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 Monday, August 09, 2010
Pakistan has been severely affected by unprecedented floods triggered by heavy rains. It has led to tragic loss of lives besides widespread loss of livestock, destruction of physical/communication infrastructure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. Flooding has submerged whole villages in the past week, killing at least 1,600 people, according to the UN. Pakistan authorities believe more than 12 million people have been affected, with the figure likely to rise as flood waters head south.

Christian aid agencies have warned that the destruction of transport and communication links is leaving many victims of the Pakistani floods virtually “cut off” from outside help. Ashraf Mall, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Pakistan, said: “It’s one of the biggest floods in the history of Pakistan. People need food immediately as they have lost their homes and possessions. But it is not proving easy to respond to this emergency. Bridges and roads have been destroyed and the disruption of transport and communication links is making assessments difficult, with many survivors effectively cut off from outside help.”

Some pictures of Pakistanis coping with the floods can be seen here. Some ways to help through your donations are listed here.

(Sources: SAMAA, Christian Today)

Monday, August 09, 2010 2:42:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In cities and villages across Peru, basic information that was once nearly impossible to obtain – about municipal budgets, public services and elections – is now accessible through a few simple clicks of a computer keyboard. Comun@s, which stands for Municipal Communication at Your Service in Spanish, is a project designed by AED and implemented in cooperation with USAID and the government of Peru to bring more transparency and public accountability to municipal government through information and communication technology.

AED teams based in Peru travel to the municipalities to install computer equipment located in public kiosks, called Modulos Ciudadanos, and provide training on how to use them, including how the community can tap into new online systems established by Peru’s government. In addition, AED helps local officials create municipal Web pages with useful information for their citizens. The project provides training on the importance of transparency to officials and residents in 84 municipalities that are scattered across seven regions of the country.

“Through this project, people can actually approach their government, become involved in their government and feel empowered to take part in their government,” said Maria Victoria Pascual, AED’s chief of party in Peru. “They become a part of the future of their community.”

Information on the modules is available in three of Peru’s languages—Spanish, as well as Quechuan and Ashaninka. The most popular feature so far, Pascual says, provides users with information on how to obtain basic documents, such as driver’s licenses, national identification cards, and marriage certificates—and what those documents should cost, so that people trying to buy them aren’t taken advantage of at the local level. 

(Source:AED)

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Monday, August 09, 2010 1:02:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, August 08, 2010
With a significant increase in the content, through new facsimiles and interactive support materials, mobile podcast, the formation of a network of collaborators who actively use this tool, and a special focus to areas which were affected by the earthquake, through "educarchile esencial", there was launched PSU educarchile July 2010. This system is the virtual high school, driven by the Chilean education portal and sent to 170 000 students who have taken the exam this year.

"This is a complete and a modern tool for the thousands of students who can not afford a high school but who want to prepare well for their future studies. The history of PSU educarchile is marked by examples of young people who lived in very difficult situations, and who have been able to improve their performance, and some of them have got the higest score around all the country" said José Weinstein, Manager of Education of Foundation Chile (this organization and the Ministry of Education are responsible for the portal of educarchile).

(Source:Fundacion Chile)
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Sunday, August 08, 2010 8:44:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, August 07, 2010
As part of its program to spread the use of technology for social purposes, Microsoft Research awarded $ 47,500 to Eduardo Grampin, Uruguayan researcher, for the development of his project, which will support the inclusion of remote areas through wireless networks .

Specifically, the project
of Grampin will focus on contribute to the inclusion of remote communities that rely on physical connections are expensive and low capacity. In this context, a mobile infrastructure, combined with the use of long-range wireless connections, can be seen as an appropriate solution to reduce the connectivity gap. The project of Grampin, will test the application of concepts of "Ambient Network (AN)" in these kind of  contexts for the development of infrastructure that provides connectivity to isolated communities at low cost.

(Source:Microsoft Latam)
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Saturday, August 07, 2010 9:43:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 06, 2010
This first exhibition of Digital Inclusion came at the initiative of a school, a community focused on organizing a quality event. First Exhibition of Digital Inclusion met experiences of students who were supported by all teachers eager to use technology in their classes.

The school Alexander Fleming has incorporated into its educational program the integration of Information
and Communication Technology (ICT). Hence the idea of organizing the First Exhibition of Digital Inclusion arose from the need to share the experiences of schools and other institutions, through the integration of technology into the teaching work in the classrooms.

(Source:Educarchile)
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Friday, August 06, 2010 9:44:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
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, August 06, 2010 3:47:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a computer resource center in the cultural house Sanat Gulshani, aligned with the Society of Blinds, two month courses have recently been completed instructing blind persons on how to use computers to further their careers and to ease their everyday lives.  This center, and the courses provided, have been largely due to the joint efforts of the ACCESS (Accessibility, Civic Consciousness, Employment and Social Support for Persons with Disabilities) project alongside a group dedicated to assisting the Government of Uzbekistan with the implementation of ICTs for development.  Students were instructed in the use of specially designed software such as JAWS, SARA, TOPAZ, and how to use the Internet easily and to their advantage.  One blind reporter recounted how she used to need a visually non-impaired person to help her write articles  to be published in a local journal, Bir Safda, but now not only can she create articles but she can independently design a website for the journal.

