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 Monday, 21 July 2014

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, 21 July 2014 21:10:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 24 March 2014

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, 24 March 2014 17:12:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 02 August 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, 02 August 2013 11:19:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 July 2013
WeWi unveils an all-terrain Ubuntu Linux laptop that runs entirely by the power of the sun and never needs to be plugged in. The device called SOL was developed to accelerate education in developing countries.

The company held a launch event at the London Convention Centre where it demonstrated the fully functioning pre-production prototype.

The laptop, called SOL, is an all-terrain ‘sport utility’ device, which the company developed to help accelerate education in developing countries around the world.

SOL is equipped with a battery and can run for about eight to 10 hours without charge. The device isn’t meant just for the developing countries. “We are currently working on additional models for explorers and adventurers. SOL is self-sustainable and runs on green energy. It is a great device for everyone around the world”, David Snir, the company’s C.E.O explains. “We have been in talks with several universities looking for computers to do field work such as Geology, we are even looking into preparing and certifying SOL to Mil-Spec [U.S Military Standard] which would open another market”.

SOL will first launch in Ghana. WeWi’s focus on Ghana stems from the company’s recent international expansion into the country where the Canadian corporation collaborated with its African subsidiary on the project.

“We saw a great need for affordable computing in areas where power infrastructure can not sustain the large growth in population or where there is simply no access to electricity at all”, says Roland Carson, C.T.O of WeWi. “A future where people are able to study and work with computers without any access to electricity is very important for advancing education and will help shaping a better future for many individuals in those countries”, Roland continued.

SOL is expected to cost $300-450 and will come preinstalled with Ubuntu Linux and a suite of office/productivity software.

Further details

Thursday, 18 July 2013 13:56:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 30 May 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, 30 May 2013 18:17:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 16 May 2013
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications (NBTC), Thailand has last week launched a campaign to boost computer literacy and bridge digital divide in rural areas.

In partnership with Intel Corporation, “Be Amazing” roadshow campaign will travel to 27 provinces to educate the public in the remote areas, particularly first-time users and college students, on the use and benefits of computers especially for education purpose. The roadshow will start from May 14 to the end of December 2013.

Computer makers participating in the campaign are Asus, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and Toshiba along with the broadband providers TOT and Advanced Info Service.
Affordable prices device to be featured during the roadshow include THB 7,900 (US$ 263) tablets.

“Only 6 million of the 20 million Thai households own computers”, said Accharas Ouysinprasert, Intel Thailand Manager. Computer penetration is 90% of households in some developed countries.

Ouysinprasert said the campaign is expected to reach 550,000 households this year. Thailand’s telecom operators just kicked start official 3G services last week, following last month’s official approval from the government after ending the long complication.

Gen Sukit Khamasundara, NBTC Member said the launch of 3G and 4G service is expected to boost computer use to 80 per cent of total households.
He added that the NBTC is considering trimming down the universal service obligation (USO) fee from 3.75 per cent to 2 – 3 per cent in order to reduce the burden on licensees.

The USO fee is collected from telecom operators with an aim to provide services in rural areas where telecom investment is not commercially justifiable.
Under the USO master plan from 2012-16, the NBTC will spend 20 billion baht to install fibre-optic networks in rural areas to allow as many as 80% of the citizens to access broadband, up from 32% now.

The spending will cover implementation of the networks and community computer centres for 7,000 sub districts, up from 1,000 at present.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, 16 May 2013 20:13:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 13 March 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, 13 March 2013 19:27:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 January 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, 18 January 2013 14:10:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 13 June 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)
Further details

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 12:41:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 22 May 2012

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)
Further details

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 21:46:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 14 March 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)
Further details
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 17:16:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 15 February 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)
Further details

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:43:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 09 February 2012
As an integral part of the “Vive Digital Plan”, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is going advance in the initiatives that let more Colombians can have access to computers, digital tablets, and smart phones and thus facilitate access to ICT tools.

In Colombia, there are about 10'530.000 of these ICT tools, which corresponds about 23% of the total population. To improve these figures, we have sought an alliance between government, operators, manufacturers and credit institutions to promote the use of computers throughout the country.

Among the strategies developed and as support to the Vive Digital Plan, Almacenes Éxito, Intel, UNE and HP joined to provide to the community an affordable way to buy computer with Internet access under the program "My First Computer“. This not only means an opportunity for social strata 1, 2 and 3; also means greater opportunities for companies to increase their sales.

Other advances that have been achieved through the combined efforts of the Ministries of Foreign Trade and ICT, was the elimination of import taxes for the terminals with Internet access, like for example computers, tablets and smart phones; which passed from 5% to 0%. The measure, which took effect from first January 2012, will increase significantly the demand for terminals in social strata 2, 3 and 4, so that, more Colombians have access to the information highway.

"The ICT Ministry took strong measures so the technology can reach everyone, and with this kind of work in partnership we will contribute to the reduction of gaps in knowledge of new technologies", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
Further details

Thursday, 09 February 2012 16:37:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 31 October 2011

Technology giants discuss ICT trends across classrooms and why the United Arabic Emirates (UAE) is leading. The complete digitization of curricula and the integration of Microsoft's Kinect technology are but a few emerging trends global technology giants expect to see manifest in Middle East classrooms.

Information and communication technology (ICT) in education was the basis for last week's BETT Middle East exhibition in Abu Dhabi, where Gulf News caught up with officials from Hewlett Packard (HP) and Microsoft to discuss forthcoming trends in education.

"From discussions I've had I think we will see an increase of the digitization of course content with more curricula and books being stored in clouds", said Antoine Barre, vice-president of HP Personal Systems Group for Middle East and Africa. "A second trend I see is ICT will no longer be placed next to or complementary to educational pedagogy but instead emerge within it as the two merge together".

He said course content will develop in a way that will allow for the integration of multimedia technology in order to facilitate student understanding, an example of which could be the ability for students to simulate complete chemistry experiments on their computing devices.

"A third trend I see is increased mobility as students will have their educational data available to them everywhere through any type of device, laptop, tablet or smartphone", he said. "I think this will enable students to be more efficient in how they find answers to whatever questions they have in life … as I think this goes beyond the scope of academic training".

