Archive for April, 2012


As part of my participation in the TechChange Course “New Technologies for Educational Practice”, I conducted an interview with Deborah Elzie at Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA).

Mini Biography

Deborah Elzie is an Instructional Designer with the DRLA at Tulane University’s Payson Center for International Development. Deborah’s education consists of an M.A., Educational Psychology from Columbia University, and M.Ed., Educational Technology from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has expertise in developing, designing and supporting academic institutions in East Africa in the area of distance and eLearning specifically related to health and disaster management. She has experience designing curriculum and training faculty and staff on ways of using blended learning, ICTs, and new media for enhancing teaching and learning. Deb is currently based in Kampala, Uganda working closely with Makerere University’s School of Public Health. Deb is one of the co-founders of The Kuyu Project and StorySpaces. Additionally, she is part of a team of mobile and web programmers working primarily in Uganda. She’s also involved with Africa Women in Tech.

Interview Notes

I spoke with Deborah today (Thursday, April 12, 2012) about the technologies we’ve encountered in the TC106 course, her views on some of them, and her experiences using technology for education in a variety of settings. Deborah’s work focuses on enhancing teaching and learning using ICTs and new media. Here are some of Deborah’s (paraphrased) comments on the field, the merits and pitfalls of some of these technologies, and utilizing them in a development context.

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I was recently selected as a new member of the Executive Leadership Committee for, and organization that helps New Orleans to implement the City Assisted Evacuation Plan in the event of a disaster that requires residents of the city to leave town. Evacuteer has been inspiring and engaging volunteers in New Orleans, mostly young professionals and students, since after Hurricane Gustav, and we have a strong partnership and a great deal of support from the City itself. I’ll be active with the Operations Team, responsible for helping recruit and train our Evacuteers, engage and sign MOUs with our community partners, and refine our Operations Plan so that we can better respond when needed and be sure our whole team is prepared to assist in the event of a disaster. This is a natural extension of my background in disaster response with the American Red Cross (no, I’m not leaving the Red Cross, this will be in addition to my volunteer work with them), and my coursework in humanitarian aid and disaster resilience, particularly with the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. I’m looking forward to an exciting and productive year with!