Currently, Uzbekistan operates 80 libraries for the blind, used by over 40,000 people.  The ACCESS project was approved by the Ministry of Labor in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme in 2008, and plans to operate for at least two more years.  ACCESS plans to conduct similar courses in other regions of Uzbekistan, reaching approximately 700 blind university students who have no access to assistive ICTs.  Additionally, ACCESS will work to increase public awareness of issues faced by persons with disabilities, improve accessibility around the country, assist with job placement, and other related programs.  In their future efforts, ACCESS will partner with the German Society for Technical Cooperation in Uzbekistan and the World Bank Office in Uzbekistan in order to ensure the success and efficiency of the programs.

(Sources: UzReport and UNDP Uzbekistan)

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Friday, August 06, 2010 3:37:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society of Ecuador (Mintel) is promoting the digital literacy about ICT. This campaign seeks that the population knows a simple way on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in this way to reduce the digital gap in Ecuador.

About ICT the campaign includes several key issues in managing information and communication technologies, such as:
- Health technologies for children, youth and adults
- Government staff and technologies
- Parents and children on the Internet
- A guide to using technology to grandchildren
- Grandparents and technologies


(Source:MINTEL)
Further details


Friday, August 06, 2010 3:02:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As part of its Partners in Learning program, Microsoft Argentina, the General Directors of Schools of the Province of Buenos Aires and the Association of "Misión Futuro", launched "Communicating from the islands of the Delta". This is a comprehensive project of digital inclusion, from which it will provide connectivity to eight schools in the islands of the Delta of San Fernando with the aim of improving access to new information technologies and provide training to teachers, students and residents of the region.

The program includes training and retraining of teachers, students and neighbors in the use of new technologies, the provision of recycled hardware and software, satellite Internet connection, training youth in technical support, training on new technologies for teachers and principals and pedagogical advice for the implementation of technology in school projects. In this way, the Delta region seeks to facilitate access to current information, reduce the distance imposed by nature, learning through distance education, generate new opportunities for local development and optimize the communication of educational institutions with oversight institutions.

(Source: ComunicaRSE)
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Friday, August 06, 2010 11:45:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 05, 2010

As part of Workforce Development, a sector of Microsoft that works to create training opportunities and technological tools for those who are underserved by technology, Microsoft awards grants to organizations who are deemed to have the potential to benefit from an "Unlimited Potential - Community Technology Skills" grant.  Since the program began in 2003, Microsoft has provided over USD$350 million in software grants and cash to more than 1,000 community partners, which has supported over 40,000 technology centers in approximately 100 countries and regions.  This week, Microsoft Malaysia pledged RM1.7 million (around $540,000) to several NGOs in Malaysia, allowing for the development of Malaysian individuals through a network of 29 existing community technology learning centers.

Two of these organizations, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and the Yayasan Salam Malaysia (YSM) will be direct beneficiaries and will put the money towards the technology learning centers.  The community technology centers supported by these grants provide people of all ages and sexes with free or low-cost access to ICTs that teach them ways to use computers, further their education through technology, participate in community activities, and more.  some of the centers employ the use of the Digital Literacy Curriculum, which is a set of e-learning courses designed to help people learn how to use the Internet, create a résumé, and procure other such skills.  The President of the YWCA, Dr. Mariana David, has already committed the money to continue training women and girls in ICT use.

(Sources: MaxIt Online, Bernama, and Microsoft - Workforce Development)

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Thursday, August 05, 2010 3:20:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 04, 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, August 04, 2010 6:16:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 03, 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 )

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010 5:44:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 02, 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, August 02, 2010 3:41:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 30, 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, July 30, 2010 1:45:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Irish Government plans to invest more than €4 billion in capital spending via the Department of Education and Skills.

An additional €265 million will go into the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) for schools. Over the past few years funding had brought computers and broadband connections to the school system and this investment would continue, the plan stated. While the goal would be to bring the student-computer ratio up to international norms, steps would also have to be taken to ensure "full use of existing capacity", according the plan.

(Source:Irishtimes.com)

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:57:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) focuses their work on eight main sectors of development, one of which is education and training.  The education goals of USAID center around assisting developing countries in improving pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels of education by working directly with students, training teachers, designing programs for adult literacy, and providing special opportunities for women and girls.  Yesterday, a US Ambassador unveiled a pilot ICT lab at the Al-Ahliya Junior Secondary School in Karawang.

This pilot ICT lab is the product of a partnership between USAID, the Government of Indonesia, and seven other private-sector partners.  These private-sector companies, responsible for equipping the ICT lab with the most recent technology, include Cisco Systems Indonesia, Hewlett-Packard Indonesia, Indosat Tbk, and others.  The ICT lab will be made accessible to both students and teachers with dual goals in mind: one to improve the relevance of Indonesian education by applying current life skills to students' daily education, and thd second to improve the quality of teachers in Indonesia and their capabilities to use ICTs in the classroom.  Administrators will work to achieve these two objectives as part of the strides many schools are taking to develop the "knowledge capital" that President Yudhoyono deemed essential to the lasting success of the country's education system.