Azza Al Shinnawy, Public Sector Education Lead at Microsoft, said educational institutions in the UAE, whether schools or universities, are indeed expanding their scope of ICT into education. "The [ICT] expansion is happening at various levels depending on the leeway of freedoms, but the wave is coming at different strengths in both the public and private education sectors", she said.

"Students are probably the most ready and exposed as we talk ICT outside education, but they are in the best position to absorb what comes up in the classroom". She added, however, that although some teachers are ready to embrace the ICT wave, more effort still needs to be exerted when it comes to teacher training. "Traditional teaching methods need to converge with 21st century teaching and learning". Both Microsoft and HP are working closely with the Abu Dhabi Education Council with regard to teacher training and other initiatives.

(Source: Gulf News)

Further details

Monday, 31 October 2011 18:26:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 September 2011

The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Thursday began a $2 billion giveaway of free laptops to every student in state-run schools and colleges over the next five years.

The scheme was an election promise made by the local AIADMK party of former movie starlet J. Jayalalithaa, which came to power in state polls in May. The plan aims to provide laptops to nearly seven million students across the state, including 900,000 in the first year.

Jayalalithaa's administration has earmarked 10.2 billion rupees ($2.1 dollars) to fund the project, but critics say the money would be better spent on social welfare schemes.

A senior lawyer in the state capital Chennai had petitioned the Supreme Court to impose a stay on the laptop handout on the grounds that it amounted to electoral "bribery" and a corrupt use of state funds. Speaking at Thursday's launch, which was marked by an initial giveaway of 6,600 laptops purchased from Acer and Hewlett-Packard, Jayalalithaa hit out at those who had sought to "demean" the scheme.

"The sole aim is to make people economically independent", she said. "No one should trivialise it".
As well as laptops, the government is distributing free electric fans, food mixers, goats and cows to tens of thousands of impoverished families in villages across Tamil Nadu.

(Source: Indiatimes News)
Further details

Thursday, 15 September 2011 16:00:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 12 September 2011

South Korean electronics maker Samsung has launched a solar powered laptop in the Kenyan market with the capacity to run for 15 hours, nearly double the seven to eight hours lasting power of rivals. 

Korean electronics giant Samsung has launched a solar powered laptop in the Kenyan market targeting thousands of potential consumers currently locked out of the computer revolution by lack of electricity.

Kenya, with a large rural population that is not connected to the national power grid, is among the few countries Samsung picked for the global launch that began last week.

The Samsung Netbook NC215S lap top is priced at Sh35,000 and is also targeting consumers who are connected to the national electricity grid but suffer erratic power supply. The solar-charged laptop is loaded with a front cover panel that captures energy from the sun and automatically recharges the battery. When fully charged, the lap top can run for up 15 hours – nearly double the capacity of its closest competitors that have seven or eight hours stand-by capability.

“With Netbook NC 215S Samsung is demonstrating its capacity to bring to the consumers technology that satisfies their needs and takes care of the environment”, said Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru.

The Korean firm is building consumer electronics and mobile technology for sub-Sahara Africa where it set a $10 billion revenue target by 2015. Samsung’s sub-Saharan Africa market is currently worth $1.23 billion.

Launch of the Netbook NC 215S comes as Kenya’s four mobile telecoms firms, Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom’s Kenya Orange and Essar’s Yu have intensified their activities in the data market and are looking for affordable internet enabled devices such as laptops and mobile phone handsets to expand the number of data users.

(Source: Business Daily Africa)

Further details

Monday, 12 September 2011 00:56:44 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Government authorized the acquisition of 500,000 new computers and installs the “Canaima” computer assembly factory in Venezuela at the end of the first half of 2011.

This Sunday, the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez Frías, authorized the acquisition of 500,000 new laptops “Canaima” from the Government of Portugal, to begin delivery to students attending classes at the third grade.

The computers will be awarded from next September, said the president "We'll have millions and millions of computers”, said Chavez, commenting that install the “Canaima” computer assembly factory in Venezuela at the end of the first half of 2011.

President Chávez said that they hope to conclude this year and children whom are attending classes at the second grade in public schools will have in their hands their computer to start in September the delivery to the next grade.

He explained that it is not giving computers as a gift, but to equip children to get better tools and to optimize their learning. Touring the schools, Chavez said that 875,000 “Canaima” computers have been already imported and has delivered more than half, while the rest is under system programming.

(Source: CANTV - Venezuela)
Further details

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:36:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 29 December 2010

"We are celebrating today the entry of 150,000 seniors to the digital age”, this was highlighted by the executive director of the National Social Ensurance Adminstration  (ANSES), Diego Bossio, by giving computers to the senior centers and pensioners across the country.

"In Anses we work hard for our retirees, so they can access to more benefits and facilities", said Bossio, who also presented medals to recognize employees who worked over 30 years in this institution.

The official referred to the program of access to computers for seniors and pensioners of Anses: Grandparents PC 2010”, which provides to beneficiaries the possibility to access to a personal loan, by the National Bank, and provides the necessary training to use this technology.

Also, through an agreement signed between Anses, the National Bank of Argentina and Microsoft, there was created a fund for the donation of computers to senior centers which belongs to the Training and Social Integration Program, which has already received over 350 computers throughout the country. Thus, “we are in the way to consolidate the process of inclusion of older adults, improves the access to benefits and Anses digital services", said Bossio.

The official also presented medals and certificates to the employees that worked in Anses 30, 35, 40 and 45 years, and special mentions were given to workers nearing retirement. "This award is for those with a vocation of service and effort, leaving the soul and heart in Anses since long time”, said Bossio.

(Source: Secretaría de Medios de Comunicación – Argentina)

Further details

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 23:34:34 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel ® Teach Program is a worldwide effort to help teachers experienced in education and students, to integrate technology into their classrooms to develop higher thinking skills of students and enhance learning. The participating teachers receive training and resources to promote the effective use of technology in the classroom.

Teachers learn about how, when and where to incorporate technology tools and resources to their lesson plan. In addition, experimenting with new approaches for implementing lesson planning tools and focused on learning goals and the official curriculum. The program incorporates the use of Internet, Web page design and student projects as vehicles for meaningful learning.

For over a decade, Intel Teach Program has helped to primary and secondary school teachers, around the world to understand how, where and when to bring the tools and technology resources into their classrooms. Up to date, the program has trained more than four million teachers in over 40 countries and is committed to reach 13 million by 2011. The Intel Teach Program in Latin America is currently offered in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru.

