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 Sunday, January 31, 2010

SchoolNet is an initiative that promotes the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in learning through supporting the connection of schools to the Internet and by creating a network of schools. The UNESCO SchoolNet project, “Strengthening ICT in Schools and SchoolNet Project in ASEAN Setting”, was initiated in recognition of the need to assist teachers in integrating ICT into teaching and to facilitate participation of teachers and students in the Asia-Pacific region in SchoolNet telecollaboration activities.

The project was launched in July 2003 and focuses on three subject areas, languages, mathematics and science. SchoolNet activities have been piloted in 24 schools in8 participating countries of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

The UNESCO SchoolNet project aims to encourage use of ICT in teaching-learning, improve connectivity, expand access to the wealth of educational resources available via the Internet and establish and promote SchoolNet in the Asia-Pacific region. National coordinators facilitate project implementation in each participating ASEAN-region country. Project partners include Japanese Funds-in-Trust and ASEAN Foundation.

Source:UNESCO SchoolNet Project resource

Sunday, January 31, 2010 10:11:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The IT for Rural Schools Program was started in 1995, with the objective of minimizing educational inequality by providing rural school teachers, students, and children with disabilities with access to computer technology. The project covers some 72 rural schools across Thailand.

Launched in 1998, the Learn and Have Fun with CAI for Primary School Students Project has the main function of identifying quality CAI software from abroad for use in Thai primary schools, and integrating this software initially into three subject areas: math, science, and English. The project also includes staff development to train teachers in the full and effective use of the CAI software in their classes.

RH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn believes that if prison inmates are trained in skills that are of a practical use and in high demand, such as computer skills, they will have a better chance of finding a good job after their sentences are finished and of becoming good citizens of benefit to society. Acting on this belief, Her Royal Highness launched the IT for Inmates Program under the Princess’s IT Project. The Program began at Bang hen Central Women’s Prison at Khlong Prem in 1997. In 1992, the Technical Information Access Center under the National Science and Technology Development Agency hired the prison inmates to type Thai and English journal indexes. At present, numerous organizations offer the inmates typing jobs. Between 1992 and 2003, the inmates earned a combined total of approximately 160,000 baht in this way. Later, the prisoners also learnt computer graphics. At present, the average accumulated income generated as a result of this Program is about 50,000 baht per month.

In 2003, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn provided an opportunity for the inmates to contribute to society by taking part in the production of audio books for the blind. This project came about through collaboration among three bodies: the Princess’ IT Project, the Thai Blind Association and Bangkhen Women’s Prison. Initially, some 47 inmates participated in the project, 35 of whom read, while the other 12 carried out audio editing using the computers. By the end of 2003, this group of inmates was expected to have produced a total of 1,000 hours of audio books.

Further details can be seen in this report. Source: UNESCO Bangkok online resources
Sunday, January 31, 2010 9:13:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Microsoft has recently developed a new technology - called MultiPoint – which has high potential to serve rural areas which have limited technology infrastructure and budget, to integrate technology in education. MultiPoint Mouse SDK applications allow schools to increase the number of students that can access technology in a classroom or lab, simply by plugging in an existing or new mouse per student. This product enables up to 25 children to simultaneously use and operate a single computer via multiple mice. This saves schools having to buy a separate PC for each child.

Applications built on the MultiPoint Mouse SDK can increase student learning comprehension through interactive methods. Applications built on the MultiPoint Mouse SDK can provide teachers with tools to gain real-time assessment information to help them provide a personalized learning experience for each of their students.

MultiPoint Mouse is already being used in 12 countries. Video demonstrating uses and benefits of MultiPoint Mouse can be seen here.
Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:12:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
girl without arms and legs uses computerBorn without arms and legs, Toyeeba Soumair, a girl from Narathiwat province, never thought that she would get a chance to explore the world of computers until she met HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at Baan Plug Pla School 11 years ago. That moment changed her life."Since the young girl has no arms at all, we had to design a computer which has a special switch device, which allows her to easily perform mouse functions using her shoulder with just one click," Pairach Thajchayapong, the vice chairman of the Princess's IT project, said. IT for the Disabled Program under the Princess’ IT Project in Thailand is an exemplary project to provide assistance to students with disabilities through the use of technology.

In 1998, Srisangwan School became part of this project. Computers were placed in the regular classrooms, 10 in each for grades 1 to 6. The National Electronic and Computer Technology Centre (NECTEC) has provided training for teachers at Srisangwan School on how to assess the capabilities of disabled children in order to identify the most appropriate assistance for them, and on how to effectively utilize IT tools for working with disabled children. The school also receives support from physical therapists, speech therapists, special educationists, and computer instructors to create individual curricula to suit each child’s special needs and physical abilities. The computer skills of the students at Srisangwan School have been shown to be of the same standard as those of non-disabled students, and the teachers are capable of using computer-assisted instruction programs to support their own teaching.

