The Internet of Things (IoT): An Overview

eVillage Concept - 1999

eVillage, an early form of Internet of Things was conceived by Mr. Imran Aziz in 1999 and as depicted in above diagram.

Executive Summary

The Internet of Things is an emerging topic of technical, social, and economic significance. Consumer products, durable goods, cars and trucks, industrial and utility components, sensors, and other everyday objects are being combined with Internet connectivity and powerful data analytic capabilities that promise to transform the way we work, live, and play. Projections for the impact of IoT on the Internet and economy are impressive, with some anticipating as many as 100 billion connected IoT devices and a global economic impact of more than $11 trillion by 2025.

At the same time, however, the Internet of Things raises significant challenges that could stand in the way of realizing its potential benefits. Attention-grabbing headlines about the hacking of Internet-connected devices, surveillance concerns, and privacy fears already have captured public attention. Technical challenges remain and new policy, legal and development challenges are emerging.

This overview document is designed to help the Internet Society community navigate the dialogue surrounding the Internet of Things in light of the competing predictions about its promises and perils. The Internet of Things engages a broad set of ideas that are complex and intertwined from different perspectives. Key concepts that serve as a foundation for exploring the opportunities and challenges of IoT include:

IoT Definitions: The term Internet of Things generally refers to scenarios where network connectivity and computing capability extends to objects, sensors and everyday items not normally considered computers, allowing these devices to generate, exchange and consume data with minimal human intervention. There is, however, no single, universal definition.

Enabling Technologies: The concept of combining computers, sensors, and networks to monitor and control devices has existed for decades. The recent confluence of several technology market trends, however, is bringing the Internet of Things closer to widespread reality. These include Ubiquitous Connectivity, Widespread Adoption of IP-based Networking, Computing Economics, Miniaturization, Advances in Data Analytics, and the Rise of Cloud Computing.

Connectivity Models: IoT implementations use different technical communications models, each with its own characteristics. Four common communications models described by the Internet Architecture Board include: Device-to-Device, Device-to-Cloud, Device-to-Gateway, and Back-End Data-Sharing. These models highlight the flexibility in the ways that IoT devices can connect and provide value to the user.

Transformational Potential: If the projections and trends towards IoT become reality, it may force a shift in thinking about the implications and issues in a world where the most common interaction with the Internet comes from passive engagement with connected objects rather than active engagement with content. The potential realization of this outcome – a “hyperconnected world” — is testament to the general-purpose nature of the Internet architecture itself, which does not place inherent limitations on the applications or services that can make use of the technology.

Five key IoT issue areas are examined to explore some of the most pressing challenges and questions related to the technology. These include security; privacy; interoperability and standards; legal, regulatory, and rights; and emerging economies and development.

Security

While security considerations are not new in the context of information technology, the attributes of many IoT implementations present new and unique security challenges. Addressing these challenges and ensuring security in IoT products and services must be a fundamental priority.Users need to trust that IoT devices and related data services are secure from vulnerabilities, especially as this technology become more pervasive and integrated into our daily lives. Poorly secured IoT devices and services can serve as potential entry points for cyber attack and expose user data to theft by leaving data streams inadequately protected.

The interconnected nature of IoT devices means that every poorly secured device that is connected online potentially affects the security and resilience of the Internet globally. This challenge is amplified by other considerations like the mass-scale deployment of homogenous IoT devices, the ability of some devices to automatically connect to other devices, and the likelihood of fielding these devices in unsecure environments.

As a matter of principle, developers and users of IoT devices and systems have a collective obligation to ensure they do not expose users and the Internet itself to potential harm. Accordingly, a collaborative approach to security will be needed to develop effective and appropriate solutions to IoT security challenges that are well suited to the scale and complexity of the issues.

Privacy

The full potential of the Internet of Things depends on strategies that respect individual privacy choices across a broad spectrum of expectations. The data streams and user specificity afforded by IoT devices can unlock incredible and unique value to IoT users, but concerns about privacy and potential harms might hold back full adoption of the Internet of Things. This means that privacy rights and respect for user privacy expectations are integral to ensuring user trust and confidence in the Internet, connected devices, and related services.

Indeed, the Internet of Things is redefining the debate about privacy issues, as many implementations can dramatically change the ways personal data is collected, analyzed, used, and protected. For example, IoT amplifies concerns about the potential for increased surveillance and tracking, difficulty in being able to opt out of certain data collection, and the strength of aggregating IoT data streams to paint detailed digital portraits of users. While these are important challenges, they are not insurmountable. In order to realize the opportunities, strategies will need to be developed to respect individual privacy choices across a broad spectrum of expectations, while still fostering innovation in new technology and services.

Interoperability / Standards

A fragmented environment of proprietary IoT technical implementations will inhibit value for users and industry. While full interoperability across products and services is not always feasible or necessary, purchasers may be hesitant to buy IoT products and services if there is integration inflexibility, high ownership complexity, and concern over vendor lock-in.

In addition, poorly designed and configured IoT devices may have negative consequences for the networking resources they connect to and the broader Internet. Appropriate standards, reference models, and best practices also will help curb the proliferation of devices that may act in disrupted ways to the Internet. The use of generic, open, and widely available standards as technical building blocks for IoT devices and services (such as the Internet Protocol) will support greater user benefits, innovation, and economic opportunity.

Legal, Regulatory and Rights

The use of IoT devices raises many new regulatory and legal questions as well as amplifies existing legal issues around the Internet. The questions are wide in scope, and the rapid rate of change in IoT technology frequently outpaces the ability of the associated policy, legal, and regulatory structures to adapt.

