Archive for the ‘TeleWeaver’ tag
Anna and Ron Wertlen went to the SANGONet Conference this week (01-03/11/11), at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg to present the awareNet social network to an international audience of educators, politicians, funders and activists.
SANGONet brings together everyone interested in ICT for rural development (#ICT4RD). The conference was very well organised and it was made sure that the different parties exchanged important information about their programmes, products, funding methods, initiatives and reasons for failure or success.
The VSA demonstrated how awareNet works, and eKhaya ICT additionally introduced the concept of Reed House Systems’ Teleweaver. Especially, the awareNet demonstration attracted three large groups of listeners. We were approached with requests for installations of awareNet at schools (in local mesh networks) as well as the usage of awareNet as a service delivery platform for specific content from potential partners. We are looking forward to follow up on all those offers and ideas.
The VSA and three of our partners, eKhaya ICT, Left2Write and ReedHouseSystems, went together to rural Nkwalini in the Eastern Cape for several reasons. One was to hold a social networking workshop using awareNet for learners, teachers and community coordinators of the Zwelenqaba SSSchool (27.-28.09.11). Richard Strickland from eKhaya ICT updated the awareNet server and the laptops’ browsers and fixed a few of the laptops of the solar school computer lab. Anna Wertlen from the VSA brushed up the teachers’ and coordinator’s knowledge and introduced about 50 new learners to awareNet. Erika Wertlen from Left2Write chaired a session about blogging and publishing during the workshop. Then, all learners blogged about solar energy. Additionally, Mrs E Wertlen delivered a great donation of books and magazines to the school’s library on behalf of Left2Write. Further, Ronald Wertlen as director of RHS followed up on an investigation of mobile banking and most importantly was concerned with maintaining relationships with the community and the schools in advance of the TeleWeaver rollout.
The community welcomed us warmly and had prepared our visit well. The learners worked with great enthusiasm and concentration and thanked us with a self-composed song about computers and solar energy. Siphiwo Msindwana, the community coordinator, acted very professionally by consulting eKhaya ICT for mediation between the community and the school. Disagreements werecleared. The teachers were overwhelmed by the generosity of Left2Write and promised to use the new resources wisely.
We also paid a visit to Bulunbula Incubator to maintain our partnership and talk about current and future projects.A German member of the VSA came all the way to accompany us and ask a lot of questions to show oversea’s interest. All in all, it was a very successful and very busy trip. We hope that we can repeat it soon in many other rural schools in South Africa and beyond. Please, contact us if you are interested.
Dietrich von Richthofen, a German journalist, visited Grahamstown and the rural Eastern Cape in January 2011. After a series of long interviews with Ron Wertlen (eKhaya ICT and Reed House Systems CTO) and Anna Wertlen (Village Scribe Association), Sibukele Gumbo (Siyakhula Living Lab Management Unit) and Alfredo Terzoli (Rhodes University – Centre of Excellence) and a field trip to a part of the Siyakhula Living Lab, he published an article in DIE ZEIT, a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism with an estimated readership of 2m.
The article describes the difficulties of bringing technologies into rural Africa using the Siyakhula Living Lab, Reed House Systems and its software TeleWeaver as an example. The reader gains a small insight into part of the projects, implemented in Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape, and a rough overview of the ICT4D situation in general. Thank you for the publication, Ditsch!
You can read the full article including a number of comments here.
At this point in time, it is looking very much like Ron Wertlen is going to be giving sneak previews of TeleWeaver at the World Cafe at SEWF2011. All interested persons are invited to come by to the WorldCafe gatherings at lunch time and see what this future rural access software offers!!
Ron and I have just registered for the Net Prophet Conference in Cape Town. Anna will represent the VSA and Ron eKhaya ICT. Together we will present our Village Scribe Project, awareNet, TeleWeaver and much more.
This is how Net Prophet describes itself on its homepage:
Take the most innovative/successful/creative/ambitious thinkers and entrepreneurs in the Internet space, and ask them to share their stories, ideas and predictions for the future in a format that is fresh, relevant and engaging. The result: Net Prophet.
This description is so promising, we are very much looking forward to this event, also hoping to meet Marlon Parker and Craig Ross from RLabs and several others. Meet us in Cape Town, Mutual Park, 12 May 2011!
TeleWeaver is a hybrid on- and offline product which allows access to Internet services in a manner that is friendly to mesh networks. Mesh networks are an important source of access in the African environment. Another unique feature of TeleWeaver is its low-maintenance architecture. Through OSGi, a technology standard developed for motor vehicle software and mobile phones, the product becomes very robust. At the same time it allows external developers to deploy their software extensions to the platform.
The first version includes Career, Tourism and Survey functionality. It is being released toward the end of March and will allow village scribes to provide services to their communities.
At the same time the development team will be able to monitor the kinds of problems that are experienced in the field. It will also be a good test to see what costs will be incurred in terms of Internet access, on a rudimentary system.
TeleWeaver is a product of the SAFIPA funded ESTIMA project.