(Sources: Anatara News, The Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies, and USAID)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 2:57:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen. From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection. Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015.

The Finnish deal means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed. It is believed up to 96% of the population are already online and that only about 4,000 homes still need connecting to comply with the law.

A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that almost four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.

(Source: BBC News )

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10:57:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 26, 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: telecentre.org, cnet news)

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Monday, July 26, 2010 5:47:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

IT@School project endeavors to enhance the intellectual productivity of teacher and the curricular comprehension of students. The work of the project saw 4 million students and 0.2 million teachers empowered in ICT through a network of dedicated 200 Master Trainers and 5600 IT Co-coordinators. IT@School is the nodal agency for implementing EDUSAT (first Indian satellite exclusively serving the education sector) network and runs an exclusive channel for education called ‘ViCTERS’ (Virtual Classroom Technology on EDUSAT for Rural Schools).The project has now associated with BSNL to provide Internet broad band connectivity to all high schools in Kerala.

The success of the Project can be visualized by the conduct IT practical examination in free software for about 4 million students, first of this kind in the world with so much vast resourceful deployment of free software. The efforts of Project saw deployment of adequate IT infrastructure to all schools including computers and other accessories. The project also focuses on capacity building by providing hardware and software training to teachers along with special programs to teach them the use of ICTs in education. Infrastructure up gradation is also an essential part of the project along with several E-governance initiatives. So far the project has supplied 40,000 computers to schools along with laptops, printers, scanners and generators. A recent news report also suggests that the project will provide free digital libraries to schools in Kerala soon.

The IT@School Project has now also joined hands with chip giant Intel, to deploy a dual language version of the Skoool Learning and Teaching Technologies website. The platform is expected to benefit teachers and students in the state by providing attractive educational packages in school level Mathematics and Science, as a free Internet resource.

The project is the World’s largest Simultaneous deployment of FOSS(Free and Open Software Systems) initiatives in Education sector. It is also the winner of National e-governance Award for the Best Project and also the winner of World is Open Award 2008. IT@School Project, through its various initiatives, has enabled the educational system to make a paradigm shift to ICT enabled education from the conventional IT education.

(Source: IT@School)

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Monday, July 26, 2010 9:04:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 23, 2010

The ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu (ICTACT) is a consortium of the Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu.  The ICTACT is overseen by an autonomous board of directors comprised of representatives from the Government of Tamil, leading educational institutions including all government universities and top tier schools, and leading companies in the ICT industry with a presence in Tamil Nadu.  Lead by a vision of creating a leading ICT knowledge center, the board of directors at ICTACT decided to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Oracle Academy.

Oracle, a leading software and hardware designer for businesses, founded Oracle Academy as part of their series of education initiatives.  The goal of Oracle Academy is to prepare students for IT careers by bestowing up them world-class training and professional development opportunities; over 58,000 students already benefit from the Oracle Academy program in India alone.  Through this MoU with ICTACT, Oracle Academy will provide software, technical support, curriculum access, and professional training that will benefit over 250,000 students across the state within three years.  Specifically, Oracle Academy will provide 300 hours of curriculum, over 120 hours of instructor training for 240 instructors by July 2011, and access to a hosted online server to conduct courses.  These resources will be used to support over 400 colleges in Tamil Nadu to increase the quality of education in the region.

(Sources: EFY Times, ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu, and Oracle)

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Friday, July 23, 2010 3:13:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hole in the wall started off as an interesting experiment by a computer scientist, Dr. Sugata Mitra, in which he installed a high tech computer on his office wall facing a slum and left it for the children to explore it. Astonishingly children learnt surfing in a single day!

In 1999 the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank subsidiary, invested $1.6 million in a project entitled ‘Hole in the Wall’, in which computer kiosks were placed in urban slums so that street children with almost no education could gain access to computer technology. They found that the children would teach each other how to use these computers. The project encourages underprivileged children in India to learn from a web-based curriculum through Internet kiosks. The kiosks were installed in over 60 locations over three years (2000-2003). The aim was to improve education for poor children, with equal access for girls and boys.

Already ubiquitous in New Delhi and Mysore, the Hole-in-the-wall systems were then spread throughout the country including the under served areas of Rajhastan and Jaipur and the difficult terrains of Kashmir. The Hole in the wall education limited (HIWEL) has now expanded and reached upto the northern states of Mizoram and Nagaland. Such is the popularity of the project that it has crossed the borders and become a part of the commonwealth connects program in Uganda and now (according to recent news) making its way for being piloted in UK.

HIWEL has been conferred the coveted ‘Digital Opportunity Award’ by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) and 2010 HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Award.

(Sources:UNESCO Bangkok Educational Resources)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 2:38:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere. The academy has 1400+ videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance which have been recorded by Salman Khan, a Harvard Business School Alum.