(Source: Intel)

Further details

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 00:37:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 December 2010
The benefited students belongs to rural areas and low income families across the country.Education in Peru is progressing, and does so with the program "One Laptop per Child” (OLPC) that attempt to democratize the use of the internet with the delivery of a computer to poor children.

It is two years since the OLPC started this ambitious project, which has benefited over 871,000 children from 9,864 schools in the country. Now, all of them study hand in hand with the information and communication.

According to the general director of Educational Technology of the Ministry of Education, Oscar Becerra, "the daily use of this important technological tool has made that children significantly improved their reading comprehension and logical-mathematical work".

The results were obtained by the Ministry of Education (Minedu), which implemented tests of motivation and reading comprehension to students of primary schools in rural areas favored with "One Laptop per Child program", which will help more students in the next year.

(Source: Educación en red)

Further details

Monday, 27 December 2010 21:22:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Until the end of this year, the portfolio of Education will implement the first phase of the pilot "My Compu" in order to provide portable computers (laptops) to 3,200 children and 172 teachers from 17 educational institutions in Cuenca, small chuchs of Monay, Totoracocha, Yanuncay and Cañaribamba, and 622 students and 26 teachers from six schools in La Libertad (Santa Elena), as part of its Integrated Technology System for School and Community (SITEC).

In the Government office of Cuenca was signed an agreement with the Municipality of that city for the pilot program. The service includes equipment, awareness, training and assessment, with the input of the municipality on connectivity and logistics.

(Source: Diario El Telégrafo)
Further details
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 17:23:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Government of New Zealand will look into possible mobile-learning initiatives to connect rural schools, following its announcement to subsidise the costs of ultra fast broadband.“The Ministry of Education is currently looking at how to harness the potential of digital devices that nearly all students have already – their mobile phones,” Colin McGregor, Ministry of Education, group manager of curriculum teaching and learning design, told FutureGov Asia Pacific.

“An ‘m-learning’ pilot has already been successfully implemented by Onehunga High School. The Ministry is currently supporting a second project at Howick College in partnership with Waikato University and Vodafone.”

The government has identified broadband as a significant driver for e-learning and equity in education and has committed to providing 97 per cent of schools with access to speeds of 100Mbps or more via the national fibre rollout. The remaining 3 per cent in areas too remote for optic fibre currently receives 10Mbps via satellite or wireless technologies.

The ministry has been using the Virtual Learning Network (VLN), which provides mainly rural students with access to online courses. In 2010, more than 2000 New Zealand students took part in these virtual classes over the VLN.

Other initiatives include the Ministry of Education’s Laptops for Teachers and Principals scheme, which subsidises the leases on laptops for permanent, full-time or part-time teachers at state and integrated schools. The Ministry has about two thirds of the lease cost of the teacher’s laptops and fully subsidises the base model for principals. More than 43,000 laptops are currently on lease, representing an 88 per cent uptake.

(Source: Aisa Pacific futuregov)

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010 15:17:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 18 October 2010

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and Mr Paulo Campos, Vice-Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communications of Portugal, signed an agreement that Portugal, through its e-School International programme, will provide comprehensive technological solutions for schools in a number of interested countries as part of ITU’s Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative. This announcement follows through on a commitment made by Portugal during the ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF), in Lisbon in April 2009. Some twenty countries will benefit from this first phase, with the initiative supporting the launch of one connected school project per country.

Each project will test innovative approaches using ICT in the classroom, measure the impact, showcase the benefits and share lessons learned. The assistance to participating countries will include: 1)  New laptops (up to a maximum of 50) for a group of students and teachers in one school per country, 2) Laptops equipped with software and educational content,3) A smart board in each classroom, connected to the laptops to facilitate interactive e-learning,4) Wireless modems along with a school server, 5) Broadband internet connectivity provided by the local partner.

A multi-partner, international group of experts will support project implementation, including the development of a national school connectivity plan.

(Sources: ITU news, Moneybiz)

Further Details

Monday, 18 October 2010 17:29:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, 12 September 2010
To ensure that every school child can carry out its academic activities in the classroom or at home with the support of new technologies, Canaima Plan will give them a computer. Canaima is a project focused on developing tools and production models based on free information technology, which aims to build national capacity, endogenous development, ownership and promotion of free knowledge in Venezuelan children.

The president, Hugo Chávez Frías, said that for this the Bolivarian Government works great strides to meet this challenge: "For every child who enters school we will donate a laptop. We will achieve this goal and the child will gradually learn to be responsible to take care about it, to use it with the help of the teacher in the school or parents at home".

Source: CANTV-Venezuela
Further details
Sunday, 12 September 2010 07:08:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 August 2010

TEACHERS in Kenya can now acquire laptops complete with broadband internet connection and other software from Safaricom at affordable rates. This follows the signing of a partnership between Kenya’s leading telecoms firm, Safaricom, Equity Bank, Microsoft, Intel, Kenya Institute of Education and teachers’ main employer body, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Speaking during the signing ceremony at Safaricom Center, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the initiative would allow teaching professionals in the middle and low- income segments of the economy to embrace technology at an affordable price.

The partnership will see Equity Bank provide credit facilities to teachers, while Safaricom will make the acquisition of the devices, bundled with internet usage, possible through its 32-strong Safaricom Retail Centre network across Kenya. Microsoft will provide certified and subsidised Office Application software and antivirus for the laptops. It will further host and support Microsoft Live@edu email solution to all Kenyan teachers and provide access to Microsoft Learning Essentials. The laptops will also come loaded with the KIE syllabuses for both primary and secondary education. Intel will provide an application for self- training material while the TSC will create awareness about the loan among its members, and help administer the facility through a check-off system.

“We are putting internet technology in the hands of those who need it most; teachers. This will give a boost to e-learning and improve overall performance in Kenyan schools,” said Joseph.

(Source: ict news Africa)

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Monday, 30 August 2010 10:40:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 August 2010

This past May, elections were held in the Philippines during which a different government was elected and a change in administration took place.  Recently, it was reported that despite the change in government, the country's iSchools Project is still on track to be completed on time.  The iSchools project was created by the Commission on Information Communication Technology's Commissioner Emmanuel Lallana.  The project focuses on three main components of school connectivity:  Internet-enabled computer laboratories, capacity building for teachers, and the use of free and open source software.  One way in which the iSchools Project aims to connect the schools is through installing Wireless Internet Computer Laboratories in each public school; these laboratories are comprised of 19 desktop computers, a server with a webcam, a laptop, an HP four-in-one printer, a multimedia projector, and speakers for each computer.

