The recent Technology Salon “Will the new .Africa domain name have development impact?” represented for me an above average collision of minds over the matters of life and learning and the impact that domain ownership and the concerns for development bear on them.
The dialogue was so robust that I found myself stepping over the precipice from an illusion that plagues us all from time to time: dialogue is not doing and talking is not walking. Given the two major issues raised, who should own .africa and what development impact will a .africa bring, the probable sense is that more should be done and less should be said. But something was said and in my view something was done.
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Participant shift during the debate
After meeting with Wayan and his guests something did happen even though we were “just” talking.
In the space of one hour I moved in my thinking from one position to the other and consequently found myself aligning my actions accordingly. Specifically, I moved from seeing the probable potential of .africa for development to extreme skepticism. As to ownership, it matters less to me who owns what the smart people call TLDs. What matters most is what can be leveraged for improved learning experiences for the young learners that cross the thresholds of our formal learning environments each day.
At the same time I was torn when pondering over who would fund all these noble intentions and dreams I have for the work I engage in on South African soil. If ownership does not matter, could such oblivion dent the chances of helping to realize those African dreams? Could there be a way how I can creatively engage in this dialogue that would position me to stake a claim for the dreams of Africa? How?
I appreciated Technology Salon’s preparation, the pedagogy used during the session and the insistence that change must take place when learning occurs. As a consequence I was left with at least two immediate priorities:
- Improve my knowledge of the internet naming system
- Sort the relevance it bears on showcasing learners work in the M-ubuntu initiatives in South Africa.