Direction of ICTs


Most people have their own cellphone even in developing countries.

 Here is my question: can Information and Technologies Communication (ICT) make our lives better? Although there are pros and cons, at least some of them really do.

 For example,

iOS application called “TapTapSee will be a great help for the blind and visually impaired to identify your photos. Here is how it works. You take a photo on this app, and wait for 5-10
seconds. Then someone in the app company will tell you what that is with voice.

 I actually downloaded ant tried it out. First of all, I took a photo of 2000 Chilean peso and in 10 seconds, I received an answer saying “bill of 2000”. It excited me and I took another photo adding 1000 peso, 10000 peso, 5000 peso and waited for the answer. Unfortunately, the answer said 2000 pesos (maybe the person couldn’t recognize non-US bills). So it’s not perfect. But I think the idea is great.

When someone with visual disability goes shopping, s/he won’t get confused with the price and which bills they have to pay out of the wallet. 

Although it’s not perfect, it has a potential.

It reminds me of an assignment that I had in “literacy and Development course” at Columbia University (New York University allowed me to take classes over there). The professor assigned us to collect as many best practices of literacy as possible on areas selected by students. I picked Inclusive Education and my list of best practices was not perfect, but it had a potential.

Actually the list came in handy later on when I had to prepare for a consultant project on inclusive Education at UNESCO. You never know what will happen in the future.

One of the sources similar to above mentioned application is “RNIB College learners get
smart with their mobile phones (Uffendell, Hefferan, & Finnigan, 2009): SMS communication, as opposed to audio voice messaging, is easily accessible to hearing impaired users, and assistive programs that read text aloud or enlarge text size on screens are useful to learners with visual impairments.

A study of smartphone use at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) College in the UK showed that visually impaired learners used mobile phones in their daily lives as much as non-disabled learners. Students from the Institute found that dictation and text-to-speech software was simple to acquire and use, SMS was an effective way to receive College information, and new features and applications for mobiles were surprisingly sophisticated and valuable.  

I personally don’t like too much exposure to the technology; however, again although it’s
not perfect, it has potential to make our lives better. 
Do you have any example on this issue? 


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