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[afro-nets] Supercourse Newsletter October 3, 2005

Supercourse Newsletter October 3, 2005
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
The lecture heard around the world
Last week Eric Noji, M.D. gave the Cutler lecture here in our 
Graduate School of Public Health. The lecture room was packed to 
hear him speak about disasters.
It was a very exciting as we had taken his lecture and created 6 
different channels of knowledge sharing, .ppt, Supercourse and 
.pdf. These three were available for teachers to use the full 
lecture or individual slides. In addition another information 
channel was within the auditorium itself where over 270 people 
heard him. We also used web casting and web archiving. In these 
three modes Eric did the teaching.
The systems worked extremely well. The overall cost to reach all 
over the world was less than $200. It was viewed in Tehran by 
Ali Aldraden and his friends, in Egypt by Raina Aziz and China 
to name a few places. We made a mistake in that we did not real-
ize there would be such a huge demand. We planned for 300 people 
linking in, instead 2000 wanted to see his hour talk. This 
crashed the server, and many of you got a message saying you 
could not get on. We thus were too successful?Now, however, if 
you want to look at the web archive of Eric?s lecture, there is 
no problem, and you can reach it through the front page of the 
Supercourse ( What was interesting 
is that the web cast drove the down loading of the PowerPoint 
lectures with almost a 10 fold increase in usage. For those of 
you who could not access the lecture, we apologize, and we offer 
to buy you some iced tea, or a brewski should you visit Pitts-
We would very much like your comments as to what could be im-
proved. Please write to us at We have 
received several comments such as from Guam:
My husband and I saw Eric's lecture on our computer at home last 
night and were spellbound! There were a few technical problems 
and when you come off your cloud, I'll write!
You done good!
This was the first time that something like this was tried in 
Global Health and Disasters. We are now convinced more than ever 
that we will be able to develop a system where the best scien-
tists create the best lectures, and 1,000s if not millions of 
people can learn from them.
Hurricane Prodromal
It was a great feeling being able to distribute a lecture to all 
the epidemiologists and schools in Texas, and most of the states 
in the US immediately before the Hurricane struck land. We need 
to see if we can establish a global network for sharing our re-
sults with schools.
United Nations
As part of our meetings Elina Palm and Salvano Briceno from the 
UN suggested that we build a UN disaster Supercourse and global 
network. If you are interested in joining, please send me a note 
to Salvano termed the work we are do-
ing as ?raising awareness?, which is a wonderful way to frame 
the concept.
It was a most exciting week. We look forward to hearing your 
comments on how we can improve the lecture distribution system.
?In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that 
someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a 
responsibility to help guide our global family in the right di-
rection. Good wishes are not sufficient, we must become actively 
Dalai Lama
Supercourse with you... are actively engaged
Best Regards from Global Pittsburgh
Ron, Eric, Faina, Mita, Soni, Eugene, Rania, Ali, Ian, Sunil, 
Mike, Francois, Lucy, Saida, Anna, Steve plus the 100s of others 
who made the global lecture possible.

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