Khan got the idea for the Khan Academy when he agreed to help his cousin with sixth grade math. He posted tutorials for her over YouTube, as they didn’t live in the same city, and he noticed that not only were his videos getting tons of views but that viewers were sending him testimonials telling him how much his videos were helping them with math. Khan began to broaden the subject matter and concepts in his videos and the Khan Academy YouTube channel was born.

Millions of students around the world lack access to high quality instruction, especially in the sciences and math. The Khan Academy provides it for free in a way that can be accessed on-demand at a student's own pace. Khan says, “With just a computer and a pen-tablet-mouse, one can educate the world!”

The videos are directly teaching tens of thousands of students on every continent on a daily basis. Other non-profit groups have even begun distributing off-line versions of the library to rural and under served areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The Khan Academy and Salman Khan have received a 2009 Tech Award in Education.

(Sources:Social Times, The Tech Awards)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 10:18:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The island of Mindanao is home to approximately one-fourth of the Philippines' population, yet the quality of life on the island has historically been far below that of the rest of the country.  The Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) works to connect and energize communities that cannot be connected to the power grid, by using clean, standalone renewable energy sources such as solar energy and microhydro energy.  AMORE is a partnership between government organizations, primarily USAID, and private sector companies in the energy industry.

On 16 July, AMORE inaugurated a solar-powered computer laboratory in Marilog Central Elementary School, a primary education school to 557 students.  This ICT facility consists of six laptops donated by Intel and is powered by electricity harnessed by modules donated by the SunPower Foundation.  This ICT project aims to improve the teachers' instruction capabilities through using ICTs in their classrooms and by allowing students access to online resources.  AMORE has identified at least 200 schools in the region that can be fitted with ICT resources for education that can be powered by solar panels; teachers on Mindanao hope that AMORE will continue with its ICT for education work and extend the project to some of these other schools.

(Sources: Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation and AMORE)

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010 3:39:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 19, 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, July 19, 2010 3:07:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Singaporean Ministry of Education (MOE) has committed approximately 610US$ million to supplying ICT for its schools over the next 8 years. The MOE has awarded the tender for Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) for Schools to National Computer Systems Pte Ltd (NSC) with a subscription of around 120 000 seats. Each seat will comprise a computing device, network connectivity and support services for all Government and Government-Aided schools. The seats will cater to 40 000 teachers and administrative staff and 500 000 students.

The SOE for Schools programme will be implemented over the next two years. It supports the third Master plan for ICT in Education (mp3) in providing schools with an ICT infrastructure that will continually enhance teaching and learning. Facilitated by school-wide wireless connectivity, students will be able to use portable computing devices and access media-rich and interactive digital resources for learning opportunities beyond their classrooms. The programme will also provide an environment where schools can trial their innovative solutions for teaching and learning.

The implementation of SOE for Schools programme in pilot schools will begin in early 2011 following the setup of the central infrastructure, processes and governance of the programme. The rest of the schools will be transited in phases by end 2012.

( Sources:Ministry of Education Singapore, UNESCO Bangkok )

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Monday, July 19, 2010 8:04:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 15, 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, July 15, 2010 4:09:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Department of General Education in Kerala, India, launched IT @School with a mission to create an IT literate community and improve the quality of education through using the latest ICTs.  Amongst its many achievements, IT @School has become the world's largest simultaneous deployment of Free and Open Source Software based ICT education.  IT @School has trained 90,000 teachers in classroom IT use, and is working towards creating a broadband Internet connectivity between all schools within the state.

Today, IT @School announced the development of a Resource DVD that can be used on any computer or laptop, and will be distributed to 60,000 high school teachers in Kerala.  This DVD, entitled e-Vidhya, includes introductions to office packages, painting software, presentation software, and tools for a select number of school subjects.  The release of e-Vidhya is designed to help implement the new ICT syllabus of the Kerala Government, which directs all schools to teach each subject through an ICT enabled learning process.  To help achieve this initiative, the DVD also includes PDF versions of a myriad of textbooks and the most recent versions of free application software.  E-Vidhya was prepared entirely on free software, which allows for teachers to freely copy, edit and redistribute the DVD if they wish.  Tomorrow, the state's Chief Minister will formally release the 8 GB DVD and begin distributing it to schools.

(Sources: The Times of India, IT at School, and IndiaTech Online)

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:20:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In May 2008, the Sichuan Province in china suffered a devastating earthquake; among the companies to quickly respond with aid was Cisco, a worldwide leader in Internet networking.  Just two months later, in July 2008, Cisco and the Government of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that established a partnership between the two institutions to bring 21st century healthcare and education systems to the region.  As this three-year partnership comes to an end, reports and data highlighting the successes of the Connecting Sichuan program are surfacing and the effects of this program are being felt throughout the province.

The education section of the MoU aimed to bridge the urban-rural digital divide in China.  Cisco's solutions focus on four key areas and applications of technology to achieve this goal: connected classrooms, connected schools, connected communities, and the Cisco Networking Academy.  To connect classrooms and schools, Cisco partnered with over 45 organizations, including ECCOM Network System Co. Ltd. to provide laptops to schools along with wireless Internet and networking capabilities.  Once teachers and schools had been actively connected, Cisco helped to create an education metropolitan area network and data center to connect the communities of the province by allowing teachers to share resources, exchange best practices, and trade tips on ways to use and integrate technology into the classroom.  The Cisco Networking Academy, which is active in 165 countries, instructs students in networking skills and ICT capabilities; through the MoU, Cisco has expanded this program to 50 universities in Sichuan.

Amongst other programs initiated through the MoU, Cisco has also focused on expanding educational opportunities for children with disabilities.  In Sichuan, Cisco helped fund, financially and technologically, the DuJiangYan Youai School, which creates a highly accessible and unique learning environment for disabled students.  This partnership between Cisco and the Chinese Government has seen much success, including the percentage of students scoring well enough to join a regional high school jumping from 3% to 31%.  As the benefits of the partnership begin to affect more than one generation of school children, the successes will continue to grow and benefit the Sichuan province as a whole.

(Sources: Cisco and ECCOM)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010 2:51:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 12, 2010

The Government of Malta launched an initiative entitled "Vision 2015 and Beyond" that, amongst other aspects, recognized the importance of ICTs as a tool to improve the economic well being of the country.  Last week, Charlò Bonnici, Parliamentary Assistant in the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, and Communications, announced the beginning of the Second Step Training Program.  This program enables participants to earn ICT National Diplomas in one of three areas: information systems, information technology, and computing and information systems.  Participants who graduate from the program receive a diploma that is nationally recognized by the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Center, and internationally recognized due to the high quality of training that participants will receive from Edexcel (BTEC), which is the UK's largest qualifications awarding body who operates in over 100 countries.

The Second Step program was initiated with the goal of educating target groups of adults, specifically women in the manufacturing industry, currently employed and unemployed in basic ICT skills so that the ambition of the government to develop Malta into a center of technological excellence can be achieved.  A statement made by the Malta Information Technology Agency chairman Claudio Grech noted that the economy's needs for skilled ICT professionals are not being met, and that although Malta has made great strides in terms of students graduating with ICT skills, it is not enough to sustain the economy's needs.  Through the Second Step Program, adults who are currently in the workforce can improve their employment potential.  The program takes two years to complete, and can be taken on a part time or full time basis.  Once applications have been received and processed, classes will begin in the fall.

(Sources: The Malta Independent Online and The Malta Information Technology Agency)

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Monday, July 12, 2010 3:41:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Andean Digital Library is a place that brings representative works of the cultural heritage of the Andean countries and it is also an environment of information, knowledges and services in different areas of integration. This project, originally promoted by the General Secretary of the Andean Community, has been developed with the participation of fourteen institutions in the Andean region - national libraries and public and private universities, and support of the French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA). The books in this site are available in PDF format.
(Sources: Comunidad Andina and Ediciona Institute)
More details



Monday, July 12, 2010 10:30:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO offers everyone the Digital Library for all the World, where users can directly enter to the web, without registering. This is an extremely valuable cultural archive with free access. The browser is displayed on: place, time, topic, type of item, institution. Also,this library is available in seven language; such as english, spanish, french, portuguese, arabian, russian and chinese.

(Source:World Digital Library)

Monday, July 12, 2010 10:01:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 09, 2010

On 1 July 2010, Judith McHale, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, announced the launching of the "Apps 4 Africa" contest.  This competition challenges local technology experts and coders to create technological applications that can improve the lives of those living in East Africa.  While the goal of the competition is to build the best digital tools to address local challenges, both programmers and those not necessarily involved in a technological profession are welcome to participate.  Citizens are invited to post ideas for coders on the Apps 4 Africa website, and coders can submit content using any open source code format.  Ideas that have already been submitted and for which coders have begun working on designs include mobile math tests to asses quality of education institutions and a mapping program to help those in the slums of Kiberia find local assets and resources.

Anyone residing in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or Tanzania may submit content for judging.  By requiring coders to live in East Africa, Apps 4 Africa ensures that the top designs submitted will be suitable and effective in the region.  The contest began with Under Secretary of State McHale's announcement on 1 July, and will conclude on 31 August 2010.  In early September, winners will be decided based on a set of criteria including usefulness to citizens and governments of East Africa and potential for the application to be used throughout the world.  Those whose designs win will attend an awards ceremony where their creativity and ingenuity will be rewarded with cash along with tools to improve upon their technological skills.

(Sources: U.S. Government and Apps 4 Africa)

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Friday, July 09, 2010 3:32:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 08, 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, July 08, 2010 3:45:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) strives to promote top-tier education through the development of high quality curricula.  This week, KIE announced a partnership with Intel and Mustek East Africa that will provide software and hardware to Kenyan schools to promote online learning.  Through installing new technologies in the schools, KIE hopes to improve learning while cutting down on long run education costs.  Mustek East Africa has urged local governments to adopt mini-laptop, a design that Mustek East Africa is creating, to help achieve improved education and to lower long run costs by eliminating needs for updated books and desktop computers.  KIE has created a program with Intel that is designed to foster a close relationship between students and ICT learning resources.

In addition to improving upon education, a second result of this partnership is the procurement of Internet access by rural communities.  By taking the opportunity to lay fiber optic cable to the schools participating in the program, it will allow students and other to have access to Internet resources previously unavailable.  There are already a number of schools that have been selected to take part in this program, and as the program begins to achieve results, more schools will become included.

(Sources: The Standard, Mustek East Africa, and KIE)

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010 3:12:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 05, 2010

When three schools in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines performed poorly on standardized achievement tests, with one school, the Tayud National High School, producing a mere 17 per cent pasing rate, the Coalition for Better Education (CBE) decided to iimplement programs that would improve these statistics.  Intervening through the Involving Communities for Better Education initiative, CBE partnered with Globe Telecom to create a pilot program at Tayud.  Globe Telecom has designed and implemented several ICT education courses, including the Global Flilipino Teachers and Globe Bridging Communities.  Global Filipino Teachers (GFT) is an intensive six-day teacher training program that instructs primary educators on ICT application in the classroom.  Globe Bridging Communities consists of several initiatives, including the Internet in Schools Program for high school students, which provides one year of free Globe Broadband Internet access.  As of 2010, Internet in Schools Program had provided Internet to over 950 schools nationwide.

As part of the pilot program at Tayud, teacher received GFT training after CBE ensured that they were ICT literate.  Additionally, Tayud became a recipient of the Internet in Schools Program.  In order to create a more active community, Globe has also agreed to help create a community resource center that will open this month.  This community center represents a partnership between the school, the governemtn, and the local community, and will help to promote the goods and services of the Tayud region.

(Sources: Malaya Business Insight and Globe)

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Monday, July 05, 2010 3:46:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 02, 2010

In Lagos, Nigeria, the Fashola administration has made a commitment to improving education as part of an initiative to improve the economic well being of the regioin.  A total of 960 new classrooms have been built, with an additional 400 classrooms that have bee nrenovated.  Each school tha thas been renovated now has a newly constructed block of twenty classrooms and four laboratories, one of which is designated to the use of information technology.  In order to maximize the efficiency of these laboratories, the governor of Lago decided to implement the Microsoft IT Academy in three schools as part of a pilot program.

The Microsoft IT Academy is designed to provide educators and students with skills in Microsoft software, e-learning couress, and othe rrelevant ICT fields.  Deux Project Limited functions as Microsoft's local support group; they will be providing laptops with Microsoft IT Academy software for one of the schools.  As part of the Microsoft IT Academy curriculum, Microsoft will provide free email resources and over 175 e-learning courses.  Because training resources are scarce in the region, the use of the Microsoft IT Academy, which will train both students and educators who can train future students, is a self-sustainable way to encourage ICT use in education in Lagos.

(Sources: The Sun News and Microsoft IT Academy)

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Friday, July 02, 2010 3:24:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 01, 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)

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Thursday, July 01, 2010 3:20:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This past weekend, twenty six teachers completed the final weekend of a three-month course that instructed teachers on ways in which to use ICTs in the hopes of improving education in the schools of the Emirate, Ras Al Khaimah.  The training was organized by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, and executed by trainers from Bon Education.  The Foundation is an instrument in realizing the Sheikh's vision of transforming Ras Al Kahimah into a world class research community, to that the reserach can be used for international policy and local economic well-being.

Currently, public schools have troubles with basic technology, such as access to the Internet.  In a survey conducted by Bon Education, over 30 per cen to fthe teacher interviewed reported that the school in which they worked had little to no Internet access.  With public schools not being granted access to technologies, many of the northern Emirates are struggling with graduating students who have less than adequate ICT skills.  The Sheikh's foundation plans to continue to partner with Bon Education to provide more training courses for teachers in Ras Al Khaimah.  A second round of three-month courses, for which attendance is voluntary and homework is assigned, will begin again this coming fall.  Even though the classes are temporarily suspended until the next set of teachers commence ICT training, teachers are beeing invited to use the Ras Al Khaimah Teacher's Network, a website set up by Bon Education through which teachers can exchange resources.

(Sources: Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, Bon Education, and The National)

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:21:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Jordan Education Initiative (JEI), launched in 2003 by World Economic Forum partners, was created with the intention of developing education through the combination of ICTs and modern teaching techniques.  Projects of the JEI focus on three main divisions: reserach and innovation, expansion and outreach, and collaborations.  A key project in the collaboration sector is the partnership of JEI with SMART Technologies.  SMART is the company responsible for creating the popularly known SMART Board, an interactive white board designed to bolster education and businesses through taking a commonly used tool, the white board, and digitalizing it to promote connectivity and team work through the use of interactive white boards.

When the partnership betwen the two institutions began, SMART donated 18 interactive white boards to five schools because of their commitment to the use of ICTs in education as apart of the Discovery Schools pilot project in Amman.  Teacher at the selected schools used the interactive white boards to create and execute lesson plans; students responded well, stating that using the SMART Board often encouraged teachers to use different media sources to teach more difficult concepts, which helped the students to better understand the subject.  After these initial findings, JEI conducted a more thorough study that shows that over 90 percent of math and science students in grades eigh tna dnine reported being more enthusiastic about learning.  Additionaly, the study indicates that 86 percent of students were more motivated to particpate when lessons included the use of the SMART Board, further demonstrating the impact that ICTs can have in the classroom when applied effectively.

