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Faith and technology

Jamillah Knowles | 15:08 UK time, Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hello Outriders!

This week I have been finding out about a ten dollar robot, learning more about how faith works with technology and our Chris Vallance has been out at the Science Museum.

First up is the $10 Robot Design Challenge. The project is open for people to think of ways for kids to engage with science and technology through robotics. Naturally to reach a lot of young minds, the robots have to be easy to make and cheap to manufacture.

Ayorkor Korsah is an assistant professor at Ashesi University College in Ghana. She told me all about the idea and why robotics are important in education. Makes me wish I had a teacher with robots when I was at school.

Also this week; someone let our Chris Vallance out of the building again and naturally he made his way to London’s Science Museum. He went to the opening of a new exhibition called Web Lab. It’s a collaboration with Google and according to its description it aims to “bring the extraordinary workings of the Internet to life”. Chris reports back on what he found there.

And finally, you might think that computer science can be lacking in spirituality sometimes, but this is not the case.

A top example that my colleague Paul Sawyers wrote about on The Next Web last week is Google’s work on Ramadan. Last year they started live streaming prayers from Mecca which if you love tech in any denomination, you have to admit that’s pretty cool.

This year the big G has gone further and there is a Ramadan channel on YouTube which - given there’s a lot relating to fasting and food, means hangout with celebrity chefs for planning celebratory meals and important figures opening up discussions. That’s some nice social technology.

But Islam is not the only religion getting digitally upgraded, there’s a very amusing billboard not far from where I live, advertising The Jewish Chronicle. The newspaper now has iOS and Android apps out and as their billboard jokes - this means it’s out on Tablets again for the first time in four thousand years....(gettit? lol)

Over the weekend there was a big conference in the US for those who work with technology for the Christian faith. The International Conference on Computing and Mission or ICCM is a way for people to get together and talk about advances and uses for their technical work. And to geek out a little bit.

Our friend Antoine Wright was there, he runs the website Mobile Ministry Magazine. We had a chat about technology, religion and the cool things he saw at ICCM.

That’s all for this week, but as ever, do get in touch of there is something digital, electrical or geeky that has caught your eye.

Tweet at me on Twitter where we are @BBC_Outriders or find us on Facebook and Google+ Just search for Outriders and you can add us to your feed.

Until next week!
~ Jamillah

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