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 Sunday, August 15, 2010
"Aulas Hermanas" is a international collaborative project aimed to students between 12 and 17 years old, promoting interaction and collective construction of two classrooms in different countries (twin classrooms), through technology and Internet platforms. As a result of the interaction between the participating classrooms they get a blog that records the investigations, interactions and results of the "twin classrooms" coming around to the subject treated. This year, under the title "Living together", the organization proposes to address the issue of tolerance and coexistence in the context of societies with different kinds of differences.

The collaborative project "Aulas Hermanas" which has met since 2002, aims to link teachers and students from member countries of the Latin American Network of Educational Portals (RELPE), including Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru , Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Guatemala.
The registration for teachers and students who wants to participate are open until August 20th,2010.

(Source: EducAR and Aulas Hermanas)
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Sunday, August 15, 2010 6:26:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 12, 2010
As part of the inauguration of the second Campus "Mexico Party powered by movistar", the Minister of Communications and Transportation, Juan Molinar Horcasitas, announced the creation at national level of Digital clubs to promote the use of technology and cut the digital gap existing.

The director of Telefonica Movistar (Francisco Gil Diaz), the Coordinator of the Information Society and Knowledge of the SCT, (Talavera Eloisa Hernandez), urged young people "campuseros" to participate in this digital clubs and increase the use of technology and the Internet in their regions.

(Source:CampusPartyNews)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 3:41:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The meeting is part of the schedule of Information and Training of the National Plan of Inclusion Digital in education, specifically into the program "One computer to each student".

The meeting was held with the participation of around 65 people. This Workshop consisted in the Training and information of the participants about the National Digital Inclusion Plan in education and the program "one computer to each student". The organization of the Seminar and the development of this was led by the National Team of Plan IDE.

After the opening of the "model classroom", there was a plenary presentation to all attendees on the scope of IDE Plan. In this space the training materials were showed by the Plan team to see this first stage. Also the participants could navigate in the website of the Plan and the presentations, resources that were already stored, the educational map with information on technical schools, news, digitized materials and teaching aids.


(Source:Ministry of education of Argentina)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 3:19:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"Fono Ya" has become an opportunity for communications for households and small businesses that could not have a landline because their low income level and irregular monthly income. This is an innovative technological solution for their marketing model.

It is an innovative fixed phone service with wireless access for urban households which belong to lower socioeconomic segments. Before this initiative this areas had no landline at home and were within wireless coverage. Technically the product is supported on the Telefónica Móviles mobile network, allowing you to take advantage of the extensive network deployed by the company in order to provide service at low cost and the possibility to reach more locations connected.

Thanks to this characteristics and the low price and purchasing ability according the locations where these are offered, "Fono Ya" become the most convenient landline communications. The price is $ 1 (one sol) diary, which equates to US$ 0.30.


(Source:Confederacion Espanhola de Organizaciones Empresariales (CEOE))
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:41:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In the International Day  of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, Microsoft Peru Announces the availability of training materials for teachers to provide content for the proper adaptation of Windows XP and Office 2007 in "Quechua". This initiative is part of Microsoft Peru social responsibility program "Partners in Learning and the Native Language Program Microsoft Corp."

According to the General  Manager of Microsoft Peru (Mariscal Torres) "according to recent statistic information, in Peru there are more than 7 million Quechua speakers. This means that approximately one quarter of the population has Quechua as their mother tongue in our country".

(Source:Agencia Digital)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:59:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Through its program "Unlimited Potential", Microsoft Peru made a donation (in cash and software) to the organization "YES Peru" to implement the project "Digital Literacy Infocentre", which seeks to provide training in the use of virtual tools.

This project will let that low-income youth people from San Juan de Lurigancho, as well as women from grassroots organizations, can be trained in the use of virtual tools (E-business, E-Governance, among others). They can ensure their integration into the labor market and improve their life expectancy. With a duration of one year, this initiative will benefit 500 young people from the area and approximately 250 women and it hopes to be replicated in other parts of the country.

(Source:Universia Peru)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:57:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Digital Inclusion Programme, which takes place in Cajamarca region (north-east of Peru), will train more than four thousand teachers in the effective and appropriate use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This programme will be applied in the classroom, enhancing the academic conditions of teachers and students in the region. Thus, the project constitutes an important tool for building better students and promote the development of the region.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) grouped the elements and techniques used in the processing and transmission of information, especially information technology, Internet and telecommunications.

Around the country this project operates in different cities of Peru, benefiting about 41 000 teachers in the regions of Ayacucho, Piura, Ica, Cusco, Apurimac, Arequipa, Tacna, Huancavelica, Pasco and La Libertad.


