When: Friday, January 18, 2019 | 01:00 pm – 05:00 pm
Where: Ponderosa Commons, Room 2012, 6445 University Boulevard.
Date and Time: Friday, January 18, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Location: Ponderosa Commons Oak House, Multipurpose Room (Room 2012)RSVP to the event here!
Education, Technology and Development: Perspectives from Nepal
An afternoon of engaging panel presentations and discussions with guest speaker Rabi Karmacharya, Founder & CEO of the Open Learning Exchange, Nepal.
Technological innovations have revolutionized the ways we communicate, exchange knowledge and ideas, and deliver goods and services. However, this progress has yet to touch the lives many around the world, and the disparity between the privileged and the disadvantaged has been rising. There is an urgent need to leverage technology to level the playing field and provide equitable access to education and opportunities for all. Despite right intentions and large investments, the progress has been slow, and much needs to be done in policies and practices.
Guest speaker Rabi Karmacharya and participating panellists address the potential, challenges and lessons of using technology to uplift the lives of ordinary people, offering examples from Nepal and around the world.
You may also like to attend Rabi Karmacharya’s talk on the evening of Thursday 17th on Quality Education and the Role of Digital Technology in Nepal. Learn more at the UBC Himalaya Program.
Panel 1: Educational challenges in Nepal
1:00 pm – 2:45 pm
• Rabi Karmacharya: Introductory comments on educational challenges in Nepal
• Dr. Kapil Regmi: From government to governance: A new educational challenge for Nepal
• Roselynn Verwoord: What does it mean to teach? An Arts-based exploration with pre-service teachers at Tribhuvan University and UBC
• Naresh Koirala: Establishing libraries in Nepal – A decade of experience
Refreshments and networking
2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Panel 2: Technology for education and development
3:15 pm – 5:00 pm
• Rabi Karmacharya: Introductory comments on education and the role of digital technologies
• Dr. Bonny Norton: Digital storybooks, open access, and global literacy
• Dr. Natasha Boskic: Technology: Connected learning in crisis and displacement
• Dr. Sushant Shrestha: Technology, transformative education and pathways to modernity
Rabi is a social entrepreneur who helped launch Open Learning Exchange Nepal with the vision to use technology to improve the quality of primary education in Nepal’s public schools, and to transform the way children learn through engagement, exploration and experimentation. Rabi has extensive experience in technological innovation and management, and a conviction that young educated Nepalis have a critical role to play in nation building. Prior to launching OLE Nepal in 2007, he headed HimalayanTechies, one of the first successful software outsourcing companies that he co-founded in Nepal in 2001. He currently serves as the Chair of the company’s Board of Directors. Rabi holds Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He worked at 3Com Corporation in Santa Clara, California for three years as design engineer prior to his return to Nepal. He is the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leader (2010) and Asia 21 Fellow (2011).
Kapil worked as a college lecturer, educational researcher and consultant for almost a decade in Nepal. His research focuses on critical development issues facing the most impoverished nations of the world known as “Least Developed Countries” (LDCs). With the case of Nepal his doctoral research explored the role of supranational organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and UNESCO in developing contextually useful educational plans and policies for underprivileged people and their communities. His current research focuses on how the new mechanism of “educational governance” has brought new possibilities and challenges in Nepal.
Roselynn holds a B.Ed. and MA degree and has worked as an educator in formal and informal settings in India and Nepal. She is married to a Nepali and has spent time living and working in Kathmandu, Nepal. Most recently, she worked in the Education Department of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu. She will speak about initial findings from her doctoral research exploring pre-service teachers’ beliefs about what it means to be a teacher and to teach.
Naresh Koirala holds a Master’s Degree in Soil Engineering (now called Geotechnical Engineering) from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Prior to coming to Canada 24 years ago, he worked in Nepal; USA, Iran, Hong Kong, and Thailand. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia. His interest in engineering includes Trenchless Technology; Tunnelling; building and bridge foundations and landslide preventive works. A native of Nepal, Naresh strongly believes the lack of educational opportunities to young Nepalis is at the root of modern Nepal’s social and economic problems. He and his like-minded friends in Vancouver established Nepal Library Foundation about 13 years ago with a mission to enhance educational opportunities of young Nepalis through the provision communities and schools libraries in rural Nepal. In his presentation, Naresh will share NLF’s experience in rural libraries development in Nepal over the last decade. It will include a brief history of library development in the country; describe some of the libraries NLF has helped establish discuss the challenges NLF is facing in achieving its objectives and the future of library development in Nepal.
