A few days ago Jack Schwille, assistant dean for international studies in education, sent an email out to all faculty and students at the college of education announcing a talk by me titled: “Help Punya find IT in India?” This presentation was to be fifth in the series “Lessons Learned and New Directions in International Research in Education.” He followed this by plastering the entire college with flyers stating “Help Punya find IT.”
This cryptic series of announcements became quite a sensation. I had people stopping me in the corridors and asking me what exactly it was that I had lost and whether I had found it yet! I am not sure Jack had anticipated this but he seemed to be truly enjoying the splash he had created — at my expense, of course!!!
So it was with some trepidation that I walked into room 116H this afternoon. Incidentally this was the same room that I had given my job talk at MSU — almost exactly ten years ago (January 18, 1998 versus January 25, 2008).
Not surprisingly, given Jack’s publicity stunts, there was a great turnout. I made a brief presentation of my ideas about writing a journalistic, impressionistic book about digital technologies in India. Irfan and Steve Weiland were discussants and offered some nice insights on what I had said. This was followed by a free-flowing, insightful and engaging discussion with many of the people gathered there contributing to the conversation. And before we knew it an hour and a half had passed … though the conversation continued, spilling out into the corridor and hallway.
All in all it ended up being a great session, providing me with lots of ideas and thoughts as I try move forward on this project. I am including below the slides that I had created for the event, though I doubt they will make much sense without my narration. But anyway, for the record here is the presentation titled “Looking for IT…”