Deepen your understanding of Cyber-Influence and Power with these carefully crafted educational exercises that let you get the most out of this TED Studies subject.
In his TEDTalk, Shashi Tharoor shares some surprising statistics about the Indian cell phone market, supporting his claim that India has become "an astonishingly connected country." What do you know about the availability and uptake of various ICTs in countries other than your own? Pick a country or region and learn more about ICT use there. What technologies are most prevalent, and why? How have specific cultural, economic, political and/or geographical circumstances shaped the country's ICT use? How well have the government leaders there understood and built upon the communication configurations described by Clay Shirky and others? Begin your research with one or more of the following sources:
- The UN's International Telecommunications Union: Statistics http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/
The World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report 2012
- Gomez, R. (2012). Libraries, Telecentres, Cybercafes and Public Access to ICTs: International Comparisons. IGI Global.
- Scheuerman, F. and Pedro, F. (2010). Assessing the Effects of ICT in Education: Indicators, Criteria and Benchmarks for International Comparisons. OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
- GSM Association and NTT Docomo Inc, Japan. (2011). Children's use of mobile phones—an international comparison.
- Entner, R. (2011). International Comparisons: The Handset Replacement Cycle. Mobile Future and Recon Analytics.
As is suggested in the summary essay, experts are divided as to whether ICTs have any intrinsically positive or negative impact on individual and collective freedoms. Using the related resources suggested in Cyber-Influence and Power, sponsor a discussion or debate on your campus, in your community, or – better yet – online, engaging individuals in other countries. Identify several case studies from the TED Study materials or from your own research that highlight some of the critical challenges that nations and non-government actors must address. What solutions do you see as most feasible, and who are the agent(s) responsible for making the necessary changes?