Kawila Anukul School is a school for children with learning difficulties in Chiang Mai province. In addition to a computer workshop facility, the Program has also constructed an IT-assisted classroom at Kawila Anukull. In this classroom, computers are used as a teaching aid together with other technologies that make it possible for students with writing, speech, or learning difficulties to learn and develop necessary skills.

Source: Adapted from UNESCO Bangkok online resources
Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:08:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
“Partners in Learning” is a global initiative designed to actively increase access to technology and improve its use in learning. Since its launch in 2003, Partners in Learning has touched the lives of more than 135 million students, teachers, and education policymakers in 101 countries.

Its program “Innovative Schools” helps schools around the world to move beyond the limits of the classroom and traditional learning models. For instance, In Singapore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and Microsoft have initiated BackPack.NET, an ambitious five year program which encourages inquiry, creativity, and student-centered learning through advanced applications of technology in the classroom. It includes a pilot project that puts Tablet PCs into the hands of every student at a number of “pioneer schools.”

“Innovative Teachers” connects and empowers educators worldwide. For example, in India, Microsoft is working with education departments, colleges, and universities to incorporate pre-service information and communications technology (ICT) curriculum in a sustainable and scalable model. Already, 160,000 teachers and hundreds of teacher educators have been trained in ICT skills. The Innovative Teachers Network enables teachers to learn from one another and work collaboratively on new approaches to learning through national or region-wide portals. Today, on a daily basis, more than 400,000 teachers on 52 local networks connect and share ideas, practices, and professional development resources.

“Innovative Students” aims to provide students with access to programs and curriculum that help fully integrate technology into the learning process, both in school and at home. It also enables qualified governments to provide used computers and affordable software to underserved primary and secondary student households that aspire to own a PC. Microsoft is also supporting the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research project to contribute information and policy insights on effective education transformation.

Detailed information about Microsoft Partners in learning initiatives in five Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam can be found in this case study.
Source: Adapted from Microsoft Partners in Learning webpage and brochure.
Sunday, January 31, 2010 10:45:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, January 30, 2010

 

Google has decided to promote literacy through the Google Literacy Project. The website is dedicated to literacy integrating Google’s book, blogs, video and map services to help teachers and educational organizations communicate effectively. This new project stems from the desire to spread knowledge, says Nikesh Arora, vice president of Google's European operations, "Google's business was borne out of a desire to help people find information." In its quest for literacy Google has got several partnerships with LITCAM, UNESCO and several others. Google has invited people all over world to share their projects, videos, blogs etc related to literacy, the largest collection submitted initially was the videos from project 'same language subtitling' (India).

Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:39:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Innovative use of ICTs in education ICTs are bringing revolutions in every aspect of our lives making us use technology more and more to get the best out of it. Use of ICTs in education is also creating a paradigm shift in our pedagogical methods by incorporating technology: exploiting its immense potential to invigorate the cognitive process of students; capitalizing on its ability to bridge distances and divides of time and resources, by providing equal opportunity for access; relying on its inherent capability for quick replication, in other regions – predicting that the future of education is highly coupled to technology incorporation.

Hundreds of projects are being carried out in the asia pacific region for innovative us of ICTs in education, only a few selected ones from south asia are being covered here. Dharkan 107.8 is an example of the use of radio for imparting education, general awareness and supporting health education in rural areas of Madhya Pardesh (India). Nokia’s LifeTools is an example of the ‘mobile application’ providing rural areas with services related to agriculture, education and entertainment. Digital StudyHall is a initiative combining traditional pedagogical methods with the digital recorded lectures disseminated through DVDs and small TV sets in rural areas (battery powered). UNESCO Jakarta’s (Indonesia) project to use open source software converting text to voice for visually impaired individuals is another outstanding example of how ICTs are facilitating special education. A similar project is being implemented in Pakistan for assisting the deaf through ICTs.

Google’s internet bus project is educating people about benefits of internet (education in particular) through a customized ‘internet enabled bus’ travelling from city to city. Egyankosh – a national repository, is preserving and sharing digital learning resources developed by institutions all over India and also collaborating with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and several other countries. “E-learning for Kids is a global, non-profit foundation dedicated to fun and free learning on the Internet for children ages five-to-12” providing short courses (in 5 different languages) on basic subjects e.g.Science, Mathematics, Language arts, etc and has outreached over million children in 80 countries. Solar powered ePods is an example of incorporating energy efficient solutions in education.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 1:04:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 29, 2010

Adapted from: http://india.gov.in/spotlight/spotlight_archive.php?id=40

According to the spotlight review on the india.gov website the ‘India, a successful ICT powered nation, has always laid a lot of emphasis on the use of ICTs, not only for good governance but also in diverse sectors of the economy such as health, agriculture and education etc.’

