Community Engagement and ICT

For those interested in ICTs and Community Engagement, I have transcribed a list of useful sites from that wonderful publication “Towards Whole of Community Engagement: A Practical Toolkit” by Heather J Aslin and Valarie A Brown. Although none of these links particularly concern ICTs, the methodologies and approaches used in them could be applied to innovation with ICTs in a community setting (including political innovation or ‘innovation’ in the formation of social or cultural capital).
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Wikipedia versus Britannica

One of the more obvious criticisms of Wikipedia’s open publishing and open peer-review system is that it is prone to inaccuracies. However, according to this study (addmittedly small) from Nature Magazine, it is no more inaccurate than Encyclopaedia Britannica.

One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to 4 million entries, is now a much-used resource. But it is also controversial: if anyone can edit entries, how do users know if Wikipedia is as accurate as established sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica (link).

What is an argument?

Possibly the hardest educational skill to learn is argument. It takes years to effectivly learn how to construct an argument. There are some good software products around that assist in the 'mapping' and construction of arguments. Have a look at this research project from the University of Dundee in the UK. It's called Araucaria v3.

Araucaria is a software tool for analysing arguments. It aids a user in reconstructing and diagramming an argument using a simple point-and-click interface. The software also supports argumentation schemes, and provides a user-customisable set of schemes with which to analyse arguments.

Also, there are some good links to debates within the field and other products on Tim Van Gelder's Austhink (which is based here in Carlton, Melbourne).