channels of communication which are democratizing access to and production of media. The impact on social dynamics is evident from the Obama campaign’s youth mobilization efforts to the ongoing uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa. The three-week online professional development certificate course evaluates case studies where new technologies have been used for activism and what factors and contexts are most influential on outcomes. It also provides participants with strategies for maximizing the impact of new media and train them in the effective use of analysis and message management tools.  This was a fascinating experience that put me right in the middle of an innovative organization that is truly advancing both content related to technology and peacebuilding and the creative ways to engage people in learning experiences online.  Continue reading to learn more…

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