Bonny leads a team that is developing Storybooks Canada and the Global Storybooks literacy portal. She is also the research advisor of Indigenous Storybooks and the African Storybook. In her presentation, Dr. Norton will introduce these digital initiatives and discuss their potential for the promotion of multilingual literacy for children and youth, locally and globally. Her website is: faculty.educ.ubc.ca/norton
Natasha was part of a UBC Faculty of Education team, working on a humanitarian project that provided Secondary Teacher Education program to students in Daadab refugee camp. She was responsible for the development of online and blended courses and plans for technology integration. This led to her involvement in the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium, representing UBC as one of the founding members. The focus of the Consortium is on higher education and its mission is the “exchange of knowledge and ideas among students and faculty through use of information technology that enables learning not bound by geographical limitations in contexts of fragility” (CLCC website). Natasha worked with other universities around the globe, UNHCR and NGOs, partners in the Consortium, establishing a committee, Technology and Pedagogy, and chairing the Communication committee.
Sushant is a research Fellow at Blockchain@UBC, and a founding partner of the Humanitas Smart Planet Fund – a private equity venture capital firm investing in companies that are working towards a sustainable planet and fighting climate change. He is also an adjunct professor at John F. Kennedy University – a pioneer institution in transformative education – and has been working with emerging technology for several years. Sushant has been working with Dena’ina Athabascan community in Alaska in partnership with National Park Services to understand the disruption of indigenous ways of life by modernity and technology. He argues that while technology adaptation is generally considered to be synonymous with development, it often comes at a cost of disruption of traditional and indigenous ways of life and proposes that it has become necessary to scale transformative education alongside technology innovation.
For the past two decades Teresa’s research has focused primarily on the production of knowledge and its reception in digital environs. She is also a literacy and literary education researcher interested in learner engagement in multimodal environments, GPS-enabled interfaces for place-based writing and reading, and teaching literature for social justice.
Leah holds graduate degrees in the experimental sciences and in the humanities and social sciences. Her early eLearning research drew on her interest in theories of culture and intercultural communication, and was motivated by the reality of our increasingly diverse learner audience. Latterly, the rising tide of learning data captured by learning technologies, and the emergence of the field of learning analytics, spurred her to bring her analytic and scientific skills to the study of virtual learning. She has also invested time in developing and teaching experiential and transformative learning experiences on topics such as sustainability, systems thinking and global issues.
Mark is an anthropologist, linguist and occasional radio presenter. From 2014-2018, I served as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and from 2016-2018, as Acting Co-Director of the University’s new Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. He is Co-Lead of the UBC Himalaya Program, an Associate Member of the Department of Asian Studies and Affiliated Faculty at the Institute of Asian Research. He also holds an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies and served as the Founding Program Director of the Yale Himalaya Initiative from 2011-2014. His research interests are language endangerment, documentation, conservation and reclamation/revitalization; language policies and politics; orality, archives, digital tools and technology, and cultural heritage broadly conceived. For over twenty years, my regional focus has been the Himalayan region (particularly Nepal, northern India and Bhutan), and more recently, the Pacific Northwest. He writes about language policy, linguistic rights, digital technologies, cultural heritage and mother tongue instruction.
Sara is a socio-cultural anthropologist working in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, and China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region. She serves on the Steering Committee of the UBC Himalaya Program and as Co-Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research. In 2017-2018 she was a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and coordinator for a UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) grant to further develop the Himalaya Program’s community-engaged language courses in Nepali and Tibetan, and related interdisciplinary course offerings in Himalayan Studies. Her research explores the relationships between political discourse, ritual action, and cross-border mobility in producing ethnic identities and shaping social transformation. Multimedia technologies are at the core of her ethnographic methodology, and she is a founding member of the Digital Himalaya Project.