The project is still slated to connect 1000 public schools across the archipelago.  While the new administration will most likely restructure the priorities of the project, the goals will remain the same.  So far, 680 schools have been connected through the wireless computer laboratories, and over 8400 teacher have been trained.  The thousands of teachers who have been trained can be attributed to workshops held by the iSchools Project in subjects such as the Computer and Literacy Course, Laboratory Management Training, Sustainability Planning Workshop, and others.  Teams are currently ready to be deployed to help the remaining 320 schools overcome key obstacles such as lack of Internet access, and will be sent to do so within a year, which is by the culmination of the four year project.

(Sources: FutureGov and The iSchools Project)

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Tuesday, 10 August 2010 15:31:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 06 August 2010
Under the National Plan of Education Digital Inclusion, the program "One Computer for each student" will provide an inexpensive laptop computer to each students of secundary for public technical schools (industrial and agricultural) around the country. Through this program the government plans to reach in its first phase of implementation at about 230,000 students and 20,000 teachers of the 1200 educational establishments.

The project includes the provision of:
*250 000 economic ultraportable computers (one for each student of the final cycle of agricultural technical schools and one for each teacher involved in the program)
*1200 school servers (one for each technical school involved in the program)
*250 000 pen drives (one for use with each of the laptops)
*20 000 wireless router (to establish the network courtly)
*Internet access for schools.
*7150 Furniture stores and recharges portable devices (furniture for every 35 laptops).
*Adequacy of electrical installations in the premises.
* Wiring data.
* Suitable security system in each school (allocation of fences, alarms, locks, security doors).
* Suitable cooling system keeps the enclosure at each school (Provision and installation of fans and / or air condition.

(Source: Ministry of Education of Argentina)
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Friday, 06 August 2010 15:47:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 August 2010

The Primary Education Project (PEP) is a five-year initiative targeting all public primary schools in Macedonia. PEP seeks to improve the quality of instruction and increase employment skills in youth. 

PEP’s ICT in Education Component is supporting the computerization of Macedonia’s primary schools by training teachers, developing maintenance solutions, providing digital content, and introducing innovative uses of ICT such as computer control, robotics, electronic music, video & audio recording.

The highlights of ICT component are that it supports the development of digital content for Macedonia’s schools and helps to adapt and localize existing applications in Macedonian and Albanian. The focus is on Math and Science, but content is created across the curriculum. This will enable students to benefit from modern technology in all subjects. PEP has also introduced innovative hardware and software solutions in selected primary schools in Macedonia. The range of hardware varies from low-cost lap-tops to electronic microscopes, music recording equipment, robots and control technology kits. The purpose of this is to measure the impact that different solutions can have on educational outcomes and demonstrate to decision makers the range of ICT options for education available. PEP will monitor and support these schools during the life of the project.

Macedonia, once the least developed of the Yugoslav republics,has been transformed into the world’s first “wireless country” of its size or larger. Through a grant from USAID, and support from Microsoft, Motorola and several other partners, AED project Macedonia Connects worked with a local internet service provider to connect every one of the country’s 430 primary and secondary schools to a wireless network. Now a vast majority—95%—of the country’s population has access to wireless, broadband internet service.

(Sources: PEP, USAID)

Further Details

Wednesday, 04 August 2010 18:16:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 03 August 2010

The JEI is one of Her Majesty's Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s nonprofit organizations. The JEI works hand in hand with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information Communication Technology (MoICT) to support Jordan's efforts to improve the education system and its use of ICT to transform the learning environment in Jordanian schools and advance learning for all students.

Since its launch in 2003 by the World Economic Forum partners, the JEI has been involved in multimillion dollar initiatives that have had a strong impact on the modernization of education in Jordan. The JEI relies highly on partnerships and collaborations with local and global entities. The global partners include WEF, USAID, UNESCO, CISCO, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM, SMART etc. Direct contributions to the Initiative from global and local partners have reached over US$ 25 million.

The initiative has so far reached more than 80,000 students, up-skilled more than 3,000 teachers across 102 Jordanian Public Schools. Thousands of electronic lessons have been developed and many electronic teaching tools and equipments have been deployed in schools. The JEI has also employed SMART interactive whiteboards in its discovery schools. The JEI has also piloted installing 100 Intel Classmate PCs in discovery schools.

The JEI has not only received an award from Ministry of Education but has also received 2009 UNESCO award for use of ICT in education.

(Sources: JEI, WEF )

Further Details

Tuesday, 03 August 2010 17:44:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 02 August 2010

Last week, India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled a prototype of a touch screen tablet PC which is expected to sell for 35 USD when it is released to the public in the near future.  While the tablet is already creating a stir amongst those who see it as a combatant to the XO laptop created by One Laptop per Child (OLPC), the founder, Nicholas Negroponte, has seen it as a chance to create a better laptop for education systems worldwide.  This diplomatic response was published through a congratulatory letter written by Negroponte and published in the Times of India.

In this letter, Negroponte offered those working on the tablet PC free access to all software, hardware, and lessons learned through experience of OLPC.  Negroponte also offered six key suggestions geared towards making the $35 PC a success, including focusing the project on children ages six to twelve and ways in which to design child-proof hardware.  Stressing the importance of collaboration instead of competition, Negroponte concluded his letter by encouraging Minister Kapil Sibal to send a team to Boston so that OLPC and Negroponte's associated university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can share results and experiences with the development team.  OLPC also plans to release an XO tablet for $100 by 2012.

(Sources: OLPC Blog, TechWorld, and The Times of India)

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Monday, 02 August 2010 15:41:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 30 July 2010

The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) is an examination administered in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago that is used to place students into secondary schools throughout the country.  Recently, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago asked for all companies interested in providing laptops to those students who successfully pass the SEA to provide tenders to the Ministry of Education.  Today, the government tender for the laptops closed, and the evaluation process began.  The evaluation team is comprised of six people, two of whom represent iGovTT, the department of government put in place to realize the goal of turning Trinidad and Tobago into a developed country by the year 2020.