One set of issues surrounds crossborder data flows, which occur when IoT devices collect data about people in one jurisdiction and transmit it to another jurisdiction with different data protection laws for processing. Further, data collected by IoT devices is sometimes susceptible to misuse, potentially causing discriminatory outcomes for some users. Other legal issues with IoT devices include the conflict between law enforcement surveillance and civil rights; data retention and destruction policies; and legal liability for unintended uses, security breaches or privacy lapses.

While the legal and regulatory challenges are broad and complex in scope, adopting the guiding Internet Society principles of promoting a user’s ability to connect, speak, innovate, share, choose, and trust are core considerations for evolving IoT laws and regulations that enable user rights.

Emerging Economy and Development Issues

The Internet of Things holds significant promise for delivering social and economic benefits to emerging and developing economies. This includes areas such as sustainable agriculture, water quality and use, healthcare, industrialization, and environmental management, among others. As such, IoT holds promise as a tool in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The broad scope of IoT challenges will not be unique to industrialized countries. Developing regions also will need to respond to realize the potential benefits of IoT. In addition, the unique needs and challenges of implementation in less-developed regions will need to be addressed, including infrastructure readiness, market and investment incentives, technical skill requirements, and policy resources.

The Internet of Things is happening now. It promises to offer a revolutionary, fully connected “smart” world as the relationships between objects, their environment, and people become more tightly intertwined. Yet the issues and challenges associated with IoT need to be considered and addressed in order for the potential benefits for individuals, society, and the economy to be realized.

Ultimately, solutions for maximizing the benefits of the Internet of Things while minimizing the risks will not be found by engaging in a polarized debate that pits the promises of IoT against its possible perils. Rather, it will take informed engagement, dialogue, and collaboration across a range of stakeholders to plot the most effective ways forward.

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Acknowledgement:

On 15 October 2015 the Internet Society published a 50-page whitepaper providing an overview of the IoT and exploring related issues and challenges. The Executive Summary on this page has been reproduced from this white paper under a Creative Commons license, which can be found at  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us.  You may download the complete Internet Society document at the following link: http://www.internetsociety.org/doc/iot-overview.

 

Establishment of first Pakistani Community Technology Center in Mughalpura, Lahore, Pakistan.

Summary

The idea to establish first Community Technology Center in Mughalpura was evolved in 2000 when Pakistan was going through heavy socio-economic reforms and efforts to modernize community and measures to alleviate poverty through education were undertook. Mughalpura CTC which was self reliant initiative of RAD CORPORATION established as instrument to build capacity through education and technology to alleviate poverty and increase living standards. Though it was a research project but generated good revenues and served thousands of students and local community to-date. It was a community service, social action, and/or educational facility where computers and related communications technologies will be available to people who otherwise might have little or no opportunity to use or learn to use these technologies.

Community Technology Center offered opportunities to improve education levels, gain job-related skills, and build personal and community capacity and a place where participants gathered together and linked with the entire community. An important criterion for success was the degree to which the CTC becomes an integral part of its community.

The Community Technology Center (or CTC) also helped as premier weapon in the battle to close the Digital Divide. This initiative provided technology access, resources, support and training for people in low-income or isolated locality of Mughalpura.

Solution Provided

  1. Proposal, Organization Planning and Development

Preparation of Information Memorandum for Eagle Machinery Services Project worth 100 Million Rupees

Proposed idea to re-develop / upgrade Eagle Machinery Services is enhancing its capacity for the bulk production to meet market demand in machine tools, lathe machines and mechatronic related products. Perceived project not only acquires government investments / funding but also has focused creating high-tech capacity to undertake / meet government objectives for rapid industrial growth. EMS Board of Directors under the leadership of Mr. Abdul Aziz has catered following pertinent strategy promising socio-economic growth with overall objectives:

Objectives

Priority shall be given to the development of the following key mechanical specialties and products to meet basic requirements of the local / national economy:

  1. Complete equipment;
  2. Mechanical engineering for serving agriculture, forestry, fishery and processing industry;
  3. Machine tools;
  4. Automobile Engineering
  5. Construction engineering;

By 2010, the EMS is expected to meet 45% – 50% of the local market demand for mechanical products, of which exportable products are seen to account for 30% of its total production value.

Strategic Orientation for Development of a Number of Key Mechanical Specialties and Products

Complete equipment

  1. To enhance the capacity to manufacture complete equipment by means of advanced technologies.
  2. To manufacture sophisticated equipment as a substitute for imported products and step by step to proceed to export them.
  3. To raise the capacity for designing complete equipment, efficiently combined with technologies intended for specific industries.
  4. To invest equipment and technologies in fundamental processes, such as molding, forging and casting, in order to synchronize equipment with technologies, serving the manufacture of large and sophisticated details and assemblies.
  5. To utilize the availability of equipment of mechanical engineering enterprises across the country, and accelerate coordination in the assignment and cooperation in manufacturing complete equipment.
  6. To meet 40% of local demand for complete equipment by 2010. In the foreseen future, to concentrate on the fields, including manufacture of paper and pulp, cement, construction materials, oil and gas, electricity generation, supply of clean water, and processing industry, etc.

Automobile Engineering

Production of pertinent components and equipment used in automobile industrial has also been envisaged.

Agricultural machines

  1. To concentrate investment on developing the efficient manufacture of agricultural machines, including farming and processing machines and equipment for preserving farm produce, with a view to meeting domestic demand and gradually proceeding to export them.
  2. To encourage local medium and small-sized mechanical manufacturers to take part in the manufacture of equipment and machinery for the purpose of serving agriculture and the processing industry in an organized manner, soundly assign and collaborate with mechanical engineering enterprises in and outside the province or city.

