Andy Carvin is coordinator of the Digital Divide Network, an online community of more than 8,500 activists, policymakers, business leaders and researchers in more than 135 countries working to find solutions to the digital divide.
Andy is the author of the pioneering online education resource EdWeb: Exploring Technology and School Reform, launched in 1994. Named by NetGuide magazine as “One of the Top 50 Places to Go Online,” EdWeb was one of the first websites to advocate the use of the World Wide Web in education. Andy is the founder and moderator of WWWEDU, the Internet's oldest and largest email forum on the role of the Web in education, and DIGITALDIVIDE, the Internet's premiere discussion group for examining digital divide issues. He also served as creator and moderator of SEPT11INFO, one of the most successful online communities created in the hours following terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Andy has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Harvard Educational Review, Education Week, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Wired, San Jose Mercury News, The Industry Standard and the second edition of The Internet Unleashed, published by Sams/MacMillan.
In December 2001, Andy was named by District Administration magazine as one of America's top 25 edtech advocates. Andy received similar honors from eSchoolNews in 1999 when they named him a member of its Impact 30 list of edtech leaders. He is a former member of the board of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), which advocates policies advancing the role of information technology in schools. From 1999 to 2001, he served on the Board of Directors for the Asia/Pacific Center for Justice and Peace, a consortium of NGOs that promotes democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion across Asia.
Andy holds a bachelor of science in rhetoric and a master of arts in telecommunications policy from Northwestern University, where he received the prestigious Annenberg/Washington graduate fellowship. While living in Illinois, he was co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Chicago-area arts weekly, Art+Performance. Andy has traveled extensively around the world and has written about his adventures in popular online travelogues. In January 1999, Andy premiered From Sideshow to Genocide: Stories of the Cambodian Holocaust, a virtual history of the Khmer Rouge regime and collection of survivor accounts. More recently, Andy has been reporting on his travels through stories, podcasts and video on his popular blog, Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth.
Latest posts by Andy Carvin
The Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is a veritable paradise, but is going through hard times due to an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness, chikungunya. Since the disease has scared away a lot of tourists, Andy Carvin has put together this video montage celebrating the country's 38th anniversary since...
Eight-minute video documentary of the prototype of Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop, which premiered yesterday at the WSIS summit in Tunis. Andy Carvin talks with the chief technology officer of the initiative and gets a first-hand look at this highly anticipated device.
Video documentary of my July 2005 visit to the Liberian refugee camp in Buduburam, Ghana. I learn about the challenges faced by Liberians forced to flee their homeland, as well as some of the training programs available to them. I visit one of the camp's telecentres, as well as an women's literacy support group. Music used with permission of Alula Records.
Low-res version (20 megabytes):
In the city of Denver, Colorado, there's an ugly fight breaking out over whether public libraries should provide books and other materials in Spanish. Anti-immigration groups argue that publicly funded libraries should be English-only, while library supporters retort that curtailing Spanish-language content is discriminatory and doesn't reflect the ever-changing population demographics of the United States.
Human Rights Watch's news blog is reporting that six henchman of Chad's former dictator Hissène Habré have been ousted from positions in government. "The Chadian government’s move follows a report last month by Human Rights Watch naming these six and 35 other leading Habré-era figures, many accused of torture and killings, who still hold key posts in Chad. Those dismissed include the powerful director of the Judicial Police who was deputy director of national security under Habré; a surveillance chief who was the director of Habré’s dreaded political police, the Documentation and Security Directorate (DDS); and a man described by a Chadian truth commission as one of Chad’s 'most feared torturers.' It is believed that more sackings may be forthcoming."
Taran Rampersad posts an update about this week's bombing in Trinidad. "It seems that a suspect has been held in the explosion on George St. here in Trinidad, but with so many copycats in Trinidad and Tobago, it's difficult to say that this is also a suspect for the initial bombing," he writes.
