Maybe old learning isn’t so bad, after all?

Reda Sadki Writing

When I first saw Professor Cope’s photos of a 1983 elementary school classroom, I scoffed. It was so obvious that the “communications and knowledge architecture” was one-way, focused on rote learning and rewarding good behavior which involved staying safely “inside the box”. How easy to critique, deconstructing all of the ways in which this particular “banking” form of education was unlikely to intentionally “deposit” anything that might actually be useful to the future lives of these school children. How awful, I thought, and how at odds with everything I try to put into practice with respect to my own professional role. Today’s MOOCs and flipped classrooms, with their objectives of making active knowledge-making ubiquitous, make 1983 look like the Dark Ages of education. And yet. And yet this classroom very closely resembles the ones in which I grew up, with 5th grade in 1980 as a reference point. And I …

Audio source missing

The End of Paper: Interview with Richard Padley of Semantico

Reda Sadki Writing

At the 2010 Tools of Change for Publishing conference in Frankfurt, we met Richard Padley of Semantico. He spoke at the conference about mobile platforms from the perspective of publishers faced with multiple delivery models including apps and the web. We started off our interview with Richard Padley by asking: What does the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement mean to you? So, is it the end of paper? Even if I tell you that 30% of IFRC’s membership don’t have e-mail? Many people seem to think that PDF is a usable digital format for publications. So, what’s wrong with PDF? Even though EPUB is the basis for eBooks, in 2010 few people are familiar with this format. What’s right with EPUB? The Kindle is a single-purpose device. It does one thing, and is meant to it well enough to convince people who love printed books to cross the digital divide. …

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Katja Mruck on starting a peer-reviewed open access journal

Reda Sadki Writing

In 2001, Katja Mruck started a peer-reviewed multilingual open access journal FQS – Forum on qualitative social research. In this interview, recorded at the Third Conference on Scholarly Publishing in Berlin, Germany (28 September 2011), she explains what ingredients were needed to make the journal’s launch a success. Mruck is the Coordinator open access and e-publishing, Center for Digital Systems CeDis), Freie Universität Berlin.

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Stanford’s Juan Pablo Alperin on the Open Journal System (OJS)

Reda Sadki Writing

Red Cross learning and research online: Stanford’s Juan Pablo Alperin on the Open Journal System (OJS) * If I tell you that the International Red Cross is considering starting an electronic journal, does it make sense to you? * In starting up a journal, would you consider including a print edition for people in developing countries who don’t have access to online? * Where should we put resources: into helping people get access or into delivering printed materials to them? * How is a scholarly journal fit into a learning system, how does it contribute specifically to a learning system as opposed to other tools to learn about, in our context, development and humanitarian issues? * How can Open Journal System (OJS) contribute to the emergence of quality research and learning in developing countries? * What might be the incentive for scholars to publish in a Red Cross journal, if they already have access to established …

Opening access to Red Cross knowledge: an interview with John Willinsky, Public Knowledge Project, Stanford University

Reda Sadki Writing

Why are scholarly journals not obsolete? How does a journal contribute to learning? Why would the Red Cross need a scholarly journal? A lively conversation with John Willinsky from the Public Knowledge Project, recorded at the Third Conference on Scholarly Publishing in Berlin, Germany, on 28 September 2011.

Ras Jedir: feverish early days and freezing nights

Reda Sadki Writing

ZERZES, 4 April 2011 — “We stopped everything we were doing”, exclaims Mahfoud Bessah, the 39-year-old community-based programme coordinator at IFRC’s regional delegation in Tunis. On 21  February, he headed over to the eastern border immediately upon hearing the first reports of people crossing over. The Tunisian Red Crescent and UNHCR were already discussing how to respond. Together with Fadhel Goudil, a first aid doctor, Bessah arrived in Ras Jedir, fearing the worst. What they found was staggering. Up to 15000 people were crossing the border from Lybia into Tunisia every day. Equally impresive was the response: spontaneous solidarity and generosity, with the local population organizing “khafila” (caravans) to carry food and other goods to those arriving at the border, whatever their origin. It is this spirit of solidarity and volunteerism that saved the day, Bessah believes, as the international community had just begun to understand the significance, scale and …

TOC Frankfurt Ignite! Presentation: Of Emergencies, E-Books, and Literacy

Reda Sadki Writing

In this session, Reda Sadki, will examine his own organisation’s non-profit publishing activities. With 750 publications given away each year in print and on the web, he has initiated an effort to rewire a traditional publishing workflow into a digital one, including the use of XML for layout automation, print-on-demand (POD) and e-books. Reda Sadki is the Senior Officer for Design and Production of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. For over 15 years, Reda Sadki has worked with U.N. organisations and international and local NGOs to improve visual communication by implementing high-impact design and cost-effective production workflows. The premise for his design work is that visual design and brand management for a cause are fundamentally different from mainstream advertising whose sole motive is profit. Reda has overseen design and production for numerous high-profile global reports on public health issues, including seven …