Several preparations are being made for the release of these laptops to the students.  Policies are currently being written concerning warranty, loss, replacement, and repairs.  Additionally, the Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education is developing a curriculum with respect to the various uses of the laptops, which includes several software packages.  The Ministry of Education is also working with the Ministry of Tertiary Education to train more educators in ICT use.  Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, the Minister of Education, announced that this project would benefit the students, the teachers, and also the school system, connecting 132 public schools, eleven private schools, and nine life centers.

(Sources: Newsday, iGovTT, and The Ministry of Education)

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Friday, 30 July 2010 13:45:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 26 July 2010
India, known for the "world's cheapest" innovations, unveiled a prototype of a $35 tablet computer aimed at students.

The project is part of an ambitious education technology initiative by the Indian government, which also aims to bring broadband connectivity to India's 25,000 colleges and 504 universities and make study materials available online.

The government even plans on subsidizing the cost of the tablet for its student which would bring the purchase price down even lower. According to Kapil Sibal, the country's Minister for Human Resource Development, this is their answer to MIT's $100 computer.

The Linux-based computer at first glance resembles an Apple iPad and features basic functions you'd expect to see in a tablet--a Web browser, multimedia player, PDF reader, Wi-Fi, and video conferencing ability. It has 2GB of RAM (but no hard disk, instead using a memory card) and USB ports and could be available to kids from primary school up to the university level as early as next year.

(Sources:, cnet news)

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Monday, 26 July 2010 17:47:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 19 July 2010

Following a five-year delay, South African primary and secondary education teachers have now welcomed the release of the Teacher Laptop Initiative (TLI), officially launched last week by the Education Deputy Minister.  The initiative focuses on improving ICT usage in education by ensuring that every teacher owns and uses a laptop, by providing them with  allowances to both purchase the laptop and to cover some of the expenses required to maintain updated software and connectivity.  Last Thursday, following the TLI launch, teachers nationwide received a brief training session that included instruction on computer literacy, connectivity of email and the Internet, and inclusion of various software packages into lesson plans.

Gijima Ast, a South Africa ICT company, has partnered with the Lenovo Consortium to supply, distribute, and support all laptops that were ordered as part of the TLI.  These services will be provided by GijimaAsts's Distributed Computing Services business unit, which maintains itself to be a center of excellence specializing in the provision of infrastructure support services according to specific client needs.  Each laptop that will be distributed includes hardware with minimum specifications, Internet connectivity capabilities, insurance, and software programs such as school administration directories and national curriculum software.  The Education Labour Relations council, the institution in charge of managing TLI, aims to use this partnership to supply approximately 360,000 teachers in South Africa with laptops of their own.

(Sources: ITNewsAfrica, 7th Space Interactive, and GijimaAst)

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Monday, 19 July 2010 15:07:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 15 July 2010

In 2004, the Government of India announced a Rural Broadband policy, which pledges to develop an '''always-on' data connection" for rural areas that do not have continual access to the Internet, and are therefore hindered in their ability to learn using ICTs.  This Rural Broadband policy aligns with a vision of Hewlett Packard (HP), which is to bring PC access to more students and empower them to learn beyond the classroom through technology.  This week, HP announced its official support of the Department of Education of the Government of Rajasthan by pledging to donate 250 HP computers to benefit several Higher Secondary Schools in Rajasthan.

The Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Sachin Pilot, reinforced the importance of connecting children in the poorest and most remote areas of India so that the whole country can develop through IT-enabled growth.  HP also intends to sell affordable PCs, at less than Rs 575 per month, for those living in remote areas.  To further enable India's growth, HP offered to connect the majority of the hospitals and medical colleges in Rajasthan with the goal to improve healthcare for the people of the region.  India has taken many steps towards improving the well-being of the nation's economy and education through implementing ICT-enabled learning, and the progress will continue through partnerships and conections to companies like that with HP.

(Sources: India Infoline Limited, HP India, and the Government of India Broadband Policy)

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Thursday, 15 July 2010 16:09:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 08 July 2010

This past Monday, teachers and Heads of Schools from 150 Rwandan schools began training with the XO Laptop, the laptop developed by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).  The week-long program will be spent familiarizing teachers and administrators with the XO laptop, instructing teachers on ICT issues such as electrification of classrooms and creating parental awareness, and implementing the OLPC goals successfully.  Teachers are being trained by OLPC officials and others from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.

Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, the State Minister in charge of Primary and Secondary Education, credited President Paul Kagame for instating the initiative that strives to bring one laptop to each child.  The 300 faculty present are representative of the 30 school districts in Rwanda.  Five primary schools in each district will receive laptops.  If a school does not have easy access to electricity, solar energy efforts will be extended to that institution.  Each school will receive 400 laptops once teachers have been trained in their use for enhancing education.

(Sources: The New Times and The OLPC Global Center for Laptops and Learning)

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Thursday, 08 July 2010 15:45:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 01 July 2010

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan has taken the surge of ICT use in education seriously; they've enacted a policy of providing digital textbooks for all elementary and junior high school students by 2015.  Both Intel and Toshiba share this passion for enhancing education through the use of ICTs.  Toshiba operates the Digital Creator School at the Toshiba Science Museum, where students can go to improve ICT Literacy.  Intel founded the Intel Education Initiative, which is comprised of a range of programs designed to improve ICT education.  The Initiative includes programs such as the Intel Teach Program, designed to instruct teachers on ICT classroom use, and the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, an after-school technology learning program that enables youth in underprivileged communities to procure the ICT skills and knowledge necessary to have a successful academic life.

Earlier today, Toshiba and Intel announced the release of a new tablet PC known as the CM1 which has been specifically designed for primary education use.  Student-friendly features of this tablet include a monitor that rotates a full 180-degrees and has an advanced touch screen that allows for writing programs so that, among other things, elementary students can practice penmanship.  Additionally, to encourage collaboratoin in the classroom, the CM1 is capable of wirelessly connecting with electronic white boards and projectors.  Developers of the CM1 even included a handle so that students can easily carry it around school.  The CM1 will be released in August.  Both corporations have already outlined plans for using the CM1 in their ICT education programs, hoping to jumpstart the use and effectiveness of the CM1 in Japanese primary education.