The use of ICTs in education has certainly been improved over the years with several initiatives worth mentioning. According to the review the ‘most vital contribution of ICTs in the field of education is easy access to learning resources’, enabling the students to have easy access to resources. The examination results (held by several Boards/ Institutions/ Commissions) are now available online and also through email, SMS and IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System). Online admissions counseling is available for admissions to professional degree courses as well information regarding scholarship opportunities and educational loans are disseminated to the meritorious students across backgrounds and financial status. Information related to admissions to foreign universities is readily available to the students.

Several Distance Education programs are being run which make it easy for students in remote areas to continue their education. The textbooks of the national curriculum (NCERT), from grade 1 to 12, have been uploaded online for convenience of students and teachers. Sample papers for many entrance exams and other competitions are also available online. Such a facility is also being provided by Indira Gandhi National Open University.

One of the most vital ICT initiatives is the development of Brihaspati, a virtual classroom; an endeavor is by The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Brihaspati is a web-based e-learning program, which enables instructors to enhance on campus learning by sharing course materials, having class discussions, and making assessments on the web. It can also be used to deploy e-learning content for off campus self as well as mentored learning. This tool is open source software and can be used by any university.

Friday, January 29, 2010 7:00:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The IBM KidSmart Early Learning Program integrates new interactive teaching and learning activities using the latest technology into the pre-kindergarten curricula. The program is now being implemented in 60 countries internationally, serving more than 2 million children from remote geographic areas to underprivileged areas of town and cities.

IBM's KidSmart program includes the Young Explorer™, a computer housed in brightly colored, kid-friendly Little Tikes™ furniture and equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. Through KidSmart, IBM donates one Young Explorer unit to select schools and also installs educational software for free on a school's existing computers. The program includes follow-up services: If the schools experience software-related problems, IBM will fix the problems and reinstall the programs if necessary.

The program's main target is children who do not have access to computers. IBM thus coordinates with the National Education Ministry to select schools to be included in KidSmart. IBM also runs teacher training workshops as part of KidSmart to introduce teachers to the technology, and also to teach them how to integrate KidSmart as a classroom activity.

Since its launch in 1998, IBM has invested more than $106 million in the KidSmart Early Learning Program, including the donation of more than 45,000 KidSmart Early Learning Centers. The program is now in 60 countries, and has trained more than 100,000 teachers and served more than 10 million students.

There's also a web site available to support teachers and parents. The KidSmart Early Learning website was created in collaboration with the Center for Children and Technology, Bank Street College of Education and United Way. Available in 9 languages, the website includes a guide for parents to encourage early learning at home and a section for preschool teachers that details how they can best use technology to support learning in their classrooms.

Source: IBM website
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 8:09:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Metfone Viettel, a Cambodia-based affiliate of the Vietnamese military-owned Viettel Corporation, offers free internet services to schools in Cambodia.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on “Metfone Internet in school and scholarship program”, valued up to 5 million USD, has been signed between Metfone and Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) on December 29, 2009.

Following the MOU, from 2009 -2015, Metfone will provide free Internet connections and related equipments to all public schools, education centers, universities, colleges and MoEYS’s offices in Cambodia, totaling up to 2,000 access points. Moreover, under Metfone scholarship fund, hundreds of excellent pupils and students would be awarded scholarships worth 240 USD for two years (10 USD per month).

Also, in this MOU signing ceremony, 334 broadband internet connections were handed over as completion of phase 1, for schools, departments and computers for learning, teaching, managing and e-education purpose of Cambodia.

It is expected that by 2015, more than one million students and teachers will enjoy utilities and benefits upon the completion of the connections, generating new drive/stimulus for the development of education in Cambodia.

Source: Adapted from Foreign Press Center Vietnam
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:39:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Intel® Teach Program launched in Pakistan in March 2002, which focuses on giving ‘extensive training and resources’ to promote ‘effective technology use in the classroom’. The program offers several courses to train the teachers, though all focus on incorporating technology into teaching, yet the course titled “skills for success course” is particularly designed for the ICT teachers. According to Intel’s official stats they have successfully trained more than 220,000 teachers reaching out to over 70 districts and cities so far … targeting remote schools like ‘Dewan Farooq Memorial School’ (Badin, Sindh) as well as developed school systems like PAF or Fazaia School System (having 25 schools nationwide). Recently Intel, Pre-STEP & USAID have made an agreement for strengthening teacher training institutes.

