Annenberg Joins Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on the Use of Information and Communication Technology for International Development

The Annenberg School for Communication will host the launch of the University of Pennsylvania’s seminar series on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) on Thursday, September 29, from 4–5:30pm in Room 500.  

The ICT4D Seminar Series is a new interdisciplinary venture at Penn to bring together researchers, students, and leaders from all sectors who are interested in better understanding the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play in international development, and the impact that they have on impoverished and under-resourced communities. In addition to being a gathering of noted researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in the ICT4D field, the seminar series will provide a venue for the University of Pennsylvania community to explore this important area of work. The ICT4D Seminar is supported by the Provost’s Interdisciplinary Initiatives Fund, ASC, GSE, and SEAS. Programmatic support is provided by the Annenberg Center for Global Communication Studies.

Title: “ICT and Literacy for the Very Poor: A Decade of Work”
Presenter: Dan Wagner, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, Professor and Director, International Education and Development Program, and Director, International Literacy Institute, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (GSE).
Abstract: In many developing countries, over the past decade, the atmospherics concerning information and communications technologies (ICTs) has undergone a dramatic change: from (1) “are you crazy?” to (2) “well, let's see what pieces might work for us,” to (3) “ICTs are the answer.” Even for the poorest countries, the benefits of ICT are now (in 2011) seen as relatively well-suited for coping with the problems of literacy and basic education (and other sectors), and for enhancing the socio-economic consequences for the lives of the users. The reasons for this are varied, and still debated, along with the types of solutions proposed to date. Various examples will be discussed, including the author’s work over the past decade in India and South Africa.  

An introduction of the Seminar Series will be given by Joseph Sun, Vice Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. Please RSVP to Laura Schwartz-Henderson by Wednesday, September 27. For more information on the Seminar series, contact Annenberg doctoral student Deepti Chittamuru.  

ICT4D Seminar Series Faculty Core Group:

  • Emily Hannum, Ph.D., Associate Professor Sociology & Education, GR Chair Sociology, School of Arts and Sciences 
  • John B. Jemmott, III, Ph.D., Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication and Psychiatry, Annenberg School for Communication
  • Monroe E. Price, Adjunct Full Professor and Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication
  • Carrie Kovarik, M.D., Assistant Professor Dermatology, Dermatology, and Infectious Diseases, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Joseph Sun, Vice Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Dan Wagner, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate School of Education  

Ph.D. Student Coordinators:

  • Deepti Chittamuru, Annenberg School for Communication, lead contact
  • Katie Murphy, Graduate School of Education
  • David Conrad, Annenberg School for Communication