Because of the positive feedback I've received around the creation of a low-cost, open source strategy for recording and receiving podcasts over mobile phones, I've set up a new email list and Web community for people interested in making this happen. There are already free tools like audioblogger and audlink that will let you post podcasts from your phone, but both require a long-distance phone call to the US, and neither let you listen to podcasts from your phone. I want to develop a tool that can be installed anywhere in the world, so all of this can be done on a local phone call. To learn more about mobcasting, please visit this blog entry I wrote last January, entitled When Mobile Podcasting Leads to Mobcasting to see where this all got started. The email list will be focused solely on this project; people who join the list should be interested in mobile phone podcasting and be willing to help us make this project happen. To join the list, please send an email to mobcasting-subscribe [[at]] yahoogroups . com, with the spaces and brackets removed. Or, you can visit the Mobcasting list homepage. Meanwhile, I've also created a DDN community that we can use as a workspace. The workspace has bulletin boards, document sharing and blog posting. Group members are welcome to post web resources, blog entries or files to this public page. We can also add news, events and feature stories to the site if they become useful at some point. Looking forward to making this happen! -andy
Speculation so far has been that nobody was injured because of the amount of rain, and the fact that it's basically an area that vagrants are supposedly found in.... Evidence is expected to be washed away with the rain (that area frequently floods), and nobody was injured. Yet, at the end of the day - who would do such a thing? And while some idiots who will try to twist the news to support their purposes (saying that it's Al Qaeda), nobody seems to have claimed responsibility again.
Last night, I put together a short video about traditional kente weaving in Ghana's Ashanti region. Kente, perhaps the most famous West African textile, is brightly colored, coming in a variety of patterns, some reserved for use by Ashanti royalty. The video was shot in the historic kente weaving village of Bonwire, about an hour south of Kumasi. Three weavers are featured, each using a traditional loom to make the cloth. The video also contains music performed by Ghanaian drummer Obo Addy, used with permission from Alula Records. There are two versions of the video: high resolution (13 megs) and low resolution (two megs).
Mauritanian blogger Rauf writes about the apparent coup that has taken place in Mauritania. A rough, machine-assisted translation of what's been posted to his blog:
Shootings with heavy weapon were heard Wednesday morning in Nouakchott after the presidential guard had taken the control of several strategic points of the Mauritanian capital, where a military coup d'etat has occurred in the absence of the Head of the State, Maaouyia Ould Taya. As of 5H00 local (and GMT), soldiers of the presidential guard took the control of the buildings of the staff, the radio and national television and blocked access to the presidency and the ministries, according to this source. According to observers, they also positioned vehicles equipped with heavy weapons and anti-aircraft batteries at several strategic points of the capital. Five shootings of heavy machines resounded with 10h15 close to the center of Nouakchott, whose streets were emptied gradually, of the population. In the capital, the administrative buildings were deserted and activity was weak at the end of the morning, with only some pedestrians and vehicles in the streets.I'll try to track down more Mauritanian bloggers - hope others will do the same.
A few days ago at the video blogging/podcasting workshop I conducted near the University of Ghana, I was interviewed by a journalist from Radio Ghana. I checked out various news casts several times, but never heard it, so I figured I must have missed it or that it never aired. Well, last night I was driving back to my guesthouse in northeast Accra. We got lost while trying to take a short cut, so it took longer than usual. Just before we arrived at the guesthouse, though, I heard the evening news announcer reading the daily headlines, and he began talking about an American "Internet expert" helping Ghanaians create podcasts and video blogs. As I searched frantically for my digital audio recorder, I asked the driver to stop, saying they were about to air an interview me. Though skeptical, he shook his head and pulled over. Then, we heard my voice on the radio. The cabbie started laughing and gave me a congratulatory handshake. Eventually, I managed to find my audio recorder. Here's what I was able to capture. -andy
Yesterday afternoon, a group of us began the drive back to Accra from Patriensa. As you'll see in a future blog entry, our car broke down and we spent hours hobbling back to Accra, towed by a feed truck whose tow rope kept breaking from the front of the car. In the meantime, you can hear two podcasts I posted from my mobile phone while we were stranded - yes, I managed to have mobile phone access in rural southern Ghana.
First podcast: around 7:15pm, somewhere north of Accra
Second podcast: about two hours later, a bit closer to Accra, but far from anywhere near our final destination