Machine tools

  1. Priority shall be given to the development of the machine tool manufacturing industry in a bid to meet the demands of industries.
  2. To conduct research, design and manufacture of modern machine prototypes (application of PLC and CNC technologies) and special processing devices.
  3. To speed up modernization of the existing machine systems at industrial establishments via Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) Programs.

Construction engineering

  1. To make in-depth and investments in the manufacturers of construction technology like post tensioned concreting
  2. To bring into play advantages of the manufacture of metal structures for construction and industrial projects, and concentrate on the manufacture of advanced highly- sophisticated construction equipment and machines, which are in great demand at home and abroad.

Policies and Measures to Support the Development of the Mechanical Engineering Industry

  1. • EMS in collaboration with government industrial promotion initiatives will provide technical standards of key mechanical products as the basis for inspecting quality of domestic and imported products.

EMS in collaboration with small scale manufactures will introduce policies to promote sales of homemade mechanical products.

Solution Provided

  1. Information Memorandum

HIT – Education City Planning and Development

HIT Educational Trust’s flagship project, HIT Education City, is a 101-acre campus on the outskirts of Taxila that is planned to host educational and research institutions.

The concept of a city dedicated to education has no precedent. It is the first, and the only one of its kind in Pakistan. It will be home to some of the finest institutions of higher learning offering an unrivalled choice of study disciplines. Moreover, by forging partnerships with elite institutions, HIT Educational Trust aims to make Education City an international leader in progressive education and cutting-edge research.

It is with no doubt a city in the true sense of the word — a fully functioning community, committed to imparting and creating knowledge, from early childhood education to postgraduate studies and applied research.

HIT Educational Trust’s far-reaching vision for Education City is in keeping with the pace and scope of the changes taking place all over Pakistan. From its enlightened moderation to its democratic reforms and emerging place on the world stage, Pakistan is in the midst of an exciting transformation that will ensure the country’s continued prosperity and an even brighter future.

Key Attributes of Taxila Education City

Leadership — education, business and government leaders and influencers advancing a shared vision of the role the education sector can play in driving individual and collective prosperity.

Planning — a comprehensive and well supported plan that establishes a unified direction for local economic, social and workforce priorities.

Location — proximity to state-of-the-art learning and research facilities, global markets and highly qualified personnel.

Capacity — the right mix of education institutions, renowned scholars and researchers, and modern infrastructure.

Networks — formal and informal associations and groups needed to connect people, ideas and investments.

Recognized Strengths — defined education and/or training strengths that are distinguishable from other municipalities.

Quality of Life — an abundance of social and cultural assets needed to attract, stimulate and retain people.

Intermediary — a highly credible local organization(s) able to help guide and facilitate cooperation, collaboration and integration between and among myriad partners.

Proposal to Establish Phased Based Teacher Selection Process and Implementation of Active Teacher Testing System

Presented to: Virtual University Pakistan

“Perhaps the single most important factor in how much a child learns at school is the presence or absence of a good teacher.” – William J. Bennett, “A Few Lessons Public Schools Need to Learn,” May 15, 2001.

Pakistan is developing day by day and believes that the powers of science, technology and education could be harnessed to promote economic growth and development. New Educational as well as Information Technology policy proved as the birth of good quality HEI’s (Higher Education Institutions) which are taking a big part in strengthening the economy of Pakistan by providing highly educated and quality human resource for the Socio-Economic development of Pakistan.

Increasing number of HEI’s in Pakistan is facing a growing shortage of highly-qualified teachers because of improper testing, non-standardized and non-phased based selection process and improper interviewing.

To address this serious issue, the RAD CORPORATION, introduced standards for teacher recruitment and evaluation and proved Phase Based Selection and Active Teacher Testing as a new methodology for quality teacher selection and evaluation. These methodologies are aimed at supporting teachers in their work and ensuring that every student has the chance to learn from a highly-qualified educator.

Moreover RAD CORPORATION’s strategies and methodologies will help all institutions to recruit and retain excellent teachers, and require institutions to have a highly-qualified teacher in every institution classroom. It would emphasize local methods for recruiting qualified teachers and include an Active Teacher Testing methodology. It also includes a number of provisions aimed at streamlining bureaucracy, injecting new commonsense and flexibility into federal rules, and making it easier for qualified teachers to do their jobs effectively.

Future Perceptions of Information Technology

<h2>Presented to: ISOSS in a research conference</h2>

<p align=”justify”>There is no question that the industry has changed significantly during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Twenty five years ago, IC engineers fired the first shot in technology revolution that changed our world. Their ammunition; the first commercial microprocessor. Unfortunately, the prevalent egalitarian methodology of those days has been nearly destroyed by the pure profit-motivated methodology of the micros. The microcomputer methodology present in nearly all aspects of today’s computing is only to the detriment of the industry. Now the micro mentality is being propagated to new generations of IT Professionals who may carry this dangerous ideal into the future. Take example of Computer Science Introductory classes, packed with new students in quantities never seen before. At one time it was the case that those selected few who stayed in the CS program were there for a different reason: the love of the machine. Now classes are packed with their eyes wide with dollar signs. </p>

<p align=”justify”>The technology use has become transparent to us in such a way that anthropologists and sociologists consider technology as an integral part of our culture. One of the more recent developments in technology and social interaction is the Internet, a world-spanning network of hundreds of thousands of computers and millions of people has surpassed all the expectations, using every form of communication covering thousands of different areas in dozen of spoken and written languages, and the technologies that emerge from it, will certainly touch the lives of the children of our culture and others around the world. </p>

<p align=”justify”>There should be a focus on the development of the Virtual Extension Service where anyone, anywhere can access local Extension programming and services via the Web. When a person walks into the front door of the virtual office they should find staff, program information, schedules, information about the community, learning modules, access to the Institute, the University, the national extension service and resources an institution can stand behind. Such efforts will promote the Co-operative Extension Service (CES) and its programs, and place the organisation in a leadership role in the local community. World Wide Web’s commercial infrastructure will be in place. It will provide a launch pad for truly competitive on-line selling. By the end of 2007, on-line retail sales could soar tenfold, while business-to-business transactions could explode by a factor of 100. Shoppers will be able to buy things by simply clicking on an icon to transmit an encrypted, or scrambled version of their ‘digital ID”. The ID’s will be harder to forge or repudiate than signatures.  </p>

<p align=”justify”>This may be because of the high quality of communication/Information facilities that tend to reduce the need for physical proximity, that is if every need of person is full- filled by sitting in his residence then why would he/she need to go for shopping, business or travel. In other words information revolution may change society as much as the industry revolution did.</p>

<p align=”justify”>Moreover RAD CORPORATION’s strategies and methodologies will help all institutions to recruit and retain excellent teachers, and require institutions to have a highly-qualified teacher in every institution classroom. It would emphasize local methods for recruiting qualified teachers and include an Active Teacher Testing methodology. It also includes a number of provisions aimed at streamlining bureaucracy, injecting new commonsense and flexibility into federal rules, and making it easier for qualified teachers to do their jobs effectively.</p>

Reconstruction of Islamic Media

Abstract: It is undeniable fact that media whether in form of print, radio, television or internet shapes and arguably, at times, manipulates what people perceive to be truth or reality. It is such a medium, which adds value to our knowledge of events at cognitive and social level otherwise; we sustain only to personal and oriental experience.

In post 9/11 era, the study of comparative work on Islam as marketplace religion and development of progressive civil society within, has suggested the role of new media for weakening the supremacy of established power players, such as state within state and conventional clergy. In conventional clergy, the confidentiality is an important component of media system, hence disenfranchising the major population from decision-making process and hurdling mediation in multi-party environment. It is imperative for Muslim public spheres to reconstruct Islamic Media by destructing its conventional approach, which ultimately result in achieving a pluralistic society and have the potential as enabler of interventions in public exchange while largely evading the control of the state within state and established conventional religious clergy.

Reconstruction of Islamic Media is decisively divided into two models apparently distinct and to a certain point intersected 1) Spherical – which is a set of conventional clergy and descendants with the tendency to either change or extinct and 2) Exponential – which is a set of new media adapters and contemporary interpreters of Islam. This paper argues the importance of above two models as milestones towards Reconstruction of Islamic Media and evaluates the possible intersection point where rigid becomes moderate.

In this paper, the implications of Reconstruction of Islamic Media in two Muslim Educational Institutions has also been successfully evaluated and been discussed at length that how new media technologies paved their path towards reforms and developed a sense of working together for the proximate goal of a better human community.

Keywords: New Media, Islam, Reconstruction, Social Constructivism, Conventional Clergy, Conventional Mediation, Apathy, Spherical Model, Exponential Model, Contemporary Interpreter, Madrasah Reform, Marketplace

Letter of Inquiry
Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Public Sphere:
Bridging Media Research, Media Reform, and Media Justice

The Proposed Project:
Religious Pluralism and New Media:
Fostering and Documenting Civil Society’s Emergent Conversations
Across Differences of Nation, Culture, and Religion

Organizer:
Lynn Schofield Clark, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and
Director, Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media
Author, From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural (Oxford University Press, 2003/2005) and Editor, Religion, Media, and the Marketplace (Rutgers University Press, 2007)
Department of Mass Communication
University of Denver

Collaborating Not-for-Profit Organizations:
The Movement for a Tolerant World: Co-founders Rabbi Levi Brackman and Imran Aziz
The World Association for Christian Communication: CEO Randy Naylor

Scholarly Collaborators (to date; others pending):
Dr. Margie Thompson
Associate Professor and
Director, International and Intercultural Communication Program

Co-author of research on Sharhzad News (Iranian women blogging about Iran)
University of Denver

Dr. Heidi Campbell
Assistant Professor
Author, When Religion Meets New Media and We Are One in the Network

Texas A & M University

Dr. Mia Lovheim
Assistant Professor
Author, Seekers in Cyberspace: Young People and Religion in Modern Society
Uppsala University, Sweden

Soheila Sadeghi

Senior Lecturer
Sociology and Women Studies
Director, Centre for Women Studies, Tehran University
Religious Pluralism and New Media:
Fostering and Documenting Civil Society’s Emergent Conversations
Across Differences of Nation, Culture, and Religion

Project Description:

The Internet and its related technologies hold great potential for the building of a progressive civil society. Advocates for media democracy note that the technology, and especially its open source applications that support collaborative processes, have the capacity for expanding the range of voices that are accessible within a deliberative democracy. These technologies also hold the promise of fostering relationships across differences of nation and culture. Yet to build such relationships and to expand the range of voices accessible online requires intentional effort.

The “Religious Pluralism and New Media” project grows out of just such an intentional effort. The research project’s beginnings rest in the work of progressive advocates who have worked in digital media to develop a model for collaborative learning utilizing new technologies. The advocates, leaders of The Movement for a Tolerant World (http://tolerantworld.org), are both under 30 and hail from Jewish and Islamic traditions. Recently, they have joined forces with a group of scholars who specialize in gender, world religions, and new media, as all share a common interest in developing a workable model for online collaboration that crosses differences of nation, culture, and religion in the pursuit of greater human rights for all people. The proposed research project seeks to augment The Movement for a Tolerant World’s advocacy efforts by enlarging the use of its open source platform among student populations while also documenting the developments of the collaboration that occur there. The proposed project will therefore provide both a curriculum tool and a set of research findings on how cultures of collaboration are developed online.

As a goal-driven advocacy effort, The Movement for a Tolerant World has been concerned with building “real tolerance, democracy, and peace across communities, societies, and the world” (TMTW, 2006). The Movement’s leaders believe that “the true nature of religious conflict does not stem from disagreements over theological issues but rather from religious stereotypes and association of religious identity with ethnic divisions and economic factors” (TMTW, 2006). The Movement for a Tolerant World employs Internet technologies to provide a platform for collective blogging, online fora, space for editorial comments on news stories related to issues of religious tolerance and intolerance, and other online resources. Each of these elements are mobilized to introduce people to one another through discussions of shared goals of tolerance and shared commitments to the opposition of dictatorships, intolerance, and terrorism. Not all who come to the online discussions of The Movement for a Tolerant World bring with them a religious affiliation or perspective, although some do. Discussions of differing religions, nations, and cultures are encouraged, as are discussions of differing experiences of intolerance whether based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. The Movement is committed to the idea that the young people who affiliate with its aims “will uphold and work towards the values of tolerance, peace, human rights, freedom of speech and religion, cultural diversity, respect, individual dignity and democracy. At the same time they will declare that they are prepared to fight against bigotry, hate, intolerance, stereotypical behavior, terror and violence” (TMTW, 2006). Thus, young people who choose to become a part of The Movement find common ground in their commitment to intolerance of all kinds.

The Movement for a Tolerant World is therefore opposed to religious fundamentalisms that contribute to the development of terrorism. Its leaders and members also seek to differentiate themselves from religious groups that embrace ideologies of hate and intolerance. In this sense, then, The Movement for a Tolerant World promises to bring new allies to existing progressive social movements that seek similar aims but tend to avoid discussions of religion. By enabling the discussion of religion and fostering a dialogue among both religious adherents and less religiously interested young people, The Movement’s discussions of religion’s role in conflict hold great potential for advancing civil society’s understandings of how democratic action might flourish in a religiously plural world. As media democracy advocate Robert Hackett (2000) has argued, “religious commitments, too often ignored by the contemporary Left as a potential agent for progressive social change, have also inspired media activism…the ecumenical, inclusive and dialogical vision of the WACC and other progressive religious organizations, committed to the values of human dignity, love, and solidarity, has inspired critique and action against the materialistic, consumerist and narcissistic individualist biases of commercial media.” It is certainly hoped that the “Religious Pluralism and New Media” project will foster exactly this kind of response.

The “Religious Pluralism and New Media” research project will launch in early 2008 with a jointly-designed and simultaneously implemented curriculum that utilizes The Movement for a Tolerant World’s website and materials, and includes readings of various World Association of Christian Communication publications, such as The Media & Gender Monitor, Fundamentalisms Revisited, and various issues of Media Development (each of these emphasize communication as “a basic human right that defines people’s common humanity, strengthens cultures, enables participation, creates community and challenges tyranny and oppression” [WACC, 2007]). Elements of the curriculum include both in-person and online collaborative conversations and the development of joint analyses that focus on specific instances of media representation of religious intolerance or stereotypes. Students will therefore be encouraged to participate in a structured experience of collaboration as they draw upon their own personal experiences and their developing knowledge of those whose personal experiences differ from their own. Each participant will also be asked to continue as a member of The Movement, and will be invited to offer suggestions on how to further foster collaborative relationships across differences of nation, culture, and religion.

Once the first phase of the research is complete, researchers and advocates will analyze the materials developed in The Movement for a Tolerant World and the discussions that took place in person among the various university constituents. The researchers will consider patterns in the conversations, noting instances in which conversations seemed passionate and engaging and instances in which dialogue seemed halted or certain participants seemed silenced. Working together, they will develop an interpretation of these findings and the implications of their findings for others who wish to develop online cultures of collaboration. They will then seek to implement a second round of participants with a larger number of collaborators from universities around the world.

This research is thus designed to offer insights into how to incorporate social networking and multi-university collaboration into a university course curriculum that encourages conversations that cross differences of nation, culture, and religion. As Western universities continue to seek ways to meet the growing demand for greater understandings of the Arab world, this kind of close collaboration that intentionally links students from different universities across the world in a dialogical model of knowledge-building will fill a need and make good use of the available technology. At the same time, with its attention to the analysis of trust-building and conversational development as it has occurred online settings, this research project will yield findings that highlight the ways in which other groups might foster cultures of collaboration online. This is a dire need, as noted by Surman and Reilly (2003) in their review of how the Internet might best be appropriated for social change. It is the goal of this research project, and of The Movement for a Tolerant World, to employ the Internet to foster the kind of understanding and mutual respect that leads to greater participation in campaigns for human rights that are taking place around the world and that are in constant need of new alliances.

Hackett, Robert A. “Taking Back the Media: Notes on the Potential for a Communicative Democracy Movement.” Studies in Political Economy 63 (Autumn 2000). Available online: http://www.sfu.ca/~hackett/takingbackthemedia.html

Surman, Mark and Katherine Reilly. Appropriating the Internet for Social Change: Towards the Strategic Use of Networked Technologies by Transnational Civil Society Organizations (November 2003).

