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Q4: Education activities

ISOC currently sponsors many educational efforts. These include regional conferences, focused workshops, and conferences shared with other organizations.

What educational requirements do you think are important for ISOC to address? How would you recommend addressing them?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 7:40 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Q4: Education activities”

  1. Comment by: Jason Livingood   
    April 21st, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    ISOC should continue and expand regional workshops and conferences, especially those focused in Africa, parts of Latin America, and parts of Asia where the Internet use is growing rapidly but the penetration of Internet access may be relatively low. As such, focusing on “developing Internet connectivity” regions will help build relationships, develop human resources, and share knowledge which is essential to help societies and regions deploy more Internet infrastructure, improve security and reliability, increase the speed and number of end user connections, and develop the technical leaders that are critical to widespread Internet adoption.

    A focus in such key regions could also be coupled with ISOC’s planned Deployment and Operationalization Hub (DO Hub). The DO Hub could provide a key resource for participants of ISOC educational activities, providing a practical blueprint for how to implement a wide range of key technical advances, which may include things such as where to find network operations and routing best practices to how to implement DNSSEC on recursive servers.

    In addition, the DO Hub and other tools could enable developing leaders to collaborate with Internet engineers in other parts of the world. In combination with that, it continues to be important to help develop strong local ISOC chapters in these regions, as another tool to increase collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the reinforcement of relationships within a region and with other parts of the world.

    Another opportunity for more educational activities relates to end users from around the world who are seeking more information about how to better protect themselves against the growing scourge of malware, how to ensure the security of their Internet use, how to secure their personal files, and how to protect their privacy. As a result, there is an opportunity for ISOC to step into several or all of these areas and develop educational materials for end users or materials that may be used by other parties to educate and inform end users.

    However, ISOC must also invest its limited time and money wisely in this area as I’m certain there is no shortage of good ideas for new educational activities. As such, ISOC should carefully judge activities under consideration and select to invest in those that will have the biggest local, regional, global, or strategic impact, thereby maximizing ISOC’s efforts.

    Jason Livingood

  2. Comment by: Nick Ashton-Hart   
    April 26th, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I think that ISOC’s educational priorities, as identified in the current Business Plan and Budget, are excellent. I would say that since the DO hub is new, the priority must be on ensuring that the DO hub is as widely accessible as possible and that monetising its materials should remain very much a secondary consideration. In commercial vernacular, given this is new we should be trying to gain as much market-share for the DO hub as possible; if opportunities to monetise some of the material come up these could be dealt with on a case-by-case basis later rather than sooner (speaking in general).

    One area of education is sorely needed, and partnerships to help develop this should be pursued: creating a source for policy-makers worldwide to learn more about how the Internet works from their perspective. For example, having a single source – connected to the DO hub – where policymakers could learn more about the Internet and why filtering, blocking, monitoring etc are bad would provide a significant benefit in the policy space but would also allow ISOC to leverage its technical connections and provide more opportunities for technically-proficient members to help their countries’ policymakers make good decisions about Internet policy in their countries and regions.

  3. Comment by: Theresa Swinehart   
    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    ISOC’s educational activities cover a wide range of areas, and are captured in such things as topical workshops, presentations, or engagement and outreach through the regional bureaus. Capacity building, education, knowledge development and general awareness about the Internet, how it functions, and workshops and trainings relevant to the Internet are areas in which ISOC has and should continue to engage. A recent example of one type of event is the 2nd African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF). One of the useful ways to leverage ISOC’s educational work is through partnerships with other organizations, in particular local and regional organizations. This can be built upon with membership and chapters. These forms of cooperation can assist in sustaining, and leveraging activities, including with new stakeholders and the next generations.
    Additionally, the work around emerging country development activities and the extension of the current leadership programs are important areas of focus and investment. These initiatives will contribute to greater awareness and engagement in areas such as the role of the IETF as an important technical standards organization, as well as help advance awareness around technology and policy issues on key emerging areas of the Internet.

  4. Comment by: Marcin Cieślak   
    May 25th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Educational activity is a broad topic, so I believe we should prioritize activities in this field looking at various target groups:

    1.Education towards general public – with topics including security, privacy, wide area of Internet technologies;

    2. Education towards policy makers – describing and identifying issues with the open internetworking model;

    3. Education towards deployers of the Internet (or Internet-based) technology – mainly the use of existing and creation of new open standards;

    4. Education towards business decision-makers – open standards, accessibility, privacy, security.

    I have listed above in the order of my perceived priority, but there will be some regional differences in those priorities as well as in the contents of the educational package provided.

    One of the challenges that needs to be addressed is to avoid a potential conflict of interest with the existing base of ISOC members (both org and individual). One of the solutions would be to work together with local stakeholders where such cooperation is viable and beneficial.