(Sources: Al Bawaba, JEI, and SMART Technologies)

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 3:21:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 28, 2010

The Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is a Nigerian non-governmental organization with a goal to educate and empower Nigerian women through teaching them skills and applications of ICTs.  W.TEC runs a variety of programs for all ages, for girls, young women, older women, and actively keeps in contact with program alumni to help them maintain current ICT skills.  This year, W.TEC will host the third W.TEC Girls Technology Camp in Lagos, Nigeria from 8 to 14 August 2010.  This one week residential camp helps to develop technology literacy in secondary school girls, along with instructing them on various applications of technologies, such as career options related to technology or engineering.

Oreoluwa Somolu, the Executive Director of W.TEC, explained that the Nigerian technology industry is mostly dominated by men; although women strive to enter the industry, it can often be a difficult tast.  The W.TEC girls camp is a long term solution to this problem, with supporters including the Nigerian Television Authority Channel 10, Omatek Computers, Rutgers College in New Jersey, USA, and Laureates College in Lagos.  Although this year students will have to pay to attend the camp, their fee of N50,000 covers everything the camp provides, including food, lodging, course materials, and other camp offerings. Once participants complete the camp, they will be encouraged to actively use ICTs to improve their futures and their everyday lives.

(Sources: Technology Times and W.TEC)

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Monday, June 28, 2010 10:32:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 25, 2010

For persons with disabilities, particularly those with low vision, adapting to university surroundings can be a daunting task.  While many primary and secondary education institutions have specialized teachers to help those with disabilities, not every university has those same capabilities and resourses, therby possibly preventing or discouraging disabled students from attending their dream school.  Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, realized that htis obstacle is one that should be ameliorated.  Using funds from a grant from the Greene County Developmental Disabilities Board, the school is working on launching the Drury University Children's Center for the Visually Impaired.  Drury just completed the launch of a pilot program, with students ranging in age from high school freshman to local community college students.

This program is designed to help transition students from high shcool to university using a myriad of courses and technologies.  The pilot program inlcuded a technology course that instructed students on how to use a barcode scanner to identify foods and even color-code clothes.  Other technologies to which the students were introduced included a portable GPS device with Braille readers so that students could locate various campus buildings, along with a magnifying glass designed for low-vision students that is powerful enough to read something written on a white board.  While right now the program is localized, this year only students from Missouri and Arkansas participated, with donations and funding, Drury hopes to expand the program to students from other states in the upcoming years.

(Sources: News-Leader.com and Drury University)

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Friday, June 25, 2010 11:08:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Ministries of Education in Singapore and Kuwait signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhancing educational exchanges during a visit to Singapore by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah when he was Prime Minister.  Through this MoU, Singapore would serve as an advisor to Kuwait as Kuwait improves its ICT and e-government sectors.  In a recent visit to Singapore, Undersecratry of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Education Tamadher Al-Sudairawi stated that one of the primary exchanges in which he hopes the two contries would participate is in the exchange of the myraid of uses in ICTs in education.  Recently, Singapore has been extremely active in promoting the introduction of ICTs to education.

This most recent visit of Al-Sudairawi and the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud along with others has allowed the Kuwaiti delegation to wtness firsthand the ways in which Singapore has advanced with ICTs in the public sector, specifically the way that the Singaporean government has develope dand planned new curriculums using ICTs and the application of ICTs in helping to run the administrative side of the public school system.  While Kuwait has been active in promoting ICTs in education, the infrastruture has been farily basic and not necessarily executed in the most efficient manner.  In addition to ICTs in schools, the Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Research and Curricula Sector, Mariam al-Wutaid, expressed her hope that perhaps Kuwait and Singapore would extend their e-government partnerhip that was signed in November 2008.

 

(Sources: Kuwait News Agency and iDA Singapore)

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Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:37:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The e-learning project in Jamaica strives to improve the quality of education and the overall learning experience in Jamaica's high schools, with the ultimate goal being to increase the number of students who pass exit examinations, namely the Caribbean Examination Council's Secondary Examination.  Part of this e-learning project is training teachers in the use of ICTs so that they can integrate new technology into the classrooms to create a more stimulating and effective learning method for students.  This past week, 200 new teachers were aded to the perpetually growing list of Jamaican teachers who have been trained in the use of educational ICTs; these graduates bring the total number of trained teachers to over 11,000.

The teachers who have completed the ICT courses now hold either a level one or level two NCTVET, NCQ-J certificate, which the Senior Programme Director for Enterprise Based Training at HEART Trust/NTA asserts will be recognized internatoinally.  The training was completed with the goal to be for the teachers to prepare their students more throughly for eithe rlocal or international work.  Over 500 Jamaican administrators and trainers have been trained directly by the HEART Trust/NTA that works to train Jamaicans in ICTs so that they can operate at basic international standards.  Feedback from students who have benefited from increased ICT curriculums has been widely positive, and is an incentive for the program to keep training more educators in the future.