(Sources: Toshiba and Intel Education Initiative)

Full Story

Thursday, 01 July 2010 15:20:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 June 2010

In March 2006, One Laptop per Child (OLPC) opened its offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the goal of providing $100USD laptops to children of the developing world who have little to no access to primary education.  Today, the Ministry of Education in Rwanda is getting ready to distribute OLPC computers to five schools in each district.  Rwanda was chosen as the global learning center of OLPC due to the commitment of Rwandan President Paul Kagame's commitment to triple Rwanda's economy by making the country a technological services hub.  So far, 8,000 laptops have already been distributed throughout the duration of the pilot program; an additional 60,000 laptops are being preapred to be distributed across 150 schools.

Schools were chosen to receive the laptops based on several factors, including access to electricity.  The OLPC program also includes a training section to instruct teachers on how to integrate OLPC XO laptops into the classrom.  235 teachers have already been trained, and more thorough training will commence near the end of this month.  The Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy's goal is by 2010, to have distributed laptops to half of the population of children who attend school, approximately 2.5 million students.


(Sources: One Laptop per Child, The New Times, and The Irish Times)

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Friday, 18 June 2010 11:00:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, 28 February 2010

The partnership between the Ministry of Education and Fundación Omar Dengo in Costa Rica is seen by many as a model for introducing, implementing and evaluating technology use in education. The Omar Dengo Foundation (ODF) is a private non-profit organization that has been managing and carrying out national and regional projects in the fields of human development, educational innovation and new technologies since 1987. Its different projects have benefitted more than 1.5 million Costa Ricans, including children and young people, students, educators, professionals, people from the community, and senior citizens, contributing to renovation of the national educational processes by introducing and taking advantage of digital technologies. A few programs of  ODF are highlighted below. Through, the unit responsible for creating proposals for programming and the products and services offered, the organization has gained expertise in ‘education informatics’, ‘cognition, programming and learning’, ‘digital government’, ‘robotics and learning’, ‘entrepreneurship and digital productivity’. “Labor@: Centers for entrepreneurial practice” teaches the high school students, office productivity software, logical reasoning and effective use of ICTs in business - by providing a simulation of working in a firm, a part from, business management and entrepreneurial skills. “Explor@: Using digital technologies to foster youth talents” is collaboration of government with Walmart and Microsoft aimed to target 20,000 youth inspiring them to use ICTs for innovation. The project organizes workshops for electronic game design, digital newspaper editing, web-designing, disaster prevention, data processing packages and software. The magazine is a digital newspaper distributed twice each year over the Internet, prepared by students in grades 7, 8, and 9 who participate in the Digital Journalism Club. CADE program is an educational program designed to promote active citizenship. The program seeks to strengthen and develop deliberative capabilities in children and adolescents using digital technologies as didactical resources. Robotica is an Educational Robotics Program providing a digital environment relying on digital technologies and inspiring innovation, creativity, thought, analysis, design and troubleshooting. The program also includes training for teachers and a discussion blog. The official website states the motive as: “The purpose is to use the work done on projects to create a scientific-technological culture where the students prepare significant programming products, build prototypes related to industrial or technological process simulation, or recreate sites and events linked to their socio-cultural setting.” New Millennium is a digital magazine for students published on the Internet in two annual editions. This project seeks for Costa Rican students to be creative and active Internet users, using this medium to express themselves and share what they have learned with boys and girls from around the world. In addition, it is an attempt for students to be able to appropriate the technology, i.e, know how to use it and build significant products. Edunov@ explores the use of mobile technology in education. Reviews of Omar Dengo Foundation’s project can be seen here, here and here.

Sunday, 28 February 2010 22:35:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 27 February 2010

The partnership between the Ministry of Education and Fundación Omar Dengo in Costa Rica is seen by many as a model for introducing, implementing and evaluating technology use in education. The Omar Dengo Foundation (ODF) is a private non-profit organization that has been managing and carrying out national and regional projects in the fields of human development, educational innovation and new technologies since 1987. Its different projects have benefitted more than 1.5 million Costa Ricans, including children and young people, students, educators, professionals, people from the community, and senior citizens, contributing to renovation of the national educational processes by introducing and taking advantage of digital technologies. A few programs of  ODF are highlighted below. 
  Through, the unit responsible for creating proposals for programming and the products and services offered, the organization has gained expertise in ‘education informatics’, ‘cognition, programming and learning’, ‘digital government’, ‘robotics and learning’, ‘entrepreneurship and digital productivity’.
  “Labor@: Centers for entrepreneurial practice” teaches the high school students, office productivity software, logical reasoning and effective use of ICTs in business - by providing a simulation of working in a firm, a part from, business management and entrepreneurial skills.
  “Explor@: Using digital technologies to foster youth talents” is collaboration of government with Walmart and Microsoft aimed to target 20,000 youth inspiring them to use ICTs for innovation. The project organizes workshops for electronic game design, digital newspaper editing, web-designing, disaster prevention, data processing packages and software.
  The magazine is a digital newspaper distributed twice each year over the Internet, prepared by students in grades 7, 8, and 9 who participate in the Digital Journalism Club.
  CADE program is an educational program designed to promote active citizenship. The program seeks to strengthen and develop deliberative capabilities in children and adolescents using digital technologies as didactical resources.
  Robotica is an Educational Robotics Program providing a digital environment relying on digital technologies and inspiring innovation, creativity, thought, analysis, design and troubleshooting. The program also includes training for teachers and a discussion blog. The official website states the motive as:
  “The purpose is to use the work done on projects to create a scientific-technological culture where the students prepare significant programming products, build prototypes related to industrial or technological process simulation, or recreate sites and events linked to their socio-cultural setting.”
  New Millennium is a digital magazine for students published on the Internet in two annual editions. This project seeks for Costa Rican students to be creative and active Internet users, using this medium to express themselves and share what they have learned with boys and girls from around the world. In addition, it is an attempt for students to be able to appropriate the technology, i.e, know how to use it and build significant products.
  Edunov@ explores the use of mobile technology in education.
  Reviews of Omar Dengo Foundation’s project can be seen here, here and here.

Saturday, 27 February 2010 22:52:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Kenya’s private and public sectors have teamed with a thriving non-profit organization to provide secondary schools with refurbished computers and ICT training.

The Project
Computers for Schools Kenya (CFSK) collects, refurbishes and redistributes used computers to Kenyan secondary schools. A Kenyan adaptation of a Canadian government program, Computers for Schools Canada (CFS), CFSK differs from traditional computer recycling programs in two important aspects. First, the computers are refurbished by students who in the process acquire technical training. Second, as much as possible the computers are not imported from abroad but are donated by the local business community.