TMTW (The Movement for a Tolerant World). All materials from The Movement’s website:
http://tolerantworld.org. Developed in 2006.

WACC (World Association for Christian Communication). All materials from WACC’s website:
http://waccglobal.org

Implementation of National Virtual University as Hybrid University Model

Presented to: Dr. Naveed A. Malik, Rector Virtual University Pakistan
Dr. Hassan Sohaib Murad, Rector University of Management & Technology
Dr. M.H Qazi, Rector University of Lahore
Mahmood Sadiq, Chairman University of South Asia
Dr. Nazir Ahmad Sanghi, Allama Iqbal Open Univesity
Dr. Sohail Ummer, Chairman Iqbal Academy

Executive Summary

Advancements in higher education teaching and learning process assisted with latest communications and computers technology reflects the conception of Virtual University as a tool to educate people and to create such capacity of human recourses which are viable and efficient to be a value of socio-economic system where every individual contributes through knowledge and makes national resource as beneficial as promised by nation.

A well financially planned project named “Virtual University Pakistan” has been implemented to provide best online education across the region. Virtual University Pakistan has implemented over 100 Virtual Campuses to assure that online education with mere changes in distance learning (Synchronous Education) concept has reached to educate every student interested in getting a world class IT degree.

Pakistan has taken an initiative of Virtual University and promises that it would provide its services to African and some of the Asian countries. No doubt Pakistan has a massive pool of intellectuals and researchers in the domain of Information Technology and Education but the Idea of Virtual University and online education is new to Pakistan and for its researchers. Previous practices of different countries proved as failure in running Virtual Universities and online education setups because of inadequate research in online education and their misconception about the fact that Interactive Online Learning is just putting the lecturer in the machine and their proponents claim that the online systems can guarantee learning, which is false! Technology can’t guarantee learning any more than a library on a campus guarantees learning. In the USA, corporate interests often promote this misconception. Due to their misconception, after spending 13 million dollars to establish an online university involving 19 states, Western Governors University has enrolled mere 120 students in the 130 courses offered as of September 1999 and still virtually empty after a year. Meanwhile, other new types of institutions are thriving in the USA, like University of Phoenix: 60,000 students and annual profits of $33 million, and DeVry Institutes: 48,000 students and annual profits of $24 million.

The idea of implementing second Virtual University is conceived out of desire to train human resource on quality education standards where particular theories are studied to measure success and failure of the program. Quality measures of current and future socio-economic interests have been evaluated through several of studies where different researchers from academia and industry participated.

Virtual University, Online Education, E-Learning are the new conception of imparting quality education to distant places without the barriers of time and space, however these programs may work as assisting educational and technological solutions for running institutions.

Proposed Project

The proposed university questions traditional assumptions about higher education, unbundling faculty roles and challenging the need for residency in credentialing. Still credit-based, the proposed university will use this only as a starting point in a pragmatic approach to individualized lifelong learning and workforce development.

This new paradigm of learning is based on a streamlined structure that effectively leverages inexpensive web technology, doing away with much of the infrastructure associated with universities. Student services, human resources, library access, and scholarships will be outsourced to private and public institutions and vendors. The proposed University does not compete for country funding, instead taking an entrepreneurial approach. Like a business start-up, it will grow only as enrollments, relying on public/private partnerships and a variety of revenue streams. Tuition and fees are disaggregated, with students paying only for what they want and get in services, cutting out hidden subsidies.

The proposed university is a country wide, not institution-centered, initiative; thereby promoting collaboration – not competition. Rather, all institutions stand to benefit through increased enrollments generated by proposed university students. Institutions that are landlocked in enrollment, with no room to grow except through additional budget or tuition increases, the proposed university will provide a way to efficiently bridge scarce resources across the Commonwealth. It will do what no one institution or collaboration has been able to do, in part because of rivalry and issues of resource allocation.

Many new virtual university efforts fail because they try to do too much. Cost studies show that the economy of scale needed for building online programs is very high. The proposed university has a limited but critical mission and will increase revenues and decrease costs per student FTE at other institutions through partnerships and outsourcing that promote best practices. With the unmet demand of enrollment projections, the need for continuous training in a knowledge economy, increasing numbers of non-traditional students, the problems of underserved populations, and the overcrowding of bricks and mortar facilities, Pakistan needs a new paradigm for learning – the National Virtual University.

The Proposed University aims at implementing and institutionalizing the emerging possibilities of constructivism based E-Learning to support balanced country development. An increasing share of companies and institutions in region is part of the knowledge-driven economy. Employees and non-traditional students need to be endowed with academic knowledge, which has to be updated consistently during the working life.

Learning via Internet is the key to meet this challenge. Online education enhances the accessibility to academic education and professional training. The people can integrate better learning activities into working life and they can be provided with learning content more independent of the presence of educational institutions in their surroundings. This opens new possibilities to a more equal supply of initiating region with academic education via Internet to support the development of balanced regions. This becomes even more relevant in the course of the transformation to information society and knowledge-driven economy, which requires even more up-to-date knowledge. E-Learning offers should adopt the regional structures and needs, offer the learners to finalize their single learning activities with an internationally recognized Bachelor, Master or PhD degrees.

Proposed National Virtual University specifically aims

  1. to raise the attractiveness and enhance the competitiveness of our country,
  2. to be a key player in the rapidly developing multilingual and multicultural market for digital media used in higher education, further education and professional training (E-Learning),
  3. to design, produce and distribute high-quality E-Content products and services (internationalization), which are easily accessible and adapt them rapidly to the requirements of the target markets (localization),
  4. to pool resources and share and specialize the expertise available in order to achieve a higher quality of education and training,
  5. to experience the educational mix for future professional needs,

The Learning Management System functions include synchronous and asynchronous groupware, user access control, tracking students’ progress, installation of learning resources, control over the virtual learning environment, storage/retrieval of learning contents, and security. Universities will manage learning management systems that have been developed by different software vendors.