(Sources:  Jamaica Information Service and HEART Trust/NTA)

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:44:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Ministry of Education of Singapore announced the development of the third masterplan for ICT in Education in 2008 that was to be fulfilled over a period of five years, between 2009 and 2014.  This third masterplan addressed several broad strategies including the strengthening of ICT into school curriculums and enancing ICT provisions in schools.  In order to achieve this masterplan, the Ministry of Education recently announced its contract with National Computer Systems Pte Ltd (NCS) that is valued at S$850 million over a period of eight years.  This contract awarded NCS the project of the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) for Schools, a contract of approximately 120,000 seats; these seats will allow for connectivity amongst 40,000 teachers and administrators and approximately 500,000 students.

SOE is a government-wide initiative aimed at unifying ICT in various branches of government to allow for improved operation efficiency with ICT programs in the public sector.  Because the Ministry of Education falls under this broad initiative, SOE for Schools is undertaken in a similar manner but separate from the nationwide initiative.  Schools awarded the privilege of participating inthe SOE for Schools program will subscribe to predefined services, on a per user per month basis.  The SOE for Schools program will be implemented over the next two years, with pilot programs beginning early next year and the goal to have all schools connected wirelessly with SOE for Schools infrastructure by the end of 2012.

 

(Sources:  The GovMonitor and The Ministry of Education of Singapore)

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:21:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 18, 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, June 18, 2010 11:00:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gearing up Internet Literacy Access for Students, also known as the GILAS project, is an initiative in the Philippines whose goal is to provide Internet access to all public high school students in the Philippines.  Today there are 2,720 schools in the Philippines connected to the Internet, out of a total of 6,519 public high schools; the participants of the GILAS project, mainly corporations and non-profit institutions, helped to make tthat happen.  Specifically, in the Compostela Valley province of the Philippines, GILAS has already helped connect six out of 56 high schools. 

In early June, the Compostela Valley provincial government, in partnership with the department of Education and the Azala Foundation, turned over eleven server computers complete with printers and Local Area Network peripherals in order to implement the GILAS project in an additional 25 schools in the region.  Currently, 3,799 schools remain to be conneted to the World Wide Web.

 

(Sources: Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation and GILAS)

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Thursday, June 17, 2010 3:40:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New application enables parents to monitor kids’ Facebook activity. Faced with growing incidences of inappropriate social media contacts, cyber bullying, and more online activity now as the school year ends and summer begins, parents more than ever crave guidance on how to keep their children safe when using social media sites. To give them better tools to oversee family rules, Schakra is introducing GoGoStat Parental Guidance, a new, free Facebook application that lets parents monitor their children’s activity.

Created by a team of former Microsoft employees with research and input from various law enforcement experts, GoGoStat Parental Guidance identifies risky behavior and provides information for parents to share with their children. Parental Guidance alerts parents so they can act quickly, notifying them when pre-established “family ground rules” are violated, inappropriate text is posted, new contacts are made, or photos of their children are uploaded.

GoGoStat Parental Guidance beta is available for free at www.gogostat.com. A premium feature version which will include additional capabilities, trending reports, and GoGoStat Sync premium features, will be available by subscription for a small fee beginning in the Fall of 2010.

(Source: Business Wire)

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010 9:21:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 07, 2010

A remote village of Capital City, Mira Bagwal has been converted into e-village, as it has been provided 2 MB Broad Band internet connection and its people have been given the facility of video conferencing to take advice from specialist doctors in case of any problem.

Mira Bagwal is the first of the 300 villages which will have Broadband Internet connectivity. E-dispensaries and E-libraries will also be established in these villages which will give the much needed exposure to the young students of these villages. Moreover, it will also help the residents of these villages to market their products online.

(Source: Pakiology)

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Monday, June 07, 2010 9:52:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A new computer aimed at people aged over 60 who are unfamiliar with PCs and the internet has been unveiled. The simplified desktop - called SimplicITy - has just six buttons directing users to basic tasks such as e-mail and chat. The computer comes pre-loaded with 17 video tutorials from television presenter Valerie Singleton

The SimplicITy computer has no log-in screen when started up, and contains no drop-down menus. It opens straight to a front page called "square one" containing separate clickable buttons for e-mail, browsing the web, files (for storing word documents and photos etc), online chat and a user profile. The e-mail system is a modified version of an Italian design called Eldy. All SimplicITy users with an eldy.org address will be able to chat to each other via the "chat" button. The computer is built using Linux operating system, a free operating system that can be customised by users. If people decide they no longer need the SimplicITy desktop, they can replace it with a standard Linux desktop.

(Source: BBC News)

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:50:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) organized a workshop for persons with disability called “ICT Accessibility”. The workshop which took place on 6th May 2010 at the Commonwealth Hotel Speke, Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda was intended to mainly discuss the challenges faced by PWDs globally in accessing ICTs and share knowledge of how a number of ICTs used for electronic accesssibility (e-accessibility) have and can still bridge the gap between the disabled persons and the non-disabled ones.

(Source: Women of Uganda Network)

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:28:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |