Grants/Publishing and licensing Arab Digital Expression Curricula for youngsters aged 12-15 to implement in a residential summer “digital expression camp”.

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Publishing and licensing Arab Digital Expression Curricula for youngsters aged 12-15 to implement in a residential summer “digital expression" camp

Applicants: The Arab Digital Expression Foundation
Affiliation: Arab Digital Expression Foundation
CC affiliated? No
Contact: Ranwa Yehia. Project Director.
Coordinator: Shaimaa Yehia
Project Start: 2010/08/30
Project End: 2011/07/30
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Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.

Finalizing and publishing under CC licensing a series of Arab digital expression curricula, which include a toolkit on holding a summer residential camp for youngsters aged 12-15, as well as the development of a specific curriculum to set up local digital expression centers. The curricula are based on experiential educational approaches and include a series of activities designed to bolster self-expression. The curricula specialize in digital film-making, digital sound and music, animation, graphic design and Web 2.0 and have been developed by Arab artists, pedagogues, alternative education experts and techies for Arab youngsters using Arabic language. The project will take place in three stages: starting by finalizing the set of curricula, followed by a workshop in which curricula developers, techies and cc licensing and technology expert will be conveyed to cut and reorganize it for digital publishing. It will be completed by the implementation of the licensing publishing.

Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).

The project would result in the publishing of five digital expression curricula in Arabic, along with a toolkit on how to organize residential digital expression camps on ADEF’s Wiki; as well as video and audio documentation of the curriculum development workshop. Short films and audio productions directed by youngsters exposed to the designed curricula licensed under CC would be released via ADEF’s portal and other social networks. Further dimensions to this project include the development of a technical digital glossary in Arabic, the offering of a curriculum development workshop with regional actors, and a series of consultancies.

Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?

We are currently targeting youth and ICTs-based structures in the Arab World, including institutes, NGOs, as well as young Arab professionals conducting workshops and trainings for youngsters. We focus our projects on digital self- expression, tapping into the potential that the digital world has for social change. We have been training filmmakers and editors, musicians and sound engineers, artists, digital activists as well as web techies. In the long run we hope to approach national institutions and private education centers for them to incorporate these curricula within their academic programs. By making our curricula available under CC, we hope to help the Arab youth in becoming contributors rather than mere recipients in the digital world. We also hope to enhance the online Arab content, and participate and contribute to the shared knowledge />

What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects?

It has been four years that ADEF has started to develop its digital expression curricula. We have implemented them and refined them in three consecutive residential summer digital expression camps. We believe we have reached a stage where we hope others can benefit from our experience. The development of these curricula has involved around 50 Arab artists, child specialists and experts from across the region. It is to this day and to our knowledge the only regional project focused on self-expression with open source digital media as a tool.

How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?

ADEF has designed a Monitoring and Evaluation formula to assess the impact of the curricula both on youngsters and trainers during and after the camp. The M&E is both qualitative and quantitative. It focuses on the process of expression rather than the actual media output that youngsters produce. It is designed to evaluate results during the residential summer camp that ADEF organizes on a yearly basis as much as on the overall network that springs out of the different activities conducted by ADEF. In addition, we are starting a regional cooperation scheme with partners in Jordan and Morocco. We hope to see Arab digital expression centers being set up by mid 2011 in which the designed curricula would be implemented. We will establish in cooperation with our partners a system of evaluation both qualitative and quantitative.

How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?

A minimum of 30 professionals and 80 youngsters from across the region are yearly involved in ADEF’s programs. The finalization of the curricula would involve around a dozen curriculum developers, artists, web techies and educators. If we publish our curricula under CC, we hope to enlarge our network and support other structures and initiatives with our expertise for their own implementation of the designed curricula.

Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".

ADEF promotes the values of shared knowledge and open education. The entire process to develop our digital expression curricula advocates for the use of Creative Commons licensing of artistic and educational resources. Every year ADEF gathers 20 young professionals to conduct a training of trainers program in facilitation skills and experimentation of Open Source Software for the purpose of expression through which we introduce and familiarize artists and techies with these concepts, tools and communities. We hope to increase the number of Arab youth who will benefit from an open source and experiential based digital education, while contributing concretely to the ‘commons’ Open educational resources. By publishing our curricula ad toolkit, we reach out to more Arab youth and at the same time contribute concretely to the ‘commons’ open educational resources.

Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?

In our programs, youngsters follow technical trainings in digital film, digital sound, animation, graphic design and web 2.0. Open-source sound editing software in use is Audacity. GIMP is in use for photo editing and KDEnlive for video editing with plans to also use PiTiVi and OpenShot. The content management systems in use throughout all our online platforms are Drupal and Mediawiki. The toolkit we hope to develop is part of an overall documentation endeavor that includes the creation of Arabic technical manuals on the use of some FOSS software, with which ADEF has experimented. Those manuals will be made available under CC. While developing curricula, there will be active arabisation of some FOSS that is not fully/adequately arabised. Those arabisation endeavors are sought to directly contribute to the open education resources and open-source community.

What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?

ADEF is based in a region, which for socio-economic as well as political reasons is not familiar to the culture of self-expression and has been described to be on the wrong edge of the digital divide. We are conscious that our environment can limit our capacity to sustain our initiative and efforts, especially with regards to funding opportunities. We nevertheless are confident that some of our funders will continue to support our effort. We have developed short and long term strategic planning to ensure lasting partnerships in the region and diversified our programs so as to include consultancies and trainings to implement our curricula.

How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?

In terms of sustainability we have designed a scheme via which the trainers that we recruit for our residential camp are proposed by organizations who themselves have communities from which we outsource youngsters. Following the summer camp experience, both trainers and youngsters go back to their communities, and continue to explore and experiment digital expression curricula and open source software by implementing local workshops at the organizations’ premises. This way, the entire program remains sustainable on a regional level and benefits additional under-privileged youngsters from local communities. As the digital expression curricula development is intertwined to the holding of a summer camp and the assessment and refining, we will explain our camp funding scheme. In terms of raising funds, we depend on several avenues. We apply to a variety of funding agencies’ programs related either to ICT or youth who generally cover 40% of the camp’s cost. We also have a direct marketing system mainly concentrated on private corporations sponsoring youngsters’ participation by incorporating our program to their CSR initiatives, this share represents roughly 30% of the overall cost. Finally, 30% of the youngsters pay their own expenses to participate in the camp. We have been supported by an ASHOKA grant, a NASEEJ Fund and an OSI grant and hope that given our successful activities, these funders will extend their support to next year, so we continue our regional efforts. Both NASEEJ and OSI are funding a part of the development of the toolkit concerned with the arabisation of open source software manuals.

How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?

The oversight of a community coordinator will ensure continuous development and expansion of the wiki via a sustained networking, publicizing and linking effort with other initiatives, portals and communities engaged in both youth, expression, ICTs and "open educational resources" (OER). This will escalate its scope, exposure and content. We will participate in events and training on curricula design for OER that reach larger communities. Throughout the process, we will engage in consulting others on the methodology and technology used, and exchange with teachers and educators’ communities for a critical review ensuring permanent refinement of our curricula while periodically adding more items using different open source software.

What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?

We hope CC will support us with US$10.000 as funds (see attached budget) and help us in the process of licensing the curricula

Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)

ADEF communicates on various levels with its communities. We have developed our own portal for youngsters to post their work and participate in an online forum. We set up a Facebook page and regularly tweet or post on our website about our activities. Recruiting as well as concept development is made via emails and Skype conversations. We yearly conduct networking trips so as to visit our partners and enlarge our network. We convey artists, film makers, techies and educators to curriculum development workshops and hold two training of trainers programs yearly. We have regular both physical and virtual exchanges with our Advisory Board so as to assess, develop and take decisions on what projects and their implementation schemes, we adopt.