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 Thursday, October 09, 2014


"IICD believes that equipping teachers with pedagogical tools and access to information can bring about large-scale social changes in entire educational systems. Many of the gaps in education in developing countries can be bridged with the help of ICTs and enhanced capacities for creating, sharing and using information and educational materials.

It is globally acknowledged that quality education has the power to combat poverty and stimulate long-term development. Despite this consensus, 130 million schoolchildren are still unable to read, write or do basic math* because of poor standards in education, overcrowded classrooms and under-qualified teachers. In its new position paper, IICD draws on nearly 20 years experience of bringing ICT solutions to classrooms to show that by building the ICT capacities of teachers, students gain the skills needed to succeed after school.

IICD’s experience in this field has shown that simply equipping schools with innovative tools is not enough to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. The success of ICT in the classroom cannot be achieved through one single solution. For this reason, IICD offers a range of integrated ICT solutions that aim to holistically overcome challenges and change classroom dynamics. Each of our solutions is made up of four parts: 1) equipping schools with locally appropriate ICT tools, 2) training local stakeholders on the effective use of these tools, 3) creating relevant educational materials, and 4) enabling the ICT environment to support sustainable changes in education."

More information

Thursday, October 09, 2014 9:23:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 16, 2014
On September 08, 2014 a literacy app will be launched by the Nal'ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign, in partnership with Mxit Reach.

Mxit is a South African social networking platform, which will provide access to stories, and educational materials to anyone with a mobile.  This company has five million users every month.

According to Carole Bloch, Director of the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA),"Research shows that being told stories and being read to at home are the things most likely to help make children successful learners at school. Stories, particularly when read or heard in home languages, help children develop their language skills and imagination as well as their thinking and problem-solving skills. But not all South Africans have access to children's books and stories - particularly in their mother tongue.

What most South Africans do have is a cellphone, with mobile penetration now over 100% in the country. By harnessing this tidal wave of mobile communication technology use in our country, we hope to get even more adults reading and enjoying stories with their children so it becomes part of their daily lives."
Because children are often just as skilled in technology use as their parents, they are able to read stories on their own or experience the rewards of sharing stories with their parents. 

"There is a tendency for parents to engage less with their children around E-books and other forms of digital content. Language and literacy skills are best developed in the discussion and engagement that takes place when caregivers and young ones share a story together - and this includes the sharing of stories found on digital devices".

To address this, on the Nal'ibali reading-for-enjoyment app, they invite adults to sign-up with their children for stories and motivational tips in the language of their choice. The app prompts users to share stories with their children, given that frequent practice with reading will encourage higher levels of literacy. Users also earn points for finishing stories and answering questions.  Finally, the app provides a library of stories, including audio stories, quizzes, and space for reviews.  Soon, features will be added to enable younger children to practice rhymes and all users will be able to ask experts reading- and writing-related questions. 

The app currently enjoys more than 60,000 subscribers and seeks to expand its use. “In that way,” Andrew Rudge, CEO of Mxit Reach says, “the company can make a lasting contribution to the development of a reading culture in SA”.

Further details

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:32:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 01, 2014


In order to tackle the lack of locally relevant content and improve the quality of education in rural areas of Peru, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) has designed an integrated solution that turns largely unused laptops into digital offline libraries.

Student reading performance in Peru ranked last in the 2012 OECD PISA test, and rural education suffers considerably from a lack of culturally and linguistically contextualized learning materials and expertise. These digital offline libraries contain user-generated content in local languages and reflect the culture of Peru’s indigenous communities.

For the last 17 years, IICD has been using existing ICT in innovative ways to solve day-to-day problems faced by local communities. Although nearly five million Peruvians speak Quechua, Peru’s national curriculum is still mostly in Spanish. Spanish-speaking Peruvians are seven times more likely to achieve satisfactory scores on literacy and numeracy tests than Quechua speakers. The situation is much worse in disconnected rural schools. Peru’s most remote areas in the Andes suffer from poor infrastructure, a serious shortage of qualified teachers, lack of Internet connectivity and lack of relevant educational material.

As part of an effort to improve Peruvian education in general, the One Laptop per Child programme (OLPC) has already provided eight hundred thousand XO laptops for educational use, but due to lack of training and Internet connectivity, these laptops have gone largely unused. With suited pedagogical approaches and access to the right kinds of learning materials and expertise, these computers can be powerful tools for education. They offer students access to stimulating materials, like videos in their own language, and allow teachers to offer and create culturally relevant content and examples. The availability of educational material contextualized to indigenous cultures and traditional knowledge not only increases the development of students’ literacy skills, but also aids in the preservation of local identities.

(Source: IICD)

Monday, September 01, 2014 10:47:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 21, 2014


On July 9, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)-led Connect4Change consortium, together with preferred partner Text to Change and the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA), launched a campaign aimed at creating an environment in which children’s rights are recognized and respected. The initiative uses ICTs to map the local situation of children, particularly in schools and focusing on girls, to raise community awareness of child abuse and to advocate for children’s rights. It empowers the community to voice their concerns and puts a structure in place for facilitating follow-up and feedback.

In this campaign, SMS and radio are used to mobilize communities around issues affecting children’s rights and education. Parents, teachers and other community members are encouraged to enrol in a mobile platform informing and surveying participants on various children’s rights topics, and both SMS and radio are used to further raise awareness and sensitize the community to these issues. The messages focus on child abuse in many forms, including but not limited to child marriage, child labor, sexual harassment and severe punishments by teachers. A toll free line has been designed to report incidents of child abuse, and reported cases are to be followed up by linking to the appropriate authorities such as the Victim Support Unit, mother groups or the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare.

Our experience shows that inclusion of all community stakeholders from the beginning is crucial in advocacy work. Furthermore, the diversity of issues addressed by this campaign requires the engagement of all community stakeholders to support and hold each other accountable to their shared goals. For these reasons, IICD worked to include not only local authorities, but also school management committees, teachers, parent-teacher associations, teacher training colleges and primary education advisors in the workflow.

Advocacy initiatives such as this child protection campaign are an important part of the ICT4D work that IICD pursues. Keeping issues such as child abuse on political and community agendas is a central component of bringing about sustainable social changes in the countries in which they work. In this initiative, by advocating children’s rights via an ICT platform, parents and educators in the community become better equipped to deal with these concerns and offer their children a safer environment for learning and living.

(Source: IICD)

Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:35:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 11, 2014


On the 22nd July 2014, Camara attended the official opening of its first solar-powered computer lab in Gros Morne, Haiti. As part of Camara’s ongoing partnership with University College Dublin Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO), it is intended that this facility will become the first of many new e-Learning centres to be integrated into the region. This unveiling is the result of a Memorandum of Association signed over two months ago in University College Dublin by Maureen O’Donnell, Camara’s European and Caribbean Service Manager, and Caroline O’Connor, a representative of UCDVO. The memorandum outlined a plan to introduce a sophisticated solar-powered computer lab with an accompanying teacher training programme to the area; a plan that has now come to fruition.

Camara successfully installed twenty refurbished computers, while also providing a rudimentary training course for the teachers involved. UCDVO have shown their support by administering continuous, valuable teacher training to staff for the duration of their stay. In the coming weeks, Camara will begin work on a specialized training manual for teachers. It will be bilingual: available in  both French and Haitian Creole. Camara hopes this will continue to support staff and schools in the region.

This venture has been part of a collaboration between the two organizations that has been ongoing since 2009. An inaugural project in Morogoro, Tanzania was expanded to incorporate multiple schools and an extensive computer training programme.

UCDVO are already involved in many development projects in the greater Gros Morne area, and Camara are thrilled to have launched this new project in partnership with them. The installation of this solar-powered computer lab is an exciting new opportunity, allowing them to focus on one of the central issues impeding access to ICT in Haiti – that of electricity. Electricity is something of an exclusive resource in Haiti; it is quite expensive and generally unavailable outside of urbanized areas. Solar power offers an elegant, practical and renewable alternative.

(Source: Camara)

Monday, August 11, 2014 9:20:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2014


The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a strategic partnership with the private sector to deliver e-learning programmes in Kenya to thousands of marginalized girls.

Project iMlango is an e-learning partnership, led by satellite operator Avanti Communications and its partners: the smartcard and digital payments system provider, sQuid; online maths tutoring provider, Whizz Education; and technology NGO, Camara Education. The integrated programme aims to improve learning outcomes for 25,675 marginalied girls, across 195 Kenyan primary schools.

Project iMlango addresses the cultural and financial issues that can lead to reduced school attendance and drop outs, with electronic attendance monitoring and conditional payments to families. At the programme’s core sits an internet learning platform, accessed via satellite broadband connectivity, where partners provide students with interactive, individualized learning tools.

According to the project lead, Project iMlango delivers:

- High-speed satellite broadband connectivity to schools;
- Personalized maths tuition with a virtual online tutor, alongside digital learning content for maths, literacy and life skills;
- Tuition and support to teachers to use ICT in their teaching;
- Electronic attendance monitoring with conditional payments – to incentivise families to send their daughters to school – for use with local merchants;
- In-field capacity in IT, technology and support resources;
Real-time project monitoring and measurement;

(Source: IT News Africa)

Monday, August 04, 2014 9:24:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2014
The funding boost for the Computers in Homes digital literacy programme, announced recently, has been welcomed by the 2020 Communications Trust.

“We appreciate this on-going support from Government,” said Laurence Millar, Chair of the 2020 Communications Trust. “This will help us continue to tackle the digital divide for families with school-aged children who do not have access to a computer and internet in their homes.”

Computers in Homes ticks all the boxes in terms of government’s digital priorities and target groups and is strongly supported by communities throughout New Zealand and especially by Members of Parliament for the most remote and disconnected regions, many of whom have seen first-hand the benefits for their constituents.

“We have a waiting list of over 3000 families, and we believe there could still be more than 70,000 families with school-aged children without access to the internet in their homes”, said Mr. Millar. “We are looking forward to the results of the Census later this year to get an up-to-date picture on the extent of the digital divide”.

“Computers in Homes currently supports families in 17 low income communities from the Far North to Otago. Today’s announcement means that we can support another 1500 families during the next year, and continue to respond to demand in these regions”.

“Government has announced the 21st Century Learning Reference Group to provide expert advice on digital literacy in schools to indicate the importance of digital skills for New Zealand’s future. Digital inclusion is an important part of our future, and expanding the programme to reach 5,000 families every year would cost less than 1% of the Government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband. We urge the Government to keep investing in digital literacy alongside the infrastructure spend, to ensure New Zealand gets the expected economic and social returns”, Mr. Millar concluded.

(Source: e-Learning Porirua)

Monday, July 21, 2014 9:46:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Deputy Director of the British Department for International Development in Ghana (DfID-Ghana), Ms. Charlotte Pierce, has pledged the commitment of DfID to working with the Government of Ghana to give all young people the opportunity of good quality education.

Ms. Pierce said DfID was currently helping 120,000 girls, who had dropped out of school in Ghana, to return to primary school and over 80,000 disadvantaged girls to complete their secondary education. She disclosed that in pursuit of its goal of helping more young people, particularly girls, to be in school, the British Government launched a programme dubbed ‘The Girls Education Challenge,’ under which one million girls across the globe are to go to school and learn.

Ms. Pierce spoke at the launch of Ghana’s first interactive distance-learning project, Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed), at Prampram in the Greater Accra region. Ms. Pierce said MGCubed received funding under the (DfID)’s Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) programme to help it address the challenges of teacher quality, teacher absenteeism and poor student learning by equipping two classrooms in every school with solar-powered computers and projectors through which real-time, two-way interactive distance lessons could occur. She urged all stakeholders including parents, head teachers, district, community and traditional leaders, school children and the staff of project implementation and partner organizations to work together for the success of the project.

In an address, Dr. Gordon Carver, MGCubed Project Director, said the project was an attempt to use technology to achieve certain simple educational goals of attracting girls and boys to come to a classroom and learn relevant material through engaging activities, guided by a well-trained teacher.
Dr. Carver also stressed the need for partnership and collaboration among stakeholders to make the project a success.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, July 21, 2014 9:21:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


While interventions like interactive whiteboards and school management information systems have proven successful time and time again in the International Institute for Communication and Development’s (IICD) projects, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution in ICT4Education. For this reason, IICD is always searching for innovative ways to offer effective and efficient solutions. This month, IICD’s TeachTab and LearnTab, an IICD-developed tablet designed for educational use, was piloted in one primary school and one teacher training college in Malawi. Partnering with Don Bosco Youth Technical College, IICD aims to use these low-cost tablets to address the problems of educational resource shortages and overcrowded classrooms faced by many Malawian schools.

Tablets offer certain advantages that make them very appealing for ICT4Education projects: they are portable, low energy, affordable and offer interactive capabilities. Whereas standardly available tablets come pre-assembled and with a particular set of capabilities and functionalities, IICD is instead taking advantage of the rapidly dropping costs in ICT hardware by ordering the individual components of the tablets and assembling them with basic software that allows the teacher and all the students in the classroom to interact simultaneously. This results in a solution not only much more practical, but also much more affordable than installing a traditional computer lab or other ICT solutions.

Using the TeachTab, teachers can control the whole classroom and monitor what students are doing with the LearnTabs. Teachers can install or block applications remotely and broadcast text, presentations, videos or audio to all devices. The TeachTab also allows the teacher to interact with and prompt questions to the whole classroom at once using the interactive whiteboard functionality. Using the LearnTab, students can work in small groups, collaboratively post answers to quizzes prompted by the teachers or edit the same document or project together.

(Source: IICD)

Monday, July 21, 2014 9:10:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 27, 2014


Last week, Gayaza High School, a girls’ institution with a long history of excellence, showcased their e-Learning centre. Ronald Ddungu, the Deputy Head Teacher said they have adopted an inclusive approach to e-Learning where teachers have actively integrated technology and teaching.

Students can now access class notes andhomework and carry out research in a timely manner,allowing them to fully benefit from Uganda’s educational curriculm.

Ddungu said this innovative e-Learning initiative wonGayaza High School USD15,000 during this year’s Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain during March.

“The use of technology in schools in Uganda will help improve the delivery of the curriculum. Gayaza High School will work closely with other schools and mentor their teachers in adopting the use of technology in their work”, Ddungu said.

During a recent tour of the school, Mark East, General Manager of Global Sales and Operations at Microsoft, said, “The government of Uganda needs to set a policy and infrastructure for schools to access internet and technology because Information Technology is a tool that each student needs to have a right to.’

He said, “Teachers, like those in Gayaza, need to learn how to effectively integrate ICT into their curriculum and classrooms. It helps create immersive learning experiences that improve students’ experiences and skills through technology.”

Eastsaid Microsoft’s approach to e-Learning is a not a one-device-fits-all solution. With access to ICT in schools still unevenly distributed, schools across Uganda are at different levels of implementing e-Learning programs and therefore have different needs. “For instance, there is a high teacher absenteeism rate in Uganda, as reported by the BBC, meaning that 40% of public school classrooms don’t have teachers teaching in them,” he said.

The company recently launched the Microsoft4Afrika Virtual Academy, which delivers free IT training from Microsoft experts, and covers topics such as app development, coding, business intelligence and virtualisation.

Microsoft plans to continue delivering relevant, effective and scalable technologies, services and programs. As eLearning progresses in Africa, the company looks forward to continuing its efforts in improving learning for all.

(Source: Business Week Newspaper)

Friday, June 27, 2014 8:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 19, 2014
"Knowing how to code?" or "literacy of the XXI century? " - UNESCO's YouthMobile initiative and Intel Software  hosted a round table on this issue on Friday, June 13, the day of the5th edition of Futur en Seine (CNAM, Paris), with the support Cap Digital.



Learning how to code is  is no longer only about training engineers, but rather to give all citizens the means to create, work, and  manage a lot of information, and take a critical look at technologywhile having fun. In this context, “coding” must be seen as a new way to learn more than mere “coding techniques”.

With its new "YouthMobile" initiative, UNESCO wants as many girls and boy as possible to have the opportunity, through the code, to use technology to address local and global issues related to sustainable development. UNESCO and its partners strive to provide young people with the high level skills and confidence necessary for the development, promotion and sale of mobile applications.

Many volunteers around the world are already deploying “coding” trainings, but these programmes are often not easy for parents or teachers, rather than technicians, to replicate, translate, or adapt.

Intel Coding for Kids, an open source package of trainings and software incorporating international best practices in this field, meets the criteria of UNESCO's YouthMobile initiative. Educational and/or non-profit partner associations can freely adapt and build their own programmes, within the framework of international deployment.

In this approach, code is used as a means of artistic creation, and to facilitate understanding of social, scientific and environmental problems. The proposed pedagogical model is based on the peer-to-peer concept. The code is introduced very gradually and at each step the learner acquires ready-to-use expertise.

In addition, the round table organized by UNESCO and Intel Software will focus on other innovative approaches recently adopted in France, such as by Simplon.co and Ecole42, and will try to assess the feasibility and sustainability of larger deployments and similar initiatives, particularly in emerging countries.

The Futur en Seine festival will take place from 12 to 22 June 2014, in the heart of Paris and across the Île-de-France. For more information:http://www.futur-en-seine.fr/fens2014

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:50:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 08, 2014
The Singapore government will set up a S$8 million (US$6.3 million) Digital Inclusion (DI) Fund to raise the adoption of infocomm for low-income households, and encourage social innovations to help voluntary welfare organisations better manage the well-being of their beneficiaries with relevant technology, announced Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

“The Internet today is increasingly becoming a utility for individuals, households and organisations. The Government has been stepping up its efforts at digital inclusion to ensure that no segment of the community is excluded from the benefits that the internet can bring – for example, access to information and e-services”, he said.

The Government’s existing programmes include the NEU PC Plus Programme, Silvercomm Initiative and Infocomm Accessibility Centre reach out to students from low-income families, senior citizens and persons with disabilities respectively.

The DI Fund will help individuals and households level up and enjoy the benefits that come with advancements in digital technology as Singapore prepares to wire up as a Smart Nation.

For example, targeted households will benefit from home internet access to surf for information and perform digital voice calls.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:38:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2014
London Schoolgirls Build Mobile Apps in Tech City on Girls in ICT Day

The GSMA hosted an interactive app building workshop to celebrate Girls in ICT Day, the ITU’s annual global initiative to empower and encourage young women to consider studies and careers in ICT. A class of 13-year-old schoolgirls from east London school Bethnal Green Academy visited creative hub BL-NK in London’s Tech City to gain perspectives and insights from four successful women in technology and to build their own mobile apps.

Speakers at the event included:
- Maria Molina, Principal, Communications, Media & Technology, AT Kearney
- Ranwa Sarkis, Head of Sales Operations, Facebook
- Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA
- Lucy Paine, Junior Project Manager, Telefónica

Each speaker shared their personal experiences and offer words of advice to inspire the young female audience, a number of whom have yet to decide on their GCSE subjects. Members of the GSMA will also work with groups of students to mentor them for the day and share their own personal insights and experiences of working in the mobile industry. The aim of the event was to encourage these students to consider taking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and to explore the exciting and varied career opportunities in technology.

“There is much more to be done to encourage girls to pursue learning in subjects such as engineering and computer science, which open up possibilities of working in exciting careers in technology,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile is a particularly dynamic and vibrant area right now and it can also open up career opportunities across a range of industry sectors, for example, creating connected cars, advancing mobile commerce or even designing the master plan for a smart city. We are delighted to support the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day to help develop those critical science, technology and math skills that can serve as a foundation for a variety of careers”.

“I warmly welcome the GSMA’s Connected Women initiative to help close the ICT skills gender gap and attract and retain female talent in the mobile industry. The continued growth and development of vital tech skills and expertise in London and our major cities will ensure the future of the UK digital success story,” said Joanna Shields OBE, Chairman of Tech City UK and UK Ambassador for Digital Industries. “Digital innovation is helping us reimagine entire industries, generate economic growth and create new jobs. I hope that today’s app workshop in Tech City will inspire local schoolgirls to study STEM subjects as foundation for future, exciting careers in the technology sector”.

A range of apps will be developed by the schoolgirls:

- Beat the Bullies – resources and videos to help children who are being bullied or who think their friends are in trouble
- Local Lowdown – activities to do in their local area including shops, socialising and maps
- My Digital Hero – pick someone they look up to (anyone from Lady Gaga to Emma Watson) and create an app dedicated to her, featuring videos, quotes and pictures
- Top Tech Tips – create a set of tips and tricks for new users of a specific technology (e.g. Facebook, iPhone)

The Connected Women programme is focused on creating global awareness of the business case for greater involvement of women in the mobile industry and to motivate the sector to take positive action. In addition to that workshop, the Connected Women programme has hosted other successful events in Barcelona, London, New York and Shanghai. To find out more about the GSMA Connected Women initiative, visit www.gsma.com/events/connected-women

(Source: GSMA)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:24:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


DIGICEL Guyana was invited to participate in the events and activities leading up to ‘Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day’, celebrated in Berbice and Linden on the third Thursday in April.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a global effort being spearheaded by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to raise awareness of the need for more women to become involved in the ICT sector worldwide.

In Guyana, efforts are organized by the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU); and, as a local telecommunications giant, Digicel, along with other companies from the private sector and the NFMU, participated in two tech day camps in Berbice and Linden on April 8th & 9th respectively.
Ms. Adellie Lee, IT application specialist; Ms. Deepa Rohit, Quality Assurance Trainer, CC Tech; and Ms. Phoebe Joseph, Project Officer (Technical) made presentations to the girls. More than five hundred (500) girls from 15 schools within the two regions attended these tech day camps, and were enlightened by several female presenters from the ICT sector in Guyana.

At the camps, the girls were given prizes for asking and answering questions correctly at Digicel’s booth. One of the girls, Ramona Smart, a student from Berbice, in an invited comment, mentioned to Digicel how she felt about the tech day camps: “Today I learnt a lot about ICT; it was a great experience for me. I thought today would be very boring, but I’m really glad I came. I had so much fun, and I think (that) after today I will pursue a career in ICT”.

Girls in ICT Day will be observed on April 24th, 2014 under the theme “Expanding horizons, changing minds”, and it presents opportunity for girls and young women to get inspired about the ICT sector by listening to women role models in ICT.

(Source: Guyana Chronicle)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:58:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The European Competition 2.0 asks teachers and educators to share the creative and effective ways they are using online resources or applications in their teaching practice.

How to enter
To enter you need to make a short video showing your teaching practice that involves the internet or mobile app. The video must be a maximum of 2:30 minutes. Then you must register on the Ed2.0Work project website and submit your video. The deadline to enter is 12 September 2014 at 12.00noon. Visit the competition website for more information on how to apply.

Judging and prizes
The winners will be decided by an international panel of judges. The winners will be invited to present their ideas (all expenses paid) at the European Conference in the Applications of Enabling Technologies, 2014 20-21 November 2014, Glasgow, Scotland.

The judging team includes:
Russell Stannard
Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Sylvia Guinan

About Ed2.0Work
Ed2.0Work is a European Union funded education project that has two missions:
- To create a network that spans education and the world of work and is designed to improve the use of Web2.0 tools in both fields.
- To create a set of tools for the empirical evaluation of Web2.0 tools

The project will create a network between stakeholders in the education and work sectors that will examine how both should be using Web2.0 in the education and work environments.

Further details

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:57:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 24, 2014


UNESCO is now seeking feedback from stakeholders on how it should design and implement a comprehensive study of Internet-related issues that will present options for future actions within its mandate. Comments are requested before 30 April, after which the draft concept paper and questions will be finalized, and the research will commence.

This wide-ranging Internet study arises from a resolution agreed by UNESCO’s 195 Member States during the Organization’s General Conference in November 2013.

By mandate of Resolution 52 of UNESCO’s 37th General Conference in 2013, the study is required to cover the fields of (i) Access to information and knowledge, (ii) Freedom of expression, (iii) Privacy, and (iv) Ethical dimensions of the information society, and also explore possible options for future actions. The results will inform the Organization’s reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015.

The resolution requires that the study be done through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process which includes governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations and the technical community.

These consultations will be done through an online questionnaire, meetings with UNESCO Member States, and UNESCO participation in events such as the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial), WSIS High Level Review Events, the Internet Governance Forum, the Freedom Online Conference, and the Stockholm Internet Forum.

The draft concept paper for the study, proposed by UNESCO’s Secretariat, outlines how the fields can be conceptualized and presents related research questions. The guiding framework is the draft concept of “Internet Universality”. By summarizing core Internet principles relevant to UNESCO’s mandate and fields of competence, the notion of “Internet universality” highlights four R-O-A-M principles: (i) that the Internet should be Human Rights-based (ii) “Open”, (iii) “Accessible to All”, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder Participation. As part of the consultation, feedback is also sought on this draft concept.

To send your written comments on the Draft Concept Paper and the Draft Concept of Internet Universality, please write to Internetstudy(at)unesco.org.

Further details

Monday, March 24, 2014 6:26:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Nairobi County Government has partnered with Internet Service Provider Wananchi Group to provide free Internet to schools in the city.

The pilot programme which begins immediately will cost the ISP Sh125 million to connect 240 schools to the World Wide Web.

Nairobi County Executive in Charge of Education Christopher Khaemba said on Tuesday that the initiative was expected to encourage e-learning in schools in line with the free laptops programme by the national government.

“Because the majority of school-going children are in the slums, this will also help us to structure those informal schools so that they are properly registered; they are subject to quality assurance inspections and so on. So this partnership with Wananchi is going to impact us in so many ways”, he said.

He underscored the importance of the project saying that it will open up opportunities for children especially in slum areas.

He however stressed the importance of teachers to take full advantage of the programme. “For the schools, there is need to inculcate values in students. There needs to be particular focus on empowering teachers so that they can teach the children to make good decisions so they may be able to use the internet in a safe way”, he said.
He further indicated that the County Government will be embarking on a major project seeking to develop infrastructure in all public schools within Nairobi.

“We are embarking on a massive infrastructural development and we are inviting partners to bring in their resources so that they may benefit children from Nairobi and by extension the whole country”, he stated.

Wananchi non-executive board member Richard Bell indicated that the Internet programme is set to be expanded to benefit about 2,000 schools in the County once the pilot phase is completed.

“After we have connected those schools, then we will gather some data and then do a full rollout of the project where we will end up connecting in excess of 2,000 schools throughout Nairobi. Although the County Schools will take preference as we are rolling out, the intention is to connect all schools including private schools”, he said. “This is a massive increase to the schools connected to the Internet. Our role is to provide the fibre from the schools. This is global best practice; it is done like this all over the world. We are glad that Nairobi will be the first County to benefit from such a program”.

