Pedagogy of the Professed

It’s raining ICT4D classes at universities, particularly in the United States! What used to be no more than a sprinkle of classes across the globe, is spreading quickly. As with ICT4D in general, multiple disciplines are contributing to the downpour. Computer science and engineering departments have ICT4D courses; business schools have social entrepeneurship classes; design schools have design-for-the-other-90% classes; and quite a few departments hold classes examining the activity of ICT4D under all manner of critical lenses.

This might be due to growing interest in global development from people who hadn’t thought about it before. It might be curiosity about ICT from people who have non-ICT development experience. Or, it might be recent ICT4D graduates trying to propagate their intellectual selves from newly gained faculty positions.

In any case, it shows that both students and faculty are eager to get into the game. Despite the Jester’s persnickety remarks, he believes this is a good trend, overall. Certainly, it’s a positive sign that people are interested in something other than building a new iGadget on which to polish their Facebook profiles. (The Jester believes gadget and social-networking fetishes to be a kind of pornography – turn-ons depend on minor variations of the same thing; libidos are the underlying motive force; and people spend all sorts of secret time on them. But, that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

But! It wouldn’t be very jesterly to raise the issue if there weren’t some problems, too. And, oh, how there are problems with ICT4D education! The Jester even considered a name change to the ICT4D Curmudgeon. He decided against it only because he likes jester’s hats. That, and he’s too cheap to pay for another domain name. Instead, he will dump relevant posts in the Teaching ICT4D bin.

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