The Development Goals
Working closely with Kenya’s private sector and the Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, CFSK aims to give more students access to computer technology and to cultivate the skills that young people need to succeed in a knowledge-based society. CFSK is also helping teachers, school principals, volunteers and other stakeholders acquire computer training. It is prolonging computer lifespans by applying “thin client” technology, which minimizes the need for up-to-date desktop computers by having servers handle most processing. And it is beginning to introduce wireless Internet access into Kenya’s schools.

The Impact
CFSK has distributed computers to various public institutions across Kenya, including rural or disadvantaged secondary schools, homes for street children, community resource centers and educational institutions for students with special needs. Through its computer distribution program, not only is CFSK empowering Kenyan youth in an increasingly information-based society, but it is also equipping its young people with invaluable employment skills that will facilitate their future job prospects.

Through the CFSK program, disadvantaged Kenyan youth are discovering their inner talents and capabilities in addition to becoming aware of a world of opportunities available to them in the ICT sector. They are driven and motivated to maximise their potential and to aspire to goals and ambitions that are loftier than what they previously believed themselves capable of.

Computers for Schools Kenya video:
Part I
Part II

Source: IDRC1 Website , IDRC2 Website , The back of the moon Website
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 13:46:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 09 February 2010

The Portuguese government is providing educational PCs to school children receiving basic education -- equivalent to elementary school -- in a memorandum of understanding with Intel Corporation. The Magellan Initiative, a program under Portugal’s education technology plan, targeted to deliver a half million computers based on the Intel-powered classmate PC to Portuguese children in the year 2009. The Magellan Initiative complements Portugal’s successful year-old e-School project, which provides educational notebooks and Internet access to teachers and students for the secondary level of school education.

The full-featured student laptop is specially developed by Intel for education. Regarded as the ‘rugged little laptops’ Intel’s Classmate PC comes in various versions in various developing countries, with educational softwares and high-speed internet connectivity options, designed especially for school children. The laptop is distributed in more than 50 countries. In addition to the Classmate PCs, Intel will serve as Portugal's technology adviser for the Magellan Initiative and currently plans to create a “Competence Centre” in Portugal to expand the use of mobile PCs and Internet access and use that knowledge to replicate pilot projects in other countries. Recently, Venezuelan government has also signed an agreement with Portugal that will bring 1 million low-cost Magellan notebooks to the South American country.

Link for Video about Magellan initiative in Portugal

Sources: Intel news release, Technology blog

Tuesday, 09 February 2010 19:28:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 08 February 2010

Plan Ceibal, the education reform initiative that is aiming (most famously) to provide one laptop for every student and teacher in Uruguay. The initial goal was primary education and now its being extended to include the secondary education level. The presentation given by Brechner at IDB’s sponsored event describes the pillars of Plan Ceibal as Equity, Learning and Technology (video of presentation available here). The plan targets to provide one laptop per student and per teacher at all public schools, but is not essentially limited to laptops, rather it extends to development of contents and tools for improving education. The plan also includes efforts for provision of wireless internet at school and public places.

Summarizing the results of partnership with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative, Bechner stated that, when it came to individual access to personal computing for all students in Uruguay, "What was a privilege in 2006 is a right in 2009". The Uruguayan example, Brechner continued, shows that it is indeed possible to provide a laptop (for free) to every student, and how this can be done. In the case of Uruguay, "costs are manageable", he said, and "impacts are immediate". Uruguay's interest in serving as a global model for educational transformation enabled in large part by 1-to-1 computing for students is laudable. The presentation provides financial data to substantiate all the above claims.

The official portal of Plan Ceibal provides various
news of the subsidiary projects and initiatives of the Plan. The most striking feature of connectivity through laptops is their ability to connect rural and remote areas to the rest of the world, Plan Ceibal is doing the same. The Plan Ceibal Blog covers the latest news and updates on the project. The blog covered the impacts of OLPC on learning of children in schools and lives of children with disabilities through short anecdotes. A book on the Plan titled “Ceibal in the society of 21st century” was also published in collaboration with UNESCO giving a detailed account of the project and its evaluations.

See the detailed and complete analysis at Trucano’s

More information about Plan Ceibal and OLPC in Uruguay:

Monday, 08 February 2010 21:36:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 05 February 2010

Computers for African Schools (CFAS) is a registered charity committed to improving educational opportunity in Africa . Redundant working computers, donated by firms and other computer users in the UK , are placed in to schools in southern Africa . Usually these are state and mission secondary schools and all schools receive the computers free of charge.

The Computers for Malawian School scheme is jointly administered by the British Council and SchoolNet Malawi, which is a registered trust within the SchoolNet Africa organization.

The British Council receives the goods exempt of duty in Lilongwe. They are transferred to the SchoolNet facilities in Blantyre where the SchoolNet staff check, process, and repair the equipment. Microsoft OS and MSOffice are installed by agreement with Microsoft. The SchoolNet team also sets up the computers at the recipient schools.

As in all recipient countries, strict criteria are applied to the candidate schools to ensure they have the right facilities and security to house the equipment. Each school receives 10 to 15 computers and a printer. Training of the teachers in ICTs has been arranged by the British Council, and UK trainers have travelled to Malawi to carry out training courses.

In conjunction with the scheme, the Malawian Ministry of Education has developed an ICT curriculum. Each recipient school is required to give a report on its experience with the computers and is subject to audit.

Source: ICT for Education in Malawi , CFAS
Friday, 05 February 2010 09:48:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 04 February 2010
In an effort to “connect” more students and youths to the information superhighway and boosting their capabilities the field of ICTs, DST Group and Ericsson signed an MOU in July 2009 to provide internet connections for some 4,000 students from four different schools in Brunei Darussalam. Tanjong Kindana Primary School, Berakas Secondary School, Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar Secondary School and Sayyidina Othman Secondary School were selected by the Ministry of Education to be part of this pioneer programme.

The four selected schools will be provided with fixed wireless terminals, high-speed data SIM cards and laptops. DST Group Go! Broadband service supports Internet Access of up to 7.2 Mbps. Schools will be able to enjoy seamless and fast Internet connection effortlessly, through top-notch infrastructure and high-speed wireless networks at any one place without cables or landlines. At the same time, educators will also be able to take e-learning out of the classrooms and enjoy instant speed and flexible deployment anywhere around within the schools premises. This mega project is in line with the Ministry of Education’s system that aims to equip students with the necessary skills to compete in the new economy namely the “Internet economy”.