Further details

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:17:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kenya’s private schools, in conjunction with technology companies Microsoft, Intel, Safaricom and Mitsumi, have partnered to take affordable gadgets and learning solutions to all private schools across the country.

In the collaboration, Intel East Africa will provide training programs and material, Safaricom Limited will provide the data plan, Equity Bank will be the finance partner and Mitsumi Computer Garage will offer devices.

According to Peter Ndoro, CEO Kenya Private Schools Alliance, schools laptops worth between sh30,000 and sh55,000 bundled with relevant content and e-learning materials will be offered to learners in private schools.

¨We intend to train at least three teachers in all private schools on the use of the gadgets and the e-curriculum by the end of the year… we already have 32 trainer of trainers but we intend to increase that number to 102 so that we can train all the targeted private schools teacher before end of the year¨, said Mr. Ndoro.
There are about 3400 private schools in Kenya.

The alliance aims to ensure all private schools have provisions for cheaper laptops and relevant digital curriculum for learners before end of this year.

In the agreement, every Intel device purchased will come pre-loaded with approved Intel Explore and Learn, a one-stop shop for digital education content.

Specifically tailored finance options will also be provided through loans from Kenya’s Equity Bank and M-Changa, a mobile money-based way to contribute towards the purchase of devices. Special data packages from Safaricom will also be provided, consisting of 5 gigabyte and 10 gigabyte bundles.

“Through this platform, learners can easily access a wide variety of content including text books, set books, revision books, interactive past exam papers, rich multimedia (audio, video and animations)”, said Alex Twinomugisha – Business Development Manager, Intel Corporate East Africa.

“Teachers need proper training and the curriculum needs tweaking to fit the new era of technology in classrooms”, said Twimomugisha. There are over 60 in-built science experiments pre-loaded in the gadgets to be distributed by Mitsuni Computer Garage.

The gadgets, which private schools are expected to buy through a financial plan with Equity bank ranges from the very basic to the advanced depending on learners’ needs.

Better still the laptops, especially those targeting junior learners come bundled with a classroom management system to monitor students’ activity. The laptops for the small children are break-proof to withstand rough handling. The gadgets will also be fitted a theft deterrent software meaning if they are stolen or smuggled out of school they can be remotely locked and rendered unusable.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:12:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whether it's learning how to read and write or setting up your own farm, a Zambian computer tablet -- known as the ZEduPad -- is trying to open up the country's information highway.

The brain child of British tech entrepreneur Mark Bennett, the ZEduPad principally teaches users basic numeracy and literacy skills, aimed at primary school children. "It became clear that there was a huge need for this kind of technology", Bennett said, "particularly tablet technology, which has come a long way in Africa in recent years".

After arriving in Zambia 30 years ago under the British Aid Program, Bennett worked in the computer department at the country's national university for over a decade before deciding to go it alone.

We can really do something very major for the first time", he said. "We've invested about $5 million to date... It's totally all-encompassing and quite prescriptive so we are aiming at being able to get to an untrained teacher in a deep rural area in the African bush".

The ZEduPad is programmed in eight different languages native to Zambia with over 12,000 preloaded classes and lesson plans for untrained teachers in rural areas, according to Bennett.

Approved by the Zambian Ministry of Education, the educational tablet allows children to create a personal profile on its seven-inch screen to keep track of their progress as well as exposing them to e-mail and Wikipedia.

Bennett said the ZEduPad is set up to teach grades one to seven through interactive learning in every subject from math to PE, art and music. The technology comes at a time when Zambia's educational system is undergoing sweeping changes. Since 2001, the government has increased primary school enrollment rates by 90%. As a result, the World Bank has identified the landlocked southern African nation as having one of the most improved primary school education systems in the developing world.

Bennett added: "For years there was a problem with funding, education was not keeping up with population growth. Young people coming out of school and not being well suited or prepared to enter the job market.... We're trying to change that".

The ZEduPad gives children a grasp of vital technology skills in a landlocked country where broadband is scarce and only 18% of the nation's 14 million people have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

In addition to following the national curriculum, the tablet also contains farming and health information designed for adults to help prevent the spread of killer diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.

(Source: CNN)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 2:42:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 05, 2014



Mobile phone applications unveiled this week aim to reduce the high number of young people who are not in schools in the Philippines by offering them new ways to engage in education.

The apps, which were presented this week at the Mobile World Congress (24-27 February) in Barcelona, Spain, include a portal to help those outside education find courses near them, an app to teach English to out-of-school teenagers through phone calls and another app to help teachers track the progress of students taking such courses.

In 2011, more than six million young people were outside the education system in the Philippines, according to the country’s National Statistics Office. The nation’s Department of Education aims to provide education to at least one million of them in 2014.

The government is confident it will meet this target partly through the use of mobile technology, Stephanie Velasco-Orlino, education programme manager at Filipino mobile operator Smart Communications, tells
SciDev.Net.

Mobile phones are widely used in the Philippines, with the population reported to send around two billion text messages a day, according to the
Philippines — Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts report published in June 2013 by telecommunications consultancy BuddeComm.

Overall, Asia’s mEducation market is projected to reach a value of US$6.8 billion by 2017, according to the GSMA, an association that represents mobile operators worldwide.

The three mobile applications unveiled this week are the result of a GSMA-facilitated partnership between the Philippines’ Department of Education and three telecommunications firms: Globe Telecom, Digital Mobile Philippines and Smart Communications.

“The mobile network operators in the country … are working to provide mobile education services to help the government to reach their goal faster”, says Velasco-Orlino.

Her company has just launched an online portal that allows young people who are not in school to find tailored training programmes.

Smart Communications also aims to build a database of its users so it can find out where these young people are located and tell them about courses that nearby education centres offer. This could help potential students find information on where to go to school, given a general lack of infrastructure and the destruction caused by typhoons.

The system is due to be available in the second quarter of 2014 both for smartphones with an internet connection and for older phones, through an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

(Source: SciDev.Net)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:58:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



Creating stronger connections between scientific research and teachers’ communities was the main objective of the EU project PATHWAY.

In collaboration with the UNESCO ASPnet schools of Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), schools and teachers played a leading role in expanding students' experiences and their understanding of science.

With the purpose of promoting scientific culture and a better understanding the role of science and technology in schools and among young people in the South-East European (SEE) region and Europe, an online survey of ASPnet Schools was undertaken by the UNESCO Venice Office. Fifty three schools from 4 countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia) participated in the survey.

The response rate of all the schools (mainly from secondary and primary/elementary schools) was very high. The country that showed a major interest was Croatia with the highest number of filled forms. Half the schools chose one of the UNESCO ASPnet study topics for their school activities. The most popular topic among the schools was ‘Cultural Diversity, Peace and Human Rights’, although ‘Education for Sustainable Development and Cultural Heritage’ came immediately after.

The schools that responded to the survey also expressed interest in being part of the EU-Project PATHWAY and opening their schools to science and technology education. Bringing the students into close contact with science centers raise their interest and motivation to learn about science and be involved in scientific investigations. Hence, one of the ideas of PATHWAY was to connect schools with science centers and with scientific research in general, but also to focus on teachers' professional development in this field.

An objective of the project PATHWAY was to reinforce and strengthen networks and partnerships so they may play a significant role in promoting scientific culture in particular among young people. Students and teachers should be active in the process of creating and maintaining networks and partnerships.

The willingness of the UNESCO ASPnet Schools to collaborate offered a great potential for the further development and consolidation of the PATHWAY project.

(Source: UNESCO)


Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:55:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014


How do we make educational materials accessible to a girl from a poor family in Africa where over 50% of her female peers will never go to school? How can we get books into the hands of the poorest people on Earth?

The answer, at least in the immediate term, is mobile devices – and more precisely, mobile phones. Mobile devices are the most successful and ubiquitous information and communication technology in human history. They are plentiful in places where books and schools are scarce.

In less than a decade, mobile technology has spread to the furthest corners of the planet. Of the estimated 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion now have access to a working mobile phone. Africa, which had a mobile penetration rate of just 5% in the 1990s, is now the second largest and fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with a penetration rate of over 60% and climbing.

Mobile devices are transforming the way we communicate, live and learn. We must ensure that this digital revolution becomes a revolution in education, promoting inclusive and better learning everywhere.

From 17 to 21 February 2014, the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week will explore how mobile technologies can meet the needs of educators and help them improve their effectiveness. Under the theme of “Empowering teachers with technology”, MLW 2014 will consider the benefits as well as challenges associated with mobile learning—such as ensuring equity of devices, online safety, limited mobile-friendly content and the need for teacher training. “Technology can be a powerful education multiplier, but we must know how to use it… On its own, technology is not enough. Empowerment comes from skills and opportunities to use them. It comes from quality content that is inclusive, that draws on local languages and knowledge systems,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

As mobile technology jumps from the margins of education to the mainstream, teachers will be key to the success of ICTs in teaching and learning. While not a panacea, mobile technology has a clear track record of improving educational efficiency. MLW 2014 will investigate how educators can best utilize mobile devices to achieve national and international learning objectives, including Education for All.

Despite impressive progress, the world is not on track to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline. To ensure universal primary education UNESCO estimates that 6.8 million teachers need to be hired worldwide by 2015: 1.7 million are needed to fill new posts and 5.1 million are needed to replace outgoing teachers. These shortages—both current and anticipated— impede a wide range of development efforts by preventing young people from gaining access to the high quality instruction needed to excel in knowledge-based societies. The shortage of trained and motivated teachers is most acute in parts of the world where more and better quality instruction is desperately needed. In light of the urgency of the global teacher crisis, UNESCO wants to better understand how mobile technology can help prepare new teachers and provide professional development to working teachers.

Compounding the challenges of teacher supply, are concerns about teacher quality. Many children who are in school fail to develop basic competencies. As the latest UNESCO Global Monitoring Report reveals, 250 million students worldwide cannot read, write or count, even after four years of school. Close to 775 million adults – 64% of whom are women – still lack reading and writing skills, with the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.

Improving educational access and quality requires political leadership, planning and action. To this effect, MLW 2014 will host a policy forum, symposium, research track, 11 half-day workshops, and 80 breakout presentations on the most cutting-edge topics, such as Open Educational Resources; classroom apps for smartphones and basic phones alike, content for tablets and netbooks; mobile learning pedagogics; building mobile learning apps; social media and more.

Mobile technologies hold the key to turning today’s digital divide into digital dividends, bringing equitable and quality education for all.

Further details

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:48:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Helping children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia to acquire reading and spelling skills will not only open doors for them to engage with the community but also participate fully in it.

Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DAS) vice-president Richard Sia said this when speaking during the certificate presentation ceremony for participants of the Empower Program organized by the US Department of State, which was held at the Sarawak State Library yesterday.

“With the ability to read and acquire information from resources out there, we hope that these children will gain access and be included in mainstream schools and communities, thus providing them with accessibility and inclusiveness through empowering them in reading.

“With this new knowledge and techniques, we hope to create and improve the support for dyslexic children and adults, and for children with other learning disabilities to acquire learning skills in reading, spelling and learning English”.

Last month, DAS and SK Laksamana Kuching in collaboration with state Education Department and Yayasan Sarawak conducted a reading camp for Primary 3 students, where children were immersed in English teaching and language.

The camp was a pilot project to empower children with learning disabilities through an intensive reading program over a seven-day period at Yayasan Sarawak in Kuching.
“All our children have shown a significant improvement in their pre-camp and post camp assessments for the English language”, shared Sia, adding that the children’s progress would continue to be monitored over the next six months.

During his speech, Yun praised the state library for its beauty and expressed the US Embassy’s willingness to continue to work together with the library to help it expand as well as provide other means of support such as exchanges and lectures.

“To me, having this mix is very, very important and I do believe, such a mix is a very important ingredient in how a nation succeeds. Again, this is very much full of hope as I come and see what you have done in Sarawak”, he said.

During his speech, His Excellency said the Embassy was very happy to have played a small part in enabling the Empower Program as well as the camp to take flight.

“We’re here to recognize what we one can do with a serious disability like dyslexia. Dyslexia is something that is not readily visible, not like many disabilities. When we recognize that, and when we have exchanges, mentors, tutors, who can really make sure that people with dyslexia can live full lives – more than that, lives with learning, I think that makes an enormous contribution. I am very happy to honour the Dyslexia association, what Richard Sia and his group have done. We are very happy to be a very small part of how we can highlight and assist in this effort”.

According to an event information handout, the Empower Program is a new series of two-way exchanges aimed at bolstering international disability rights by providing opportunities to disability advocates for professional development, internships, training, networking, and collaboration with their US peers.

The program is run by the Professional Exchanges Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with Mobility International USA (Miusa). The exchanges coincide with efforts to promote and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the administration.

(Source: Borneo Post)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:42:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Laptops, tablets and mobile phones are quickly changing the way we live and they are changing the way we learn.

Devices that were banned in schools just a few years ago are becoming commonplace in classrooms and increasingly integrated into day-to-day pedagogical practices. Yet concrete and evidence-based knowledge about how mobile technology is best leveraged to improve education is only beginning to emerge.

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2014 will bring together experts and government officials from around the world to discuss how new technologies can improve education outcomes and make learning more accessible and more equitable. The theme of the event, now in its third year, is teachers. How can mobile technology make teachers more effective and help them impart meaningful skills and understanding to students? Questions about how technology, teachers and learners intersect have never been more relevant and Mobile Learning Week will engage these questions directly from 17 to 21 February 2014.

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:39:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 19, 2013


UNESCO has launched its Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Assessment Framework for the evaluation of countries’ readiness to create an enabling environment for MIL. The publication also aims to assess citizens’ competencies on MIL, particularly targeting teachers in service and training.

Since the rapid advancements in information and communication technologies took place, traditional notions of literacy have struggled to keep up with modern demands. The challenges are also linked to a growing influence of media and the need for better management of information and knowledge at professional and societal levels.

UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy programme represents a composite set of knowledge, attitudes and skills, necessary to access, analyse, evaluate, use, produce and communicate information, media content and knowledge in creative, responsible and ethical ways in order to participate and engage in personal, professional and societal activities. UNESCO believes that every citizen needs to learn and understand principles necessary for media and information providers to fulfil their functions in society, learn more about opportunities and threats coming from virtual world and manage resources. As such, MIL acts as a key factor for the participation in knowledge societies in the 21th century, ensuring capacities for lifelong learning and developing employability and inclusion for all citizens.

A central component of UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy strategy, the Global MIL Assessment Framework would enable Member States to carry out comprehensive assessments of the information and media environment, and to monitor at the regional and national level the extent to which citizens have acquired MIL competencies, particularly targeting teachers in service and training. This evidence-based information will subsequently help Member States monitor the effectiveness of the implementation of education and ICT policies in developing 21st century capacities, and help to design new strategies and action-oriented plans that fit best within country-specific contexts and conditions.

The publication presents an overall assessment framework composed of two tiers: country readiness, and assessment of competencies. It also includes a plan for national adaptation as well as concrete suggestions for data collection, analysis and application. It is intended as a living document to be further tested, adjusted and adapted to national needs and circumstances by its users – policy decision makers, teachers and local professional communities in information, media and education.

The Global MIL Assessment Framework is part of UNESCO’s commitment to the implementation of the Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) Strategic Plan, and particularly its priority on information literacy, and of the Plan of Action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It also contributes to the on-going debate on Internet Governance.

The UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Assessment Framework was prepared by UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and with support of the Japanese Government.

The UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Assessment Framework can be accessed here.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:30:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 13, 2013
ICT can transform the way that education is delivered and open the way to a new pedagogy. It can make it easier for teachers to plan and find high quality materials, and it can help pupils to find out more about the subjects that they are studying. Critically, new technology can enable teachers to tailor their teaching more closely to the abilities of individual pupils.

This article is going to explore some initiatives taken by Tanzanian government in providing conducive environment for utilisation of ICT in the education sector. There are several projects at the national level, projects that have now been included as part of the national ICT policy for education.

(a) ICT Implementation in Teachers’ Colleges: This was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and SIDA aimed at introducing ICT in all teacher-training colleges in the country. The project was initiated in 2005 when a proposal was developed by Schools Online, an NGO based in the US and with offices in Tanzania at the time, and sold to the ministry as an initiative to improve access and quality of education in the country. The programme’s main goal is to improve the quality of teacher education by using ICTs in pre-service and in-service sessions. Tutors were expected to become ICT literate and able to use ICT as a tool for teaching and learning as well as for management and administration. The benefits of preparing ICT-literate teachers are expected to spill over to schools when implementing initiatives like e-school or e-learning.

(b) ICT Development in Secondary Education: The eSchool Forum which was formed after the education stakeholders workshop organized by the ministry of education in 2005, has submitted a programme proposal to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. The proposal recommended the introduction of ICT in secondary education, in phases starting with 200 schools in phase 1 (2006 to 2008), a large scale rollout covering 2,000 schools in phase 2 (within five years), and nationwide coverage by 2015. The proposal covered a wide range of activities that need to be undertaken within the programme, including ICT infrastructure development in the schools, technical resources, student management at school levels (integrated EMIS), content and curriculum development, e-learning, sensitisation, human resources, and programme co-ordination and funding.

(c) Education Management Information System (EMIS): The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is implementing a nationwide education management information system (EMIS) to produce and manage educational data and information. The EMIS is expected to collect, process, utilise, and disseminate education data to educational stakeholders on a timely basis. This project is currently being implemented at the ministry headquarters, however some regional and districts offices have been provided with computers and printers. Computer training has taken place for 19 regional education officers, 19 regional academic officers, 35 district education officers, and 34 statistical and logistics officers.

(d) Computer Procurement and Refurbishment for Schools: This project was managed by the Tanzania Computer Literacy for Secondary Schools Trust Fund, a local NGO based in Dar es Salaam. The project procured used computers and received donations from donors and other organisations, refurbishes these computers and uses them to equip computer labs in secondary schools. The project also train students in basic computer maintenance so that they can become the first-level support for the labs. This project was supported by IICD.

(e) Tanzania Education Services Web site: This Web site publishes information on the education sector in Tanzania, including information about schools, examination results, and school administration. There is a wealth of information including contact information for 1,060 schools and 47 teacher colleges. This project was supported by IICD.

(f) Barclays/Digital Links/TEA Computer for Schools Project: Barclays Bank and Digital Links International have formed a partnership to spur the growth of ICT in schools across East Africa. A three-year programme has set targets to place 10,000 computers in approximately 500 schools.

Implementation of the programme is through collaborative partnerships with organisations in each country. For Tanzania, the Barclays ICT project for schools is implemented by Tanzania Education Authority (TEA), Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH), and Mkombozi Centre for Street Children.

We are now living in an information age whereby transformation has been happening around the world with the ubiquity of ICT. It is natural that this transformation must be reflected in the way we teach and the way we learn. Todate, such a transformation has not much been taken up by the government in an effort to offer a wide range of ICT services to the citizens especially primary schools.

In Tanzania most of schools have not gone through this technological process and very few have been equipped with an ICT infrastructure. In primary schools in Tanzania, ICT has been included in curriculum while in the secondary sector it has been started to be regarded as a different subject and geared towards a skills-based exam but for few private secondary schools.

ICT can be a powerful resource for supporting school-directed change. Funding for ICT in Schools will influence the direction and the speed of innovation over the next four years. It is our recommendation that resources are targeted to areas that will drive the priorities and strategies to make transforming the way we learn into a reality.

(Source: IPP Media)

Friday, December 13, 2013 4:47:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICT education to reach 8500 students in 33 provincial schools

ITU has selected Sri Lanka as one of five countries for the ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ project. Following the completion of a ‘Connect a school, Connect a Community’ project in Akuressa, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) initiated this project with ITU to extend the scope to cover 33 schools on the entire island.

This project was inaugurated today with the opening of the Computer Laboratory of the Watareka Kanishta Vidyalaya (Primary School), in Homagama, Padukka, Colombo District, by the Sri Lanka Minister of Education Mr Bandula Gunawardena. The ceremony was attended by Mr Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka and Chairman of the TRCSL, and Ms Eun-Ju Kim, Director of the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, along with participating school principals and officials of the Provincial Education Offices.

The project will benefit over 8500 students in 33 schools located in areas of low ICT development, while also educating children with special needs.

The main objective of the project is to narrow the digital divide between rural and urban areas and provide digital opportunities to their communities. Transforming these schools into community ICT centres is expected to help marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as women, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and those living in rural, remote and underserved areas, and to empower them to contribute to their socio-economic development.

ITU and TRCSL have provided funds for the hardware and software required to equip the computer laboratories in schools. The schools will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the facilities, while telecommunication operators will provide broadband Internet connectivity to at concessionary rates. “This school and rural community-oriented ICT project will be beneficial to the rural sector”, said Mr Weeratunga. “In the future, these schools will play a key role in the penetration of ICT knowledge into the rural and remote areas of the country”.

“The Ministry of Education is committed to equipping teachers and students in Sri Lanka with digital literacy skills in order to empower them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global economy”, said Mr Anura Dissanayake, Secretary in the Ministry of Education. “The project will bring technology into the classroom and allow teachers to teach their students critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills”.

“This is a smart initiative which sets a milestone in driving ICT access to rural and remote areas and benefits not only teachers and students but also the communities where they live”, said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “Such an innovative public-private-peoples’ partnership, which promotes school-based community ICT centres, represents an attractive, affordable, inclusive, scalable and sustainable step forward in providing digital opportunities for the people of Sri Lanka. This is certainly an excellent way forward to realize the Asia-Pacific Vision 2020: Smartly DIGITAL, which was endorsed last month by leaders at the Connect Asia-Pacific Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand”. Dr Touré was represented at the event by Ms Eun-Ju Kim, Director of ITU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

The ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ project in Sri Lanka is a public-private-peoples’ partnership (4P) involving ITU, TRCSL, the Sri Lanka Ministry of Education, UNHCR, ICTA, SLT, Mobitel, Dialog Axiata, Metropolitan Computers, Daisy Lanka Foundation, Jinasena Training and Rehabilitation for ICT Education promotion of the Island.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, December 13, 2013 4:21:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 21, 2013

A collaborative action research (CAR) study funded by Ericsson, and managed independently by a team of multidisciplinary experts from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Columbia University Teachers College, University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Kampala University in Uganda, finds significant potential for improved teaching and learning with ICT tools. Specifically, the findings are only such when the tools are appropriately designed and adequately supported with infrastructure and ongoing professional development for teachers.

Investigators worked for one year to understand the effects, opportunities and challenges of integrating ICT into schools and teaching routines. To do that, university faculty and teachers worked in close collaboration at four rural schools in Kenya and Uganda.

Interviews, training workshops, surveys and observations conducted indicate significant improvements in teaching and learning when ICT tools and resources are well-designed with the school infrastructure and environment in mind, and when teachers are provided with on-going training and professional development in how to optimize these resources in their classrooms.

Research findings show that over the course of the study, guided use, training and professional development workshops offered essential support for teachers focusing on using ICT in their classrooms. There were significant increases both in teachers' reported skill and comfort with using ICT for educational purposes, as well as in the observed use of ICT in their classrooms. For example, where only 21% of teachers considered themselves to be "advanced" users of ICT at the beginning of the project; by the end, 45% of teachers were reporting themselves to be advanced users. There was also an 18% increase in reported use of ICT in the classroom over the course of the project.

Researchers compiled recommendations in several categories, including:

- Physical infrastructure, calling for policies for open access to hardware, electrical outlets throughout all classrooms and security;
- ICT infrastructure, where Wi-Fi networks, adequate airtime, and computers and projectors are basic needs;
- Teacher pedagogical skills and knowledge development along with basic ICT training, where professional development should be facilitated in partnership with local universities or Non-Governmental Organizations, among other steps;
- Open source teaching and learning resources, including use of Connect To Learn's online resource library and expanding the availability of locally relevant online resources;
- Student ICT participation and knowledge, which encourages teachers to assign online research and computer-based projects; and
- Public-private partnership implementation, urging each site to hire local facilitators to provide ongoing support to administrators and teachers, and forging partnerships with local decision-makers and telecommunications industry leaders to institutionalize the integration of ICT at all levels of education.

Download full report

Video about the ICT in Education Study

(Source: Ericsson)

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:59:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 29, 2013
                                                     
Invitation for a consultation
by ITU and UNICEF on
Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection

The draft Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection have been prepared in the context of the International Telecommunication Union’s Child Online Protection (ITU COP) initiative and apply to the safety of children when using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). They aim to provide advice on how industry can work to help ensure children’s safety when using the internet or any of the many associated technologies or devices which can connect to it or use it, including mobile phones and games consoles. The draft guidelines have been developed through an initial consultation of the ITU COP members and are now open to a broader consultation until 29 November 2013.

The purpose of these Guidelines is to:
- Establish a common reference point and guidance to the ICT and online industries
- Provide guidance to companies on identifying, preventing and mitigating any adverse impacts of their products and services on children’s rights
- Provide guidance to companies on how to promote children’s rights and responsible digital citizenship among children and young people.
- Suggest common principles that, though requiring different models of implementation for different industry players, could potentially form the basis of national or regional pan-industry commitments.

A copy of the draft version of the Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection is available here [PDF] along with a set of questions at the end to facilitate your input and feedback on the draft.

Responses can be sent to the following mailboxes: cop@itu.int and csr@unicef.org. This feedback will provide input for the development of the final Guidelines will be released in January 2014. All feedback will be treated as confidential. An anonymous summary will be provided following the consultation. We appreciate your valuable time and support for the initiative.

For further information, please contact the UNICEF CSR unit on csr@unicef.org (Eija Hietavuo and Amaya Gorostiaga) or the ITU COP on cop@itu.int (Carla Licciardello).

Further information

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:16:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Innovation for Girls’ Education is a perfect theme for the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child. It recognizes the importance of preparing girls for a changing world; a world in which technology will play an increasingly significant role. It suggests the need for new ways of working, to provide quality education where ‘business as usual’ has failed. It speaks of the shift in the ‘girls’ education dialogue’ from one of access and learning, to one of empowerment.

This can be seen in the growing number of new initiatives that seek to build girls’ confidence and sense of agency. Many of them have been implemented by UNGEI’s partners and showcased on this dedicated space. In an uncertain and increasingly interconnected world, education has the power to transform people and promote positive, shared values. For girls, education can also transform society, by building the self-confidence of girls and women, improving their position in society and challenging inequalities.

Around the world, governments, civil society and the private sector are introducing innovative approaches to girls’ education. The World We Want platform recently hosted a three week interactive dialogue on Innovating for Girls’ Education, where practitioners shared stories about promising programs that expand access, promote learning, address social and financial barriers or collaborate through new partnerships. This has become a space rich in resources and ideas that can be adapted and implemented to address girls’ education challenges.