(Source:Panorama Cajamarquino)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:34:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
"Consegi 2010" is the International Congress of Free Software and Electronic Government, is an event of Latin America for the world. In this event the participants will share the progress and the achievements on the free software in public administration. This important event will take place in Brasilia, Brazil, from Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 August.

The event has (9) nine different topics with more than 200 conferences and 50 workshops, as shown below:
1 - Infrastructure and Environment Platform as a service for computing
2 - Software as a Service for computing environment
3 - Governance, Management and Strategy
4 - Free Software Ecosystem: Communities and Collaboration
5 - Free Systems and Applications: Development and use
6 - Mobility,
Open-hardware technology
7 - Patterns, and Policy Interoperabilidade technological and industrial development
8 - Social Development, Education and Digital Inclusion Training
9 - Multimedia & Convergent Media.


(Sources:Somoslibres.org and Consegiwebside)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:58:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

YouTube is making the tens of millions of videos it hosts more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing by putting automatic captions on them.

The Google-owned company said this use of speech recognition technology is probably the biggest experiment of its kind online. Previously captions were only on a small amount of content. Initially the feature will apply to English language videos, with other languages being added in the coming months. In November last year, YouTube rolled out automatic captions to a handful of partners including the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University and National Geographic.

YouTube said by opening all this content to those who have not really been able to access it in the past should democratize information and "help foster greater collaboration and understanding".

(Source: BBC News)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:59:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

IBM East Africa has announced plans to partner with regional universities on software development. In an agreement with several institutions in the region, both private and public, the company’s academic initiative will also facilitate curriculum development in technology training.

The East Africa Country Manager Tony Mwai told journalists in Nairobi that the collaboration would place emphasis on the development of software that is relevant to the local market. “IBM EA will create a linkage with universities abroad that have specialized in software development and tailor make the curriculum to produce software relevant to this part of the word. IBM has unveiled the zEnterprise System, a technological breakthrough that is set to revolutionize the way data centres work,” he said.

(Source: it news Africa)

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 10:47:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bicentennial Microsoft Plan is a set of initiatives and actions that aim to contribute to the development of Chile through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in strategic areas such as education and innovation. Thus, in 2010 there will be a most competitive country that provides better and more opportunities to all its inhabitants.

Bicentennial Microsoft Plan is developed through three pillars, such as: Digital Inclusion, Country Calendar and Economic Development.

Regarding Digital Inclusion, the Bicentennial Microsoft Plan responds to the problem of Digital Gap with its initiative of Digital Inclusion: to involve those outside to this new era and provide them access to all their profits. To achieve this objective, the corporation has a number of projects to mitigate this problem:

(i) Alliance for Education; This program is working fully to support education. This support consist in the training of teachers and students in the use of ICT, software support to merchants and other programs to generate "digital" contents for the classrooms. Here you can learn more about some cases where this program has been implemented in Chile.
(ii) Unlimited Potential (UP);This program is aimed at creating social ecosystems suitable for adoption of information technologies in marginal sectors of society.Some examples where Microsoft has been working with agencies as part of the program in Chile are here.


(Source:Microsoft Chile/educacion)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:17:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MICROSOFT, together with the Ministry of Education in Kenya is in the process of implementing programs that will enable all schools in Kenya to be online. According to Microsoft Corporate and Social Responsibility East and South Africa Manager Mark Matunga, plans were underway to ensure that all schools in Kenya get to be digitized with the curriculum installed from primary to high school at the shortest time possible.

Speaking in Nairobi, Matunga said Microsoft was working together with the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) in developing digital content that is mapped into the current curriculum and said so far the programme for form one was complete and they were working on form two which they hoped would take about six months to complete.“Students will in future able to study online by using this new curriculum that we will have installed in their respective schools. Government will also save on costs of buying text books and also avoid scams like the recent one of money being misused at the Ministry of Education” said Matunga.

He also said the government was making efforts to ensure that all teachers were ICT compliant by ensuring all the Teachers Training Colleges were equipped with the latest technology and online.  The minister said that the programme that was being installed in school computers was user friendly and easy to learn.

(Source:it news Africa)

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 7:19:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Since establishing the KERIS on April 22nd, 1999, KERIS has been responsible for Korea’s educational Information & Communication Technology (ICT) development. It works closely with international organizations such as the World Bank and UNESCO to assist other nations in developing or improving their own ICT infrastructure and implementation.

The National Teaching & Learning Center (EDUNET), is a comprehensive education information service in Korea with public access, but designed specifically for teachers and students. Through linkage to the central government, local governments, and schools, EDUNET provides a range of instructional and learning support material and other education-related information.

The Cyber Home Learning System is a web-based that enables self-study at home or at sites other than schools. Students can learn at their own pace with adjustable materials to suit individual needs.

The Digital Library Support System (DLS) is a system that supports school libraries built within metropolitan and provincial Offices of Education, and is an Internet-based, one-stop service system that helps school libraries carry out the functions of a teaching-learning support center, digital library, and reading & culture center.

U-Class, the actual ubiquitous classroom model built by the Korea Education & Research Information Service (KERIS), is celebrating its 3rd anniversary since opening, in June of 2007 and to date has had a total of 5058 domestic and international visitors. U-class is a state-of-the art “classroom of the future”, a place where students and teachers can experience future educational facilities consisting of cutting edge technologies for classrooms. KERIS has been implementing robotic assistants within primary school classrooms, using them to aid children as they learn English. KERIS looks forward to the important role of the U-class to promote the establishment of the future classroom model in Korea.

KERIS received the Received the 1st UNESCO Prize for ICT in Education in 2007.

(Sources: KERIS, Wikipedia)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 6:50:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Government of Colombia evaluated the progress of its initiatives "Compartel" and "Computers for Schools", which over ten years ago were implemented with the intention of providing access to information and communication technologies for children and young people. The results exceeded the expectations of the autorithies and realized that ICT helped to improve education and increase the chances that people enter university.

According to Minister of ICT, Daniel Medina, the plan became a real contribution to national development. "Not only by improving the infrastructure of the schools and teaching qualification, but also the contribution to enhancing the quality of education and expanding opportunities for new generations."

(Source:CanalAR)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:33:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ministry of Education of Argentina began providing computer equipment to schools in Santa Cruz, which is framed in Digital Inclusion plan of the country, which aims to provide a computer for each student in the upper level of technical schools. At this early stage, the schools No. 4 in Rio Gallegos, the school No. 5 Rio Turbio, the school No. 3 in Puerto Deseado and the School of "Biologia Marina" of Caleta Olivia will receive the equipment; according a report from the Regional Office in the downtown of Puerto San Julian.

"This Plan is an initiative of the Ministry of Education that aims to democratize the access of everyone to the new technologies in the educational context. Also this Plan is composed of four sub-components: the program 'A computer for every student ', Connectivity, Digital TV Models for Schools and Classrooms.. "


In Santa Cruz the delivery is done through the Provincial Department of Education, which is under the Provincial Board of Education. The teachers of these institutions who will receive the training, the learning resources and all information related to this plan are now available on page www.inclusióndigital.gob.ar.

(Source:Diario Sur Noticias)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 8:59:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Visual Classroom is the largest online educational library of Chile, which already offers more than one thousand videos on the web. This innovative web tool, was designed to encourage active use of media as resources to support in class, and it began as a way of responding to new demands of the twenty-first century students.

"Water is Life", this is a video made with stop motion technique by Professor Luis Norambuena (from the College Republica de Portugal), from Chillán, took first place in the category of basic education, while the teacher Omar Leiva, (from the school Internacional Sek del Pacifico) from ConCon, with the video "The mysteries of Kafka", won in the category of middle school.

(Source:Fundacion Chile)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:57:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

(Sources: FutureGov and The iSchools Project)

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:31:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Digital Inclusion Project intends to improve the learning system. Through it the teachers of the targeted educational institutions will be trained in the various areas of the curriculum through the use of internet and other media resources.

The region Pasco plans to reach 50 teachers trainers, who will conduct 159 workshops in groups of 10 in their own educational institutions. According to the Regional Direccion of Education (DRE) referred to the province of Pasco, this methodology will allow install infrastructure capacities, so that qualified teachers will continue generating in students and colleagues, skills in use of ICT and its application in classrooms.

Full funding of the training will be conducted by the Regional Government of Pasco, the Association of Entrepreneurs for Education and mining companies from the communities of Milpo, Atacocha and Pan American Silver. It also will be supported by the Ministry of Education and Microsoft Peru.

(Source:Reportaje Peru)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:43:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With the support of Microsoft and accompanying of the company "Prominente", the institution "Inclusión Social sustentable" develops this initiative that aims to contribute to digital inclusion of youth in vulnerable situations from strengthening social spaces for interaction and training in information and communication technology.

This project enables a study assessing the situation of youth digital literacy in the Villa "El Libertador" and areas around of the province of Córdoba. On the other hand provides support and promote community access to space technologies through the implementation of various recreation programs and training in information
and communication technology.

(Source:InclusionSocial/webside)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 9:48:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)
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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)

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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)
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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)  #     |