Sources: Brunei FM, The Brunei Times
Thursday, 04 February 2010 19:22:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Against the backdrop of a rising e-waste problem in developing countries, a sustainable and practical approach to refurbishing computers for donation purposes is absolutely indispensable. This is what Digital Links, a social enterprise founded in 2002, is aiming for.

The most recent project is the deployment of a scheme allowing teachers in Zambia, the host country of eLearning Africa 2010, to purchase computers. The idea is to equip teachers with around 30,000 notebooks, taking varying income levels into account. This will be done in partnership with the 50x15 Foundation and Mecer, South Africa. The laptops are specifically aimed at the teacher/education market and have exceptionally low power consumption. Ten thousand public servants and teachers have already signed up for the first year of this program.

Once this program is running, Digital Links will begin the planning of digital labs across the country. Out of an expected eligible number of 80,000 teachers countrywide, Digital Links expects to service around 60,000 teachers over the course of three years. However, this scheme has the potential (and the agreement of the government in principle) to involve more than 150,000 public servants. There has also been considerable interest in the digital lab model in Zambia. Digital Links partner Mecer is one of the three major corporate ICT distributors in Zambia. MDZ has entered into an arrangement with the Zambian government to distribute all its products to civil servants and has approached Digital Links to help deploy their large-scale computerization program.

Source: digital-links
Thursday, 04 February 2010 17:04:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A substantial grant from Google has enabled notebook computers running Linux and a variety of open source software to be rolled out at rural schools in Fiji.

Google's Open Source Program Office made the donation via the Imara Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which aims to expand the use of technology in developing communities. Details of the donation were revealed in a post on Google's official coding blog. (note that this project is separate from OLPC) "

The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) component is central to the sustainability and adaptability of the project," MIT staffer Jonathan Proulx wrote in the post. "Since it's free, there's no additional software cost when the project expands, or if community groups wish to further leverage the technology." The machines use Edubuntu, an education-tweaked version of Ubuntu, along with common packages such as OpenOffice and The Gimp and specialist education software.

Open source advocates have long argued that developing communities will benefit from being able to use free software components to build their technology knowledge. However, choosing the hardware for use in Fiji proved to be something of a challenge.

Notebook PCs were deemed more suitable because of variable power supply availability in the different schools. The 10 Lenovo Thinkpads were taken to Fiji as carry-on luggage by three MIT staff members.

Future plans for the project include sponsoring additional training for local teachers, and rolling out printers and digital cameras.

Source: iTWire Website
Thursday, 04 February 2010 16:32:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Deployments in Nauru have commenced on August 1st-8th 2008, and continue in April 2009 with the Minister of Education requesting assistance with a Country Program, from the OLPC Oceania Technical Working Group. The trials are being implemented in Yaren Primary School and Kayser College. The initial trials were made in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific (USP) Centre in Nauru, and the Ministry of Education. USP Centre have opened a community FM radio broadcast station, and the intention is to link the OLPC trials in the school with content development centered around the radio broadcasting. Missions were fielded to provide additional training and technical advice by SPC in September 2008 and by regional OLPC expert David Leeming in April/May 2009.

Teacher training

In April/May 2009, teacher training focused on curriculum integration and content development. Teachers learned how to integrate their XO usage into the rich task curriculum, and how to research for and start collaborating on open educational resources using the Wikieducator to use and download for their school server. Parents and community were also trained.

Video: Youtube of April 2009 OLPC teacher training in Nauru

Source: wiki.laptop
Thursday, 04 February 2010 15:55:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 03 February 2010
The e-learning initiative by Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) aims to modernize Vietnam's education system by 2011 and to provide opportunities for the country's teachers and students – especially those in remote and rural areas.The Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam and Viettel are collaborating on a projecteducation network’, which will allow 39,000 kindergartens, secondary and high schools to have free access to the Internet. These schools will also be exempted from installation fees. Notably, they will enjoy this free service forever. For provincial and municipal Departments of Education and Training, universities, colleges and vocational training schools (around 600 units), Viettel will collect a portion of monthly Internet charges.

The MOET is also in partnership with Intel Semiconductor Ltd. Vietnam to accelerate the MOET's e-learning initiative. Under “Computer for Schools” project, Intel and local technology companies will make available 1 million affordable PCs during the next 2 years. The program's objective is to provide all Vietnamese teachers with a PC with educational software and broadband Internet connectivity. The MOET and Intel also announced a contest to encourage 1 million teachers nationwide to create e-learning content. In Vietnam, Intel has cooperated with the MOET in the past too, to increase Internet-connected PCs and development of rich, localized content and software applications among local schools, teachers and students. These efforts include the donation of more than 1,900 PCs; training 43,000 teachers to date under the Intel® Teach program; and an intention to train an additional 15,000 teachers in the year 2009-2010.

ViOlympic Elead, ViOlympic and Bkis would bring the ‘Computer-for-schools’ program another breakthrough product ViOlympic. ViOlympic is the especially significant computer, meaningful for those who wish to compete in the ViOlympic contest by the Ministry of Education and Training. This is the unique series to have onboard ViOlympic software for practice mathematical problem solving. The computer is also installed Myeqtext- mathematics software to meet the requirements of pupils in general and ViOlympic contest in particular. ViOlympic computer ensures the safety and protection for pupils from negative impacts when accessing the Internet as it is pre-installed with copyright BkavPro 2009 Internet Security antivirus software, which is able to control and prevent access to websites of bad contents.

Sources: VUFO- NGO Resource Centre Vietnam, Intel News Release, FPT Newsroom
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 21:26:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 05 January 2010

XO-3 by OLPCOne Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide low cost, connected, educational laptop to each child in the world, recently announced its product road map regarding new versions of their XO laptop with enhanced performance, lower power requirements and lower costs.

XO-3, the latest XO concept to be available in 2012, would offer an innovative design of a thin touch screen tablet at lower power consumption and cost and will have a target price of well below $100.

OLPC laptops are designed to be rugged, low cost, low power, connected laptops with special educational softwares for children of remote and underprivileged rural communities.

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 17:39:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |