Thursday, October 30, 2008

If tomorrow never comes...♫ ♪ ♬

When I was a kid, we used to make the sarcastic crack, "Tomorrow has been cancelled due to lack of interest."

The Shuttleworth foundation has been working on a project called Kusasa, which is the Zulu word for tomorrow. The project was aimed at providing exploratory learning experiences for South African learners. It seems it has indeed been cancelled due to something that pretty much amounts to a lack of interest.

Very sad.

Thanks to Stephen Downes for the pointer.

2 comments:

Ren said...

Hi Karyn, I disagree with your statement "due to something that pretty much amounts to a lack of interest".
Anyhow, without getting into it, the upside of this project - all the resources are open to the world http://www.kusasa.org/

Karyn Romeis said...

@ren I genuinely wish you would 'get into it' because telling me you disagree without saying why doesn't move the conversation forward in any way.

Have a look at Stephen's post, which is how I found out about Kusasa in the first place (ironic that a South African living in the UK should hear about it from a Canadian!) and Tom Hoffman's post (which is how Stephen came to hear about it).

While there is not necessarily a lack of interest in Kusasa per se, it seems to me there is a lack of interest in the taking on the challenge of upskilling teachers in order for them to be able to use the system in the first place.

I full appreciate that there are more pressing challenges facing South African teachers (see my African Tale post) and I have deep concerns about the widening gulf between the leading and trailing edges of the digital divide.

I also have concerns when those with access to the leading edge (or something approaching it) seek to develop solutions to the problems faced by those at the trailing edge. To my mind, their solutions often amount to "let them eat cake" since they show no empathy for the circumstances of their intended audience. I guess I would have hoped that Kusasa might have proved to be different. But, from where I'm sitting (which I grant you is not the ideal position for making the call) it looks as if the project might have gotten too ambitious for its own good.

I would love to hear your on it. Either here in these comments or, if you prefer in the form of an email to learninganorak at yahoo dot co dot uk.