…in India
In the slums of Gomtinagar in Luchnow, India, girls from very poor families attend Prerna, an all-girls formal school run by a private NGO (Study Hall Educational Foundation). The school meets in the afternoon to accommodate the needs of girls whose economic circumstances require that they work. Community and parents play an important role in making the school a success. For example, girls’ parents must sign an agreement to protect their girls from child marriage. What is innovative about this school is the main goal. It is not so much about learning outcomes as life outcomes. Their goal is to support girls to become women who see themselves as equal persons having the right to equal participation in an unequal society, and to be equipped with the appropriate skills for such equal participation. Classes from preschool through grade 12 are interactive and activity-based. The girls study gender and empowerment along with science and math, and they are supported by a strong peer and teacher network. So far the results have been impressive with girls staying, achieving and graduating to take up either work or further study.

….in Kenya and Uganda
In Kenya and Uganda, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), seeks to prevent the dropout of girls from school due to early pregnancy and marriage. The project - Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health: Fulfilling African Girls’ Rights - focuses on strengthening awareness, knowledge and skills among teachers, peer educators, community leaders and parents. It applies methods proven to work in FAWE’s approach to girls’ education and their Tuseme youth empowerment clubs. It provides mobile interactive platforms, and support to adolescents in assisting implementation of school re-entry policies for teenage mothers.

…and in Africa
In rural areas of Africa, Camfed works with young people to develop an innovative curriculum, ‘My Better World’, to empower young people to take charge of their well-being. This curriculum is founded on the recognition that a narrow academic focus does not adequately prepare young people for life beyond school. By developing a broad range of qualities such as self-reliance, resilience and problem-solving, young people will be empowered to take ownership of their own well-being; learning to ‘be well’ (have their needs met) and ‘do well’ (act to improve their life or the lives of others). The delivery of My Better World is led by networks of young women who are volunteering to work as Learner Guides. Through a mobile-phone based platform developed by Camfed, the Learner Guides freely connect young people across regions and provide them with learning modules and peer mentoring beyond the classroom.

The International Day of the Girl Child celebrates the importance of girls and how education can be the force that propels them to reach their full potential. It also provides a platform to showcase innovation which breaks boundaries for new partnerships, engages girls and women in the design as well as the delivery of programs, enables girls to achieve new levels of ambition, or extends existing programs to reach marginalized girls.

To help governments, civil society and others to present their innovative work in education, UNGEI launched a Fund for the Documentation of Good Practice in Girls’ Education and Gender Equality which provides an opportunity for good practices to be systematically documented and shared within and between countries and regions. These stories will be collected and showcased on our website.

Furthermore, UNGEI’s new mini-podcast series entitled Changing the World for Girls will highlight the experience of a range of girls’ education advocates, researchers and practitioners. The first in the series will be released in the coming weeks. To learn more about what it takes to educate a girl, we also invite you to view this film where we explore such questions and how best …To Educate a Girl.

UNGEI stands committed to and will continue fight for the right of girls to get an education. We will also continue to support the Global Partnership for Education’s mandate to ensure that all girls complete primary school and go to secondary school in a safe, supportive learning environment.

(Source: UNGEI)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:39:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The National Public Education Administration (ANEP), Plan Ceibal and Antel in Uruguay launched last Tuesday a series of exclusive plans for students and teachers of public education , seeking to continue narrowing the digital divide and professionalize the teaching profession.

The first of these plans gives to users of the platform Ceibal math credits that can be redeemed for "bits" and through them access to minutes in cell communication, voice messages, gigs of Internet to use from home, tablets and phones.

"It is important that students have Internet at home and extend the classroom schedule to their home , this is what we are doing", said the president of Plan Ceibal, Miguel Brechner.

The president of Antel, Carolina Cosse, said today that there are 800 schools connected to the internet and by the end of the year they expect to reach 1,200.
On other hand, it was presented a plan to purchase tablets for 47,000 public school teachers, by which professionals can access to the devises through a grant from the ANEP of U $S50 per unit. In addition, they will not pay IVA taxes. Teachers can choose from 47 different models of tablets of various brands.

In turn, teachers may benefit from different Antel plans to use the internet. Among them is a plan with no credit limit of $ 198 per month which includes 3 GB of traffic , more than double of the traffic of a common plan.

The flat-rate plan for teachers has a cost of $ 490 per month and allows internet connected from anywhere.

The authorities also announced that the traffic exchanged with educational and government websites (edu.uy and gub.uy) will be free for Antel´s  customers in Uruguay.

(Source: Tecno America Economia)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:29:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declaring 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

This year, the theme for the day is “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.

Despite remarkable gains in the last decade, millions of girls are still being denied their right to education:

31 million girls of primary school age are out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school. There are 4 million fewer boys than girls out of school.
Three countries have over a million girls not in school: In Nigeria there are almost five and a half million, Pakistan, over three million, and in Ethiopia, over one million girls out of school.

There are also 34 million female adolescents out of school, missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for work and life.

Unless we make quality education for all a priority, these girls will not acquire the skills they need to transition to young adulthood, secure stable employment, understand and exercise their rights as citizens, and continue learning throughout life.

Finally, girls who do not complete an education are more likely to join the ranks of the illiterate women that represent two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world.

..we must focus where needs are greatest, we must help countries accelerate towards 2015, and we must shape a new agenda to follow. This agenda should build on achievements and tackle new challenges. This must start with education. There have been great advances in enrolment since 2000, but 57 million children remain out of school. We need a new goal for education – focusing on equity and quality, throughout life, especially for girls and women”. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the General Assembly Special Event on MDGs, New York, 25 September 2013.
 
With girls constituting the majority of out of school children, gender equality and girls’ education remain a central concern in initiatives undertaken under GEFI’s umbrella which aim to reach countries and groups left behind.

Further Information

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:23:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 10, 2013


"ICT for inclusion and sustainable development" was the central theme of the quote: From 02 – 04 October , the city of Lima was the home of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Education of South America and Arab Countries (ASPA), which brings together those responsible educational policies of their respective countries.

The central theme was "ICT for inclusion and sustainable development" and the goal is to create a space for dialogue between the Ministers of Education of both continents, to promote bilateral cooperation in educational issues.

For example, it will be on the development of higher education and studies languages (Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese), through the establishment of study centers as a mechanism for the reconciliation of the two regions.

For the Ministry of Education is vital to promote education based on the principles of equity , equality, inclusion, participation , cooperation and respect , to ensure comprehensive development of citizens.

Peru presented at Second Meeting of Ministers of Education of ASPA a set of successful experiences teaching methods , as well as the methodology and pedagogy through the use of information and communication technologies.

It should be noted that the meeting takes place in the framework of the international commitments undertaken by Peru in the "Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of South American and Arab Countries" held last year.

(Source: Educación en Red)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:09:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 07, 2013

The Indian Government is developing a National Mission on ICT aiming to create a national IT platform connecting all schools, providing students and teachers with opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge.

Through this mission, the Government is looking to take on a learner-centric approach in delivering education by facilitating the provision of infrastructure that will connect the schools to internet at minimum 10 mbps.

Radha Chauhan, Joint Secretary of Secondary Education, Government of India, shared, “Latest technological innovations will be used to share multimedia and web content through the platform. Apart from creating a better governance system for the schools, we are aiming to deliver quality education to all students in the country through the National Mission by equipping both students and teachers with technology”.

The government is also weighing the provision of mobile devices such as tablets to all students at the high school level. Other than ICT, the framework is also looking to bring transparency to governance in the schools.

More details

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:21:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 27, 2013

International Day of the Girl Child 2013 – Innovating for Girls' Education
“Innovating for Girls’ Education” E-discussion on the World We Want platform
You are invited to participate in this new e-discussion!
Join the conversation by registering at http://worldwewant2015.org/education2015
Go to Week One discussion and participate: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/391846

The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves. While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. When girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes.

Innovation will be an important strategy in addressing the nature and scale of barriers girls continue to face and in ensuring they receive an education commensurate with the challenges of the 21st century. Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and achievement, but innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves, can be important catalyzing forces.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2011 and celebrated annually on 11 October. In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2013 will be: Innovating for Girls’ Education. UNICEF as a leading agency for the coordination of the theme and related events is starting a new e-discussion with a similar theme, on the World We Want online platform. The discussion will be coordinated by the Youth Advocacy Group of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).

The e-discussion aims to gather and learn about innovative approaches, ideas and solutions from different regions, countries and communities that help improve girls' education and their learning outcomes, particularly of those most disadvantaged. The e-discussion will be facilitated by expert moderators and will run for three weeks from 16 September to 6 October, each week covering a new theme. The theme of Week One is Innovation in Education Infrastructure.

How can I participate? After you register online, simply click on the E-Discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education – WEEK ONE (and consecutive weeks). Contribute by leaving your views, ideas and stories of innovative solutions in a new Comment window.
Join the conversation by registering here: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/education2015

(Source: Women Watch)

Friday, September 27, 2013 4:16:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Eighteen digital hubs for Kenyan primary schools, allowing pupils access to computers and the internet, have been officially launched. Funded by the British council and Microsoft, they are intended to serve more than 100 schools.

The BBC's Frenny Jowi says a hub she visited in Nairobi had 21 computers. Give the numbers, they seem like a drop in the ocean, but the scheme is a significant step for Kenya's state education sector, she says.

Kenya's 639 state primary schools are often overcrowded, with up to 1,000 pupils at each institution,  the reporter says.
The hub at the Kilimani School in the capital, Nairobi, will be serving five schools altogether - and sessions will be timetabled. But the reporter says it was evident that the pupils at Kilimani were enjoying the computer lab.

"The computers are easier to use and give a lot of information about what you are studying", one 10-year-old boy told the BBC. Each desktop computer is loaded with Microsoft's Encarta reference encyclopaedia.

The digital hubs now also have full and free internet access following a three-year deal with telecoms giant Bharti Airtel, the British Council said. They have been built over the last year and during that time, some 2,000 teachers have been trained in IT skills, it said.

Kilimani's headmaster Gideon Wasike said there has already been a positive effect on students since the pilot hub had opened in August 2012. "It has motivated them and has raised their esteem and their interest in learning", he told the BBC. "They're able to do a lot of research on their own".

The BBC correspondent says the hub project - dubbed Badiliko, meaning "change" in kiSwahili - was officially launched at a ceremony at Kilimani school on Wednesday morning.

The scheme has also been launched in eight other sub-Saharan countries, establishing 127 digital hubs in total.

In recent years, Kenya has become a centre for information technology - and the government has launched a project to build a new city by 2033 intended to be an IT business hub called Konza Technology City and nicknamed "Africa's Silicon Savannah".

(Source: BBC News Africa)

Friday, September 27, 2013 3:39:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
South Korean Ministry of Education announced last week that 67.1 billion won (US$61 million) will be spent on students for IT purposes.

The total education funding this year, amounting to 3.185 trillion won (US$2.8 billion), will benefit 4.37 million primary and secondary school students across the nation.
The education funding project of city and provincial offices of education is designed to support high school tuition, after-school classes, IT devices and school meals for students from low income families.

The 67.1 billion won (US$61 million) IT fund will be spent on 240,000 students for PCs, internet, and communication expense.
Fewer students - a drop of 13,000 - will benefit from this IT fund due to the rise in internet fees, according to the ministry, even though the budget increased by 2.4 billion won (US$2.2 million).

The overall education fund has gone up by 504.5 billion won (US$465.6 million), benefiting 397,000 more students compared to last year. 428.4 billion won (US$395.4 million) will be provided to 386,000 students (or 20 per cent of the entire high school students) for high school tuition, which includes admission fees, tuition and school operating expenses. 790,000 students will receive 251.8 billion won (US$232.4 million) for after school classes. Another 2.4374 trillion won (US$2.2 billion) will be provided for school meals, including free meals, benefiting 4.37 million students, or 67 per cent of students.

(Source: FutureGov)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:11:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The government through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has established fully equipped modern computer laboratories in over 1,000 government-owned secondary schools across the country. Speaking at the Uganda Institute of ICT in Kampala on Friday, Bob Lyazi, the Director of the Rural Communication Development Fund at UCC said about $10m had been invested in the initiative.

Each of these laboratories carries at least 40 custom made computers built to suit conditions in Uganda’s secondary schools.

There are about 1,050 government-owned secondary schools in Uganda. According to Lyazi, the remaining schools will get computer labs in the next one year.
Lyazi further disclosed that of the 1000 computer labs, 600 have already been connected to the internet while the rest will acquire internet within the next one year. Other than being used as a fountain of knowledge by the schools, Lyazi said the computer labs are also been used to impart Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills in residents.

“We have so far imparted over 50,000 people across the country with ICT related skills such as computer maintenance, internet connectivity, computer repairs, CD burning, website designing, computer science among others”, said Lyazi.

The residents who live close to the secondary schools make use of the computer labs during evening hours and on holidays when not in use by the students. However, the terms of enrolling in the training are subject to negotiation between the schools and the residents.

“We are proud of this project. Uganda is the only country in Africa where there are computer labs in nearly all government schools. Because we have computer labs in these schools, starting next year, computer studies will be compulsory at A level and Uganda will be the first country in Africa to take such a move”, said Lyazi. “The idea behind this project is that, ICT should become an integral part of the lives of Ugandans. ICT also needs to be integrated into our education system because ICT’s are awash with infinite information. At the end of it all, our country will get easily transformed once these ICT skills become widespread across all villages in Uganda”, added Lyazi.

The project to establish computer labs in secondary schools is a five year program launched in late 2007. Asked why the project was not rolled out to primary schools, Lyazi said it would be unaffordable for government now since there are over 13,000 government owned primary schools in the country.

Lyazi was speaking as guest of honor at the graduation of 250 primary school teachers from Kampala’s Nakawa division who underwent a month long training in an ICT introduction course conducted by the Nakawa based e-Learner Uganda.

(Source: New Vision)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:07:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, September 08, 2013

Thailand’s ICT Ministry is cooperating with Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School (elementary level) to pilot IT applications that could improve teaching effectiveness and education quality, under the national Smart Education plan. 




TOT, a State-owned telecom company, and a team of programmers have developed applications have developed educational software for the tablets. The Ministry is to pilot the educational tablets at the Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School.

It seeks to promote information technology as a medium of instruction in the school, improving effectiveness of education delivery, and enabling teachers to track the students’ progress and manage records efficiently.

Minister for ICT, Anudith Nakornthap, said, “With the ‘One Tablet PC per Child’ programme, the Ministry of ICT has accelerated the development of information technology for the education sector to meet international standards”.

The educational software is compatible with popular platforms, such as Windows, iOS and Android, in order to increase educational opportunities and encourage students to make extensive use of the tablets, the Minister added.

“Patterns of educational instruction are changing, as modern IT applications are developed for the education sector. This, combined with better connected government agencies and cloud services, has changed the potential of innovation in the education sector”, remarked the Minister.

In addition to IT infrastructure, he highlighted the need for developing curriculum standards, developing teachers’ IT skills and promoting research and evaluation in order to create sustainable transformation in the education sector.

The Minister shared, “The Thailand Smart Education programme is currently in pilot stage, and based on the results, the tablets will be extended to other schools in the future. The programme looks to transform the learning paradigm with a learner-centred development model and one-to-one digital classrooms. The programme aims to instil lifelong learning and allow students to learn from anywhere, at any time”.

Further details

Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:19:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Ministry of Education announced on Monday 26 August its plan to upgrade schools in rural or remote areas by enhancing access to information communication technology services.

The ministry said it believed an effective use of ICT could overcome the limitations of education in the most remote areas of the country.
The ministry will first inject 5.9 billion won (US$ 5.3 million) to provide tablet computers and smart devices as well as wireless network connections for 300 schools with fewer than 60 students by next year.

It also plans to provide ICT workshops for students and teachers at the schools, and will gradually expand its support to other schools in the areas, the ministry said.

(Source: The Korea Herald)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:39:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 22, 2013


Tablet-based learning has started taking shape in Malawi with the launch of Tablet-Based Learning project by a United Kingdom based educational software publisher EuroTalk.

The project currently being piloted in some schools in the country is a culmination of partnership between the governments of Scotland and Malawi. Government of Malawi through the ministry of education, science and technology launched the scheme in 2010 piloting the use of tablet technology in 30 schools with the EuroTalk app ‘Masamu’ (a local word for mathematics) which is intended to teach basic numeracy.

EuroTalk said in a statement that one of the leading Universities in the UK, The University of Nottingham will be evaluating the project next month in order to establish if children using EuroTalk’s ‘Masamu’ maths application learn faster than their classmates.

The statement which says the study will take place at Biwi Primary School, Lilongwe, which was selected for the project by the ministry of education, also says up to 300 children aged 5-6 will be involved in the study which will be led by Dr Nicola Pitchford, from the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham. Children will be tested at the start of the evaluation, in pattern processing, motor co-ordination and simple maths skills before spending 30 minutes each day in the Learning Centre, currently under construction using the Masamu apps on iPad mini tablets.

“They will then be tested again after six weeks later, to examine what learning has taken place among these children compared to other students”, the statement says adding that if the results show significant educational gains, EuroTalk will scale up the project in Malawi. Andrew Ashe, EuroTalk’s managing director observes that in a country like Malawi, where class sizes often exceed 100 pupils, many children don’t get the learning opportunities they so desperately need.

“We believe that high quality, local language, educational applications on tablet technology can be life-changing, and we look forward to seeing what the study reveals”, he said.

The goal, EuroTalk says, is to bring the best possible education to one billion children, and the team sees the forthcoming evaluation as a vital step.
The company is using Malawi as a model and depending on how successful it will be, the project will expand to other countries across the world, producing the applications in each child’s local language.

EuroTalk, which was established in 1991, is a company best known for its range of language learning software in over 130 languages, which has been used by more than 20 million people worldwide.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:35:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Gauteng's 2 200 public schools will have access to uncapped wi-fi and 3G connectivity and 88 000 Huawei tablets will be distributed to students from next year as part of the province's e-Learning Solution.

The R396.2-million project will facilitate learning by addressing the digital divide and will provide all pupils an e-mail address and free internet access. It will replace the Gauteng Online Schools Programme, provincial Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe said on Wednesday.

"The rebranded e-learning solution will be rolled out at the beginning of next year and will be up and running in January 2014 when schools reopen", Nkomfe said. "The Gauteng Online programme succeeded in improving computer literacy in public schools and demystified phobias associated with the world wide web".

The replacement of the initiative is expected to build on this foundation.

"Exposing our learners to e-learning techniques ought to occur at a tender age", he said. "We therefore elected an e-learning solution that could mediate meaningfully, but in a sustainable manner, while being financially viable".

Connectivity and cloud solution firm Cloudseed won a two-year contract to provide network connectivity for the project, following which the Gauteng Broadband Network will provide this service.

Short-term insurance will be provided for losses and damages, along with ongoing maintenance and support.

(Source: All Africa)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:24:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Nafham Project, a new online education platform, is working to improve the Egyptian education system by capitalizing on the power of the internet and modern technology. Created in 2012, Nafham, (meaning “we understand” in Arabic), offers interactive online classes for primary and secondary level students. Students have access to videos, social media websites, and other educational resources that teach Egyptian students curricula approved by the Egyptian Ministry of Education.
Students access the material by logging into nafham.com. The coursework is divided by semesters and the semesters are further divided into two additional parts. Instructors are allowed to post creative educational media that supplements the lessons. Parents can track students’ progress through regular reports. The site fosters student participation and accountability by utilizing social media websites like Facebook.

Nafham is unique because its content - which includes 6,845 videos for 3,000 primary and secondary level lessons – free for students. Its educational videos are between 15 and 20 minutes long. Lessons include a series of corresponding exercises and activities that further engage the students with the coursework. Various groups have had a hand in Nafham’s video production. Some videos are aired on other educational channels while others are created by volunteers and/or even fellow classmates that want to help their peers.

Currently, Egypt’s schools are over capacity. This overflow has taken a toll on the nation and the economy. The Egyptian Information and Decision Support Center reports that classroom size often exceeds 60 students. It “has a negative impact on student achievement and skill development, and at the same time opens the door to dropping out of school”, states Mohammad Habib, a founding member of Nafham. With over 1.1 million students, Egypt’s education system has trouble providing specialized education tailored to individual students’ needs. Additionally, many Egyptian families struggle to afford the US$100 tuition fees and private tutoring costs.

Nafham’s founders, Mohamad Habib, Mustafa Farhat, Hashem Ali, and Ahmad El Alfi, recognized this dilemma and other problems in Egypt’s education system. They decided to take action. Using the internet as the medium for improvement, they created the “learning management platform” in 2012. Some say it is like the Khan Academy of the Middle East.

The site wants to encourage a love of education and help students grasp the learning process in a digital age, while “erasing crippling cultural obstacles to education success that exist in some environments, such as the phenomenon of ostracizing successful students”. Nafham hopes this is only the beginning of success for Egypt’s education system and the rest of the country.

(Source: Open Equal Free web)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:05:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 12, 2013


Technology vendors Dell and Microsoft have been working to deliver classroom technology for remote regions and, in particular, into schools that have not previously had access to any form of computing technology.

Mamoeketsi School in Lesotho is profoundly aware of the importance of technology in educating and empowering young people. The school is located in Lesotho, near Maseru. HIV/AIDS affects a third of the population and around 50 per cent of the school’s students are orphans. Most are familiar with poverty. Although the government invests 12 per cent of its gross domestic product in education – and the country’s literacy rate is one of the highest in Africa – few students have access to technology. Less than 5 per cent of the population has access to the Internet or even basic mobile phones with text and call functions. However, through the efforts of Moliehi Sekese, a charismatic maths and science teacher at the Mamoeketsi School, students now have access to affordable technology that is significantly raising their academic achievements and enhancing their potential.

After attending a Microsoft Shape the Future event – an initiative that supports access to technology in developing countries through partnerships with companies such as Dell – Sekese was inspired to see how technology could engage pupils in a dynamic way. She devised a project about native plants and herbs, requiring students to report to her by text message through mobile phones borrowed from relatives or friends. The project was a huge success, exciting students so much that Sekese found herself receiving text messages in the middle of the night. Sekese realized that the school needed to empower students with access to technology, but cost was a major barrier to this.

Mamoeketsi School wanted to implement an affordable, low maintenance IT solution to provide its students with access to the internet, supporting research and collaboration, so the school implemented a shared computing solution with Dell ‘zero clients’ and Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server to deliver a lowcost, centrally managed computing environment for students.

As a result of its dynamic use of technology in teaching, the school has reduced truancy. While access to technology can be a big motivator for students and increase attendance and engagement in learning; it can be challenging for students who are slow learners. Shared computing addresses this by enabling the teacher to remotely monitor and interact with an individual student from the teacher’s computer station. Sekese says: “Children who are slow learners often feel embarrassed about asking questions in class and so they stop coming to school. Truancy has stopped being a problem since we deployed the solution because I don’t have to disrupt the rest of class or call attention to the slowest learners”.

“Technology Enhances Learning and Life” is one of the twelve opinion pieces featured in the eLearning Africa 2013 Report. To read more about the annual publication, please visit: http://elearning-africa.com/media_library_publications_ela_report_2013.php.

Further information

Monday, August 12, 2013 5:01:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Critically Acclaimed 18-Week Series Introduces U.S Audiences to Their Global Neighbors, Offering Unique Perspectives Into Unfamiliar Lives, Experiences and Stories from Around the World.



Season premieres Sunday, June 2 at 10 PM ET on the WORLD channel (Check local listings) and available online at http://worldchannel.org/

Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the WORLD channel announced last May the lineup for season six of Global Voices, the critically acclaimed international documentary television series premiering on the WORLD channel (Check local listings). The first original series to launch on WORLD, Global Voices was included in the New York Times’ Mike Hale’s list of “Favorite TV shows of 2012”. This season will set out to present even more compelling stories often overlooked by American media, by offering a unique lineup of programming, introducing U.S. audiences to their global neighbors and opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences, and perspectives from around the world.

Slated for Sunday nights at 10pm ET, from the beginning of June through the end of September, this weekly series premieres Sunday, June 2, followed by a repeat broadcast of the entire season for an additional 18 weeks. The series will present the U.S premieres of nine documentaries funded by ITVS, as well as encore presentations of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the WORLD channel broadcast, each episode will be available online, post airdate, beginning the following day for 21- 30 days at worldchannel.org. All full-length episodes are free and available online anytime during the allotted timeframe.

This season’s Global Voices spans the globe and offers rare insights into the lives of people in countries as far away as Indonesia, India, El Salvador, Iraq, Tanzania, Japan and Ethiopia, providing a global perspective and diverse viewpoints about our global world community.

The season opens in Indonesia, with the U.S Premiere of Where Heaven Meets Hell (Air Date: June 2), by Sasha Friedlander. Deep in the rain forests of Eastern Java, Indonesia, lies the active volcano, Kawah Ijen, where 500 sulfur miners carrying backbreaking loads, traverse treacherous terrain amidst spectacular vistas and toxic gases. Friedlander relays the stories of four of these miners, who risk their lives and health daily in an industry we rely on for sugar, matches and cosmetics. This visually stunning and intimate film chronicles their attempts to escape the endemic poverty and lack of education that haunts their community. Drawing strength from their families and Muslim faith, these miners inspire us as they search for meaning in their daily struggles and triumphs.

In the next U.S Premiere, When Hari Got Married (Air Date: June 16), directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, we meet Hari a 30-year old taxi driver in the Indian Himalayas. He is getting married to a girl he has never met, but has fallen in love with her over the mobile phone.

Hundreds –possibly thousands – of children disappeared from El Salvador in the midst of the country’s civil war in the 1980s. Niños de la Memoria (Air Date: June 30), directed by María Teresa Rodríguez, follows three of those children as they return to their native country in search of identity and answers.

Invoking Justice (Air Date: July 14), Deepa Dhanraj’s film, explores the lives of Muslim women from a small town in South India, who set out to deliver justice in their own courts, posing a radical challenge to their traditional Muslim community and clergy.

Other premiere programming highlights include The Lost Dream (Air Date: July 28), directed by Jehan S. Harney. Nazar and Salam helped the coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and were forced to flee their homes. As they begin their new lives in the United States, they wonder if their sacrifice was worth the costs. In the Shadow of the Sun (Air Date: August 11), directed by Harry Freeland, is an intimate story about two very different members of a remote island’s albino community in Tanzania, as a wave of brutal killings targeting people with albinism sweeps their country. The List (Air Date: September 8), directed by Beth Murphy, introduces us to a modern-day Oskar Schindler story, about Kirk Johnson, a 26-year old American aid worker, fighting to save thousands of Iraqis whose lives are in danger because they worked for the United States to help build Iraq.