The Content Server provides both a metadata index of it’s contents and courseware components, may contain both static text and graphics as well as dynamic content such as video, animations, and simulations. Publishers and universities will manage content servers that have been developed by different software vendors.

The Student Profile Server contains personal, performance, preference, and portfolio information. This data represents a rich resource that a user can draw on to facilitate, customize, and manage his or her learning experience(s).

External interfaces to Back Office Databases provide a means by which IMS-compliant content and management software can leverage external resources. These include registration databases, grade databases, online course catalogs, online class schedules, and other content or information databases.

Response to Request for Proposal for EMRW Media Monitoring System

ABSTRACT

RADCO has divided its proposed system into following two achievable broader objectives to assist in development of system as depicted in EMRW’s project brief:

  1. Systems and methods for monitoring transmissions of media content (such as audio and audiovisual content) in order to obtain independent and objective data regarding the use of specific media content recordings or works within the transmissions. Processing and reporting of such data in various ways to serve a variety of business needs.
  2. Systems and methods to enable users to analyze how a product or service collectively media programming is being advertised or otherwise conveyed to the general public. Via strategically placed servers, the proposed system captures multiple types and sources of media for storage and analysis. Analysis includes both closed captioning analysis and human monitoring. Media search parameters are received over a network and a near real-time hit list of occurrences of the parameters are produced and presented to a requesting user. Options for previewing matching media segments are presented, along with corresponding reports and coverage analyses. Reports indicate the effectiveness of advertising, the tonality of editorials, and other information useful to a user looking to understand how a product or service is being conveyed to the public via the media.

The proposed system relates generally to systems for monitoring transmissions of media content (such as audio and audiovisual content) in order to obtain independent and objective data regarding the use of specific media content recordings or works within said transmissions. The proposed system also relates to the processing and reporting of such data in various ways to serve a variety of business needs. More particularly, the proposed system relates to methods for employing content identification technology to efficiently and automatically obtain reliable, accurate, and precise monitoring data. The proposed system further relates to methods for producing information products and services based on such monitoring systems.

It is often desired to perform monitoring to obtain information regarding the use of (or the failure to use) particular media content (such as live or prerecorded music, radio and television programming, and advertising) within various types of transmissions (such as radio and television broadcasts, Internet downloads and streams, and public address systems). The commercial reasons for desiring such information are many and varied, including: providing proof-of-performance for paid advertisements, determining compliance with syndication licenses, determining the audience size of broadcasts, identifying retransmissions of network or syndicated content, identifying corrupted or partial transmission of advertisements or programming, identifying unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works, and identifying uses of promotional content and public service announcements.

In such monitoring, it may be desirable to obtain a variety of pieces of information regarding the use of the media content, including identification of the exact time, date, location of reception, duration, quality, origin, and method of transmission of the content.

In addition, it is advantageous to perform such monitoring automatically without significant intervention from human operators.

Public relations and advertising are crucial to the success of a business and as a result, companies spend large sums of money to advertise products and services via various forms of media. Advertising allows companies to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, increase company or product exposure, attract potential customers, and develop brand interest. Competitors may also utilize advertising for strategic counter-campaigns, brand repositioning, or other tactical marketing maneuvers. Since advertising is such an important factor in brand reputation, product and service recognition, and overall performance of a business, it is important for a company to effectively manage and monitor the effectiveness of its advertising.

In addition to advertising, companies also expend significant resources on editorial and news coverage. Editorial media, like advertising, has important financial consequences for businesses offering products or services to consumers. Editorial media, such as news coverage on a product, a service introduction or enhancement, product recall information, informative press releases, a market review, article, a media segment, etc., can drastically influence consumer opinion and brand recognition.

Thus, a comprehensive understanding of both advertising and editorial coverage across all forms of disseminated media is crucial to the success of any business. However, historically, systems and methods that allow for media monitoring have been severely limited including those currently present in Pakistan. Typical media monitoring services do not provide a business with enough information to fully understand how effective its advertising is. For example, traditional media services may be limited in scope or unable to handle multiple sources of media. As another example, many systems can provide only one type of monitoring (e.g., either electronic monitoring or so-called manual monitoring). As a result, there is a need for a more comprehensive method of media monitoring for EMRW.

Hybrid Classroom A Concept Paper

Presented to: Mahmood Sadiq, Chairman University of South Asia

This papers examines different classrooms layouts and their impact on students and teachers in different traditional, synchronous (Distance) and asynchronous (Virtual) learning environments with detailed design and architectural analysis and finally concludes with the new and multipurpose classroom model named as Hybrid Classroom to be used as Virtual Classroom, Studio Classroom, Traditional Classroom and Interactive Multimedia Classroom.

Technology is reshaping the world setting transnational models and connecting communities at instance of a click. This whole technological revolution is taking place where E-Village/s is becoming the most important component of Global Village theory.

A natural concept of learning is that it takes place everywhere, anytime and any place because human thirst for knowledge always inspires him to know more and more and to know until last exploration of human beings, which his/her end of time.

We are dependent on our environments because we learn from them. We don’t control environments because we are retrieved from them. Hence the best environment is that which matches to the principles of natural consciousness, imagination and reflection where more learning activities and strategies mean more diversity, and more diversity means more learning. By combing technology and educational philosophy and refining the architectural design we can define an artificial environment close to natural environment of learning related to human behavior, cognition and construction.

In the rush to the distance learning markets, universities have not always been careful to take into account the lessons learned from the centuries of higher education. Many of these programs are driven by technology and not pedagogy. Technology is a powerful driving force that must be reckoned with, but centuries of history and the recent research coming out of the cognitive sciences on how human beings learn will have much to say about where this technology will take us.

For the virtual university to be successful, it will have to replace the traditional modes of distance learning such as satellite video, tele-training keypad response systems, and interactive video conferencing with a much more robust educational model. Our goal is to provide the distant learner with as much of the studio experience as possible. In this model of interactive multimedia distance learning, one creates a virtual studio with students connected together over a network that carries data, voice, and video to the students’ computers. Each student has access to multimedia materials created for the course and delivered from CD-ROM or across the network. In short, we plan to take the Hybrid Classroom to the distance!

Part of any virtual classroom will be synchronous activity in which the students and instructors interact through live voice and video while working together with a synchronous collaborative software package. Part of any virtual classroom will be asynchronous activity, or activities done at the students’ own time and pace. The actual mix of synchronous and asynchronous activity will be adjusted to suit each course and audience. The more of the course that is conducted asynchronously the more flexible the course can become.

What is to prevent the course from becoming fully asynchronous? If we are to fulfill the desire for anytime/anyplace education then a fully asynchronous course sounds quite desirable. Why should students be bound to a particular time, if not a particular place? There are many efforts underway to do just that. Interactivity is included through asynchronous use of email, news groups, or other electronic discussion modalities.

Our work indicates to us that a course in which most of the activity is asynchronous but which includes regular synchronous meetings might be effective, flexible and efficient. Perhaps 10-20% of the course activity could be synchronous. The synchronous activity also allows one to incorporate the discussion, small group projects, and role-playing that are so important to student learning. This model referred to as the 80/20 Model.

In our experience an effective interactive multimedia distance-learning environment will have the following characteristics:

  1. Delivery on standards based multimedia PC’s equipped for live video/audio interactions and connected to a robust ip multi-casting network.
  2. A mix of synchronous and asynchronous activity.
  3. Use of Web and/or CD-ROM based multimedia materials.
  4. Use of professional quality software tools for CAD, symbolic math, spreadsheets, word processing, etc.
  5. Live audio and/or video interactions among the students and with faculty.
  6. Email interactions among the students and faculty.
  7. Small group discussions.
  8. Collaborative software for application sharing over the network.
  9. Access to rich resources on the network.
  10. Ability to “pass the floor” to students to allow them to lead the class through an activity.
  11. Course administration software to track student progress.
  12. Classes with a mix of students in traditional and workplace settings.
  13. Classes with a global perspective and global audience.

A number of organizations have deployed hybrid systems that have a portion of the course delivered asynchronously and a portion synchronously. The particular proportions can be adjusted to be appropriate for the content, the audience, and the instructor’s preferences. At RAD CORPORATION, we often refer to this as the 80-20 model, because 80% asynchronous and 20% synchronous is often our starting point in the design. The 20% synchronous can be done by web based audio, video, and collaborative data sharing using live on-line tools. The actual percentage can be selected to be small enough to be efficient and flexible and provide for student access, but large enough to increase the success rate for students enrolled. The number 20% is not a magic number, but is adjusted based upon the audience and material. These hybrid approaches that use both synchronous and asynchronous learning techniques are often referred to as Hybrid Classroom and Hybrid Virtual University introduced by RAD CORPORATION.

Difference between Traditional and Hybrid Classroom Models

Traditional Classroom

  1. Quality instructors Required every time to teach same lecture
  2. Economically unfeasible
  3. No or mere technology integration
  4. No more space to implement dynamic educational strategies hence resulting poor process of learning based on limited activities
  5. Educational System is always dependant on Quality Instructors hence resulting Quality Faculty Shortage in overall system
  6. Uncontrolled Learning Environment with intangible measures
  7. Improper feedback system to ensure quality of instructions and student learning outcomes

Hybrid Classroom

  1. Quality instructors Required Once to Teach the lecture which is delivered on any kind of media, at anyplace and anytime
  2. Economically Feasible
  3. Real-time Learning with the help of latest Technology Integration which enhances learning
  4. Maximum Educational Strategies Implementation, Resulting Maximum Activities and diversifying whole process of learning on a focal point. More Strategies means more activates, more activates means diversity, and more diversity means more knowledge
  5. Educational System is not always dependant on Quality Instructors. Mentors required in Educational System after design and development of Instructions.
  6. Controlled Learning Environment with tangible measures
  7. Proper feedback system to ensure quality of instructions and student learning outcomes
  8. Active Learning Process. Student Seek out information, get self-motivated, work hard while faculty stay at rest.
  9. Learning is entertaining and interactive rather than passive.
  10. Sound, music, visuals, movement and talking encourages users to participate in the learning process and stay with the program once they’ve started it.
  11. Multi-sensory input provides more opportunities for engagement, interest, motivation, and retention.
  12. The Web allows us to overcome the limits of time. The time-independent nature of Web materials allows anyone to have access to materials whenever they are needed and from anywhere.
  13. Cognitive Distribution
  14. The “Client-Server” model.
  15. Connecting students, instructors, and resources into a rich interacting community of learners.
  16. Peer Teaching
  17. Cooperative Learning
  18. Student-student as well as student-instructor and student-resource interactions
  19. Synchronous as well as asynchronous
  20. Video/Audio/ and Multimedia interactions
  21. The real “World Wide Web”