The ICT integration into the curricula has not only paid off in terms of improving the education standards but also has led to several community based initiatives, cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns!

The National Science Olympiad affiliated with Intel® is held in collaboration with ministry of education as well as science and technology, for students from grade 9 – 12 aimed at promoting research based learning among students, particularly in Science and Mathematics. The winners of the Olympiad are then selected for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair which “is the world's largest pre-college science fair competition, where students have a chance to explore, discover, and innovate.” Intel also gives away awards to the teachers and institutes promoting ICTs in their institutes linked with the program.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:57:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 25, 2010
The Azerbaijani Education Ministry aims to connect 7,000 educational institutions to high-speed Internet as part of the "state program on informatization of education in 2008-2012", as declared by Education Minister Misir Mardanov on June 12, 2009.

The action plan of the state program includes improving material and technical base of educational institutions, equipping them with computer equipment, developing networks and intranet access to the Internet, creating electronic research tools in all disciplines, resource base of e-education (e-learning), Information and Resource Center in the application of ICT in education, a single educational portal, measures to promote distance education in the country, educational informatization management system, strengthening of human capacity and improving the regulatory framework.

Under this program, AZEDUNET is collaborating with Azerbaijan Ministry of Education and Ministry of Communications and IT, to connect all the educational institutions of the country to the unique high-speed internet network.

Through the state program, 500 schools in Baku and Sumgait were expected to be connected to Azerbaijan data and resource center till the end of 2009. By December 2009, 350 schools of the capital Baku and Sumgait were already connected to the center.

For the protection of moral and psychological state of schoolchildren, AZEDUNET Azerbaijan education network is also operating the web-content filtering system built on Web sense solutions. It filters websites included to limited category, and limits access to video audio files, harmful information searching in different languages over 60 categories in the search system. It gives the opportunity of providing maximum online protection to children from harmful content.

The Azerbaijan Education Ministry also plans to increase teachers' skills and computer literacy in the year 2010. “A mechanism has been created to improve teachers' skills”, Education Minister Misir Mardanov said at a press conference. According to the official, training sessions for primary school teachers in computer science and English would begin in 2010.

Source: Adapted from Trend News Agency (Azerbaijan)
Monday, January 25, 2010 8:01:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

India, a rapidly growing economy, having recorded 19% reduction in poverty over a decade, still has poor literacy rate with around 400 million people unable to read and write. Fakir Chand Kohli, widely regarded as the father of India's software industry challenged the software application reduction in literacy rates. The project poses great potential for improvement of women literacy. (54% women are literate as compared to 76% men)

“Launched in February 2000 in the Beeramguda village in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, this ground-breaking project seeks to combat illiteracy with a new approach to learning, using multimedia and flashcards to fortify the learning experience”. The Computer-Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) method, primarily focused on reading, is designed to provide a basic 300-500 word vocabulary to adults over the course of 40 hours – ‘about a third of the time of traditional training’, and essentially based on the theories of cognition, language and communication.

A typical class has between 15 and 20 people and is held in the evening hours. CBFL curriculum provides flexibility to adjust to the varied schedules of working adults with families, and does not require trained teachers. A detailed analysis of CFBL is given here and the pictures here.

"You don't need a state of the art computer for this program to really fly," says Tata Group Chairman Ratan N. Tata, which means that the training can be conducted on donated 486 Pentium computers deemed obsolete by many users but adequate for CBFL.”

Today the CBFL project is operational in more than 1,000 centers in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Ncomputer based functional literacyadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and it has helped more than 50,000 people learn the most basic reading. More centers are in the process of being set up. CBFL has been field tested in five of India's 18 languages -- Telegu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, and Bengali, with the help of government and NGOs in various locations throughout India. Tata claims that if implemented properly, the project can make 90 per cent of India literate in three to five years, thereby transforming the third world workforce.

CBFL has even been exported to South Africa, thanks to the interest of First Lady Zanele Mbeki. A TCS team is helping experts in that country to map the sounds of unwritten South African languages and develop a script for use in computer-based literacy training.

A similar program previously implemented in Nagrota Surian in 2005 was ASHA which aimed at teaching 15000 adults how to read and write in a period of 3 years.

Monday, January 25, 2010 6:50:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 24, 2010

students in computer lab Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) shares science, education and technology with teachers and students around the world. SEED is a volunteer-based, non-profit education program focused to inspire, influence and enable educators in underserved communities where Schlumberger people live, and work to engage youth in science and technology.

The SEED School Network Program offers to disadvantaged schools located in developing countries the financial and technical assistance needed to connect them to the Internet. It provides computer hardware and software, internet connectivity and related services, educational resources, and future planning guidance. During the period of grant, SEED works in close collaboration with the participating schools to ensure the continuity of the program once the grant expires. To date, there are 248 schools serving more than 260,000 children in 42 countries.

students in workshop SEED’s Educational Programs offer students and educators in SEED network schools hands-on workshops and online activities and projects using a project-based, Learning While Doing (LWD) approach. So far, total 58 school workshops have been conducted in 15 countries benefitting 1,490 students and 247 teachers, with global themes: Climate Change and Energy; Water. 78 projects have been in completed in 18 countries on topics like Waste collection, tsunami warning systems, automatic irrigation, smoke detection, earth science, robotics, and others

Its Online Science Center provides a broad range of educational resources and opportunities to learners and educators in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

NASA Education Program, UNICEF and IEARN (International Education and Resource Network) are among many friends and partners of SEED program.
Sunday, January 24, 2010 5:15:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 19, 2010

UNESCO Bangkok and Intel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to impart technologically up-to-date teaching skills to pre-service teachers in 9 countries in the Asia Pacific region. These countries are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.


Teachers in a training UNESCO and Intel would together deliver the ‘Next Generation of Teachers’ Project with the objective to enable teachers to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) efficiently in their teaching methodology. The program would deploy resources from Intel Teach Program in Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) across the region. Under this collaboration, workshops already have been conducted in Bangladesh, Mongolia and Philippines in over 23 teacher education institutions.


The Intel Teach Program enables teachers to be more effective educators by training them on incorporation of technology in education as well as on promotion of analytical thinking, problem solving and cooperation skills in their students. To date, the program has trained more than 6 million teachers in over 50 countries, including 15 countries in Asia Pacific.


Participants Intel Teach Philippines Intel Teach is running a huge project in Indonesia, in collaboration with USAID; the program enables master teachers to integrate ICTs in their daily lessons, who further train their fellow teachers on Intel teach program. The project aims to train at least 15,000 Indonesian teachers by 2010. Under a similar project, Intel trained around 80,000 teachers in Philippines and also donated some Intel-based personal computers.


Intel’s another initiative, Intel World Ahead program is designed to provide affordable computers, Internet access and localized digital content; hence helps connecting people to technology.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:56:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, January 16, 2010

 computer lab in Philippines schoolThe department of Education (DepEd) in Philippines has joined hands with several private corporations and social organizations to launch DepEd Internet Connectivity Project (DICP). Under this program, DepEd has fully adopted and supported Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) project.

Launched on May 15, 2009, DICP aims to connect all the public schools in Philippines to internet as well as providing necessary training to teachers and students in about five years. Provision of electronic library system and integration of ICTS in all learning areas of curriculum are also on the target list of DepEd. So far, the project has already connected 2,375 out of 6,505 schools throughout the country.

Through DICP, Philippines was the first country to affiliate with ‘ICT for Education project’ of Intel. Globe Telecom, IBM, Microsoft Philippines, Apple South Asia, and Philstar.com are among many other partners of the program.

Saturday, January 16, 2010 6:41:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 15, 2010

earthquake-hit HaitiConnectivity is not only necessary in daily routine life but it becomes very crucial in the times of disaster. Recently Haiti has been struck with a disastrous quake which has also cut off Haiti's communications links. Re-establishment of Telecommunications in Haiti is essential for effective disaster management and efficient coordination of the rehabilitation efforts.

Many private and humanitarian organizations are contributing their part to re-connect Haiti. ITU has allocated a budget of more than 1 million USD to deal with this disastrous situation and is providing Satellite links to re-establish connectivity in the region. OLPC is offering free rugged laptops to go with rehabilitation/aid teams and are inviting such teams to contact them immediately. Telecoms Sans Frontiers (TSF) has deployed its team to provide immediate support in setting up emergency telecommunications.

We sincerely hope that Haiti would be re-connected to the world very soon! Some pictures of Haiti Earthquake can be seen here.

Friday, January 15, 2010 12:12:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, January 10, 2010

Smart SchoolMSC Malaysia, conceptualized in 1996, is a national initiative by Malaysian government, to lead the nation towards fast evolving knowledge based economy using ICTS. Since its inception, MSC Malaysia has continued to bridge the digital divide through its flagship applications: MyKad, Telehealth, E-Government and Smart School.

The main objective of Smart School project, principally implemented by Ministry of Education, is to deploy latest information technologies to revolutionalise the education system. By the end of the pilot project in December 2002, 88 schools were connected, equipped with IT-trained teachers and integrated smart school management system. In 2006, a standardization process was deployed to measure the use of ICTs in all 88 smart schools.

The plan is to convert all 9000 schools in Malaysia to ‘smart schools’ by the end of 2010.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:54:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 05, 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, January 05, 2010 5:39:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 19, 2009

ICT Project

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To introduce and develop the use of ICT in the organisation and for the education of the children.

Project Name: ICT 

Why an ICT project?

The ICT project (Information, Communication, Technology), managed by Casa Do Caminho, consists of several component sub-projects, all of which aim to develop the use of information and communication technologies in the orphanages in Xerem. So far, Casa Do Caminho cannot provide free internet access or computer skills  training for the children and teenagers. This is what the ICT project is aiming at, as the need for access to computers and modern communication technology is great. Once physical access to ICT is established, it follows that the technology used in projects and trainings must be appropriate to local needs and conditions.

What can ICT experts do for our program? 

The most important part is installing all the PC's we have gathered. Several volunteers send in PC's from their home country in parts. Former ICT volunteers Ross and JoanMa have made sure we have stabe electricity supply, a separate ICT room in the childcentre for the younger children and 3 pc's with internet connection at the teenage boys house. Still a lot of pc's need to be installed and build up. We need ICT people who can build new PC's, teach our children and teenagers basic PC skills and continue to search for a possible internet connection at our children's centre in the rural area. Don't worry, you will not be just working with PC's, all our volunteers do a large variety of tasks and spend a lot of time with our children!  

Information about the state of the project:

Project Fundraising
No further fundraising activities have taken place since November 2006 on the basis that current funds are considered sufficient for our current project objectives. Moreover, the section Internet Services refers to a recent application made to the Brazilian Government that could potentially save a large cost to be incurred for the payment of internet services to Casa do Caminho. The current project finances are summarised below: 

Project Cost to Complete *

R$ 16.000,00

Funds Received

R$ 10.847,29

Payments (actual)

R$ 3.801,62

Payments (projected)**

R$ 12.000,00

Funds Required **

-R$ 4.954,33

  * Total of funds required to complete the objectives. NOTE: This total includes original projections for satellite internet costs
** Projected payments and Funds Required include projection for satellite broadband at Casa do Caminho

Where do our PC's come from?
After some difficulties with the Brazilian import process while trying to import a donation of computers from England-based NGO Computer Aid International, a Brazilian import specialist has offered to provide assistance and is awaiting the License to Import from the customs authorities here. In the meantime, to progress our work, computer parts have been coming in from international volunteers through mail and by means of volunteers that are traveling to Brazil. This means that our more immediate needs have been satisfied by building the PCs and upgrading what we have. The import of 10 PCs is anticipated in the coming months.
A network switch is being sought in Brazil for the Sala do Computadores to complete the network installation there. This will be bought in Brazil as the cost is less than that of importing one we have from abroad.

What software did we decide to use?

We decided to use microsoft software since we can't  garantee  "Linux specialst " through out the year. We  would  prefer to use the "free software" but since we couldn't garantee expertise all year long we decided to go for the simple option. In case of emergencies we can always call a local expert. This is not possible with Linux. 

How do we try to get Internet Services in the rural area?
An application to a Brazilian government-run programme was made on 6th March 2007 for the supply of Internet via satellite broadband to Casa do Caminho. The GESAC programme (http://www.idbrasil.org.br/) offers the VSAT technology (http://www.wirelessbrasil.org/wirelessbr/secoes/sec_vsat.html) for projects such as our own. For a copy of the application, please request from Ross Duncan at the CRCC general email address. At present, we are unsure how long the process will take to complete, but our ultimate aim is to have an internet connection at Casa do Caminho for September 2007 in order to commence the ‘Year of Casa do Caminho’ project linking the shelter with Dutch schools.

Investigation in to the installation of services at Casa Amigas is still outstanding.

Before and after the preparations

A number of further preparations have been made in the Sala de Computadores at Casa do Caminho (below). After some problems with computers being affected by the electrical network, grounding has been installed and power surge protection established for each computer.

A number of computers are being installed and will be connected through the switch currently being procured. New glass windows have been installed to replace the previous plastic covering them.