The season concludes with two films about family and identity. Directed by Kaspar Astrup Schröder, Rent a Family, Inc. (Air Date: September 22) follows Ryuichi, a Japanese businessman, who owns a company that rents out fake family members and friends, but his own family doesn’t know. The season finale Girl, Adopted (Air Date: September 29), directed by Susan Motamed and Melanie Judd, spans four years in the life of one irrepressible girl. The film offers an intimate look at the struggle to create identity in the aftermath of adoption across race and culture.

In addition to the nine programs making their U.S. broadcast premiere, the series will also include nine award-wining programs, many in which have previously premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens series. These films include: Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander; Unmistaken Child, directed by Nati Baratz; Bolinao 52, by Duc Nguyen; Behind the Rainbow, directed by Jihan El Tahri; Blessed is the Match, directed by Roberta Grossman; Taking Root, directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater; A Village Called Versailles, directed by S. Leo Chiang; Journals of a Wily School, directed by Sudeshna Bose; Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, directed by Pat Aste.

For a complete lineup of Global Voices films and schedule, please visit: worldchannel.org

(Source: ITVS)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 02, 2013
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has so far covered 407 schools across the country. At least 207,026 laptops have been distributed, according to Nkubito Bakuramutsa, the OLPC Coordinator in Rwanda Education Board.

Bakuramutsa told The New Times yesterday that Rwanda has been ranked third globally after Peru and Uruguay in terms of rolling out laptops in primary schools. He added that at least all 30 districts have five OLPC-enabled schools. “The project now focuses on seeing each school in all 416 sectors equipped with laptops”.

The project that was launched in 2008 aims at boosting Rwanda’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society.

Bakuramutsa said that 2,200 schools have also been equipped with servers, wireless access points and digital content including, e-books, math, science and English courses.
“The server is also equipped with a school management and information system and security features to track laptops in case of theft or loss”.

According to Sergio Romero, OLPC Vice President Africa, Peru tops the list in the world when it comes to OLPC rollout in schools with about 750,000, Uruguay (approximately 475,000) and Rwanda in third position with more than 200,000.

The project has also trained 10,000 teachers with basic ICT skills to enable them to prepare and teach their lessons in digital format.
Bakuramutsa further said that with such a massive deployment, the OLPC programme is looking at establishing a modern call centre that would provide online maintenance support to schools.

(Source: The New Times)

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:19:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is providing multimedia tablets and training to 160 teachers at 11 schools in the Eastern Cape as part of a project that aims to develop a mobile teaching model that can be applied countrywide.

The CSIR's Meraka Institute said on Friday that it had completed a one-year pilot phase in which 17 teachers at Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School in Cofimvaba were trained in using digital content on tablets to support traditional teaching and learning.

A comprehensive mobile learning curriculum had been developed for this purpose, the CSIR said, and learnings from the pilot phase were being applied in the first phase of the project, which would see tablets rolled out to 11 additional schools over the next two years.

The rollout began on Friday, and would be followed by a second phase, starting in 2014, in which tablets would be rolled out to a further 14 schools.

The Meraka Institute's Merryl Ford believes that the innovative use of mobile technology has the power to transform education.

"These devices will help to change the landscape of education in rural areas, allowing teachers and students greater access to knowledge and education resources", Ford said in a statement on Friday.

She added that the project was "turning old models and approaches upside down by starting with the most disadvantaged schools in the country ... If what we're doing works in rural schools, it will work anywhere".

The project employs a "learn to earn" model, in which teachers get the opportunity to earn their tablets by attending training courses once a month in the afternoons, and by using them in their classrooms to support teaching and learning processes. This is further supported by a system in which teachers are rewarded with "digital badges" to encourage their progress.

Once the teachers at each school show that they are ready, the rollout will be extended to learners as well. At Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary, the second phase began on 18 July with each matric student receiving their own tablet to support their studies.

"We want to develop a sustainable, replicable model that can be implemented across the country", Ford said, adding: "The project is a partnership between ourselves, government, teachers and learners where everyone has a responsibility to make it work.

"We are doing this with the schools, not for them, and we hope that by helping them become agents in their own success, the project will be successful far beyond our involvement".

The project, dubbed ICT4RED, is a sub-projects of the over-arching Technology for Rural Education Development (TECH4RED) project, a collaborative effort between the national departments of Science and Technology, Basic Education and Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:13:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Schools are preparing for a seismic shift in the teaching of ICT. Now they have Computing instead of ICT to cope with, and there is a much greater emphasis on computer science under a new curriculum.

While some schools, especially primaries, struggle to prepare for this change, Lancaster Girls' Grammar School has grabbed the bull by the horns. Instead of putting on a course for teachers they are taking 30 students to the hotbed of digital innovation and home of some of the brightest minds in computer science – Silicon Valley, California.
Lancaster headteacher Jackie Cahalin is delighted. “ICT is a very successful subject at LGGS at both GCSE and A level standard", she says, "allowing the girls to be creative as well as learning skills that will assist them in their other studies and future careers.

"We introduced Computing because there was a clear gap in our curriculum for those pupils who wanted to go a step further and learn how to create a tool rather than use it. Computing appeals to girls who enjoy maths, electronics and science; they find it challenging and have had to adapt their mindsets to be able to overcome problems and find solutions.

"We strive to offer our pupils the best opportunities and the visit to San Francisco is no exception and is set to truly inspire LGGS students to see there are opportunities for women in this field."
The children and teachers leave on July 17 for a full itinerary which includes visits to the usual tourist spots such as Golden Gate Park, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz but also the more computer-focused trips to the History of Computing Museum in Mountain View, Google HQ, Qualcom and a full day on the Stanford University Campus where they will meet some of the women in the faculty of computer science.

The inspiration behind the trip is Joanne Devlin, head of ICT, computing and business. “I never recognized the 'dull and boring' description of ICT [Michael Gove's] from the teaching at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School", she says, "as we have tried to make the teaching of ICT as interesting, engaging and relevant to the needs of pupils and their potential careers in the IT and digital industries.

"This trip, however, will help to raise the girls’ aspirations and make them realize what opportunities a career in computing and IT could offer them.




Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:07:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 26, 2013


On 12th/7/2013, MTN Uganda, in partnership with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have re – established the Kampala Public Library (KPL) creating a one-stop centre for members of the general public and specific groups such as tourists and investors to utilize the facility to request for and receive information about Kampala city.
With the growing trends in technology, MTN Uganda has bridged the library’s digital divide and increased the utilization of information technology in the acquisition of modern knowledge for lifelong self-learning. The MTN Foundation has provided equipment and internet connectivity solutions to KCCA.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the CEO MTN Uganda Mazen Mroué reaffirmed MTN’s commitment in providing ICT support to improve service delivery of the library and stated that the connectivity will create online linkages to the centre to increase its usage and visibility. This is also in line with the MTN Foundation’s corporate social responsibility areas for 2013 which include Education, Health and National priority areas.

KCCA’s Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi commended MTN Uganda for their contribution towards the expansion of the facility and stated that the company’s technological support will go a long way in creating a facility that will offer comprehensive and timely information about Kampala City.

KCCA seeks to expand the use of the current facility by introducing new uses for the existing areas and incorporating technological aspects, themes and other elements that will enhance the image of a modern area of information usage and consumption.

The Kampala Public Library fully revamped now boosts full free WiFi connectivity as well as brand new desktop computers to aid users of the facility get access to more online resources during their research or casual reads.

A member of the technical team from KCCA equally pointed to the construction of an Online Library Catalog to boost the full digitization of the library facilities.
MTN’s contribution equally went towards the remodeling of the children’s library, with donation of more reading facilities for children.

(Source: PC Tech)

Friday, July 26, 2013 9:49:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 18, 2013


The Western Cape government is planning to tap into children's hunger for technology by giving them tablet computers. Premier Helen Zille revealed her government's plans at the launch of a teacher training programme in Mitchells Plain yesterday.

This week more than 9000 grade 7, 9 and 12 teachers will undergo training in the third phase of the programme, which is to be implemented next year. They are being trained on pace of teaching, curriculum coverage and pupil assessment.

"Technology has become a very important component of education", said Zille.

"We have succeeded in getting a computer lab into every school in Western Cape - now we are looking at introducing telematics". Pupils will be able to download subject content and work out where they should be in the curriculum.

Zille said the provision of the tablet computers "will be costly but worth every cent". Western Cape's education budget for 2013-2014 is R15.6 billion.

(Source: Times Lives)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:41:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 25, 2013
E-textbooks, open source textbooks and mobile education have been suggested by a new report as an alternative to get South African education up to standards.


Published by the Southern Africa Bishops Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office, the report by Kenny Pasensie discussed solutions to the textbook issues in South Africa, following delivery problems in 2012.

“South Africa’s education system is beset by a multitude of problems, and prominent amongst them is the government’s inability to provide the necessary learning materials on time”, the report stated.

The use of e-textbooks is motivated by its adaptability across multiple platforms with advised employment as from a computer or tablet. “The real challenge is to put a cheap, reliable reading device in the hands of those who need it”, the report said.

Affordability is the greatest hampering issue, while cost-effective updates are a good aspect. Open source textbooks includes streaming videos, multimedia applications and podcasts with the advantage of open copyright, according to the non-governmental educational organization Open Educational Resources (OER) Africa.

Although acknowledging affordability and durability as complications, the use of e-readers in combination with open source resources is recommended due to its unlimited material usage on a variety of devices. This will also bridge the obstacles of a lack of local content developers and broadband internet connectivity. Mobile education is regarded as a viable solution due to the high usage of mobile devices in South Africa.

Referencing World Wide Worx’s 2012 Internet access report, it points to 7.9 million South Africans using mobiles for internet access.
“Digital textbooks, mobile education and other publishing models already exist, and perhaps it’s time the government invested wisely in these alternatives”, Pasensie concludes.

Further details

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:36:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson and Entel announce the launch of Connect To Learn, an initiative that offers quality education for rural students, in three schools in Chile that previously did not have access to technology in education. Connect To Learn in partnership with Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute at Columbia University is using the latest technology to improve educational opportunities for rural students, especially girls.

Through Connect To Learn, mobile broadband connectivity has been implemented in the Arturo Prat Chacón secondary school as well as two primary schools, all located in rural Ninhue, in the Bío Bío Region of southern Chile. The program in the Arture Prat Chacón school also includes online educational resources, a cloud-computing solution in a low-maintenance and easy-to-use model and relevant training for teachers. The technology deployed gives students and teachers access to 21st-century educational tools and resources, and the ability to connect to other schools around the world to foster collaborative learning, cross-cultural understanding and global awareness.
Manuel Araya, Corporate Affairs Manager, Entel, says: "With Connect To Learn, students and teachers benefit from access to global news, information and the latest educational content, and can collaborate with fellow students and teachers around the world, despite their remote location".

Entel is providing optimized 3G connectivity to the selected schools to ensure good connectivity, as well as free Internet connections.
Carla Belitardo, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson Latin America, says, "This initiative demonstrates our commitment to enabling our vision for a Networked Society in Chile and in Latin America. Mobile broadband is a key enabler for access to a quality education in all communities, even the most rural. Delivering cloud-based computing services and connecting them is a major step toward bringing quality education".

Since 2010, Connect To Learn has been deployed to help students in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Brazil Senegal and Djibouti helping students access quality learning resources for a 21st-century education.

School-To-School Connections
Through Connect To Learn, Entel and Ericsson are also introducing School-To-School Connections, a flagship program, pioneered by co-founders Millennium Promise and the Earth Institute. High school students at the Juan de Mairena Institute in San Sebastian de los Reyes, Spain, created their very own global classroom, connecting through a video call session with students from Arturo Prat Chacón High School, located in Ninhue, southern Chile, as part of the School-To-School Connections partnership program facilitated by the Connect To Learn initiative.

The program connects classrooms in rural and urban communities around the world to foster cross-cultural learning and cultivate global awareness, understanding, and collaboration.

The goal is that the School-To-School Connections program will help create a sense of commonality among young people and a sense of shared responsibility for tackling the global challenges we all face. In 2011, with School-To-School Connections in mind, Connect To Learn commissioned a team from Columbia University Teachers College to create a set of curricular resources based on the Millennium Development Goals in order to support shared lesson planning between teachers at partnered schools and collaborative learning among their students. Video calls and emails help facilitate their work together and build relationships among participants.

(Source: Ericsson)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:28:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013
Huawei South Africa has partnered with Khulisani to launch a mobile Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training Centre Project to provide computer skills training to schools for underprivileged, disabled children, in the South of Johannesburg.

“Huawei South Africa is committed to contributing towards the reduction of unemployment and the alleviation of poverty, through supporting skills development and training initiatives. Whilst our focus is on improving the resources of schools and education in the rural and semi-rural areas, we also invest in special needs schools which are often marginalized due to limited resources”, says Liu Wenjun (Wilson), CEO of Huawei South Africa.

Areas where the mobile ICT Centre will be active in are Meyerton, Vereeniging, Vanderbijlpark, Sasolburg and the surrounding low income residential areas and informal settlements in the South of Johannesburg. The five special needs schools that will benefit from the project will be J.N.S school for children with Cerebral palsy, EUREKA school for mentally disabled, Handhawer School, Sebokeng Technical High school and Thabavuyo School.

Wilson adds, “Statistics show that five percent of the South African population lives with disabilities and that various factors such as poverty, unemployment, insufficient training and education are the most common stumbling blocks for them. In order to overcome this barrier Huawei made the decision to launch a pilot project in partnership with Khulisani, an enterprise development company that focuses on the ongoing upliftment of individuals with disabilities. Together with Khulisani, Huawei has invested in constructing a Mobile ICT Training Centre which supports computer skills training and in the process supports employment of individuals with disabilities. We conducted research into their needs and customized the training accordingly, in order to accommodate the different disabilities which the pupils experience, ensuring a positive outcome for the project”.

The objectives of the ICT Centre are to provide a firm foundation in terms of computer literacy, focusing specifically on basic desktop training, MS Office Suite and internet access. E-learning initiatives have been introduced and two individuals have been trained and are being developed with the knowledge, skills and experience to provide computer literacy training and e-learning.

“Huawei South Africa fully supports the South African Government’s aim to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society. Huawei aims to make a positive difference by implementing various projects like the Mobile ICT Centre which builds towards a better future and economy for all South Africans”, concludes Wilson.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:52:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 30, 2013


As a part of Scratch Day celebrations around the world, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) in partnership with the One Laptop Per Child Association, has hosted a Scratch Day event in Rwanda.

Scratch is basic programming language that makes easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art and share your creations.
The event was held in Kacyiru Sector at the OLPC Corner of the National Library, where students showed off the projects they had created using Scratch around different academic themes, including Environmental protection, Fight against drug abuse, Children’s rights, and Rwandan vision 2020.

The event aimed to show the true potential that Rwandan children have to lead and develop their skills and confidence using their XO laptops.

(Source: BiztechAfrica)

Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:17:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Ericsson and mobile operator Airtel have partnered to expand the Connect to Learn Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution, now enables 600 students to use ICT through cloud-based technology.

The two institutions, St. Anthony and Maera secondary schools in the Malawi Millennium Village of Mwandama, in Zomba district,  will now be connected to the initiative with students being joined by teachers in benefiting.

Fifty-five laptops, broadband internet access, online educational resources and training are included in the programme.
Matthews Mtumbuka, IT director of Airtel Malawi, said: “An investment in the education of our young people is an investment in our future. We recognize the transformational impact our industry can have on education, and are proud to collaborate with Ericsson on this initiative”.

Connect to Learn is a collaboration between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ericsson, and Millennium Promise in a bid to use ICT to deliver high-quality education to students.

Kara Nichols, Executive Director of Connect To Learn, said, “Because of investments and work by our partners, Ericsson and Airtel, the students and teachers are able to benefit from access to global news, information and the latest educational content”.
“They can also collaborate with fellow students and teachers around the world through our School-To-School Connections program, even from their remote locations”.

Further information

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:12:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013
In cooperation with the Jordan National Commission for UNESCO and Arab Women Media Center, UNESCO has been working to incorporate media and information literacy (MIL) into the Jordanian school curriculum by providing high school teachers and students the training to gather, analyze and utilize information through new and traditional media, and to develop debating skills so that they are able to express themselves in a professional manner.

A closing event was held under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Al-Wahsh, at Al Hussein Cultural Center to mark the achievements of this pilot project. The students practiced their newly developed debating skills and took part in a debating competition on the topic of “Freedom of Expression via Modern Tools”. Electronic newsletters produced as a part of the project that highlighted vital issues in their communities – with a special focus on youth and gender – were displayed at the event, while students gave testimonies of their experience and learning from the MIL training.

“MIL is one of the essential capacities that enable people to interpret and make informed decisions as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right”, said Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and Representative of UNESCO in Jordan.
Implemented throughout the second scholastic semester of 2012-2013, the project targeted 40 male and female students aged 16 and 17 from four UNESCO Associated Schools in Amman, Ajloun and Aqaba. The schools – Princess Taghreed School and Modern Systems Schools in Amman; Prince Faisal the First School in Aqaba; and Kufranja Secondary School in Ajloun – represented the southern, northern, and central areas of Jordan.

Officially titled “Integrating Media and Information Literacy into Jordanian Schools”, the project consisted of two phases. The first was training the teachers that would be involved in the project, followed by the second phase where specialists and teachers provided hands-on training to the students on journalistic writing skills, debating techniques, web search, website development, and management and dissemination of information through modern media tools. By introducing MIL and demonstrating its importance in education, the project aims for MIL to be adopted into the Jordanian curriculum so that it can be taught on a sustainable and impactful basis.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:03:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The annual meeting to review and measure progress towards targets set in Tunis in 2005 at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) opened on 13th May. This meeting of the WSIS Forum also marks ten years since the first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

In the coming week, the WSIS Forum will focus on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment. Participants will engage in discussions on a number of diverse topics, such as ICT infrastructure, cybersecurity, enabling environment, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, media, accessibility, and ethics. High level dialogues with government ministers and representatives from business and civil society will examine:

- Women's empowerment in the information Society: systematic, scalable strategies
- Smart climate change monitoring: Expanding access to information on weather, climate and water
- ICT innovations and standards: Creating technology for the next three billion
- Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and beyond
- ICTs and post 2015 goals
- Youth and ICTs

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the WSIS process is preserved and that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself”.

More than 1500 participants from government, private sector, civil society and international organizations are expected to attend the WSIS Forum during the week.
Former UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan will address the WSIS Process beyond 2015 as well as his engagement with young people in a webinar to inspire them to contribute to the post-2015 development frameworks currently under negotiation.

Approaching ten years since the Summit in 2005, the WSIS+10 Visioning Track will bring all emerging challenges related to the information society into perspective, ensuring that the new vision for WSIS beyond 2015 builds upon real needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), consisting of 30 members, will issue a joint statement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to harness inter-agency expertise and experience in addressing development challenges of the 21st century.

Following the opening ceremony, a high-level session kicked off on Emerging Trends and Innovation in the Ecosystem, attended by over fifty government ministers from around the world as well as industry executives.

An exhibition will showcase global initiatives for a more efficient Information Society.
WSIS Forum 2013 Partners

This year’s WSIS Forum programme has been greatly enhanced through the strategic partnership and contribution of the Sultanate of Oman (government) and Intel Corporation (private sector). Contributions for specific activities have also come in from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania as well as from Hewlett-Packard. The United Arab Emirates is the WSIS+10 Visioning Partner.
For more information, please see www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/2013/forum/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU, the Kofi Annan Foundation and One Young World are working together on a new series of youth-oriented online discussions designed to stimulate debate among young people around the world on challenges central to their lives and prospects, such as unemployment and democratic governance.

Former UN Secretary-General Annan will launch the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE series on Wednesday, 15 May, with the first online discussion to take place over the Google Hangout platform from 11:00 - 12:30 CET.

With the topic of ‘Young People and Leadership’, this first session gives six aspiring young leaders the opportunity to share their views with Mr Annan, watched by a global audience who will be able join the conversation and pose their questions via social media.

The outreach to young audiences will form a key element of a direct youth engagement process building up to ITU’s BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit in Costa Rica and the One Young World Summit in South Africa, to be held in September and October respectively.

ITU will host the first Dialogue from its Geneva studios on the occasion of the WSIS Forum 13 event taking place this week (13-17 May) at the Geneva International Conference Centre. The world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community, WSIS Forum is focused on defining strategies to help countries and organizations more effectively harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, now less than two years away.

“I congratulate Kofi Annan on an excellent and much-needed initiative to reach out to youth. These online Dialogues are an excellent example of using the power of ICTs to connect people to influence change”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “Our young new generation of ‘digital natives’ feel completely at home communicating online – and harnessing today’s social media channels allows us to create a truly global platform that cuts across geographical boundaries and brings in voices from right around the world”.

Participate in the first live Dialogue:

When: 15 May, 11h00 - 12h30 CET
Where: http://dialogueslive.kofiannanfoundation.org/
How: Send your questions via Twitter
#kofiannanlive #BYND15 #OYW #WSIS
Follow the Kofi Annan Dialogues: LIVE on Twitter and Facebook at: https://twitter.com/KofiAnnan #kofiannanlive
https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Kofi-Annan/228449696042

Learn more about ITU’s forthcoming BEYOND 2015 Youth Summit here.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:19:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 10, 2013
On April 25, 2013 we celebrate the "International Day of Girls in ICT", globally. The initiative, promoted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), seeks to promote the participation of girls and young women in careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This celebration is an effort of great importance in a global context that fosters a growing expansion of employment in an industry predominantly male.

In accession to the celebration of "International Day of Girls in ICT", DINATEL has released the current status of the participation of girls and young women in the educational system and the labor market in Uruguay.

The study by DINATEL evidence the present challenges in the national reality regarding the participation of girls and young women in ICT careers.

Download the full report here.

(Source: DINATEL – Uruguay)

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:28:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 01, 2013


On Thursday, April 25, 2013; Rwanda celebrates Girls in ICT day where hundreds of girls participated in this event held at Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux; where young girls learn more from their elders.

This event has been dubbed ’Girls in ICT Career Fair’ to celebrate the International Girls in ICT day and to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The occasion aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology. This year’s theme is “expanding horizons and changing attitudes”.

Girls in ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITUs Girls in ICT day, today, the group consists of girls in ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students whose mission is to inspire girls to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Clarisse Ilibagiza from HeHe mobile speaking to the press said that Rwandan girls are able to use ICT tools effectively.

In his remarks The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana advises young girls to embrace the culture of hard working and aim higher; “When you are confident, determined, you’re passionate about what you want, if you have a purpose, if you have a goal, if you have integrity and courage you can be very successful”.

Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister of Family and Gender Promotion noted that “As you are aware, the government is highly committed to promoting ICT as a key driver for rapid socio-economic development. We have put in place an enabling environment for girls to participate and benefit in ICT along with their brothers”.

International Girls in ICT Day in fact, has the aim to make everyone realize that girls are also able to use the new technologies, and that, due to the fact that girls are good at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, they have new technologies which change the world on a daily basis.

Moreover, ICT is the fastest growing industry today and more jobs are created in this industry than any other. The same prospects are for the future. ICT has been identified as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet a smaller, more accessible place. Therefore, Women and Girls should take a more prominent role in this process.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:49:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria’s communication technology minister, Omobola Johnson, has encouraged Nigerian women to pursue careers in ICT and bridge the gap between males and females in ICT.

Speaking in Abuja on Girls in ICT Day, Johnson blamed the perception that ICT is only for geeks and men as the reason why, in spite of the advances recorded in ICT across the world, there are not enough women in the sector.

She expressed the commitment of her ministry towards the encouragement of more girls to develop interest in ICT and to erase the perception. ‘’When I was studying engineering, I was one of five girls in a class of about 80. My daughter has just graduated in an engineering degree and she was also one of about five or six girls, so nothing has really changed in 30 years’’, Johnson said.

“We need to ask ourselves why and help remove all the barriers militating against girls and women embracing technology. Some of the barriers limiting women has to do with lack of support and encouragement and the ministry will provide the necessary support by encouraging women to embrace careers in ICTs”.

The highest achieving girls in the sciences from various schools have been invited to a one-week event organised by the ministry to encourage and expose them to sciences with the goal of increasing the number of women and girls in ICT.

Johnson said the ICT sector in Nigeria has tremendous opportunities for women in areas such as software development, telecommunications, IT, space development and electronic engineering.

Addressing girls in Abuja, Johnson said: “You just need to work hard and don’t be retiring. Women tend to think that our work will speak for us – sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Speak out, work hard and don’t be afraid! Women can do it if they try”.

At the event, 35 girls who had excelled in sciences received Vantium Computer Tablets to empower and encourage them to strive for excellence in ICTs.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Samsung Electronics, the global electronics giant, has delivered one container, the first of what could be a number of Solar Powered Internet Schools based in containers in the country.

The project is being made possible in association with the Angolan government and other partners.

The Solar Powered Internet School, which is geared to provide access to the Internet and electronic textbooks, will operate on a shift basis and will meet the needs of 200 children a day, according to Thierry Boulanger, IT director for solutions and business to business in Africa at Samsung Electronics.

“This school represents a breakthrough in the delivery of education by helping to break down the technological barriers facing education in Angola”, Boulanger said.
The facility, housed in a ‘40-foot’ shipping container, was delivered by truck to its site, he said.

Samsung said the school, which will be used on a rotational basis by children during the day, operates between 08h00 and 17h00 every day. Boulanger said: “It may be a small beginning, but for the 200 children who will benefit, the school opens the door to huge opportunities. Finding the funding to create hundreds of similar facilities across Africa could, within a comparatively short period, transform education, quality of life and service delivery across Africa”.

Samsung also said the school has the capacity to operate effectively for up to 36 hours without any sunlight at all. “The power generated by the panels each day also means that the school can be used beyond the traditional learning day. After-hours it can operate as an adult education centre or a community centre over weekends”.
Built to withstand harsh African conditions the solar panels powering the school are made from rubber instead of glass, to ensure that they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent, Boulanger concluded.

Further information

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 25, 2013
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career, writes Doreen Umutesi.

About fifteen girls formed a group which they named Girls in ICT Rwanda. Its main objective is to tour schools and encourage more girls to take on courses in Information Communication technology (ICT).

The Girls in ICT Rwanda launched their annual activity calendar on March 22nd, 2013 at a Networking Night with their guest speaker, Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the US Department of State.

The activities stipulated in their calendar involve encouraging women entrepreneurs in ICT, visiting schools to talk to girls and encouraging them to take on courses in ICT.
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

In an interview with Akaliza Keza Gara a member of Girls in ICT and Founder of Shaking Sun a multimedia company, she said that the government supports initiatives that empower women in ICT.

"One of our main goals is to encourage more girls offering ICT courses to join Girls in ICT Rwanda. When I talk to young girls, a lot of them say that they see it as a man's subject because people we see in the media doing ICT initiatives are often men. Even when they go to school they are surrounded by men so the girls tend to lose interest because they feel they are the odd ones", Akaliza explains.

She also said that there are allegations that women feel intimidated when they are surrounded by men hence women work better when they are surrounded by fellow women.

"Girls are just choosing not to take on ICT so as Girls in ICT Rwanda, part of what we do is to encourage and show them that if we took on the ICT course they can do the same. We encourage them to join us as the rallying troupes' idea. Our target after this year is to find out how many schools we visited and how many girls are offering ICT courses to measure our impact", Akaliza Discloses.

(Source: All Africa News)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:08:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel Corporation and the 10x10 campaign, partners on the new feature film "Girl Rising", today announced they will work with policymakers in low- and middle-income countries to develop transformative education and technology policies that empower women, achieve gender equity in access to quality education and accelerate economic development.

Together, Intel and 10x10 will develop and host gender equity and education policy workshops, and develop regional policy frameworks based on key gender needs. The workshops will help governments think deeply about issues of gender equity as they develop national policy plans for broader education transformation.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "What Works in Girls' Education", each year of secondary schooling increases a girl's future wages by 10 to 20 percent. At the national level, increasing the share of women with secondary education by just 1 percent increases a country's annual GDP by an average of .3 percent. Yet studies from the United Nations and International Labour Organization show that in 2009, girls accounted for 53 percent of all out-of-school children and 87 million women were unemployed in 2010, up from 76 million in 2007.

"We've seen first-hand the transformational change that can occur when girls have access to an education", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "By working with 10x10 and policymakers to improve gender equity in education, Intel is taking the vital message of 'Girl Rising' into action. Together, we can empower girls and help them become agents of positive change in their communities".

"By sharing the personal stories of these nine girls, 'Girl Rising' illustrates just how important education is in the movement to empower women and girls", said Holly Gordon, 10x10's executive director. "Our partnership with Intel to provide decision makers in developing countries with scalable policy solutions to expand gender equity in education marks the next step in our commitment to change both minds and policy to positively impact girls' lives".

Through the policy workshops, Intel and 10x10 will help leaders determine how to utilize technology to facilitate gender equity across school policy, curriculum and assessment, teacher development, and research and evaluation. These efforts will build on Intel's existing policy framework, which leverages education policy and information and communications technologies (ICTs) to create mechanisms for empowering girls and achieving gender equity in education at scale.

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:59:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order to promote the interest of girls worldwide to study careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the specialized agency in Telecommunications of the UN commemorates every year the International Day of Girls in ICT.

The commemoration held annually on the fourth Thursday in April and this year will be held on 25th of this month by an urgent call to the school principals, teachers and guidance counselors to show to their female students the excellent job prospects that open for them in the ICT sector.



Another objective of the commemoration of this day is that companies are aware of the low participation of women in this area and hire, retain and promote women in charges related to the use of technology.

The UN initiative is born because the worrying global figures which shows the lack of interest of women in developing their careers around the use of technologies. For example, the proportion of women who work as computer science professionals in Europe is extremely small: according to a report by Eurostat, in 2006 only 0.7% of ICT professionals were women and this figure remained unchanged since 2001. In Latin America, the scenario is not different, so if you want to review documents related to this topic, we recommend the articles published in regional site of UNESCO Women, Science and Technology.

Activities to do with your students that day:

- Make field trips to government offices, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), businesses, museums,
science, etc.. These will let girls to have first-hand contact with women leaders who use ICT in their daily work.

- Conduct workshops to raise awareness about the importance of ICT in the daily operation of the world today and show how women can take a leadership role every day.

- Make a presentation in the classroom with pictures and posters  what display the path of women with successful careers in organizations in the ICT sector.

- Develop biographies of famous women, leaders in ICT-related areas. Both girls and boys should conduct research on the Internet that will let them to prepare a list of women and write their biographies. The list should include many local women as well.

- Invite to an ICT industry leader to speak to all students. Ask whose words inspire young women to choose careers in this field study.

- Contact a local college or nearby and invite women teachers in ICT-related subjects to conduct workshops with students, professionals picnics, lectures, etc.

Finally, on the site http://girlsinict.org/ you can check how this day was celebrated last year and get ideas of how celebrate this day with your students.  If you need more information you can contact the team of Girls in ICT in girlsinict@itu.int

(Source: Eduteka and Educacion 360)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:33:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Wanted: your views, experiences, ideas, suggestions and recommendations on inclusive education.

On behalf of the Education Taskforce of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities, UNESCO and UNICEF are organizing an online discussion from 22 April to 12 May to address the following questions:

- What do we understand by the concept of inclusive education?
and
- What are the key recommendations for an effective implementation of Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities?

Take part in the discussion by joining the Knowledge Community on Inclusive Education at this link

Worldwide, more than one billion people live with some form of disability. Young people with disabilities have particular difficulty gaining access to both education and work and the right to education remains a challenge.

The online discussion will bring together civil society organizations, UN agencies, development agencies, NGOs, and academia who work to advance the rights of children with disabilities. This discussion is part of the “Building Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities” community which has been established for the promotion of the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities.

Further information

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:24:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICT has become an essential tool for humanitarian aid work, and its role in both education and healthcare throughout sub-Saharan Africa is indispensable: particularly its use in educating large groups of young refugees, from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of basic education and literacy.

The largest refugee camp in the world is located in Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya, 100 km from the Somali border; more than 500,000 refugees reside here, many of them displaced by the civil war taking place in southern Somalia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working to provide not only food and healthcare for the camp’s residents, but also educational opportunities for its more than 80,000 young people. To achieve this, they have been integrating solar-powered technologies to support ICT delivery in the 39 primary and secondary schools and 4 vocational centres in the camp.



The difficulty in educating such a large and diverse population using traditional educational tools is in addressing language barriers, illiteracy, and the high drop-out rate found throughout the camp. Making the task more difficult is the absence of necessary infrastructure, materials and qualified teachers. This is where ICT is making a difference: the use of computers and portable devices has allowed young people to obtain quality education in a safe and secure environment, taking part in eLearning programmes that can be adjusted to the needs of the individual student.

The close-knit community in the camp has played an important role in the design, sustainability and success of the project, with meetings attended by teachers, students and parents at every stage of its creation. Additionally, each school was responsible for designing solutions to the challenges of security and computer maintenance, as well as for sourcing additional funding to ensure the project’s sustainability. Erin Hayba, Associate Community Services Officer at UNHCR and a speaker at the upcoming eLearning Africa conference in Namibia, has been involved in the project for several years and explains the situation:

“This particular project that I have worked on to bring computers, Internet and solar power into the schools has sparked a new trend amongst the refugee community and partner NGOs to be innovative. Implementing change and innovation is often extremely difficult, with many hurdles to overcome, including dealing with naysayers. Innovation, in my mind, happens when people come together with varying perspectives, experiences, and knowledge to address a challenge and work toward a solution. Once a solution proves viable and people see positive results, this encourages more innovation to occur”.

The stakeholders involved in the project have been brought together to find innovative uses of ICT in education, particularly within the harsh and volatile environment of humanitarian work. And because the schools and communities are encouraged to participate in the design and implementation, as well as to invest in their own learning, the solutions found are more sustainable and appropriate. It has sparked a wave of innovative thinking within school- and education-focused humanitarian organizations. As a result, a foundation of learners, teachers, and community members who are more knowledgeable about ICT in education has been developed, creating a platform from which eLearning can grow and flourish.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:19:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Government of Costa Rica announced the first week of April an initiative to install Internet in all public schools in the country in order to reduce the digital divide and improve educational tools.

Currently 4800 public schools have Internet and this year will reach 100% coverage with the installation of the service in the 151 missing schools, according to a statement from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), State supplier of electricity and telecommunications services.
Connections, most broadband, are part of a joint project between ICE, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT), signed last Wednesday.

"We engaged to bridge the digital divide in education" said in the statement the Education Minister Leonardo Garnier, who also highlighted "the importance of this company for the future of education in Costa Rica".

In Costa Rica, a country of 4.5 million people, about 940,000 students began the school last February  in public schools nursery, primary and secondary education.
Costa Rica's investment in education is 7% of gross domestic product and the level of literacy is 97.6%, according to official data. 96% of children attend school, although 2% do not finish primary school, while in the case of high school, 86% of young people are going to school, but the dropout rate is 11%.



(Source: El Carabobeno Newspaper)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:23:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, was appointed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a sponsor of an educational project to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies between children and adolescents through the project "Technology needs girls". In a letter sent by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, the body recognizes the work developed by the Vice President of the Republic through the 89 Community Technology Centers located in remote communities of the country, which have changed the lives of thousands of children and adolescents.

The project will allow children and adolescents to participate in local activities that allow them to remove barriers so that girls have the opportunity to explore careers in technology.

This recognition includes the Vice President to continue promoting the celebration on April 25 2013, the Day of  Girls in ICT , date that has been commemorated as the "Day of the Tecnochicas", with the aim of integrating girls from 14 to 19 years old in technology.

The Day of Girls in ICT was established by Resolution 70, which was updated and adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010. The Resolution "Mainstreaming a gender policy in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information technologies and communication" provides for the incorporation of a gender policy in all plans and ITU programs.

In May 2007, being the First Lady of the Republic, the Vice president Cedeño de Fernández received the "Award of the ITU World Information Society" for her contribution to ensure that technology services are available to residents of the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic. The ITU Award on Information Society is granted to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the construction of the information society. Personal achievement may take the form of social achievements, mobilizing public opinion or a key technical innovation.

(Source: Newspaper El Nacional)

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:51:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 22, 2013
A total of 12,500 students from first to sixth grade will benefit from the education program One Laptop Per Child, boosted by the Zamora Terán Foundation through the Ministry of Education, which will make Ciudad Sandino (in Managua) the First Digital Community. This undoubtedly will transform the current educational settings, improving the quality of education for girls and boys.

45 schools from the city will benefit and as part of the process, teachers will train on the use of computers XO.
The educational community, thanked those who will enable the project to convert the municipality of Managua in the first to be fully equipped with computers, and will be a tool to improve the performance of teachers and students.

In this regard, the municipal delegate of Education, Rolando Rivas, said that in April the first deliveries will start in nine schools, where 108 teachers will benefit.
"Teachers are happy to have a new educational tool that will benefit the quality of education and above all will provide instruction to students", said Rivas.
Students will have access to Internet and for helping them, teachers were trained in the use of this technological tool.

Notebook computers bring learning programs, virtual library, language programs, among others. And they are easy to use for students, allowing them to use tools such as Web browser and strengthen teacher content addressed in the classroom in different areas such as Literature, Science or Mathematics.

Also the Foundation Zamora Terán will be responsible for monitoring, maintenance and support to computers, in order of that the educational program will be stable and quality.

 

(Source: Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos - OEI)


Friday, March 22, 2013 4:23:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Following the Thai government’s second year of the One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) policy to give new lot of 1.7 million tablets to students in 2013, ICT Ministry has recently updated the process and revealed different specification of the tablet models for the coming e-auction.

Off 1.7 million units, the first grade students would receive 850,000 units while the remaining would go to the hands of seventh grade students countrywide. Another 54,000 units of higher specification would also be purchased and provided to teachers, said Group Captain Surapol Navamavadhana, Advisor to the ICT Minister Thailand, and a committee member and Assistant Secretary to the OTPC Policy Commission.

The average price per unit for the tablets of the first graders is THB 2720 (US$ 91.70), while THB 2,920 (US$ 98.44) is the price for the tablets for teachers and the seventh graders, he added.

“Tablets for teachers will come with HDMI slot, stylus pencil, and up to 8-GB SD card slot”, he said. According to Navamavadhana, this year the purchase will be via e-auction with specification being re-announced. “This is different from the last year’s purchase that the MICT identified the specification before giving to the winning factory to produce and supply the entire lot directly”.

The e-auction is expected to be proceed on April 29, and the contract will be signed by May 10. The delivery of the tablets will be within 90 days of the signing date of the contract.

Meanwhile, the survey on the user satisfaction of the OTPC project showed that the first grade students—who were given free tablets for education in 2012— in the North were 100% satisfied, while students from the North East showed 90% satisfaction on the device.



Further details

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:27:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson has provided the network infrastructure and services to bring voice and data communications to the Millennium Village Project (MVP) in Koraro located in a remote part of northern Ethiopia. With access to 3G connectivity more than 4,000 students and their teachers at two schools involved in the Connect To Learn initiative will now have access to modern learning and teaching resources through Ericsson's cloud-computing solution. In addition, community health workers in the Millennium Villages will be using mobile phones provided by Sony Mobile and broadband access provided by Ericsson to deliver life-saving health care services directly to households to collect health information for improved monitoring.

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President and Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson says: "Education is key to ending poverty and ensuring a better life for people. ICT can play a vital role in providing access to quality classroom resources for both teacher and student, and fostering social awareness and global understanding which has become a necessity nowadays in secondary education.

"Many of the residents in this area rely on the community clinic for health care, with otherwise little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care. Connecting the health clinic in Koraro is one part of a new joint continent-wide campaign that aims to train, equip and deploy one million community health workers throughout rural sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people", Weidman-Grunewald continues.

The deployment of Ericsson's cloud computing solution in Connect To Learn at Koraro, Masho Secondary School and Megab Secondary School, includes netbooks and wireless terminals that enable both students and teachers to access educational resources on the Internet, along with basic ICT skills training for teachers.
In Koraro, community health workers use the Open MRS (medical record system) and a smartphone-based health-data management system to collect information and report on malaria and other diseases, the number of births, and the incidence of malnutrition and the health status of pregnant women during household visits. Many of these residents would otherwise have little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care services.

In all, Ericsson has provided connectivity to Millennium Villages in 11 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania Uganda and Liberia.

(Source: Ericsson)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:19:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This is a national government initiative aimed to reduce the social, digital and education gap, and provide equipment, technology resources and pedagogical inclusion of ICT to primary schools.

The proposal provides the distribution of mobile digital classrooms from Digital Primary line: this involves equipment but also the development of a multimedia environment in line with the proposals and level targets.

Access the multimedia environment here and the general introductory handbook in pdf. here.

The system is designed to allow teachers and students to download content from the server, recharge laptops, interact with the whiteboard and work on an intranet (internal network). The environment offers a number of activities with specific pedagogical approaches, content and resources in each of the netbooks and the server. No internet connection is required for appropriation. In the case of having connection, the proposal can be enriched and deepened from the contributions of teachers.
The media environment was developed as considering the potential of technologies to accompany the processes of teaching and learning level. It is proposed as a space where students and teachers can act and interact, build together a collaborative and creative territory itself.

In its first phase, this national program plans to reach with digital classrooms at 200 schools.

With funding from the IDB, through PROMEDU (Support Program Policy on Improving Equity in Education), 1516 mobile digital classrooms will be delivered in 2013 to schools that joined the program in 2010 and which had not received equipment.

Also, this program will provide training for 3800 primary schools covered by the Program, from May 2013, for an average of eight teachers per institution.

(Source: educ.ar)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:45:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2013
According to the Ministry of Education of Peru (Minedu), 51% of students in second grade cannot solve mathematics problems at thier grade level chords. To cope with this situation, the Minedu drives strategic alliances with private companies that use the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool to encourage improvements in the quality of education.

Through the portal Peru Educa, a virtual platform of distribution content, educational applications and services has been serving the schools and the education community. This is an innovative space for strengthening students learning and do not left anyone behind.
One of its main allies of Peru Educa is Telefonica Foundation (FundaciónTelefónica), with its portal Educared, a useful and free virtual platform, which in a fun and interactive way, test the knowledge of children in different courses. This space contains a number of own educational resources and external initiatives of professors and specialists from different countries.

Within Educared there are spaces which are designed to supplement mathematics, among which are:
1. - Mathematics for children: space with available games with exercises of comparing natural numbers, using symbols as "greater than", "less than" and "equal to". It also offers dynamic exercises as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with a difficulty levels to practice further.
Link: http://math.cilenia.com

2. - Strengthening Mathematics: is a intended tool for students in fifth and sixth grade. On this website you can find colorful applications for mental calculation, multiply and divide both integers and decimals, fractions, make transformations of different measurements and more. However, children can find many other courses of their interest.


(Source: La Primera News Paper)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:02:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013
Program organizers launch 'Project 24', which gives districts a customized digital learning plan; a Massive Open Online Course for educators to learn about ed tech; and more.
With an overwhelming 25,000 educators participating in Digital Learning Day on Feb. 6, ed-tech supporters used technology-based projects, lessons, and enthusiasm to mark what they called a perfect time to launch a national digital learning campaign.

“Every day should be Digital Learning Day,” said Karen Cator, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. “Access to technology has become as important to learning as access to a library, yet teachers remain the critical link between students and the content”. Cator said teachers are setting expectations for multiple “revision cycles” of student productions, made possible with “professional tools for writing, composing music, creating video documentaries, and design”.

“They are learning along with their students and modeling good questioning and internet research strategies, assigning more complex and challenging projects, and facilitating communication and collaboration even across borders”, she said.

“The president and I are convinced that with technology, we have an extraordinary opportunity to expand educational excellence and equity, and personalize the experience for students”, said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who attended Digital Learning Day in Washington, D.C.

Further details

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:45:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, held yesterday (05 February ) in over 70 countries worldwide, the ICT Ministry launched six television commercials as part of the outreach strategy of responsible and safe use of the Internet in Colombia.

Lola, Abelardo and  Elmo from Sesame Street are some of the stars of the commercials that launched MinTIC through “En TIC Confío”(I trust in ICT) strategy, which seeks to counter the risks in the network.

These promotions were conducted in partnership with Sesame Workshop and Channel Tr3ce. They are designed to raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities of Internet safety, so children do not fall into bad habits and be attacked.

The commercials are presented under the brand 'Monsters in Red' and initially launched four conferences:

1. When you want to chat online
2. Put down the video games and go out and play
3. With Internet there is no distances
4. What precautions do you take to surf on the web?

Similarly, “En TIC confío” advances the following campaigns "Ciberpapaya and Cibercuidado", directed to a larger population, which seeks to exemplify overconfidence, exposure and overexposure that youth and adults have in Internet use.
"We are convinced that Internet is not bad, bad is the use that we can give them, so in MinTIC we constant work in developing content that alert and prevent the dangers and risks in the network", said the Deputy of ICT of Colombia.

(Source: MINTIC Colombia)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:36:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2013
The 10th annual Safer Internet Day -which took place on 5 February 2013 – focused this year’s theme on Online Rights and Responsibilities.

In recognition of Safer Internet Day 2013, ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré spoke of the fundamental role that ICTs have facilitated in driving social and economic progress, as well as opening new frontiers and opportunities for young people to cultivate their inherent creativity, innovation and dynamism in a digital environment.
The Secretary-General also talked passionately about the dramatic changes associated with the proliferation of ICTs, which also potentially brings with it new threats and risks to the safety and security of children – who are the most vulnerable members of society.

Moreover, the President of Costa Rica, H.E. Laura Chinchilla and Child Online Protection (COP) Patron, during her video message, highlighted Costa Rica’s efforts in implementing COP, through the appointment of a National Commission on Cybersecurity.

Under her commitment, Costa Rica has been working hard – jointly with ITU – to create and develop a national model to promote online protection involving not only government, but private sector partners, NGOs, schools, parents and abroad cross section of stakeholders – across Costa Rica.
In addition, Miss Deborah Taylor Tate – ITU COP Special Envoy – also highlighted how COP is empowering children on how to navigate safely and with respect from one and other to achieve their own dreams.

COP aims at building an international security framework for children and young people in relation to online protection and creates an excellent platform, where working together, relevant stakeholders can ensure a harmonized and comprehensive approach and best practices related to online protection of young people.

Finally in September 2013, ITU – under the patronage of H.E. Laura Chinchilla – will be organizing the Global Youth Summit, which will be hosted in Costa Rica.

The Global Youth Summit will provide a global platform to bring youth together to join forces and create solutions for social good, enabled through widespread access to ICTs. This will be a unique occasion for youth to advocate their online rights and demonstrate how ICTs are empowering them to fulfill their own dreams and careers.
Watch the video messages here

(Source: ITU)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:54:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As part of the ITU's Girls in ICT project & Tech Needs Girls campaign, Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN brings Technovation Challenge to Nigeria. The Mobile App Challenge was opened on Monday for secondary school girls (ages 13-18) who would work in teams of 5s to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor/role model from the technology industry. WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams from now till April on how to build the apps. The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market.

The goal of the program is to promote women in technology by inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.
Over this period girls will be trained 2 hours a week to develop a potential solution to a problem and program a mobile phone application to solve it. The app must solve a problem in their local community. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of a resource. They will learn how to study their competition, identify ways in which they can gather users and earn revenue. Each team will be guided by a teacher from their school and a female mentor from the high tech industry to support and act as a role model for her team.

The winning team will be celebrated in Nigeria on April 25th(Girls in ICT Day) and will travel to the Silicon Valley California to compete globally on May 1st, 2013. The overall winner will receive $ 10,000 in funding and support to complete their app development and release it on the market.

In the end, Girls learn about collaboration and teamwork, important skills in the technology industry.

To sign up- all you need is a team of 5 girls, a computer, an android phone, and a teacher or adult to support the team.
On February 2nd, Mrs Martha Omoekpen Alade, Chairperson of Women in Technology in Nigeria formally welcomed all teams in Lagos on the “hackday” to brainstorm on starting off.



(Source: WTIN)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:45:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 31, 2013
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams said she hoped that this initiative will enhance learner education and help make their lives and their community better.

“In our efforts to provide broadband connectivity to unconnected schools, the department has partnered with Vodacom because we believe that well-resourced and equipped learners will perform better and will improve the matric pass rate. Such partnerships are critical if we are to offer quality education to our learners and to schools, particularly those that have previously not been exposed to such learning opportunities.

“We are delighted to be handing over the computers as it is part of our schools connectivity initiative. We are committed to connecting schools nationwide through both public and private partnerships”, said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Vodacom’s Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs, Maya Makanjee, said the centre was not only expected to improve learner pass rates, but also ensure that learners have had some exposure to ICTs by the time they reach tertiary level.

School Principal Nombuyiselo Boya said she was humbled by the donation.

“Our school had no computers. We are humbled to be recipients of the mobile computer centre specifically for our learners. This will expose our learners to the internet and will also help improve the quality of education we offer our learners”, she said.

(Source: UNPAN)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Lesson personalization, interactivity can improve student engagement and social skills.

Ed-tech advocates are discovering the numerous benefits that mobile devices, including iPads, can have for students. But a growing number of special-education teachers are finding that iPads can have a positive effect on their students with autism in particular.

Students with autism often have trouble communicating and might struggle with transitions, such as changing classes, getting on a school bus, or taking a field trip. A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last April indicated that one out of every 88 children is believed to have autism or fall somewhere on the autism spectrum.
Karina Barley, an Australian special-education teacher who runs Project Autism Australia, uses iPads with her students on the autism spectrum. Handheld devices such as the iPad offer students with autism the chance to personalize their learning while moving at their own pace, and the larger screen (when compared to a smart phone) makes it easy for them to manipulate various apps.

“They have fantastic implications”, Barley said. “One of the greatest things about them is that you can use iPads across lots of curriculum areas. I saw significant improvements in my kids within the first term”.

Barley uses iPads to teach math and English/language arts (ELA), and for customized learning programs based on each student’s individual needs. While some of her students with autism traditionally struggle with concentration, Barley said introducing the iPads caused a marked change.

(Source: eSchool News)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:00:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013
The 8th eLearning Africa conference will be held from May 29th to 31st at the Safari Conference Centre, Windhoek, Namibia. The key networking event for developing eLearning capacities in Africa, eLearning Africa 2013 will be hosted by Namibia's Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of ICT.
eLearning Africa 2013 will focus on tradition, change and innovation, and the call for proposals is now open.

New technologies combined with a pioneering spirit to improve lives are already changing the way we learn, work, and play. How are African youth shaping their identities and navigating different learning spaces with these technologies? Are new technologies fundamentally disruptive to tradition or do they open up space for the digitization of tradition? How is innovation in Africa shaping the Continent's learning landscape?

These are some of the key questions that will guide our conversations at eLearning Africa 2013; let us know what you think! We encourage all practitioners, experts and academics engaged in an African context to submit a proposal and be a part of Africa's largest annual conference on ICT for development, education and training. For more information on this year's themes, deadline and how to submit a proposal, please click here.

eLearning Africa at a glance
•    The key networking event for ICT-enhanced education and training in Africa
•    A must for those who want to develop multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships, as well as enhance their knowledge, expertise and abilities
•    The hub for first-hand information and real-life examples of how ICT advances the cause of education for all in Africa
•    Over 1,500 decision makers and practitioners from the education, business and government sectors, with 80% coming from Africa
•    Accompanied by an extensive exhibition and demonstration area.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:02:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
'Welcome to the project', so reads the foreword particularly literary lesson taught by Professor Sergio Tejero to 2nd grade students at ESO (Ekialdea institute). Chapter One: desks, whiteboard and laptop ready and connected to condense into 140 characters the passage 'which looks at the condition of the famous knight Don Quixote de La Mancha', as published Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Not surprisingly, the word 'post' in its infinitive tense, it becomes 'Trending Topic' in this computerized classroom.

The technology of this teaching academic method, which has attracted literary passion among his pupils, seeks to promote the reading and the language of Cervantes. "Each student is assigned a chapter to be summarized in a 'tweet', of not more than 140 characters text. Once finished, I correct it and then publish it live @ElQuijoTweet", explains Tejero.

More than 1,200 fans support this initiative. Julen, Irati, Jon, Jokin and other students have appreciated the story of Alonso Quijano.
"At first it seemed difficult, especially for the number of pages in the book -862 -. But now I find it amusing", Irune Valluerca perceived. The heavy old Castilian vocabulary has not been an impediment to their peers Joseba and Iñigo, boasting outstanding language. If you read Don Quixote at home, it could be not so much interesting. But one chapter to another is more entertaining", realize both students, reading lovers in its aspects of "adventure novel".

For their teacher Sergio, who has an experience of 12 years as a radio journalist, the motivation "is key" in teaching. Given the catastrophic connotations raised by the explosive mix of teens and social networks, Tejero commitment to seek "real value" of these tools. And the strict limitation governing on the Twitter text (no more than 140 characters), which is ideal for "summarize teaching" is not a trivial matter in academic development.

"Students who do not how to summarize, do not know how to study" he says. They are unable to absorb a lesson because they fail to understand: "They have difficulty making schemes". But thanks to the social network of the blue bird- dreaded from parent associations and schools directors", the students learn to search keywords and composing sentences". In short: make a good synopsis. "That helps them improve not only in language but in all subjects: science, history, etc".

As "the second most printed book in the world after the Bible", Don Quixote is the "universal classic" that every Castilian speaker should be conceived as "masterpiece" of Spanish literature. "Force them to read is not the solution. My goal is that they understand it, that they know the story, who was Cervantes, why the book is divided into two parts, everything that surrounds the Quixote de Avellaneda, etcetera". Undoubtedly, the method has permeated.

(Source: El Correo Newspaper)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:51:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is launching a new initiative that seeks to raise public awareness of the high school dropout crisis in Latin America and generate solutions to keep more young people in school. By presenting the latest dropout research and data in engaging platforms such as social media, film, and interactive online forums, GRADUATE XXI aims to involve Latin Americans from all walks of life in efforts to improve education systems and increase the number of high school graduates across the region.

In recent years, access to education has improved significantly in Latin America. Primary education is virtually universal throughout the region. However, nearly half of the students in Latin America do not finish secondary school. Gaps in access to education persist among socioeconomic and ethnic groups, as well as between urban and rural communities. Indigenous youth, the poor, students with disabilities and youth who live in rural areas are disproportionately represented in dropout rates throughout Latin America.

The IDB is working in partnership with Latin American governments to close these gaps in access, as well as to improve the quality of secondary education. According to household surveys from Latin America, most students between the ages of 13 and 15 who are not in school list “lack of interest”—above economic, access or family problems—as their primary reason for dropping out. GRADUATE XXI seeks to further research, analysis, and public discussion on the underlying causes of high school dropout.

In addition to videos, blogs, educational materials, and the most recent dropout data, GRADUATE XXI will host a series of ten online contests. Each contest will culminate in the announcement of a winning idea and the screening of a short film on the contest topic. The first online contest, launched on December 10, centers on barriers faced by students with disabilities and solicits ideas to make education more inclusive and accessible.

Argentine director Pablo Fendrik and Colombian director Carlos Gaviria will lend their story-telling talents to GRADUATE XXI in the upcoming contests. Fendrik’s short film will discuss barriers to accessing education in rural areas of Latin America. The impact of conflict on graduation rates will be the subject of Gaviria’s short film. The other participating Latin American directors will gradually be revealed over the course of the contest series.

Chenillo, who filmed a short documentary about deaf students in Mexico City for GRADUATE XXI, said, “I am proud to be associated with this project because educating the next generation is the single most important investment that Mexico, or any country, can make in its future. There is no future for a region in which half the population does not have a high school education. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all of our youth have equal access to quality education. The need for action is urgent and I think GRADUATE XXI will inspire more Latin Americans to get involved”.

Further details

Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:44:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 18, 2013
An ambitious election campaign promise realized as a government mega project, Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child Policy (OTPC) is a crucial milestone in the country’s education reform. It has the aim of empowering young students with latest pedagogy and learning experience regardless of location, distance, and socio-economic standing.
A total of THB 3 billion (US$ 96 million) were spent on the world’s largest order—nearly 900,000 tablet PCs for education, from which the government has successfully placed 868,886 in the hands of first grade students countrywide.

“We are the pioneers in ordering a large number of tablets and handing them out to elementary students”, says Gp Capt Navamavadhana, Advisor to the ICT Minister in Thailand.

Navamavadhana was involved in all elements of the OTPC process. He is a committee member and Assistant Secretary to the OTPC Policy Commission, a chairman of Technical Sub-committee purchasing the tablets, and a technical advisor to the Tablet Inspection and Reception Commission.
The OTPC project is collaboration between the Education Ministry (MOE) and ICT Ministry (MICT) in which the former is responsible for the project’s implementation and the later for the purchase of devices, and software integration.

Navamavadhana headed his team’s visit to China to carefully inspect, compare and select appropriate devices. Finally, the MICT decided to spend THB 2460 (US$82) per device, each of which features Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, 1GB RAM, 1.2 GHz single core CPUs, and storage capacity of 8GB. The MICT was given from February until early November this year to complete market research, purchase, software development, and distribution of all the tablets including an additional 55,000 tablets with different specifications for teachers.

Although the purchase was completed and the devices have been securely delivered to students, Navamavadhana cannot sit back and feel relief. For him, this is merely a small step towards reforming the country’s education system.

To further expand the OTPC project to successfully reform Thai education, the government has in mind the idea of giving tablets with different specifications to students from different grades.

Future details

Friday, January 18, 2013 2:10:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2013
Radio broadcasting is a powerful tool that enables communication to many isolated rural villages and towns in developing countries. For many of these rural communities, radio broadcasts are often the only effective way to solicit important information to a large audience.

Most recently in Uganda, community operated educational programmes are being broadcast to remote localities in an effort to reach students that have limited access to educational resources.

Since its establishment in 2003, Nakaseke community radio has served as a forum and knowledge portal for poor rural communities in Nakaseke, a newly created district located 75km north of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Nakaseke radio operates in the Nakaseke Community Multimedia Centre (CMC), and is part of a piloted series of Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCT) established by the African Information Society Initiatives to test and assess the impact and viability of MCT’s in rural Africa.

Education is one the station’s main programme foci and recently Nakaseke Community radio, together with primary teachers from government and private schools, started a special programme called The Radio Quiz Competition as a challenge to students to perform better and hopefully raise the low literacy levels and poor academic performance of students in the impoverished district.

The programme targets all schools in the district, which has a total of 95 primary schools (both government and private), and 13,401 pupils, with a 1:75 teacher – pupil ratio.

These schools are scattered in different localities, thus making transport to the radio station difficult and unfortunately limiting participation, but the radio broadcast bridges the geographical gap and helps educate the students who are unable to compete.

Radio Quiz Competition runs live every Sunday over the community radio. Three schools are hosted, with each school represented by two pupils in a live question and answer session that is conducted by a panel of teachers from local schools. These teachers set the questions and also provide answers and explanations if the students are incorrect – for the benefit of listeners.

Winning schools are often awarded prizes, mostly scholastic materials, donated by the radio programme’s listeners (parents), NGOs/CBOs and some local leaders. The successful school advances to the next round and this process continues up to the final stage.

Further details

(Source: eLearning Africa)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:11:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Meograph helps easily create, watch, and share interactive stories. Their first product combines maps, timeline, links, and multimedia to tell stories in context of where and when it happened.

The website is structured into a few simple prompts on an intuitive interface. Viewers get a new form of media that they can watch in two minutes or explore for an hour. Sharing is easy: the two most viral types of media are videos and infographics, Meograph is using both types.

Educators around the world are using this free website to create more interactive lesson materials, to “flip” their classroom—or to have students create their own projects.

Authoring what the site calls “four-dimensional stories” occurs via a few simple prompts on an intuitive interface, and users can share their creations online and via social media when they’re finished.Access to Meograph website here: http://www.meograph.com/educationexamples

(Source: eSchool News)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:30:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Promoting universal access to digital technologies for all children everywhere, while protecting them from the dangers present in cyberspace, is one of the key challenges of modern times.

As parents and educators, political leaders and responsible adults, we want children to navigate the oceans of information and knowledge, protected by appropriate legislation, by preventive monitoring tools, and by education based on sound values and personal responsibility.

The need to improve online safety for the world’s children is one area about which there is no doubt. Hence, the new phase of concrete activities, which ITU announced for the global Child Online Protection initiative in November 2010 in San José, Costa Rica, aims to identify the risks of cyberspace for the world’s children, improve awareness of them, facilitate exchanges of experience, and design effective protection tools.

In Costa Rica, a solid coalition has been created of governmental agencies, private companies and civil society bodies with experience of child protection. In that context, the National Online Security Commission has been set up to coordinate efforts pertaining to child protection and the Government’s Digital Agenda.

This has led, as part of the Digital Agenda, to the setting up of the National Online Security Programme, under the leadership of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The programme is geared towards prevention, emphasizing the development of institutional and social capacity, and safe empowerment of citizens. Many teachers, students and parents have been given training on online safety and responsible Internet use.

To complement these preventive measures, work is going ahead on a draft law amending the Penal Code with a view to protecting children from violence and abuse involving information and communication technologies.

Costa Rica has set a target of universal access to digital technologies for all students in the country, and the process will also involve efforts to promote their safety and protection online. In these areas, prompt action is needed.

(Source: ITU News Magazine)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 4:25:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ICRW conducted an assessment of the Intel Learn program, an education initiative that provides technology education to youth around the world, in order to understand its impact on female learners. ICRW found that Intel Learn has been able to reach large numbers of girls and women and enhance their technology skills, critical thinking, and self-confidence, improving their effectiveness as students, community members, and businesswomen.

The program equips learners with skills in digital literacy, collaboration, creativity, and critical problem solving. Intel Learn increases students’ access to technology and also teaches them how to use the technology through hands-on projects to address real-life problems. The program has been implemented in sixteen countries and has reached more than 1.75 million youth. It does not focus on any particular population of students, but rather has a goal of reaching all groups equally poor and rich, males and females, urban and rural, and ethnic minority and majority groups. Approximately half of Intel Learn’s program participants are female.

Growing evidence demonstrates that educating girls enhances the health, productivity, and development of communities and nations. ICRW’s assessment found that the strategies and components of the Intel Learn program have successfully targeted girls’ needs and interests, provided girls and women with necessary skills and resources, empowered them to have control over their resources and make decisions, and set them on a path for economic empowerment. Thus, the program offers important lessons on how to enrich the lives of girls and women through technology education.

Access to the report: The Intel Learn Program Through a Gender Lens

(Source: ICRW)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:58:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Two government secondary schools in Bangkok have piloted a Future Classroom Project to encourage the students to enhance the latest innovative technologies as learning tools and preparing for the government’s roll out of free tablet pc for the seventh graders in2013.

Taweethapisek School and Wat Rachathiwas School, in collaboration with the Office of the Basic Education Commission and Intel Corp, are working on a trial project for grade seven classrooms on adopting education IT solution as part of supporting the government’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) policy.

The Future Classroom model is an education IT solution tailored for one-to-one e-learning in classrooms starting on the first of December 2012.

Under this pilot project, ICT infrastructure including content distribution network, firewall, content catching and classroom management is supported by Intel together with its Learning Series 1-to-1 e-lLearning Professional Development Programme to train teachers using Intel Teach. This is to address the challenges of internet connectivity and content accessibility at the two schools.

E-Learning hardware such as 10 units of 10-inch screen tablets have been provide to Wat Rachathiwas School’s standard one class and a class of autistic students, and Taweethapisek School’s standard one class during the pilot period between December 2013 and January 2013. The evaluation of the outcome will be in February.

The tablets are equipped with classroom management software programme, which allows teachers to monitor on the devices used during the class.

Using the content distribution solution, a team of pedagogical experts select and create appropriate content. The content gets automatically pushed from a central server to the server appliance, which is located at each school. There the content is accessible to the students and teacher via the local area Wi-Fi network, which is fast and reliable regardless of the school Internetconnection.

The server appliance also provides firewall protection, caching, and other networking services that every school requires. With one-time configuration, the server appliance requires no further support to maintain its performance, and is even remotely accessible should a problem arise.

Students can access learning content from the Office of the Basic Education Commission and Intel’s provided content from Skoool, Wikipedia, and Khan Academy through the server appliance of the school.

(Source: FutureGov)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:38:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
WTSA-12 affirms commitment to an inclusive Information Society

ITU’s membership has adopted a Resolution inviting ITU Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

Meeting at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, ITU members revised and adopted a Resolution first agreed at 2008’s WTSA in Johannesburg: Resolution 69, Non-discriminatory access and use of Internet resources.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Just days away from the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), the adoption of this Resolution underlines ITU’s commitment to a free and inclusive information society. This should send a strong message to the international community about accusations that ITU’s membership wishes to restrict the freedom of speech. Clearly the opposite is true. It is in this spirit – fostering an Internet whose benefits are open to all – that I would like to head into WCIT-12”.

Noting the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms and that discrimination regarding access to the Internet could greatly affect developing countries; Resolution 69 invites affected ITU Member States to report to ITU, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

ITU’s work, along with many others, has played a key role in enabling the Internet. Without ITU standards providing the access technologies to homes and businesses and the transport mechanisms to carry information from one side of the world to another the broadband services that we have come to rely on would simply not work.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:45:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNICEF Philippines, in cooperation with Globe Telecommunications, embarked on an initiative which aims to leverage the use of Information and Communication Technologies to achieve better health outcomes among women and children in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the country’s provinces and municipalities.

The initiative is dubbed as rCHITS which stands for ‘Real-time Monitoring of Key Maternal and Child Health Indicators through the use of the Community Health Information Tracking System’. It is a computerization project aimed at achieving a more effective and efficient system of managing health information on children and women living in disadvantaged areas. Globe Telecom donated Php one million (USD 24,000) as support to UNICEF’s programme.

According to Tomoo Hozumi, Country Representative of UNICEF Philippines, the donated money will go towards expanding the rCHITS program to reach more provinces in the coming year.

“Through this program, we are able to gather and consolidate real-time data on mother and child health indicators and help the local government make informed and well-planned decisions on health issues in their provinces”, said Hozumi.

He added that the project was originally conceived as a tool in support of community based injury prevention, but evolved to what is known today as rCHITS through the collaborative efforts of the University of the Philippines National Telehealth Center, UNICEF and Globe.

The multi-stakeholder cooperation moved towards developing a system specifically designed to monitor and obtain key maternal and child health indicators in selected municipalities towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals four and five, which is reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:08:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 23, 2012
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary, Dinky Soliman, citizens can take part by indicating the location or name of the street, time when they found the homeless child together with other relevant details such as nearby landmarks and tagging it to DSWD’s designated Twitter account @savestreetkids.

Information submitted to the DSWD will then be relayed to the agency’s “reach-out team” for immediate action. In addition, the agency will also be updating the status of each reported incident by indicating the location of the “reception action centre” where the homeless child is temporarily sheltered.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is seeking to engage the public, via the popular microblogging site called Twitter, to help save the lives of homeless children in the streets of Metro Manila.

(Source: FutureGov)


Friday, November 23, 2012 11:52:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Library’s maternal health SMS service reaches over 90 women

Northern Regional Library’s Technology for Maternal Health Project has got off to a flying start: 94 pregnant women are now receiving vital health information sent directly to their mobile phones; the library’s health corner has been formally launched, and 10 health workers have been trained to use computers to conduct research.

Northern Regional Library in Tamale is working in partnership with the local development agency Savana Signatures to implement the maternal health service. Savana Signatures provides technical support for the SMS service, helped install the library Health Corner and provides information and communication technology (ICT) training for health workers.

The library’s new Health Corner has five computers where health workers and members of the public have free access to the internet. The library reports that health workers especially are using the computers to seek information for lectures and presentations they conduct at antenatal clinics in Tamale and rural areas.

Each computer has been installed with content provided by international agencies, including Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA); Medical Aid Films, and the Ghana health service. All content for the Heath Corner and the SMS service is carefully checked by a committee of local health workers to insure that it is accurate and locally relevant.

In addition to providing free access to computers, the library’s Health Corner is a training centre where Savana Signatures provides essential ICT training for health workers, to improve their research and communication skills. Ten health workers have received training, and another ten are to be trained in October.

The library Health Corner was officially commissioned by the Deputy Northern Regional Minister and the Northern Regional Health Director of the Ghana Health Service. It is attracting intense interest, and other health service providers, for example, the Tamale Teaching Hospital, are approaching the library with requests for information in different formats – film, audio and text – and for their maternal health education programmes.

(Source: EIFL – Ghana)


Friday, November 23, 2012 11:46:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Leveraging the power of ICT to help improve the quality of education for students through access to teaching and learning resources has become a useful tool within an increasingly networked society.

Technology improves educational opportunities by enabling personalized study. It also enhances the potential for learning through community-based education and access to educational resources, even in remote rural schools.

Connect To Learn was launched in 2010 as a collaborative effort between the Earth Institute providing advice on development, education, and evaluation; Ericsson as lead technology partner; and Millennium Promise, a non-profit organization.

Building on the expertise of each partner, Connect To Learn identifies strategies to integrate teacher professional development with 21st century ICT-based teaching, tools and practices in classrooms.

Connect To Learn also combines a cloud-based ICT solution developed by Ericsson for schools with the on-the-ground experience of partner NGOs. It aims to remove ICT support tasks from teachers and provides them with technology that is simpler to manage, so teachers can focus on improving the quality of education.

The solution is provided as a service, and is designed for users with little or no IT competence.

Improved access, energy efficiency and reduced costs are possible because users do not have to worry about virus protection, software updates and content-control capabilities for safe Internet browsing, application installation or maintenance. All tasks which are managed in the cloud.

Connect To Learn partners recognize the transformational role that broadband and other ICT solutions can play in scaling up access to quality education through innovative programs such as this one.

(Source: ICT4U)


Friday, November 23, 2012 11:35:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 16, 2012
In a bid to help expose Ghanaian female students to the world of technology and new opportunities, the government of Ghana has established an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) club for Tamale Girls Senior High School.

This novelty club is expected to be replicated across the length and breadth of the country, according to the Ghana's Ministry of Education.
Member of the Female ICT Teachers Association of the Ghana Education Service, Barikisu Seidu added that the "club is to stimulate the interest of the students in ICT learning and application to improve the number of females participating in ICT, which has become the source of opportunities".

Seidu said women were the bedrock of the society arguing that women would always be in a better position to impart the ICT knowledge onto their children as opposed to men.

"The ICT could enhance girls' chances of acquiring jobs as well as exploring other vital opportunities", Seidu said.

The director of Savana Signatures, Stephen Agbenyo urged the students to make good use of the opportunities offered by the club.

He noted that the new club would teach the female students about website development, blogging, internet researching, and other use of ICT tools for teaching and learning.

(Source: Biz Community)

Friday, November 16, 2012 1:18:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 09, 2012

The Chilean website PSU Educarchile, which helps students to prepare the entrance examination to college, was the only Latin American project awarded (September 27) with one of the six WISE Awards 2012, presented annually by the Qatar Foundation for distinguish innovation in education.

PSU Educarchile is a free and interactive online platform which allows students from last years of secondary education prepare to the University Selection Test (PSU), an examination of language, math, science and social science prerequisite to enter the Chilean universities.

While schools prepare their students for this exam, those who can pay in pre-university parallel courses tend to receive better training and achieve higher scores on admission.

The platform - which works with publicly, private and philanthropic funded -is an alternative to these paid centers, because it allows testing using tools including a website with more than 57 000 test questions, exam podcasts with content and messages text to cell phones. It also offers support through Facebook and Twitter.

The site receives 120,000 visits a month across the country. The 60 percent of all users come from public schools, ie, students with not so much economical resources and who has difficulties to pay Preuniversitario or private tutoring.

"This is an innovative solution that aims directly at reducing inequity gaps due to the distance and social vulnerability, or generated by the inability of many students to attend classes for specific situations such as the 2010 earthquake or shots year colleges past, said the director of EducarChile portal.

(Source: SciDev Net)

Friday, November 09, 2012 12:32:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Indonesia’s capital city will be distributing an estimated 3000 “smart cards” to underprivileged students on 5 November 2012, as part of new Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s campaign promise to make sure no child is unable to go to school because of school expenses.

According to Jakarta Education Agency Chief Taufik Yudi Mulyanto, the “smart card” works like an ATM card where students would have to enter their PIN so they can withdraw money to cover their personal expenses. As part of the program, 10,766 senior high school and vocational school students will each receive Rp 240,000 (US$24) per month for one year to cover school related expenses such as transportation, food, clothing, textbooks and other school materials.

Taufik added that the city administration is currently conducting a survey in five municipalities to identify the recipients of the “smart cards” and to formulate an effective distribution mechanism in those areas once the program is extended to cover students in both elementary and junior high school by 2013.

On other hand, the authorities of the city are also planning to distribute health cards to poor citizens, so they can get medical attention at local community health care centres and as well as third-class service at public and private hospitals in Jakarta without fees of an expensive medical bill.

(Source: FutureGov)

Friday, November 09, 2012 12:28:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Learn and assess the global progress in the application of ICTs, as well as identify relevant experiences, based on their innovation and educational impact, were the targets of the seminar "Educational use of Information and Communication Technologies" organized by Fundación Universidades Castilla y León, Santillana and Fundación Telefónica, and hosted by the headquarters of the Department of Education of the Regional Government of Castilla y León, in Valladolid.

Juan José Mateos, Minister of Education of Castilla y León, delivered the opening speech of the seminar, entitled "Situation and Review of the use of ICTs in the Education System of Castilla y León". He was followed by Mariano Jabonero, director of Institutional Relations of Santillana, who offered some data on the use of ICTs worldwide, and Joan Cruz, Director of Fundación Telefónica and “Escuelas Amigas” (Friendly Schools) project, focused on the status of digital implementation in Spain.

Also Mr. Cruz reflected on Fundación Telefónica's commitment to facilitating access to knowledge, improving educational quality, and promoting experimentation in the field of ICTs as the basis for the new education of the 21st century. He also remarked on Fundación Telefónica's “Escuelas Amigas” project, which seeks to strengthen ties and foster cultural exchange between students in Spain and Latin America over the Internet, where students, teachers and Telefónica volunteers - who act as catalysts of the activities - play the leading roles.

The fundamental premise of “Escuelas Amigas” initiative is the use of ICTs in learning processes, as an element that helps to tear down geographical and cultural barriers. As for today (with the 3rd Edition of the project concluded) 13 Latin American countries and Spain and some 280 schools, have taken part in the initiative, benefiting almost 11,000 children with the support of nearly 330 volunteers.

(Source: Fundación Telefónica)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:03:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) initiated a Smart Classroom Project to test the efficiency of tablet PCs with different operating systems in teaching and learning at four pilot schools in the capital.

“This program is aimed at testing the effectiveness of tablet-PCs as learning devices in the classroom”, said Bangkok Deputy Governor Taya Teepsuwan.

The program is as part of the BMA’s strategic plan to enhance ICT management for education. The fourth-grade classes in four different schools across Bangkok are involved in this pilot project. The supplied tablets were equipped with four different operating systems and were given to each of the four schools.

They are Android for the Prachaniwet School, Window 7 for the Rittiyawannalai School, iOS for the Wat Pathumwanaram School, and Window 8 for the Na Luang School. Na Luang School is the first school in the world to pilot the Window 8-based tablets, which is scheduled to be officially released by the last week of October.

Department of Education and the BMA is now hiring King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi to evaluate the four schools’ results after using the tablets to expand the project in the future, according to her. She also said that the evaluation result will come out by the end of this year and the BMA will consider whether to continue the trial or expand the Smart Classroom project.

“Technologies for education are an important thing that we cannot avoid. The challenge is how to apply technologies in education with the most efficiency”, said Taya.

The project is in partnership with Microsoft who donated 43 Window-8-loaded Acer Iconia tablets to Na Luang School. The Window 8 tablets comes with Window 8 apps from the Windows Store, the Microsoft Learning Suite including Microsoft Math and Math Worksheet Generator as well as other edutainment tools like Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft AutoCollage, Window Live Movie Maker, Interactive Classroom and etc.

(Source: FutureGov)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:59:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The administrative staff and teachers of AIC Girls Boarding School in Kajiado, Kenya managed to increase the accuracy of the school’s grades and attendance figures and save time in one go, simply by using digital spreadsheets.

“Here, this used to be our school’s administration”, With a wide grin on their faces, four teachers  of AIC Boarding School, show a huge stack of written paper that contain attendance rates and grades of students. “These papers represent about three days of work for us”, says one of the teachers. She then grabs about ten pieces of paper. “And this is the same information, but then created by using Excel. It’s exactly the same, but this only took us half an hour to make”.

Since June 2012, this boarding school for Maasai girls is using four computers for administrative purposes. With the support of IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change Consortium together with Kenyan partner Dupoto-e-Maa (a Kajiado-based indigenous NGO), all teachers and administrative staff were trained in basic ICT usage and how to use the system, which will help to generate more accurate data about grades and attendance of students.

In the near future, the system will also be used to keep track of payments. Maasai parents are often on the move, but in the beginning of the school year, they come to the school and pay the school fee for their children, which often include boarding fees. Payments records will be kept digitally which makes it easier to see which parents already paid. The system will also help with keeping track of payments in terms, as many parents do not have the full amount at the beginning of the year. If payments are tracked better, this means that the school will increase its income which can then be spent on teaching materials and better facilities for the school.

(Source: IICD)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 4:14:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Primary school teachers and teachers-to-be throughout Ethiopia record their classes on video. They use these videos to evaluate and improve their teaching. Teachers also make use of computers to plan their lessons. “The motivation of my students has increased”.

Teachers of 75 schools throughout Ethiopia and in teacher training colleges are learning how to use computers to plan their lessons more efficiently. Video cameras are used to record their lessons and to evaluate and discuss them with other teachers.

“I learned how to use video in my own classroom to evaluate myself”, says a teacher from Gafat Primary School in North central Ethiopia. “On the latest videos I can see that because of this, my teaching skills have improved. I also learned to use new teaching techniques. In the classroom, my students now do more group work and talk more. I see that their motivation has increased and I already see some improvement in their results”.

This programme is supported by IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium and by Ethiopian partner Development Expertise Centre Ethiopia.

In most of the 75 schools, the video and basic computer programme is up and running and some schools already use a digitalized lesson plan that allows teachers to better organize their lessons and activities. In ten schools, there are still some issues with getting reliable electricity. This will be solved by using solar panels to run the computers and charge the cameras that the teachers use for their teaching learning processes.

So far 324 primary school teachers, school assisting staff and 91 supervisors and principles are already trained in a more student centered teaching approach. In addition to this, 2014 members of school management teams will receive trainings about leadership, supervision, digital human resource management and they learn how to organize various reports digitally. 

(Source: IICD)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:19:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has awarded a contract to implement next-generation solutions for teaching and learning in 1471 schools across 12 districts in the state.

The INR 1.57 billion (US $29.62 million) project will provide computer-aided learning solutions to schools across Himachal Pradesh. The schools involved in the project will acquire digital classrooms equipped with interactive white boards and multimedia content.

618 government senior secondary schools, 848 government high schools and five ‘smart schools’ in the state will be involved in this project. In addition, 7500 teachers will receive training on how to understand and use these technology solutions, and how to facilitate ICT education of their students.

Digital learning solutions are making significant inroads into India. The government of the state of Punjab recently announced the development of 795 new computer labs in government schools across the state.

This initiative was launched as part of Phase V and VI of a centrally-sponsored ICT scheme in Punjab. During the first four phases, the government focused on enhancing ICT education in schools through new classes and curriculum, and training teachers in effective use of ICT tools in teaching.

ICT-enabled schools in Punjab have been given access to power generators and broadband internet connections to facilitate implementation of state-wide school management of information systems (MIS) and geographic information systems (GIS), which are under development.

(Source: FutureGov)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:17:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 12, 2012

To mark the first ever International Day of the Girl Child, ITU members and partners are today joining forces to launch the Tech Needs Girls Prize, a new global technology competition designed to inspire more girls to embrace technology and invent the future.

Our future is being shaped by technology and, with over 95% of all jobs now having a digital component, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is an exciting place to be. Yet, as a global shortage of ICT professionals looms and the uptake of girls and women into ICT-related study declines, research reveals that technology has an image problem. Put simply, too many talented young girls mistakenly consider an ICT career to be boring, geeky, uncreative or a career path that lacks the ‘world-changing’ component many aspire to.

Working in partnership with lead players in the ICT, education and media industries, ITU’s new annual Tech Needs Girls Prize aims to dramatically shift perceptions. The prize targets girls between the ages of 9 to 18 at the very time when they start forming opinions about their place in the world and their choice of career path. ITU and its partners will name and tailor a suite of competitions to different specialist areas, offering girls around the world a variety of options to get involved, gain confidence in their abilities, demonstrate their creativity, explore their ‘inner entrepreneur’ and learn first-hand how ICT can make a real difference.

“Empowering women and girls is a key part of ITU’s mandate of ‘connecting the world’. I am looking forward enormously to seeing the imaginative submissions that will come in from girls right around the world, and hope that this new prize will encourage many of them to consider a future in this most exciting of industries,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General.

The Tech Needs Girls Prize 2013 will be awarded as part of the annual Girls in ICT Day celebrations. ITU is working with leading players including Cisco, Intel Corporation and the G(irls)20 Summit to inspire girls to take the tech challenge. Geena Davis, ITU’s own Special Envoy for Girls and ICT, will also be lending her voice and the important work of her institute to ensure that girls are better equipped to be leaders and creators in the world of technology. Full details of the prize, partners and the competitions will be released over the coming weeks.

The prize forms part of ITU’s Tech Needs Girls campaign, launched at Girls in ICT Day this year, which is leveraging the convening power of ITU to bring players in the ICT, education and media industries together. This global call to action aims to transform the wide-ranging number of programmes and organizational initiatives into a force for movement on the urgent issue of ensuring girls and women play a much more substantive role in the ICT sector and are better empowered to harness technology to transform their lives and their futures.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)


Friday, October 12, 2012 1:59:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Your Excellency Minister Kim Kum-law, Mr. Gil Hwan-Young, Dr. Kim Gwang-jo, Dr Eun Ju kim, Mr. Javad Mottaghi, distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to join you today to deliver my keynote address at the Women with the Wave: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls in this beautiful city of Seoul.

Today I’m going to share with you stories of a few experiences that led me down new paths – paths that were not part of my original plan and the impact they have had on my life and my work toward improving gender equality for girls and women. I’ve appeared onscreen as everything from a pirate captain to the President of the United States, but the first role I ever played was a man.

As little girls back in the 1960s, my best friend and I played-acted brave characters from TV westerns in her backyard. Because I was taller, I would often play the father, and she’d be my son. And, because we were young, we never noticed that there were no female characters we wanted to pretend to be from movies or TV.

I’ve spent most of my adult life advocating for women and girls, and one a small way has been by seeking roles women may appreciate; roles where the female character is in charge of her own destiny.

About eight years ago, I launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm, called “See Jane.”  I did so because I wanted the data on one very specific thing: how many female characters were there in children’s media? You see, when I started watching children’s  programs, videos, and kid’s movies with my then-two-year-old daughter, Alizeh.  I was stunned to see that that there seemed to be far more make characters than female characters in these entertainments aimed at the youngest of children. I checked with my associates and industry leaders –no one seemed to be aware of the serious gender imbalance we’re feeding kids through the images they see.

In fact, the most common response was, “No, no, that’s been fixed”. My Institute sponsored the largest research analyses ever done into the content of movies and chidlren’s television programs in the United States at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, performed by Dr Stacey Smith.

The results were stunning – even though I knew in my heart what they would (303) likely be:  at the dawn of a new millennium – when  half of the global population is female – the message sent to children  is that women and girls do NOT take up half of the space in the world.

Currently, in U.S. family films, for every one female speaking character there are three male characters. In crowd and group scenes, only 17% of the characters are female. 17%! No one- least of all children – is seeing images of boys and girls sharing the sandbox equally. We’d like to assume today that the marginalization and invisibility of female characters, especially in entertainment made specifically for children, would be long gone - a relic of the past.

Unfortunately, the reality is that female marginalization remain deeply entrenched in today’s entertainment, and there has been no significant progress over the last twenty years our research covers. Well, I shouldn’t say no progress: the increase in female characters in family films over the last two decades is 0.7%. By my calculations, if we add female characters at that rate, we will achieve parity in 700 years.

The stark gender inequality in media aimed at children is of significant importance to our discussions on Women and Girls in ICTs, as TV and movies can wield enormous influence on  young children as they are developing a sense of their role in society as well as forming ideas about career choices. Our research shows that females are missing from critical occupational sectors including technology.

We recently completed a recent study on the careers of female characters in popular TV and Film and found that in family films males hold 83.8% of all STEM jobs. This calculates into a ratio of 5 male STEM characters to every one female STEM character. No female protagonists or co leads are shown with STEM careers. Looking across the categories of computer science and engineering, the ratio of males to females in these arenas is 14.25 to one! And in Television, there are 78.9% male and 21.1% female with STEM jobs. What message are boys getting about the worth and importance of girls, if media don’t show girls taking up space equal to their numbers?

Seeing women take their full role will enhance awareness of the benefits for the family and community of women’s empowerment, professional training, and non-traditional career choices.  We know when girls see characters engaging in unstereotyped activities, it can heighten their likelihood to pursue careers in the STEM fields. If boys see girl characters engaged in STEM fields, they will come to see it it as the norm and not the exception. So, what can we do to improve the status of girls and increase their participation in ICTs?

Well, we know what the Asia Broadcasting Union is doing: they are creating initiatives such as the Project on Gender Mainstreaming in Broadcasting which I have learned was implemented in a number of countries in the Asia Pacific  region, the latest one being in the Maldives as a joint ABU-ITU action. May I join with so many others in saluting you for this very important work.

I’m very pleased to be one of the champions of ITU’s recently launched ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign, a global initiative in the area of education that aims to encourage girls to play a much more substantive role in the technology sector, including by promoting women in ICT careers.

The time for change is now, and all of you in this room are powerful agents of change. I’d like to applaud Asian  broadcasters, filmmakers, Internet stakeholders, academics and others to take the lead to change the image of women and girls in ICTs. From Korea’s famous K-dramas to Bollywood musicals, we need the characters that will inspire tomorrow’s tech-centered professionals. 

There is a whole generation of young girls who will be influenced by the images they watch, whether in the movies, online videos, social network sites, video games and beyond.  If they can see it, they can be it! Korean entertainment launched the Korean Wave that has spread across the Asia Pacific region and beyond.  Which  makes Seoul  the perfect venue for launching this Gender Media Forum, Women with the Wave, and I am honored to be here on this auspicious occasion.

I’m convinced that the waves we create at this Forum, will improve both the status of women working in media and ICTs and foster a more just media portrayal of women and girls.

Thank you very much.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 11:44:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 08, 2012

One of the most prominent themes of this week’s General Assembly has been using low-cost mobile technology to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5: drastically lowering child mortality while boosting maternal and reproductive health in developing nations.

Since there could be 50 billion mobile devices with broadband access by 2017, as Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg predicted at the recent Social Good Summit, it’s no wonder that mobile phones are being harnessed in areas that may be remote and resource-limited, but are no longer disconnected from global health solutions. Here’s a look of three nascent initiatives using mobile technology to create a global health impact:

1. Perhaps the most effective means of empowering women in developing nations to make informed health-care decisions is through basic, adaptable messaging. For the past year, USAID, Johnson & Johnson, and the mHealth alliance have developed the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) to connect with over 20 million expectant and new mothers in 35 countries. Using simple mobile technology, MAMA offers vital health information on everything from swaddling to breast-feeding to immunizations.

MAMA has already been effective in South Africa, Indonesia and Bangladesh, where expectant and new mothers now have access (often for the first time) to a global sharing of timely, topical, culturally relevant health information.

2. Medic Mobile transcends the communication and geographic obstacles that all too often limit the efforts of health-care workers in developing nations. As CEO Josh Nesbit told the Social Good Summit audience, Medic Mobile started out by equipping 100 frontline community health workers in Malawi with mobile phones to facilitate essential services for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Nesbit saw the opportunity to offer critical care services in remote areas by harnessing a mobile phone infrastructure that already existed. Considering WHO’s assessment that half of all maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and that there are more cell phones on the African continent than in the United States, Nesbit’s plan made perfect sense.

3. The next frontier in improving the health of mothers and children is digitizing food assistance. Enter the Better than Cash Alliance, which is helping some of the world’s most indigent populations by transitioning from cash payments to electronic aid, creating a “cash-lite” world.

Through mobile phones and text messages, the Better than Cash Alliance can deliver digital food vouchers, or “e-vouchers”, that enable people to buy food from local markets. According to WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, “By 2015, WFP expects 30 percent of its assistance programs to be delivered in the form of cash and digital food”.

(Source: The Interdependent)


Monday, October 08, 2012 8:36:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 28, 2012
Over the course of the past decade, the face of society has been transformed. In every aspect of daily life, technology has revolutionized the ways by which individuals communicate with the outside world.

In order to effectively contend with this evolving style, it is vital for educators to incorporate these changes into the classroom. One way of doing so is by the integration of mobile learning and, more specifically, remote teaching. This study attempted to measure the effectiveness of mobile learning and remote teaching in delivering classroom content within the university context, as opposed to traditional lecture-based delivery. Results indicated that mobile-based remote teaching is not only as effective as traditional instruction, but more so, in regard to student understanding of course content.

This study will explore the use of mobile technology in remote teaching, giving professors the ability to teach and instruct students via the mobile device while not in the traditional classroom setting. This study will utilize a quasi-experimental design between separate sections of no less than three classes. Three sections will be taught utilizing extensive remote teaching activities (i.e. sending students out of the classroom to experience different activities and blogging/podcasting about them remotely on their device, conducting “scavenger hunts” using mobile devices for instruction, using HeadsUp to facilitate group work while the professor is not physically present), while the other three sections will be taught identical course materials using traditional face-to-face methods. Measurement will consist of a pre-test/post-test design to compare student comprehension, retention of, and interest in course materials.

Full report
(Source: Abilene Christian University)


Friday, September 28, 2012 10:37:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
It is time of the examination of economic geography at school Virolai in Barcelona's Carmel district. Students in 4th grade of Secondary (ESO) catch a pen and a paper, open their laptops, look for information on the Internet and answer the questions ... might even they see some data in their notes. The exam grade will only depend on the information they find in these sources. This is more than just play definitions. With the data that they have and their prior knowledge must be enough to solve problems and answer questions that test their ability to analyze and reflect.

This is what the teachers consider; to adapt the tests to what is taught in classrooms every day, and especially at how it is taught. "In one hand, they tend increasingly to teach skills, teachers want the students to be able to do something with the stuff they learn, think and analyze, but in the opposite way we (teachers) mostly continue evaluating memory", said Coral regi, Director of Virolai School and professor of Biology. Regi raises another issue. The reality is this: people access to various sources of information, books, manuals, journals, internet, experts ... - to respond to the questions they face in their lives, at work ... Do not rely all the data stored in their brain. But the school does not allow it in testing. In this center, and in another thirty Spain, have decided to turn around the situation.

Virolai center of Barcelona is part of a program of DIM research group from Universat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), coordinated by Pere Marquis, who proposes something similar. Last academic year this group conducted a research in fifty schools and colleges where they could realize the evaluation during the exams. About 70% of teachers felt that the result for the students was positive. Students who were good they continue good and those who had difficulties improved with effort, but those who were dragging deficits or who were unwilling to work could not perform well. Therefore, this course has launched a second phase of research, which will continue the 2012-2013, in which they propose a new approach to the curriculum - called bimodal.

(Source: La Vanguardia – Spain)


Friday, September 28, 2012 10:32:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 21, 2012

During the SSOE Deployment Milestone Celebration on August 24, the Ministry of Education (MOE), in partnership with NCS, announced the completion of the transition phase that would empower over 500,000 students. The devices consisting of desktop computers, notebook computers, and tablet Pcs have been arranged for over 40,000 principals, teachers, and administrative staff who have been educated on the use of the new services and solutions under the programme.

”The Schools Standard ICT Operating Environment (SSOE) programme has enhanced the ICT infrastructure of schools in Singapore, to provide an environment for greater use of ICT in teaching and learning in schools”, said SSOE Programme Director Lim Teck Soon.

“With SSOE, schools can now look forward to faster speed, enhanced security and full on-site support for their computing needs to enhance teaching and learning. A strong focus on users’ needs and the close partnership between MOE and NCS had enabled the entire programme to be implemented successfully. We are confident that SSOE will redefine the pedagogical approach in the education system in Singapore and equip future generations of students to harness the full potential of ICT”, he added.

Launched in June 2010, the SSOE programme has arranged and managed desktops, network and ICT support for all MOE schools in Singapore, enabling both wired and wireless network to improve the school’s network performance and accessibility to education applications. Also, the programme has provided computing devices to all staff and school computing labs to facilitate effective and efficient use of the ICT infrastructure.

For the next phase of the SSOE programme, NCS will manage the operations and provide maintenance support and technology refresh of the desktops and infrastructure, as part of the eight-year contract with the MOE.

(Source: NCS)


Friday, September 21, 2012 1:57:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez Will Accept “Diversity Advocate” Award On Behalf of the Commission in New York City September 12.

The leaders of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls expressed gratitude to the Walter Kaitz Foundation for the Foundation’s decision to bestow upon the Commission the Foundation’s Diversity Advocate Award.

“The Healthy MEdia Commission strives to promote representations of women in the media in the areas of healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and increased roles of women and girls”, said Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and a co-chair of the Healthy MEdia Commission. “We’re proud to receive this award in recognition of our goals to ensure we’re creating a positive media environment for our children”.

The Healthy MEdia Commission is guided by its principal sponsors, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Creative Coalition, The National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The Walter Kaitz Foundation is the cable industry’s national foundation dedicated to advocating for diversity.

“It’s especially gratifying that a prestigious organization such as the Kaitz Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing and increasing diversity in media, would recognize the efforts of the Commission. We thank the Foundation for that recognition”, said Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez, who will accept the Award on September 12 on behalf of the Commission. “We and the Healthy MEdia Commissioners also look forward later this fall to delivering a full set of recommendations on how to encourage the proliferation of healthy images of women and girls in all forms of media”.

The Kaitz Foundation on July 18 announced that the Healthy MEdia Commission would be recognized with its Diversity Advocate Award at the annual Awards Dinner of the Foundation, on Wednesday, September 12, in New York City. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversity.

More details

(Source: Walter Kaitz Foundation)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:11:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 31, 2012

Afroes creates uniquely African mobile applications and tools for social development agencies and corporate enterprises keen to spread educational and branded messages across the continent.

Afroes was born to celebrate Africa’s rich heritage and instill messages of hope and possibility in young people. Afroes mission is to inspire the conversations and choices of young Africans through branded digital media and socially responsible campaigns rooted in the African content.

To ensure the widest possible reach among young people, including those at the bottom-of-the-pyramid, Afroes is leveraging the rapid growth of mobile in Africa, which represents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver branded and educational messages directly and repeatedly into the hands and pockets of potential customers and citizens across the continent and beyond.

(Source: Afroes)


Friday, August 31, 2012 8:35:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 13, 2012

The Deputy Minister for ICT, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay, delivered three mobile classrooms with 30 portables, on Thursday 9 August in the city of Valledupar. These equipments will benefit over 520 students of the National School Loperena, in Vicente Roig and Villalba area.

"It is proven that students, whom learn with technology, improve their performance and quality of education. Also, in classrooms where ICT is present, the dropout rates are reduced", said Hoyos Turbay.

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies, through Computers for Schools, will deliver this year more than 4,300 computer equipment in the department of Cesar, an amount that is added to the 12,500 computers that will be delivered at the end of 2014.

Additionally, more than 3,300 teachers across the department will be trained in proper use of ICT (a diploma), so that not only meets the purpose of access to technology, but also the proper use of the tools. "A team alone does not make a difference in an educational campus, but is used in different areas, like in the class of geography, English, Science or Spanish", said the Executive Director for Computers for Schools (Computadores para Educar), Martha Cunningham.

To date, over 215,000 children have benefited from computers in the department of Cesar. In the capital city of Valledupar, the Program has delivered up to date 2,448 computers and laptops to 123 schools, which have benefited 64,495 students, especially the most vulnerable segments of the population.

According to official statistics, Computers for Schools has benefited about 6.5 million children countrywide and even though it is present in all Colombian municipalities, including the most remote, there are still over 7,000 schools left for covering.

"Our goal is that by 2014 we will get all the official Schools", said ICT Deputy Minister, María Carolina Hoyos, who recalled that recently they acquired over 320,000 laptops of last generation to meet the needs nationwide by 2014, through an electronic auction.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
Further details


Monday, August 13, 2012 9:52:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Eight thousand primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe will shortly be connected to the Internet as part of a new national eLearning programme, says Nelson Chamisa, the country’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology. “All political parties in the government have agreed that eLearning should be a priority in order to improve our education system”, said Chamisa, adding that the state would be furnishing educational institutions with computers so that all schools go digital by 2014.

The programme comes at a time when the country is overhauling its national ICT policy for the first time in six years. Launched at Chogugudza Primary School in Mashonaland East Province in March this year, the national eLearning programme will initially target schools on the national grid.

The scarcity of electricity in most rural areas was in part responsible for the failure of the first attempt to computerise the nation’s schools a decade ago. The collapse of the economy and the subsequent brain drain of skilled teachers nationwide forever changed the formerly bright face of education in Zimbabwe.  By 2009, reports UNICEF, 94% of rural schools had been closed, and school attendance had dropped from 80% to 20%. UNICEF has been paying the school fees of over four hundred thousand underprivileged primary schoolers through the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), but the agency has recently announced its withdrawal from the programme. The new national eLearning programme will therefore be challenging to implement in remote areas where schools are underfunded.

Jeffreyson Chitando, Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Member on Education, Sports and Culture, said the country was keen to see rural areas benefiting from the eLearning programme. “Our committee shall make sure that there is no school that will be excluded in the ongoing national eLearning programme. We understand the benefits of eLearning, and we are going to make sure that no student shall be disadvantaged in accessing modern technologies such as the Internet”, said Chitando.

(Source: eLearning Africa)
Further details

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:41:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An injection of a handful of notebooks and tablets, two smart boards and eight laptops should meet the challenge teachers face in working with children with special needs. The possibilities are innumerable. It is not only that simple education games will engage the children and help them to learn better. Rather, a smartboard would also serve the purpose of “painting with one’s own hands” and make the children realize that they will be able to “make things happen” when they touch the smartboard screen or go from icon to icon.

The goal of the project is to help 125 children of the Rokana Basic School in Kitwe to learn more effectively by using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as smartboards and tablets. The programme also includes the training of 40 teachers in how to use ICT with special needs children as well as the training of approximately 200 teachers in the use of smart boards.

Rokana Basic School in Kitwe stands out in Zambia. It is one of a handful of schools with a Special Needs Unit for children with learning disabilities. Its principal, Mr Mwansa, has a long-cherished dream: to furnish one room in the Special Needs Unit with equipment that would open up a whole new (virtual) world for these children. At the end of 2011, Rokana Basic School teamed up with around 20 other local schools in the area through the Mpelembe Basic Schools partnership. Through this partnership, teachers from Mpelembe Secondary school, showed teachers from several local basic schools how they can use ICT to liven up their lessons. For example, through videos, interactive computer games, and Power Point presentations. Joining the partnership has also brought Mr Mwansa one step closer to realizing his dream.

(Source: AKVO)

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:45:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to a study by the Research Center for Women’s Action (CIPAF), about 80 per cent of teachers in the Dominican Republic believe that boys excel in mathematics while girls do better in languages. But the facts speak to a different reality: “We compared these results with real data and found out that it was not true: girls have had better grades in math”, says Magaly Pineda, Executive Director of CIPAF.

Overcoming stereotypes, promoting interest in mathematics among girls, and eventually reducing the gender digital divide in the Dominican Republic is the objective of the project Gender and ICTs: Equality and Equity in E-Dominican, organized by the CIPAF and supported by the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.

Women represent 61 per cent of the university population in the Dominican Republic, and yet, barely 11 per cent of these students are studying for careers in science and technology. The figures on household trends also show a gap in the opportunities that men and women have to access digital technology: only 38 per cent of households headed by women have access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The digital divide remains difficult to close. While more women are entering universities, women are generally still absent from key areas of the economy. “The ICT sector is the fastest growing in the country, but women represent only 33 per cent of the labor market and most of them in support tasks”, says Magaly Pineda.

To address this reality, math clubs such as “E-girls” and “Super math” have been created under the umbrella of the Gender and ICTs project. The aim is to promote science subjects amongst girls in public schools. The initiative includes mentoring and career guidance campaigns to speed up the entry of more women into the Technological Institute of the Americas (ITLA) and in technology careers.

The initiative Gender and ICTs is part of the Plan for Equal Opportunities for Women in the Information Society, created by the National Commission for Information Society and Knowledge. This Plan is the first of its kind and will integrate a gender perspective into the broader Dominican National Strategy for the Information Society (E-Dominican), and will contribute to reducing the gap between men and women in access to information and communication technologies.

(Source: UNWomen)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:39:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UCEP Bangladesh is a leading national NGO in Bangladesh which provides opportunities of second chance education to children. Starting in 1972 at the Dhaka University premises with only 60 students, it is now a hub of over 42 thousand working children striving to inculcate marketable skills and provide employment support service through general education and vocational training in close collaboration with industries and employers throughout Bangladesh.

The main objective of UCEP programs is to improve the socio-economic status of the urban poor and support industrial growth by generating skilled manpower. UCEP has global reputation for its unique model of human resource development.

UCEP provides a package service of Integrated General and Vocational Education (IGVE), Technical Education (TE) and Employment Support Services (ESS) along with various aspects of child rights, good governance and social life skills to the working children. UCEP operates 53 Integrated General & Vocational (IGV) Schools and 10 Technical Schools with an enrolment of over 42 thousand distressed working children with equal gender ratio.

In Integrated General and Vocational schools the children are provided education up to grade VIII with the abridged form of National Curriculum along with basics of technical education. After completion of skills training the children are provided employment support by the Employment Support Services (ESS) Component of UCEP.

In Industrial Electrical & Electronic Control Trade, the students are taught the system of Mobile Telecommunication such as area of mobile system, area of communication, power supply system of BTS, elements of power supply, use of auto-voltage regulator, block diagram of grounding system, etc.

UCEP is marching forward to achieve Vision – 2021, the time frame to make the country a Digital Bangladesh, which has been set by our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

(Source: UCEP)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:12:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Backed by research and respected companies, a new platform aims to show the benefits of going online.

The site, called A Platform for Good (PfG), will launch in September with a mission to help shift the conversation away from the negative focus that so often appears in the media about youth online experience to a conversation that highlights the positive opportunities the internet has to offer. Through this approach, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) aims to bridge the generational digital divide by increasing adult comfort with technology and understanding of the opportunities it offers.

By leveraging existing social media platforms that young people and their parents already use, A Platform for Good will have widespread appeal for a number of age groups, FOSI believes. PfG will provide the following:

  • Kids and teens will access incentive-based, interactive activities that teach them about online safety issues in a fun, engaging way. PfG will also foster participation and collaboration with youth.
  • Parents will receive conversation starters and tips via text and social networking sites to encourage families to discuss current events and turning recent news into learning experiences.
  • Teachers will find new instructional opportunities, including interesting videos and web-based activities to inspire their students.

 “A Platform for Good is an opportunity to provide people with a positive message about online safety education”, said Kim Sanchez, chair of FOSI’s board of directors and a director of privacy and online safety at Microsoft, in a statement.

According to FOSI, PfG is not looking to replace the many online safety programs already available in schools, but, rather, to add a new layer to the conversation by focusing on the research that focuses on teens and their online experiences and “promoting incredible stories of technology being used ‘for good’; and work to spur dialogue between parents, teacher, and youth about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen in our ever-connected world,” explained Nancy Gifford (special projects coordinator for the Family Online Safety Institute - FOSI).

(Source: eschool)
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:18:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 13, 2012
After months of waiting, Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project came to reality when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officialy kicked of the project on Thursday and handed the first tablet to representatives of first grade students.

“The government was proud that this policy finally began, as it was an urgent policy that the government announced to the Parliament,” said the PM during the official launch of the OTPC project at the Government House.

The PM added that teachers should assess how much the students have learned from using the tablet PCs. “Teachers should collect data on the students’ learning development when they have studied using the computers”. Apart from handing the tablets to students, the premier also gave the tablets to educational supervisors, and teachers to mark a start of the project.

Thai government plans to distribute tablets made in China to all first graders in this academic year—which began last month—and extend the distribution to seventh grade students next year.

“This scheme is not only about handing out tablet computers to children. We would like to increase knowledge beyond text booksfor our children. That is our goal,” Shinawatra said, adding that she believed the students could swiftly adjust to the technology. This scheme would benefit pupils in remote areas who lack access to educational and learning materials especially textbooks, she inserted.

The tablets contain all learning necessities for the students required by the Education Ministry, she added. Regarding the concern over inappropriate use of the device, the PM said: “Children would not be able to access improper online content, saying all inappropriate websites will be blocked,” she confirmed.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 12:41:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Bolivian organisation APCOB has released a DVD about the Quechua ethnic group in Bolivia. This DVD is the ninth in a series dedicated to indigenous Bolivian cultures and aims to help students appreciate their cultural heritage.

This DVD and the eight others about indigenous cultures are used to encourage the mutual understanding between the different ethnic groups in Bolivia. The ultimate goal is to reach out to 45.000 students in 150 schools by incorporating the content of the DVDs in the curriculum. So far, the material has been well received by the teachers who have already been trained in how to use it.

This project is supported by IICD and Edukans through the Connect4Change consortium. Local partner Apoyo par el Campesino Indígena del Oriente Boliviano (APCOB) is a Bolivian non-governmental organisation that aims to integrate indigenous groups in the Bolivian society as well as to preserve their rights.

In order to enhance accessibility, the aim is to eventually place all the materials on the educational platform www.educando.edu.bo, where students and teachers have access to information about projects and materials generated by organisations active in the field of education. At this point of time, materials are uploaded by 3 organisations: CEPAC, Educatic and APCOB. Later on in the Connect4Change programme in Bolivia, other educational projects by Fe y Alegría, CEE and IRFA will also upload their materials.

(Source: IICD)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:56:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solar panels have been installed in the remote area of Ilkerin in Kenya, where many people from the Maasai tribe live. The generator powers computers that will help to increase the quality of education.

Solar panels will provide power for computer labs that will serve the local community, students and out of school youth that are receiving vocational training. The computers that are used are energy efficient and save money because they are so called thin clients, a type of solution where a computer network of multiple users is powered by just one PC or server.

Up until now, the area of Ilkerin had no access to Kenya’s national power grid and the transport of fuel to support power generators was extremely difficult due to its location. For this reason, the installation of Solar Power Systems is extremely important for the area as it provides power efficiency to support projects such this, which will enhance computer literacy within the community of Ilkerin and especially of youth and primary school students. Being exposed to computers and internet ensures maasai children that they will be enabled to benefit from a similar learning environment as their peers in Nairobi. Developing context specific educational materials for the children will make their education also more relevant.  The project is the product of collaboration between IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium and local partner ILIDP.

Next step after the installation of the generators and the computer lab is that teachers and administrators are trained by a locally hired ICT officer. The courses will include training on how to apply ICT in vocational training and the building of entrepreneurial skills. In addition, local teachers will receive training in developing educational material digitally for primary school students.

(Source: IICD)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:10:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Prime Minister Najib reveals his plans to make education smart.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohammad Najib Tun Razak, says that Malaysia is ‘extremely likely’ to adopt cheap tablet computers such as those developed in India.

He says that the US$ 50 price tag for the mobile internet devices makes adoption much easier.

Najib reveals that the objective is to equip every student with a tablet computer; however at this juncture the government expects 10 students to share one tablet.

The government will make smart education plans to significantly improve smart children’s performance in school. “It is very important to increase the children’s market value from cradle all the way to their employment”, he says.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 9:46:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 21, 2012

Apurimac is the first region to provide free Internet service through pilot virtual centers which will be built and implemented with the support from mining companies operating in the area, announced its regional president, Elias Ruiz Segovia.

He said that through the project "Construction and implementation of pilot virtual centers to achieve contents in curriculum learning in primary and secondary- Apurimac" aims to provide a quality education.

The regional authority said Apurimac is entering to a new stage thanks to mining and stressed that rural children have the same opportunities as the city, they will receive a quality education.

Segovia said that mining companies operating in Apurimac pay the cost of Internet service, while the regional government will take care of maintenance. The proposal is embodied in an agreement to be signed soon.

"Apurimac will be the first region in the country that will have internet access throughout its jurisdiction, it means, from Chincheros until Cotabambas", he said.

He called on teachers to be trained, so that students receive quality education, since "the success of this project will be thanks to them".

He added that the initiative is a great tool that should serve to get out from the last places where Apurimac is found in regarding the quality of education.

The symbolic act of commissioning of the project took place on Thursday in the building of the regional government.

(Source: Andina News)
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Monday, May 21, 2012 5:33:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A group of primary schools in Kenya’s Pokot and Turkana tribes’ districts is improving its management and education quality by using computers and training teachers and administrators in the use of them. Ultimate goal is to significantly reduce the dropout rate of primary schools students.

In the first year, with the support of IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium and local partner NCCK Northrift, 4 schools will be targeted: 2 in West Pokot County and 2 in Turkana District. Both these areas are located in the Northern part of the Rift Valley Province. With the support of Edukans, community education facilitators train the School Management Committees on their roles and responsibilities in the management of their schools. These management committees are elected volunteers that have the mandate to approve or dismiss school’s decisions.

To this improved management training, IICD adds a digital component. An ICT officer was hired to support and train the schools and equipment was procured and distributed to the schools over the last few months. Coming June, staff will be trained in the use of basic ICT for  school administration (for instance the use of Excel) and will discuss what should be in the administration system. This will lead to a school administration system where teachers, headmasters and administrators can more easily store school results and monitor dropout rates. It is also easier for teachers and administrators to keep the enrollment lists up to date and to act swiftly if they see that someone is not attending class regularly. They can also see how not attending classes regularly has affected students’ grades.

Another advantage of a digitalised administration system is that it gets easier for School Management Committees in Pokot and Turkana districts to understand how money is spent and how this could be improved. In the future, an online component could also be added so financial and administrative data is also available (in a secure way) if the committee members or school staff are not at school and still would like to access the data. 

Also, the Pokot and Turkana are pastoralist people who are in a constant conflict over land and cattle. About a third of the the children in the IICD-supported schools in the region are orphan or miss at least one parent because of this conflict. There is a lot of distrust between the people, but schools indicate that they are interested in using computers to get closer. A proposed idea was for each school to build their own simple website to promote their school, which can also be used for Turkana and Pokot children to share their ideas and poetry. Though schools are quite far apart, at some point during the implementation phase, schools could also visit each other. Teachers and school management committees may be from different tribes, but their all have the same aim: improving education, and using ICT to do it.

(Source: IICD)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:44:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Information and Communications Technology Ministry yesterday inked a THB-1.02-billion (US$ 32.8 mil) tablet-computer supply contract with the Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen Scope for the purchase of 400,000 tablets for primary school students.

The first 2,000 devices will be delivered next week and the rest to be arrived within 60 days. The model is specifically produced for Thailand, according to ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap.

Under the contract, Thailand will buy 400,000 devices at THB 2,400 (US$ 81) per unit and a contract for the remaining 530,000 units will be signed later with the same price after the first batch of Scope Tablets passes government quality control standards. The remaining units must be delivered within 90 days from May 10.

“The specs are higher than what was specified in the terms of reference. This model is being produced specifically for this project, not according to the general specs offered in the market,” he said and added that the ministry’s committee would thoroughly check the devices’ specification.

Thailand Post will deliver the devices, which will have software installed, to school nationwide in July.

The devices, Scope’s Scopad SP0712 model, come in four colours- red, blue, silver and gold and features a seven-inch touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz single core CPU, 1 GB RAM, a storage memory unit of 8GB, Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and a GPS navigation system for monitoring and tracking purposes. The devices also come with two-year international standard warrantee.

The purchase is under One Tablet PC Per Child campaign promise, a series of populist policies promoted by the ruling government which pledged to provide the country’s 860,000 first graders with the tablet PC.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:36:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 04, 2012

Social media, video games, blogs and wikis are playing increasingly important roles in classrooms across the country. Some worry that incorporating more social media and other technologies into education is leading to too much computer time, as well as to a generation of students deficient in the face-to-face social skills needed to survive in the workplace. Proponents say schools need to find ways to use these technologies to improve teaching and learning, or else risk losing the attention of digital natives.

A paper released earlier this week by the Brookings Institution addresses how social media, blogs and video games are improving education by increasing access to people and information in various forms, including Twitter feeds, blog posts, videos and books. These tools are also increasing people's ability to share information with networks and contribute their own thoughts.

The idea is that the data collected by video games and social media sites can be provided, sometimes in real time, to teachers who can then use it to better understand their students and tailor instruction to meet individual needs.

Companies like Knewton, Junyo and the Learn Lab in Pittsburgh and are all creating such systems that are being used by many schools across the nation.

(Source: Huffington Post)
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Friday, May 04, 2012 3:00:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 28, 2012

Global leaders from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia joined together today to debate and define a roadmap that will help break down barriers and overturn outmoded attitudes in a bid get more girls into technology-related studies and careers.

A high-level dialogue held at New York’s Institute of International Education and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union, the UN-specialized agency for information and communication technology, identified misguided school-age career counselling, the popular media’s ‘geek’ image of the technology field, a dearth of inspirational female role models, and a lack of supportive frameworks in the home and workplace as factors that, together, tend to dissuade talented girls from pursuing a tech career.

Inspired by the tremendous dedication of NGOs, universities, government agencies, industry and others around the world in organizing Girls in ICT Day events today, participants sketched our a basic blueprint for more successful approaches to attracting school-age girls to the fast-evolving technology field, and agreed to work together to change attitudes and boost female tech enrolment rates.

In his welcoming remarks to an invited audience of over 200 gender, education and technology experts, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: “Over the coming decade, there are expected to be two million more ICT jobs than there are professionals to fill them. This is an extraordinary opportunity for girls and young women – in a world where there are over 70 million unemployed young people”.

ITU’s Dr Touré closed the event with a call for partners to collaborate with ITU on a three-year ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign focused around four ‘Es’: empowerment, equality, education and employment. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us all, working together as partners, to make a real difference”, he said.

‘Girls in ICT Day’ is a new annual event on the UN calendar, and is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in April. It was established through a formal Resolution at ITU’s four-yearly Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
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Saturday, April 28, 2012 4:36:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 27, 2012

"We and Technology", It is the special event that the National Institute for Research and Training in Telecommunications of the National Engineering University, INICTEL-UNI, held this April 26 as part of the celebrations for the International Telecommunications Day.

60 girls in public educational institutions of San Martin de Porres and Independencia (districts of Lima) will participate in workshops on electronics, robotics and CANSat (Bases to build a small satellite). Also, they visited the UNI-INICTEL facilities, laboratories and attend videoconferences with professional women in the ICT field residing abroad.

The attendees could talk to engineers in telecommunications and experience the site of women in this sector. Through this event they want to promote in Peru the use of Information and Communication Technologies - ICTs on women and girls, as a tool to integrate a gender equality perspective.

This year's theme "Women and girls in ICT" has been chosen by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations agency, to celebrate the "World Day of Telecommunications and Information Society" . Moreover, in this way promotes the 2010 designation of the ITU, in which every fourth Thursday of April an event takes place before the central celebrations of May 17.

(Source: INICTEL - Peru)
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Friday, April 27, 2012 3:52:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 21, 2012

Polycom Foundation expands global humanitarian organization's outreach to children in more than 20 countries through donation of Polycom RealPresence video solutions to enable face to face training of regional coaches.

Polycom, the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC), announced a philanthropic partnership with Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses the transformative power of sport and play to give hope and teach essential skills to children living in communities affected by war, poverty, and disease. Polycom is donating Polycom RealPresence video collaboration solutions to Right To Play to expand the reach of their programs by improving global communications throughout the organization; connecting teachers, coaches, and community leaders with staff throughout the world; and directly linking donors to see the impact of their support.

"More trained local coaches and community leaders means more children around the world will be able to participate in Right To Play programs," said Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play founder and a four-time Olympic gold medalist. "Polycom's support and video collaboration technology will further strengthen our programs and help us use the power of sport and play to transform the lives of so many more children. With the ability to use video for training and other initiatives, we can reach even more children and get them playing and succeeding in life".

Founded in 2000, Right To Play has developed projects in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East. In 2012, the organization is expected to surpass more than 1 million children participating weekly in Right To Play programs. Koss, who serves as president and CEO, has inspired an international team of 350 athletes – including Bonnie Blair, five-time Olympic gold medalist in speed skating – to serve as Athlete Ambassadors and assist in fundraising for Right To Play projects.

"Right To Play's mission is uplifting and their approach innovative and collaborative," said Geri Mitchell-Brown, director of Philanthropy and Community Relations, Polycom. "Our partnership with Right To Play reflects Polycom's commitment to bringing people together through the power of visual communication and aligns with our vision to make video collaboration ubiquitous in a more connected world. Right To Play is positively affecting the lives of children who need our help the most and we are honored to be able to contribute to this worthy cause".

(Source: Polycom)
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Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:19:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How can mobile communication help improve the quality of education? A Nokia smartphone will go to the owner of the best idea submitted to the fifth phase of the Education for All (EFA) Crowdsourcing Challenge organized by UNESCO, Nokia and the Pearson Foundation.

Starting on 12 March, and for a month thereafter, education and mobile learning stakeholders are all invited to participate by submitting mobile communication ideas for helping achieve EFA Goal n°5 that calls for the elimination of gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and the achievement of gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality. Participants will also be invited to vote or comment on other ideas.

Several hundred proposals were generated during the first four phases of the EFA Crowdsourcing Challenge, which explored ways of using mobile communication to potentially help attain literacy, to contribute to achieving universal primary education, to address youth and adult learning needs, and to improve the quality of education.

To submit an idea, participants only need to click on the Create an Idea link to the right of the gender challenge introductory paragraph.

The winner of the fifth phase, who will be chosen by an expert panel of judges, will receive a Nokia smartphone. She or he will also get a chance to win a US$ 3,000 prize as well as a library of children’s books worth US$ 3,000, which will be donated to a non-profit organisation of the winner’s choice. Moreover, the best ideas from the EFA Crowdsourcing Challenge will be developed into concrete projects by Nokia and other project partners.

(Source: UNESCO)
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012 10:34:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Nan Chiau Primary School in Sengkang, Singapore in collaboration with Qualcomme and Microsoft will empower its students and teachers through custom-tailored mobile application enabling 24/7 access to educational resources.

Under the WE learn mobile education project, which uses 3G smartphones to create seamless classroom experience, some 350 third-grade pupils and teachers will experience the latest wireless technology that will ease a student-centric model of learning where educational materials can be accessed anytime and anywhere via smartphones.

The project is being supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) under the ICT masterplan in education to designate Nan Chiau Primary School as a model for primary schools throughout Singapore and Asia.

By equipping students with learning tools like mobile phones, our students have 24/7 access to educational content, web-based resources, and collaborative learning tools”, said Mr Tan Chun Ming, principal of Nan Chiau Primary School.

These tools give students the means to take responsibility for their own learning and enable teachers to provide individualized mentoring”, Chun Ming added.

All smartphones are equipped with MyDesk, a mobile learning platform to enable each student to access his or her assignments, relevant websites that contain podcasts, textual material and video clips and educational applications, such as mapping, drawing and animating, to practice both self-directed and collaborative learning.

Files created by the Nan Chiau students on their smartphones are backed-up and synchronized to a cloud-based teaching management system, providing each student an electronic portfolio that parents can review and teachers can access for grading and feedback purposes.

The national Institute of Education of Singapore is assisting teachers with the development of customised curriculum in English, Science and Chinese, and co-design technology to enable teachers to enact lessons using smartphones to support the students’ personalized learning, revealed Professor Looi Chee Kit, The National Institute of Education who is responsible for the WE learning project.

Nan Chiau Primary School is Singapore’s first school to set up the Centre for Educational Research and Application (CERA), the research centre for using ICT in teaching and learning in a primary school.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:32:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 29, 2012

When a large company or famous philanthropist donates computers to children to advance their learning and give them online access to the world, it makes an impact. But when the donors are young teenagers who revamped and renovated the computers themselves, it makes an even bigger impact.

Students and teachers at Forest Park High School, a public magnet school in Woodbridge, Va., say their school’s computer donation program has become an essential part of the learning experience. It has also become an essential asset for the community.

The program combines academic learning and hands-on lab work with community service. First students learn about computer systems and networks. Then they rebuild used computers and give them away to children and other schools needing computers.

It is the act of giving that solidifies the learning experience, says Brian Hackett, an instructional technologist at the school and co-coordinator for the program. “It becomes personal. You don’t get personal in learning until the kids see results of what they have learned”.

Hackett thinks education in general should head in the direction of combining schooling with community service. Applying academic material gives it relevance.

The students seemed to agree. “When we go to events to give the computers away, the parents and students are overwhelmed with joy. The smiles on their faces are amazing”, said Karl Stallknecht, a student at Forest Park. “You can see the big picture”.

As the students worked on restoring computers to mint condition during class, they spoke about their coursework with enthusiasm. They seemed to grasp the complexities of information technology as they discussed network systems, web hosting, cloud-based solutions, Linux operating systems, and various software programs. Listening to their high level of discourse, it was clear they understood as least as much about technology as the average adult working in the field.

(Source: eschool News)
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Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:45:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 22, 2012

On 15 March, was held the Consumer's Day in the world and to celebrate it, the Superintendency of Industry and Trade in conjunction with the School Cafam, prepared virtual guides 'Alert and Safety in the Network', by which, children and young people will get information about the expected behavior on the Internet, warning of hazards and risks, plus tips and suggestions for browsing the network.

This is framed in the Act 1480 - 2011, through which was issued the Consumer Protection Statute, which protects the right of all consumers to be educated about their rights.

The Deputy Minister for ICT, María Carolina Hoyos, helped to launch the project, which intends to continue with the issue of virtual cards in matters of protection and safety of children as consumers, to allow- through the use of technological tools-present, disseminate and educate Colombians about their rights under the law in their role as consumers.

"For the ICT Ministry is a priority to develop strategies for our children, so they will be better users of ICT, especially Internet and, as such, they should respect their rights. Committed to that purpose, under the Digital Living Plan, we developed the strategy 'EnTicConfio', a novel model by which we produce, collect and disclose content to provide citizens with valuable tools to make better use of ICT ", said Hoyos, the Deputy Minister.

Also, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce started to provide to manufacturers, suppliers and marketers of good services, as well as general users, the tool called VIRTUAL BOX, by which they can meet the demands that promote consumer to the entity, as an efficient and expeditious channel of communication with the SIC.

(Source: MINTIC –Colombia)

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Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:32:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co won a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools in Thailand under “One Tablet PC Per Child” scheme.

The Cabinet will approve this proposal next week for buying the selection of Scope under the cost of THB 2,482 (US$81) a piece in which the first lots will be distributed to first graders this May to promote a knowledge based and network-connect society.

The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 units for Grade 7 students.

Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said the project committee had chosen “the company that proposed the lowest price of $81, excluding transportation costs”.

The selection of Scope to supply tablets for the project was based not only on price, but also on other criteria, the minister said and added they included tablet specifications, insurance conditions, and delivery time among others.

The other companies in the bid had offered to supply the tablets at higher prices. TCL Cooperation offered $89, Haier Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co offered $105 and Huawei Technologies Co proposed $135.

A government committee set a starting price of 3,100 baht per unit plus 300 baht for uploading e-content. The cost excludes shipping costs to Thailand.

The decision was made after a committee visited the production lines of all four companies in China. Of the 900,000 tablets the government will purchase, 860,000 will be distributed to all of the country’s first-grade students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 5:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More than 3000 public schools in the Philippines are now enjoying the learning and teaching benefits derived from the “desktop virtualization” technology applied in many e-Classrooms, as part of the Department of Education’s Computerization Programme.

The Computerization programme is an initiative by the Government that aims to have public elementary and secondary schools nationwide use Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in teaching, learning, school management, and governance.

This technology enables one host system to power six computers simultaneously. This is in contrast to an older practice where each desktop is connected to a Central Processing Unit (CPU).

By using desktop virtualization, schools can reduce the number of required CPUs in computer laboratories, thereby also reducing hardware costs by 50 per cent, 75 per cent on support costs, and 90 per cent on energy consumption expenses.

In addition, the said technology has the potential to improve student-to-computer ratios in many schools nationwide thereby also improving IT literacy of many students.

The same technology is also being adopted by many public schools in Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bhutan.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 6:28:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 21, 2012
As part of its campaign "Back to School" (de vuelta al colegio), Movistar has launched in Peru the interactive space "Classroom 365", educational initiative that seeks to complement the education in schools, through the use of advanced multimedia tools and which is available to all customers of Movistar Speedy free of charge.
"This education portal is the difference between studying and learning, since through the pedagogical model Edutaiment "learn while you play", allows that thousands of children and young people have educational support online, with over 3,000 educational resources and multimedia secure social networking and moderate English courses and virtual teacher, that will help children to allay concerns quickly and efficiently, among other content ", explains Paul Aristizabal, creator of this tool and CEO of the company “Competir”, a provider of Classroom 635.

Currently, "Classroom 365" is present in five countries in the world, being the gateway of more relevant to contribution of learning in Latin America, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This dynamic tool will enhance the student learning in a fun and safe environment with moderate content and where you can find updated information according to the Peruvian school curriculum.

"We are committed with the education in Peru and a way to contribute is massifying broadband and giving our customers more and more content that will provide more value, such as "Classroom 365", we're sure that it will be a tool that will contribute greatly learning, "says Marcelo Echeguren, Commercial Director of Residential Customers of Movistar.

Through this initiative, Movistar is following the evolution in time of the forms of teaching and learning of students, in an efficient, fun, innovative and above all safe. "Classroom 365 brings closed the most advanced multimedia resources as educational films, blogs, charts, biographies, photo gallery, virtual teachers and an advanced search engine, which will make that the student can find their answers in an agile and entertaining way, also has a tutorial control for parents, allowing monitoring of the activities of children. Access to Aula 355 here.

(Source: Telefonica)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:51:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 16, 2012

The program “Padrino Tecnológico” has been introduced in the University of Alcala de Henares as part of the activities of CAPTA II, organized by the Chair for the Improvement of Personal Autonomy of Telefonica, which objective is the research, development, education and outreach to strengthen technologies such as "Internet of Things" and increase personal autonomy of certain groups (Disabled people, elderly, sick people ...).

The initiative has as protagonists to the "sponsors", volunteers who spend time for designing and developing ICT solutions for children with motor and / or cognitive high impairment. It also has the involvement of the University students as potential entrepreneurs, who could use the existing market niche around disability, who are nearly 1,000 million people worldwide.

Also concerning to the accessibility, experts from the National Center of Techniques Accessibility (CENTAC), the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and Telefónica, which participated in the conference, wanted to highlight the key issue that services based on “Internet of Things” will be viable and accessible for all society: design but taking into account all people, whatever their capabilities, making them affordable; paying attention in the security and privacy of data, taking advantage of them, and promoting digital literacy for easy using.

But “Internet of Things” is not only key for the inclusion in the society of people with disabilities, but also constitutes an industrial sector to develop, which may contribute to the sustainability of Health, for example, by telecare solutions for the chronically ill and to seek a healthy aging (keep in mind that at 2050, 30% of the Spanish population will be more than 80 years old).

At the meeting, attended by over 100 people, also they stressed the benefits of smart cities or smartcities. So, Javier Vizcaino, manager of Public Administrations of Telefónica for the Centre Territory, explained that these smart cities provide suitable information to public managers, so they can take better decisions, make easy the participation of citizens, promote efficiency in the use of energy resources, and improve accessibility.

(Source: Telefonica –España)
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Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:42:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thailand decided to buy up to 900,000 tablet computers from China via a government-to-government contract with payment made in cash and produce for its One Tablet per Child scheme.

A memorandum of understanding on the planned procurement was signed by the two countries, said Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Anudith Nakorntha yesterday.

We are negotiating the price and payment options with China”, he said. He also expected the negotiations to conclude this month.

He added that the negotiation would be based on mutual benefit. “The negotiation will be fair to both sides. China is a big manufacturer. It can offer tablets at a competitive price”.

Nakornthap revealed that the government had already approved a THB 1.9-billion budget (US$ 63.3 million) for the procurement of 560,000 tablets to the Ministry of Education, though the ICT ministry will handle the purchase.

However, he said that more funds would be needed because the Education Ministry plans to distribute the devices to all 860,000 first graders before the start of the upcoming semester in May. With some tablets to be given to children in other grades, the ministry will need up to 900,000 units of them.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:43:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In the department of Chocó, the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, through the Ministry of ICT, delivers mobile classrooms with that seek to promote quality education, fostering development and reducing poverty through the use of ICT tools.

The mobile classrooms are a new concept of Computers for Schools, program from the ICT Ministry, that has given technology to about 7 million children in the public sector educational institutions in Colombia.

"We are promoting inclusion and educational equity throughout Colombia because these technological tools must serve all sectors of our country. The technology gives a child from Quibdó the same opportunities of any other child from another city", said Minister Molano Vega.

With the mobile classrooms, which are transported by all classrooms of educational center benefited, the students from different courses may have access to technology and digital content, which are the main support to improve the quality of education.

This was demonstrated by a recent study of CEDE from the University of Los Andes, which showed that education mediated by ICTs improve academic achievement and encourage students not to leave their classes, among other positive impacts.

The benefited schools from the new mobile classrooms in Chocó are the Educational Institute Antonio Ricaurte, which has over 70 students enrolled, and the Educational Institution Industrial Carrasquilla, where there is nearly 900 children.

"We hope make the best use of this equipments that come to us because these are low-income schools and these tools opens up new opportunities", said the rector of the school Carrasquilla, Lucia Diaz Torres. Meanwhile, the president of the Institution Antonio Ricaurte, Antonio Ledesma said that access to technology makes the children from Chocó citizens of the world.

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:39:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 07, 2012
An online pilot program to help eighth- through 10th-graders who are struggling with Algebra I is being launched at 16 high schools and 23 middle schools throughout Oklahoma (USA).

About 10,000 students from low-performing schools are participating in the first year of the program, which is free to their school districts, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

“We wanted to reach students who are most struggling in Algebra I as they prepare to take end-of-instruction tests—one of the requirements for Achieving Classroom Excellence”, said state Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Teacher training is conducted by webinar and will continue through Feb. 8th. Training is also free to participating districts. “This is one of the state department’s efforts to assist low-achieving schools by providing additional resources to teachers and students”, Barresi said.

She said she hopes to expand the program across the state and reach students in younger grades after this pilot year.

After reviewing seven online programs, the state Education Department selected Apangea Learning Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa., to provide the supplemental online math instruction and tutoring services.

“We were very impressed with the demonstration of this product and can see the high potential for Algebra I students who are struggling”, said Jeff Downs, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) director for the state Education Department. He said other states, including Texas, Idaho, and Indiana, have seen success from the program.

(Source: sChools News)
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Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:01:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2012

Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience. On Digital Learning Day, a majority of states, hundreds of school districts, thousands of teachers, and nearly 2 million students will encourage the innovative use of technology by trying something new, showcasing success, kicking off project-based learning, or focusing on how digital tools can help improve student outcomes.

Digital learning is any instructional practice that is effectively using technology to strengthen the student learning experience. Digital learning encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practices, including using online and formative assessment, increasing focus and quality of teaching resources and time, online content and courses, applications of technology in the classroom and school building, adaptive software for students with special needs, learning platforms, participating in professional communities of practice, providing access to high-level and challenging content and instruction, and many other advancements technology provides to teaching and learning. In particular, blended learning is any time a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.

On February 1, 2012, the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted an in-depth webcast featuring moderated discussion of video footage of innovation in action looking at leadership, instruction, innovation, every subject area, and effective teaching. 

Then the Alliance hosted a live National Town Hall featuring FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a special joint appearance. The event profiled great teachers that effectively use technology to deliver instruction, and focus on education innovation projects happening across the country.

(Source: Digitallearningday)
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Friday, February 03, 2012 4:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 29, 2012