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Computer Network at Casa Heppenheim

At Casa Happenheim, the electrical network has also been grounded to prevent damage. The organisation’s administration staff have had their only computer upgraded. Three new computers were installed: one for administration, another one for the adolescents and volunteers, and a third one that acts as firewall and 4-port network hub connected to broadband Internet. Furthermore, there is an available connection in the network for a laptop (volunteers or administration). These computers have seen the first use of the Ubuntu desktop environment and IPCop firewall.

Source: http://www.kww-southamerica.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=92

Thursday, March 19, 2009 3:27:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 18, 2009
  • Brief description

This project seeks to contribute to community development by upgrading children's skills and abilities in the field of computer by improving their ability to keep abreast with the worldwide technological progress and access information through audiovisual educational ways. The centers also seek to enable children to use software and technology in expressing themselves by developing child-specific projects. The idea is to combine FutureKids and ClubHouse projects together in one Palestinian project for the Palestinian children

  • Vision, Objectives and Goals

SHABABEEK'S vision: Raising community awareness of the importance of information technology and it's impact on the quality of the life by developing the technology-related skills of Palestinian children and youth, through curricular and extra-curricular activities after school hours in support if their academic performance. SHABABEEK's Main Goals: 1. Improving youth's cognitive and practical skills in working with younger age groups in the field of learning and technology, which will be narrow the gap between these tow generations. 2. Increasing children's knowledge and experience in the practical use of computer and information technologies in order to help them apply these skills in their daily life as essential life skills. 3. Promoting children's right to alternative ways of play and learning and the right to practice their hobbies and express themselves 4. Encouraging the use of technology and computers in the transfer of knowledge among Palestinian children.

  • How does ICT contribute to the organisational objectives

As a tool, ICT conributes largely to the development of children and youth through enhancing their capabilities, linking them with community and the world, providing a solid knowledge base, and providing opportunities to learn, play, and work.

  • Project summary

ICT is the cornerstone of SHABABEEK. It is means and an end by itself. The project utilizes technology in developing children and youth that are commuity based and capable of providing opportunities for themselves as well as other in society through the inception of ICT.

More information: http://www.stockholmchallenge.se/data/1834

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 10:47:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 16, 2009

3rd Annual Connecting Rural Communities Asia Forum

Stakeholders, policy makers and executives from across the ICT sector are preparing to come together and shape the future of rural connectivity. Join them at the CTO’s latest Connecting Rural Communities Asia forum and meet the people with the funding and expertise to transform Rural Connectivity.

Over three hundred leading ICT decision makers have already joined us at this series of annual conference. Plans have been initiated, funding opportunities identified and fruitful future partnerships struck. Ensure that this year you are able to join them.

Crucial points to be discussed include;
• How can governments best support the creation of self-sustaining rural connectivity initiatives that benefit local people? 
• Step-by-step practical guidance on overcoming the most pressing technical challenges
• Developing a world-class telecentre rural development programme
• Progress on delivering the promise of the United Services Obligation Fund
• Realising the benefits of greater rural connectivity though the delivery of E-services
• Mapping the future need for connectivity: Identifying choke points in the delivery network 
• Training and empowering rural populations to make full use of the potential inherent in greater connectivity

More information available here: http://www.events.cto.int/crcindia09

Monday, March 16, 2009 10:14:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) launched the first Digital Club e-Mexico to young people between 12 and 18 years to develop their creativity in science and technology issues.
This project looks to identify interested people (youth) who can work as designers, inventors and developers of projects using new technologies, which initiated the deployment of 25 clubs that will be distributed in the states of Mexico, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and the Federal District. 
The SCT reported in the local press that the Digital Club came into operation through the Coordination of e-Mexico National System, the Research Center for Advanced Studies (Cinvestav), the National Polytechnic Institute, and Youth Services (Seraj).
The model, which aims to motivate young people to experience new ideas over the Internet and its tools, born out of collaboration between the National e-Mexico System and the Computer Clubhouse, a program of the Science Museum of Boston in collaboration with the Media MIT Lab.
With the official opening of the first digital Club installed in the country, also known as "Club Cinven", a consolidation phase starts to generate in young people interest for science and technology as one of its main goals, said the agency .
Through this too it is targeted to build a network of participating states through the use of social networks.
The project was designed to be implemented in places of community access to the Internet that already have infrastructure such as Digital Community Centers, Learning, Libraries, Telecentres, among others, as well as already existing in the 9 (nine) Centers with which Cinvestav accounts  in our country .
The model has the "shape" of its promoters, who are youth specialised in using animation software, design and publishing. Should be highlighted that this project is in compliance with four guiding principles: learning by designing, follow their interests, build a community, trust and respect.

More information available here: El Universal Ciudad de México Domingo 02 de noviembre de 2008

Friday, March 13, 2009 3:21:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Table of Contents


 

Designed to provide a comprehensive on line resource for all stakeholders involved in implementing the digital accessibility agenda of the Convention, the G3ict ITU Toolkit is making good progress towards completion by the end of March 2009. The Toolkit was announced jointly by G3ict and ITU on April 21, 2008. The complete table of contents of the Toolkit can be downloaded here.

Friday, March 13, 2009 2:50:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Joint ITU-T & G3ict Forum 2008 - "The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities for ICT Standards" 

  • ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
  • April 21, 2008
  • Co-hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
ITU-T Web site for the event: http://itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/accessibility/200804

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest human rights treaties ever adopted. It was developed with the active participation of country delegations and NGOs representing persons with disabilities, and includes a number of detailed mandates related to accessible and assistive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Today, ICT devices such as personal computers, fixed and mobile telephones and television are widespread, with over one billion people, globally, having access to the Internet. An increasing number of applications and services for e-commerce, e-government, transportation, public services, health services, cultural life and leisure are delivered electronically. However many of these services are developed without consideration of the needs of the 10 per cent of the world population with disabilities. This directly impacts the rights of these persons. The Forum explored the likely impact of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the evolution of ICT standards with the active participation of industry, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), NGOs, and other interested parties. It was addressed to leaders overseeing accessibility standards issues, representatives from the industry, SDOs, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, research institutions, assistive technology developers, governments and academia.

Objectives:
-Reviewed existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies
-Discussed the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
-Identified follow-up actions to facilitate the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Expected Outcome of Meeting:
Review and document the areas of standardization which match the mandates of the Convention and explore critical gaps. Receive feedback and suggestions from industry, policymakers and NGOs to explore how they can best support the work of SDOs in fostering greater accessibility of ICTs.

Friday, March 13, 2009 2:39:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Featuring an interview with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, this film illustrates how ICT serves as a cross-cutting enabler in helping Rwanda to achieve the 6 Pillars of its Vision 2020, and how the World Bank's eRwanda project is contributing to the process.

In its Vision 2020 plan, the Government of Rwanda aims to transform the country from a largely agriculture-based economy to a knowledge and information based economy, in an effort to reach middle income status by 2020. The Government has emphasized its intention to use investment in ICT as the key driver for this transition and as a vehicle for improving the delivery of public and private services, particularly in the rural areas.

The World Bank's eRwanda project emphasizes the use of technology as an enabler to growth and development, and focuses on core activities, applications and content which have the greatest impact for the citizens. The project aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness of some internal processes of the Government of Rwanda, as well as the delivery of social services in selected key sectors. The Movie available here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UYBw0nSr1o&NR=1

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12:23:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission DG INFSO has a DVD posted on YouTube about Girls and ICTs. Its brief (4 minutes) and a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12:11:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ITU launches the "International Women's Day-09" web-site

8 March- International Women's Day

History

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies. Following is a brief chronology of the most important events:

1909

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate it on the last Sunday of that month through 1913.

1910

The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

1911

As a result of the decision taken at Copenhagen the previous year, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded the right to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

Less than a week later, on 25 March, the tragic Triangle Fire in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working girls, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This event had a significant impact on labour legislation in the United States, and the working conditions leading up to the disaster were invoked during subsequent observances of International Women's Day.

1913-1914

As part of the peace movement brewing on the eve of World War I, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Elsewhere in Europe, on or around 8 March of the following year, women held rallies either to protest the war or to express solidarity with their sisters.

1917

With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for "bread and peace". Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went on anyway. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere.

Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point for coordinated efforts to demand women's rights and participation in the political and economic process. Increasingly, International Women's Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights.

The Role of the United Nations

Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental human right. Since then, the Organization has helped create a historic legacy of internationally agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals to advance the status of women worldwide.

Over the years, United Nations action for the advancement of women has taken four clear directions: promotion of legal measures; mobilization of public opinion and international action; training and research, including the compilation of gender desegregated statistics; and direct assistance to disadvantaged groups. Today a central organizing principle of the work of the United Nations is that no enduring solution to society's most threatening social, economic and political problems can be found without the full participation, and the full empowerment, of the world's women.

Source: www.un.org

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 5:55:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The “Youth Education Scheme (YES)” is one of the cornerstones of the ITU-D “Children and Youth”  Special Initiative, in support of needy and deserving young people, from Least Developed Countries (LDCs),  developing countries and countries in transition who wish to complete their tertiary education in the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and related fields. The objective is to enable motivated young people to contribute to the development of their communities, country and region using their achieved ICT knowledge and skills.

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:04:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |