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 Friday, August 31, 2012

Young Peruvians are participating in various radio and television spots and are active on online social networks, disseminating and raising awareness about the benefits of consuming organic products that are healthy, chemical free and nutritious and focusing on the ecological impact of agricultural practices. They also invite people to buy products at ‘Fruits of the Earth’ Ecological Fairs (EcoFairs) in the areas of Cusco, Áncash and Cajamarca. These fairs function as a point of sale where local organic farmers can sell their products.

The young Peruvian organic ambassadors are also present at the fairs to provide the public with even more information about organic farming and ecologically sound agricultural practices. They are equipped with laptops, digital cameras and recorders, as well as printers, mobile phones and routers for wireless internet to make sure that they collect and disseminate information wherever they go.

Maylie Carrasco is one of the young people who participates in the project. In a Peruvian news show, she explained about agro-ecological products and invited consumers to visit the EcoFair Fruits of the Earth (Frutos de la tierra):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YVn1hhxoUf4

The ambassadors all come from organic farmers families that are associated with the National Association of Ecological Producers in Peru. The underlying goal of this initiative is to improve the income and increase the access to the market for over 500 families of ecological producers by informing the public on the advantages of organic and ecologically sound agricultural products so that they buy products from the EcoFair. This project is supported by IICD and ICCO through the Connect4Change alliance.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, August 31, 2012 9:33:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2012 (OEB) focuses on fostering a bright and inclusive future for lifelong learning in which technology enables learners globally to improve themselves.

During conference sessions they will explore the effects of the multitude of changes in the fields of technology and education, as learners and learning experts are asked to respond to challenges in society today. One of the major consequences of these changes is a need to adapt educational content and practices and capture opportunities using available tools. This need takes centre stage at ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN. Technology asks us to innovate rapidly but how can we ensure quality, take advantage of possibilities and implement our ideas and plans sustainably?

Under the theme ‘Reaching beyond tomorrow’, OEB will explore these issues and inform you about the latest research and practices in both education and business. It is:

  • The largest international e-learning event for the corporate, education and public service sectors, with over 2000 delegates from 100 countries
  • A key networking event where high-level decision makers shaping the industry come together annually
  • The place where leading international e-learning manufacturers, suppliers and service providers present their latest products and services

Registration form here: http://www.online-educa.com/cms7/sites/default/files/documents/downloads/registration-form.pdf

(Source: Online Educa)

Friday, August 31, 2012 9:22:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new online community that launched on 22 August aims to help schools and districts as they move toward digital education and implement corresponding policy changes.

The U.S. Department of Education, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) partnered to create the online community of practice.

Epic-ed aims to empower digital transitions at all stages of development, including school leaders who are thinking about moving to ubiquitous computing environments, those who wish to implement ed-tech pilot projects, and those who are ready for full-scale implementation.

Epic-ed will provide K-12 educators, district leaders, and other community participants with a unique channel to get connected and develop strategies for navigating the digital transition,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. “With increased peer-to-peer interaction and greater connectivity, epic-ed members will have an opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas, and ultimately implement effective plans to help ease the transition and maximize the benefits of technology-enabled learning environments”.

Though one-to-one computing has long been a goal of many districts, ed-tech leaders find they are now faced with a “one-to-many” situation, because many students today own and use more than one wireless mobile device.

“Bring your own device” initiatives—where students use their own devices on a school’s network, and the school often provides a “classroom set” of tools for students who don’t have their own device—also are growing in popularity. These initiatives cut down on tech support and take advantage of the large numbers of students who own high-tech devices and who already are using those devices, such as tablets, laptops, and smart phones, for educational purposes.

Epic-ed will focus on all stakeholders involved in ed-tech programs: school administrators, teachers, chief technology officers, instructional coaches, parents, students, and more.

(Source: eSchool News)

Friday, August 31, 2012 9:14:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women supports women entrepreneurs, providing them with a variety of resources and tools to overcome barriers they may encounter. In their published report Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, they demonstrated that business barriers in emerging markets can be addressed through the development of targeted mobile phone services. They launched this research at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this year and are now following up on their findings, carrying out recommendations from the report with the mobile technology sector to deliver a service specifically tailored for women business owners in developing and emerging markets.

This week, in partnership with Nokia and MTN Nigeria, they are launching Business Women, a new mobile phone service for women looking to grow their small-scale enterprise in Nigeria. Designed with the experiences of Nigerian women entrepreneurs in mind, the service was developed by international and Nigerian entrepreneurship experts. It provides valuable, bite-size information on business management such as advice on working with traders, how to improve distribution channels, the steps required to register a business in Nigeria and how to tap into valuable business networks. Customers who opt into this service will receive four to five text messages with business tips per week and also have the option of taking a weekly multiple choice quiz to test what they have learned.

They will introduce Business Women in conjunction with a project that provides hands-on business skills training to over 2,000 women entrepreneurs in Nigeria in partnership with the Youth for Technology Foundation. They look forward to charting the progress of the women entrepreneurs who use Business Women and to following this launch with mobile services for women entrepreneurs in Indonesia and Egypt soon.

(Source: Huffpost Tech)

Friday, August 31, 2012 9:05:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The DVD is called "The Wold of the Baure" and will be included in schools in a greater programme to emphasize Bolivian indigenous cultures and preserve them. It is an interactive DVD that will feature encyclopedia type of information, but also many video and sound clips. The advantage of these educational DVDs over a website is that even schools without an Internet connection can use this material. Additionally, the DVDs can also be used by the Baure themselves to educate people about their history and customs.

The Baure are an indigenous group of the Bolivian Amazon, inhabiting Baures village and the nearby small communities. Their numbers have slowly dwindled and currently, there are only 50 people left who still speak the Baure language. Several Baure have already been interviewed about their local customs and their language for the DVD and videos, audio clips and images are already collected.

The DVD is part of a bigger programme to preserve indigenous cultures by using multimedia. This is supported by IICD and Edukans through the Connect4Change consortium and Bolivian indigenous group supporter APCOB.  For the Baure project, the Indigenous Center of Baures is also closely involved.

A detailed project description is available on the international transparency ‘Really Simple Reporting’ platform, created by software developer Akvo.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, August 31, 2012 8:58:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With the socialization of public policies and experiences in telehealth and medicine in the ICT sector, the ICT Ministry participated in the Third International Telemedicine Conference where over 150 representatives of the health sector met to discuss technology and health.

The event, organized by the Center for Telemedicine in Colombia, with the participation of national and international experts in the field of telemedicine, telehealth and e-health held various  academic sessions such as workshops, lectures, courses and specialized tradeshow to showcase advances in telemedicine industry.

"With the development of telemedicine in Colombia we are saving lives, professionals in Health have increasingly tools to practice, making that all people receive timely medical care and quality, regardless of where they are, all this thanks to the opportunities offered by today's technology "said Johanna Pimiento, Manager of the Program e-Government, who participated in the first day of the Conference.
ICT Ministry and telehealth.

Since Act 1419 of 2010, which establishes guidelines for the development of telehealth in Colombia and its development; which aims to support the Social Security System in Health on principles of efficiency, universality, solidarity, integrity , unity and quality telehealth as public policy seeks to improve through technology, health conditions of the Colombian population, particularly the ones who are socially and economically vulnerable, finding themselves in places difficult to access and out of reach from the health institutions of medium and high complexity.

With the implementation of the Plan “Vive Digital” from the ICT Ministry, which seeks to promote the massive use of the Internet to make a leap to prosperity for all, through the program “Compartel” and its National Fiber Optic, connection will be provided to 780 IPS across the country and is currently in the process of shaping the Telehealth Committee, which will promote the conditions for telehealth develop effectively in the country.

(Source:MINTIC – Colombia)

Friday, August 31, 2012 8:50:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

(Source: Afroes)


Friday, August 31, 2012 8:35:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 20, 2012

The World Bank Board of Directors approved last June the extension of the Rural Telecommunications Project with an additional credit of US$5 million, in order to expand access to telecommunications services among more than 200,000 rural inhabitants in the Caribbean coast and Rio San Juan Department in Nicaragua.

The Rural Telecommunications Project, implemented since 2007 through an initial financing of US$7 million, has already installed new broadband Internet access points in 101 municipalities, expanded mobile phone coverage to 37 rural communities, and installed almost 600 public phones in rural areas.

These US$5 million in additional financing will support Government efforts to reduce the cost of telecommunications services and expand opportunities for the inhabitants of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), Alto Wanki Territory and Rio San Juan Department in Nicaragua’s southeast. In these areas, poverty levels reach almost 55 percent and poverty is especially prevalent in indigenous and Afro-descendants living in small communities, away from national communication networks.

With the extension of this project, we will be able to increase regional access to telecommunications services by at least 40 percent, something that will have a positive effect on the local economy”, said Orlando Castillo, Executive President of the Nicaraguan Telecommunications and Posts Institute (TELCOR).

The Project will continue to expand the telecenter network to facilitate access to low cost mobile phone and Internet services in rural communities in the Caribbean coast and Rio San Juan, along with municipal governments, NGOs and the local private sector.

(Source: The World Bank)
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Monday, August 20, 2012 8:52:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Education is offering college faculty training programs to develop their digital education capability, as well as, to improve the quality of digital education and the ability of promoting and managing e-learning courses of colleges in Taiwan. The training plan was undertaken by The Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chung Cheng University. It is from October 3th 2011 and goes to November 4th 2012.

The series of training programs includes: Improvement of Digital Education, Capability of College Teachers, Teacher Assistants, Administration Assistants, and Development of Digital Materials and Management of E-learning Courses. Seminars are held to offer hands-on experiences.

Anyone who works for public and private colleges, including military and police schools, is welcome to attend the training programs.

(Source: Ministry of Education – Republic of China (Taiwan)
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Monday, August 20, 2012 8:30:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tigo announced the launch of a pilot project, known as ‘Tigo Kilimo,’ which aims to provide farmers with relevant and timely agricultural information from their mobile phones.

Farmers can access this service via their mobile phones by simply dialing *148*14#, bringing them to the Tigo Kilimo menu. The menu screen will display a list of general information on daily weather forecast, comprehensive details on soil management, pest control methods on more than 20 common vegetable, fruit and grain crops, and information on livestock care and life-cycle, the press realize said.

‘Tigo Kilimo’ is an SMS-based application which presents small-scale farmers in Tanzania with an unprecedented opportunity to run their operations more productively. Through this platform, it said, farmers get real-time information on weather forecast and agricultural tips. Further, it enables them to increase their yield and help close the productivity gap with other parts of the world.

“Using mobile phone based agricultural solutions will create linkages and help farmers improve their farming practices”, said Yaya Ndjore, project manager for ‘Tigo Kilimo’ service at Tigo Tanzania.

“The impact of poor transport and communications infrastructures, mean that farmers in developing countries struggle to get access to vital agricultural information, as well as training and advice on topics such as pests and diseases, weather and proven farming practices. Through this service, Tigo will offer new, cost-effective and scalable solutions to address these challenges”, he said.

In the second phase of the project, Tigo will add more services, such as information on market price, as well as to set up an interactive helpline for farmers to call in for advice, the statement said.

(Source: IPP Media)


Monday, August 20, 2012 8:26:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) commissioned 6 Country Case Studies (Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) in November 2011 on current and emerging youth policies and initiatives with a special focus on links to Agriculture. The announcement of these case studies was made during the Regional Dialogue in September 2011, where the theme of the conference was "Advocating for the active engagement of the youth in the Agricultural Value-chain".

This year, the FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue will be held from 3-7 September 2012 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania with the theme "From Policy to Practice: Advocating for the Active Engagement of Youth in Agriculture Value Chains", whereby the 6 Country Case Studies conducted by youth representatives from each of these countries will be synthesized into a Regional Report, that will give a bird's eye view of the current situation, identify gaps and better target interventions. The final report will be presented at the Regional Dialogue in September 2012.

Prior to the FANRPAN 2012 Regional Dialogue, a Twitter campaign will be run by each of the 6 young consultants who conducted the Country Case Studies from 1st to 31st August 2012 to engage youths and others who are interested in the case-studies in discussions on Twitter.

In order to participate in the Twitter campaign, you need to know the following:

The Twitter campaign will run for 4 weeks and each week, the focus will be on a specific topic, and hence will have a specific Hashtag (#) described below:

Week 1 (1-7 Aug) - Topic: Youth Perceptions on Agriculture - #youthagperc

Week 2 (8-14 Aug) - Topic: National Policies as Key Drivers - #youthagpol

Week 3 (15-21 Aug) - Topic: Institutions and Mechanisms for Youth Engagement - #youthageng

Week 4 (22-31 Aug) - Topic: Opportunities for Youth in Agriculture - #youthagopp

(Source: YPARD)
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Monday, August 20, 2012 8:22:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To enhance and attain the health component of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Abia State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Broadbased Communications Limited to provide fibre optic network across the state.

The chief marketing officer of Broadbased Communications, Mr. Chidi Ibisi, said that the fibre optic network would put Abia on the telecommunications super highway and revolutionalise the healthcare delivery system in the state.

“Farmers in the rural areas would have access to new methods of farming as extension officers can talk to farmers in the rural areas at the same time through video conferencing”, he said, adding that the state governor can also use the network to make a broadcast.

The chief marketing officer explained that the benefits of Abia’s journey into the information superhighway would be felt everywhere across the state because hospitals, schools, government ministries, departments and agencies, banks would all be connected to the network.

“It is a super highway that can carry everybody, a next generation broadband network that can carry a lot of data”, he said, noting that telecommunications companies operating in Abia could log into the fibre optic network for efficient services.

Special adviser to the governor on NEPAD, Hon Longman Emeka Nwachukwu, who facilitated the fibre optic networking agreement with Broadbased Communications, told that Abia was well poised to utilize the full benefits of ICT to drive its development.

(Source: This Day News Paper)
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Monday, August 20, 2012 8:11:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 13, 2012

ECDL Foundation Partners with AGE Platform Europe to Promote the Older People’s Digital Inclusion during the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and Launches Updated ICT Training Program Adapted to Older People’s Needs.

As key stakeholders in the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012) Coalition, ECDL Foundation and AGE Platform Europe will collaborate to connect the capacity of both organisations’ extensive networks in support of the Year’s aims around ICT skills development. The development of older Europeans’ ICT skills is considered crucial to their active ageing and continued participation in society, and to their ongoing contribution to the labor market. At any age, and particularly with an ageing population in Europe, European citizens need to be able to use the technology that can greatly improve their quality of life. ECDL Foundation is a committed supporter of EY2012 and will work towards using the potential of ICT to open up training and employment opportunities for older people, including those with disabilities.

In support of the objectives of the EY2012 and its collaboration with AGE Platform Europe, ECDL Foundation is launching a revised version of its accessible introductory ICT training programme, EqualSkills. This new version of the highly successful EqualSkills workbook seeks to meet the specific needs of older people. EqualSkills is a tutor-led, introductory ICT skills development programme that helps to remove the fear of computers for complete novices by using a simple, non-threatening approach to providing basic skills for using a computer, email, and the Internet. These essential ICT skills are key to individuals’ full participation in technology-dependent societies, and are an important factor in promoting lifelong learning. So far, almost 100,000 Europeans have already participated in the EqualSkills programme.

ECDL Foundation, as a leading advocate for the promotion of digital literacy in Europe, fully supports the aims of the European Commission’s European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. ECDL Foundation and its network of national partners look forward to collaborating with AGE Platform Europe in the joint aim of enabling the digital inclusion of the elderly in Europe throughout 2012 and beyond.

(Source: Age Platform Europe)


Monday, August 13, 2012 10:03:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This year's conference, which was held in Cotonou, Benin, from 23rd – 25th May, saw the launch of The eLearning Africa 2012 Report. The Report is based on a detailed survey of nearly five hundred education professionals across the Continent, and marks the first significant attempt to provide a snapshot of how ICT and better connectivity are believed to be changing the face of education in Africa.

These are some of the key findings of The eLearning Africa 2012 Survey, completed by 447 respondents. The eLearning Africa 2012 Report, which is the first of its kind, bringing together the views of eLearning professionals and a range of other stakeholders from across 41 African countries.

What role does the ICT-enhanced learning and training community play in contributing towards Africa's growth and development? This is the overarching question that frames The eLearning Africa 2012 Report. How do people define ICT-enhanced learning and training? What technologies are being used within the sector? In what contexts are they being used? What motivates people to use ICT and how do they make use of it? Each of these questions is explored through the Survey analysis.

The eLearning Africa Report aims to provide regular, yearly snapshots of the eLearning experience in Africa, with the aim of fostering richer, more nuanced conversations, healthier decision-making and more effective action-taking towards ensuring Education for All in Africa.

To download a free copy of the 2012 Report, please click here.

(Source: eLearning Africa)


Monday, August 13, 2012 9:56:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
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Monday, August 13, 2012 9:52:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In September 2009, Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) hit the Philippines, causing the worst flooding in more than 40 years in Metro Manila.

Damages were estimated to be at $1.09 billion and about 747 fatalities were recorded.

Now, three years later, the torrential rains that has been pounding Metro Manila and its nearby provinces since yesterday is now dubbed as “Ondoy 2”, as the capital city now finds itself again submerged in chest-deep flood waters and many citizens stranded on the 2nd floor or the roof of their houses.

With the crisis far from over, a group of twitter users proactively created a Googledoc spread sheet to help first responders facilitate evacuation efforts.

The Googledoc “#rescuePH” allows users to report people who are in need of immediate evacuation or assistance.

The document includes the following information: Timestamp (which indicates the time when the entry was made), address of persons who need to be evacuated, status of the rescue alert, contact information and the exact twitter message. In addition, the spreadsheet also contains emergency hotlines of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

New entries are marked red, and users who input information are requested to update the status column to green when people are rescued. Up to date there are 250 entries.

This initiative stems from the concept of turning crowd sourced data into actionable information. Through this initiative, first responders would be able to streamline their efforts in order to help victims get needed aid as soon as possible.

(Source: FutureGov)

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Monday, August 13, 2012 9:49:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peru has agreed with India to create a working group to define priority areas for applying innovation in information technologies to promote equity and social inclusion in the Peruvian territory.

The mission of technicians and experts from India in the matter will visit Peru in September, reported the Peruvian Foreign Ministry after his trip to New Delhi, India, on 13 July. The agreement was reached by both nations during the V Meeting of the Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism between the Foreign Ministries of both countries held in India.

The foreign viceminister, José Beraún, and the Foreign Secretary of India, Madhusudan Ganapathi, chaired the meeting which resulted in the identification of specific projects for joint cooperation in science and technological innovation for social inclusion. Both diplomats signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Geology and Natural Resources and another one for the Establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Information Technology (CETI).

CETI will be implemented in INICTEL-UNI, considering the valuable experience that this institution has in the field of information and communication technology, as well as the work done to bring ICT to the people of lower incomes and to the people inside the country, referred Dr. K. J Srinivasa, charged on affaires issues of the Embassy of India, who visited Peru in 2010.

Notably, the CETI will implement 2 classrooms of 25 students each, the software required for the CETI and 3 coaches for a period of two years, as well as the donation of equipment (servers, personal computers, projectors, printers and scanners) by the Government of India.

(Source: INICTEL-Peru)
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Monday, August 13, 2012 9:43:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Education announced the creation of postgraduate in Education and New Technologies to train teachers in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which will be delivered from the second half of the year. The initiative aims to help teachers in the use of netbooks delivered by Connect Equality Plan (conectar Igualdad - ICP).

The Federal Government has developed several measures to guarantee the right of quality education for all. One policy that contributes significantly to achieve this goal is the universal access to information and communication technologies (ICT), which finds in the Program Connect Equal the democratizing mechanism from which students and teachers of the Argentine public schools can get their own netbook, as well as teachers and students in teacher training schools.

In this way, arises the need to install a specific public policy of teacher professional development from the State, accompanying the process of democratization of access to technologies involving the Model 1 to 1. The Specialization Teaching of Higher level in Education and ICT, published in the Official Gazette by Resolution No. 856/2012, assumes the educational responsibility of providing a space for training and discussion with academic rigor in order to enrich the institutional practices from the inclusion and use of ICT in the daily work of teachers.

It starts from the premise that it is essential to balance the scope and limitations of ICT, in order to enforce their potential as tools for development of pedagogical approaches, without overstating the impact of technological variables on the teaching and learning.

(Source: educ.ar)
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Monday, August 13, 2012 9:40:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Shea nut collecting women in southwestern Burkina Faso received a computer system in mid-June to help them manage, record, retrieve, and track information about the sale of Shea nuts. This will increase efficiency and eventually will help them to sell more Shea nuts.

'Before, we used a paper-based recording system and it caused many problems at the section levels', said Clementine Hien, the treasurer of Fadefso, the Federation of Women's Development and Emancipation Associations in Southwestern Burkina Faso. The Federation has over 20,000 members, of whom more than 10,000 engage in seasonal Shea nut collection.

'The sections are unable to know exactly how many members involved in Shea nut collection', added Mrs Hien, concluding that this shortcoming affect provisions for the next season.

With the support of IICD and ICCO, who teamed up with other partners to form the Connect for Change Consortium, Fadefso kicked off the piloting phase by installing its computer and accessories in its headquarters in Dano, about 340 km southwest of the capital Ouagadougou.

'With this computer, we will digitalize the list of all our members', said Olivier Some the Fadefso-Dano support agent. He added that the delay-causing handling of paper-based correspondence with clients and partners was to be replaced by emails. 

Shea (a nut that is used to create Shea Butter) collection is the most important income-generating activity for women in Southwestern Burkina Faso. Putting Information and Communication Technologies at the disposal of those hardworking women for managerial, information recording and tracking tasks is a way to increase their efficiency and their incomes.

(Source: IIDC)
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Tuesday, August 07, 2012 7:31:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Thailand’s Electronic Government Agency (EGA) will introduce the ‘Smart Box’, an integrated device that provides connectivity and delivers government services through smart card authentication for remote communities.

The Smart Box will enable remote villagers especially farmers to access real-time agricultural information. The streaming data will be customized to suit interest and benefit of people in particular provinces, areas, and types of cultivation. The information includes weather forecast, and market price for rice, rubber, tapioca and etc.

The EGA is preparing to launch the pilot project of Smart Box in Nakhon Nayok - a chosen province to be the first Smart Province of ICT Ministry.

Apart from providing necessary agricultural information, the Smart Box will be able to read Smart ID Card and provide personal data and social welfare benefits attached to each citizen.

The Smart Box has a similar shape to cable TV box, featuring pre-set Intranet connected to the Government Information Network (GIN), and wi-fi reception. Initially, it will be installed in the community ICT centres, houses of village chiefs or sub-district heads where there is fine connection of internet.

The units of Smart Box will be ready for distribution in the next 3-4 months. The price per unit is between THB 3,000 - 4,000 (US$ 95-126) depending on the specification that the EGA will finalize.

(Source: FutureGov)


Tuesday, August 07, 2012 7:29:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In order to allow access to integrated telecommunications services in the central rural areas of the country, the municipality of Simon Bolivar, from the department of Pasco, and Movistar launched the mobile services, fixed and wireless public telephony in the district of Simon Bolivar.

This initiative is part of the project “Intégrame” from Movistar which will benefit from today to more than 2,600 inhabitants of the towns: Pacoyan, Quiulacocha, Sacrafamilia, San Antonio de Ranas and San Pedro de Racco, which can access to telecommunications already.

Intégrame is a project of public-private partnership that was created in 2006 by Movistar to provide the services to rural areas that did not have access to telecommunications or which had very limited services. From that time, Intégrame is serving more than 100,000 people from 301 locations throughout Peru.

"Intégrame" develops infrastructure projects that enable communities to access the integrated telecommunications services, reducing the digital gap in poorest areas of the country, promoting their economic and social growth, and connecting them with the rest of the country and the world.

(Source: Telefonica)
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Tuesday, August 07, 2012 7:27:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 30, 2012

Technological innovation is taking place at a breath-taking pace. Simple, open source internet-based applications and services designed to enhance on-line collaboration are now available to the wider public at little or no cost at all. These new online technologies known as Web 2.0 and ‘social media’ enable people to collaborate to create, share and publish information.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Supporting the adoption of Web 2.0 applications represents a great opportunity for meeting it.

The Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative (BROSDI), in collaboration with CTA will host a 5-day Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity on September 24 - 28, 2012. Participants will be introduced to selected web 2.0 applications and will learn how to use them hands-on. The Learning Opportunity will cover advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social media. Participants will get a chance to see what others have done, get hands-on experience on how to use innovative applications, and assess how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organization. This Learning Opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively.

How to apply: If you are interested in applying, please complete this online form.

Deadline for application: 22 August, 2012

(Source: Web2 for Dev)


Monday, July 30, 2012 1:08:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The study by Rajender Verma assesses the impact of IT services and e-governance projects in the development of the rural society. It covers the services concerned with their regular routine such as agriculture, education, health, social relation, product marketing, administration, planning and current information needs. Agriculture is the main income source on Rural Himachal. So, the study identifies IT as an effective tool for increasing agricultural output stressing government to start e-Business Scheme like e-Choupal Scheme (Internet-based interventions in rural Farmers introduced by ITC).

Report along many regional e-governance tools covers SUGAM or Integrated Community Service Centers (i-CoSC) and Agriculture Resource Information Systems and Networking (AGRISNET) particularly concerned with rural agriculture. SUGAM provides all important services including agriculture commodity prices at the doorstep of rural community by bringing all citizen related services and information under a single roof cutting across different tiers of administration. While, AGRISNET Project brings farmers, researchers, scientists and administrators together by establishing online information for agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and fisheries departments. The citizens can put their queries online along with the scanned photographs (if any) on the web and get the advice from the experts of concerned departments. It longs to create a sustainable data bank of all agricultural Inputs in the State of Himachal Pradesh containing entries for all relevant information pertaining to agriculture and related activities.

(Source: e-agriculture)
Full report


Monday, July 30, 2012 1:04:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Eight thousand primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe will shortly be connected to the Internet as part of a new national eLearning programme, says Nelson Chamisa, the country’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology. “All political parties in the government have agreed that eLearning should be a priority in order to improve our education system”, said Chamisa, adding that the state would be furnishing educational institutions with computers so that all schools go digital by 2014.

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

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

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

(Source: eLearning Africa)
Further details

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

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology through the program Computers for Schools (Computadores para educar), began an ambitious and innovative strategy for integrating the stages of computer delivery with the training of 28,000 teachers in schools in the countrywide.

To achieve the purpose of the national government, there will be a professional team of 2,300 ICT managers, who are linked with universities and schools that won the public tender, which has as objective the supply of computers in every education center and training to teachers in ICT skills, in order to improve classroom practices.

Managers are professionals in the areas of education and technology, with experience in developing social projects. The challenge of this group will be to motivate and transfer the knowledge to teachers so that they can take technologies as tools that enhance the learning of children. The process at each school will begin in mid-August.

To advance this work, since Monday 23 July until 3 August, Computers for Schools program will be leading institutions and universities, selected in different regions of the country, in working sessions that will qualify their knowledge to develop work with teachers.

"The coverage of this strategy covers all over the country, reaching more than 28,000 official educational centers, located in 1,123 municipalities", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega, noting that this strategy will be implemented in the next three years , during which 400,000 terminals will be delivered, benefiting mainly the sectors of the population with the highest degree of vulnerability.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
Further details

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:35:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With over 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, up from fewer than 1 billion in 2000, three out of every four human beings worldwide now have access to a mobile phone, says a flagship report on global mobile trends released today by infoDev and the World Bank.

According to Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile, more than 30 billion mobile applications, or “apps,” were downloaded in 2011 – software that extends the capabilities of phones, for instance to become mobile wallets, navigational aids, or price comparison tools. In developing countries, citizens are increasingly using mobile phones to create new livelihoods and enhance their lifestyles, while governments are using them to improve service delivery and citizen feedback mechanisms.

This new report, the third in the World Bank’s series on Information and Communications for Development (IC4D), explores the consequences for development of the emerging “app economy”, especially in evolving approaches to entrepreneurship and employment. It also examines the vast transformative impact of mobile technology in sectors such as agriculture, health, financial services, and government.

Countries around the world are taking advantage of this potential, for example:

  • In India, the state of Kerala’s mGovernment program has deployed over 20 applications and facilitated more than 3 million interactions between the government and citizens since its launch in December 2010.

  • Kenya has emerged as a leading player in mobile for development, largely due to the success of the M-PESA mobile payment ecosystem. Nairobi-based AkiraChix, for example, provides networking and training for women technologists.

  • In Palestine, Souktel’s JobMatch service is helping young people find jobs. College graduates using the service reported a reduction in the time spent looking for employment from an average of twelve weeks to one week or less, and an increase in wages of up to 50 percent.

The report benefits from research funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, the Korea Trust Fund for ICT4D, and UKaid. It features at-a-glance tables for more than 150 economies showing the latest available data and indicators for the mobile sector. It also introduces an analytical tool for examining the relevant performance indicators for each country’s mobile sector, so that policy-makers can assess their capacities relative to other countries.

Download the IC4D 2012 infographic here
(Source: infoDev)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:33:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The key to a successful use of eHealth is that it should lead to a lasting and substantial improvement of performance. Experience teaches that a participatory design approach is required when using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and when designing health solutions. This creates a momentum for change. However, health facilities are often complex organizations and we learned that to create continuous and lasting change, explicit attention is required to the on-going process of organizational change. The momentum for change should be transformed in a pathway. IICD and its partners in Tanzania developed a practical and integrated approach that scaffolds health management information systems, telemedicine and e-learning in one integrated approach called the eHealth package, which has relevance worldwide.

The eHealth package is applied in the Lake Zone in Tanzania. It is embedded in a district approach to ensure a more conducive institutional and financial setting. Organizational and institutional issues proved to be key obstacles in applying ICT in health. Therefore the district approach is closely related to the national eHealth strategy. The strength of the eHealth package compared to other eHealth solutions is the integration of all aspects; technical, medical, financial, learning, behavioural change etc. in a flexible road map of best practices for eHealth implementation at a health facility.

(Source: IICD)
See the Full Report


Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Chulalongkorn University (CU) has launched an electronic bookstore on iOS and expected to release up to 1000 items in stock by the end of the year.

The eBook Store not only provides e-books to students and readers but will also be a gateway of writers and professors’ knowledge for readers in terms of digital media and multimedia,” Assoc Dr Danuja Kunpanitchakit, a vice president of CU said.

The CU’s e-Bookstore application will be based on iOS to empower students in accessing knowledge and curricula via mobile devices such as tablets, according to her.

The CU is the oldest university in Thailand, located in the heart of Bangkok. It plans to transform itself into a digital university within four years. Establishing the CU-eBook Store, the first of its kind, is a part of the initial transition to provide e-books and e-curricula to students and mobile users, she added.

According to Kriengsak Hongsawek, a computer manager of the CU Book Centre, the e-Book Store currently offers about 500 items for download, of which 200 are free. The rest can be purchased at a saving of 20-30 per cent.

The university also aimed to partner with leading publishing houses to offer up to 1,000 items by year-end.

The app for Android users will be ready in a couple weeks. The Quick Response (QR) code technology is being deployed to make e-learning experience more convenient and easily accessible, he inserted.

(Source: FutureGov)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:21:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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

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

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

(Source: AKVO)

Further details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: UNWomen)

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

Like most of the farmers in developing countries, farmers in India also lack proper access to market information. Realizing this information gap, a free SMS-based product called “Fasal” that connects rural farmers with buyers and provides them with real-time price information in India is developed by Intuit.

 It facilitates the relationship between sellers and buyers, whether through finding marketplaces or determining market rates. The service uses complex matching algorithms to ensure that the multiple service messages reach the farmer every day, providing him with data so that he can make informed decisions. Itis rapidly becoming popular among farmers in the Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh states with the outreach count reaching to 9,24,838 and 8,000 new members joining the fasal community every week.

 

Access the Fasal website here: fasal.intuit.com/index.html

(Source: e-agriculture)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:33:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Both institutions seek to create synergies to develop solutions engineering, product design and methodology, using ICT as a tool to connect to most Peruvians, especially in rural areas.

The agreement also aims to strengthen the initiatives being developed by the Rural Telecommunications Group of Catholic University (PUCP) through which it has deployed wireless networks in various parts of Cusco, Cajamarca and Loreto and currently provides access to the Internet via the WiFi network allowing for example to have the service of Telemedicine in border areas.

Telefonica and the Rural Telecommunications Group of Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) signed on Friday 13 July a cooperation agreement through which the agencies are seeking to join forces with the aim of developing solutions based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that allow telecommunications to be brought to rural America.

Through this agreement, both institutions seek to create synergies to develop engineering solutions, products, design and methodology, using ICT as a tool to connect to most Peruvians, with special attention to the needs of rural areas that have a lack of telecommunications services and / or with limited access.

Both institutions are committed to develop outreach activities and academic specialization programmes, courses, seminars, forums and conferences to enhance participants' skills and improve their experiences in ICT.

(Source: Telefonica)
Further details

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:25:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

WeFarm is a worldwide peer-to-peer knowledge sharing network being piloted by the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) with very exciting results so far.

The content is created by the users; sharing their knowledge and innovative ideas from farmer to farmer across continents and languages, and enabling people with no access to the internet to harness its power, through even the most basic mobile phone, to improve their lives.

The internet platform will support smallholder farming communities to:

-          Strengthen their farming practices and livelihoods by accessing relevant information from other smallholders.

-          Showcase practices and products developed within their community, and strengthen links with potential partners.

-          Share, learn and benefit from experiences and innovative solutions.

-          Create networks and use for this technology that cannot be envisaged yet. In the process the project will gain a life of its own and become self sufficient.

Two years after this simple idea was born, WeFarm has grown into a pioneering test system, which has now been successfully piloted with farmers in Kenya and Peru. WeFarm wants to be the first port of call for any farmer, anywhere, who has a problem to solve or a solution to share.

For further information see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPzfxuqB6ok

http://www.e-agriculture.org/sites/default/files/uploads/media/WeFarm_About.pdf

(Source: Wefarm)





Tuesday, July 17, 2012 5:18:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Agricultural workers in Ethiopia such as farmers and researchers came together in Addis Ababa to discuss a farmers market information system (FMIS). This system will include a text message information service for farmers in Ethiopia’s Oromia province.

Purpose of the workshops was to identify the needs of several actors in the agriculture field such as farmers, farmers unions, agricultural experts and traders and suppliers of cultivation products. The meeting also allowed the agriculture workers to classify their requirements on the features of the farmers market information system and. The system will be built by Ethiopian mobile technology company Apposit LLC with the support of Connect4Change consortium members IICD, Texttochange and ICCO and Dutch ICT company 1Zero.

The Farmers Market Information System will function as a database with a mobile component, giving its users all the information they seek, in different user interfaces, adjusted to their needs.

Field visits in local farmers market organizations, indicated that more than 50% of the farmers in the Oromia Region make use of mobile phones and value this use in their daily life. Through the FMIS, the farmers will be able to receive information on market prices for their products, the weather forecast, or availability of fertilisers with a simple text message. In addition to this, they will be provided with solar mobile chargers to facilitate them, as at the moment, every time they need to charge their phones, they are forced to visit the nearest village on a market day and pay an amount of money to have it charged.

Farmers market organizations and unions will use the Farmers Market Information System to aggregate data from individual farmers about what and how many products they grow. With these data, they will be able to analyze and monitor the production of agricultural goods in their area.

The Farmers Information System will also be used by traders and suppliers of cultivation products to retrieve information on which products are being cultivated and provide the farmers with the necessary market information or products such as fertilizers suitable to their crop.

In the first phase, the Farmers Market Information System will be used by 16500 farmers in the Oromia Region, with the possibility to upscale it to other provinces. The system will be developed by the Ethiopian mobile technology company Apposit LLC with the support of IICD and fellow Connect4change members, ICCO and Texttochange,  as well as with the support of 1Zero.

(Source: IICD)

Further details

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:02:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Khon Kaen University (KKU), Thailand recently became the first university in Thailand and in Southeast Asia to roll out the Google App for Education to facilitate learning, with the collaboration of teachers and university staff. 200 buildings throughout 8.96 million square meters of the KKU area are now connected with wireless internet of 60 access points, allowing students to do online learning and information searching anywhere and anytime, said KKU President Associate Prof Dr Kittichai Triratanasirichai.

“Our mission is to be an international university and be a hub in the northeast for students from overseas. The university has been focusing on IT investment as a vital tool to support education for several years”, he added. With 2,000 subjects are available in the KKU Learning Management System (LMS), students can access to these electronic learning materials via the internet connection, both wired and wireless.

KKU wants to be an international university and ICT is an important tool to assist us achieve the goal. Studying at KKU, student learning will be facilitated by the ICT infrastructure along with the ICT knowledge that is a must and required skill for graduation students”, said Dr Tiratanasirichai. KKU is located 449 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, with 12,000 staff and hospitals which includes 2,000 teachers and 10,000 staff, and 43,000 students.

“All will be encouraged to use Google Apps in the next three months. Now, around 10,000 users are using Google Apps”, said KKU’s vice president of academic and IT, assistant Prof Denpong Soodphakdee.

He added that KUU’s e-learning system is enabled by the Mooddle system, a free Web-based learning managment system that allows educators to create effective online learning sites. Google Apps will be integrated into the university’s LMS. Apart from e-learning benefit, the students is able to arrange their learning plan such as planning their study time talbe, checking the subjects, and dates of examinations throughout the semester.

KKU cannot only save time, but it can also save the cost of service deployment to the staff. “The cost of IT investment is low but there is more efficiency in performing routine tasks and teaching services. In the future, KKU can provide partial distant-learning for graduation students”, said Soodphakdee.

(Source: FutureGov)

Further details

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:55:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

More than 5,000 residents of the community of Chalhuanca in Aymara in the province of Apurimac, will benefit from access to Broadband Internet for free, under the Digital Chalhuanca project, promoted by the regional government and the mining Suyamarca, member of Hochschild Mining Group.

The provincial municipality of Aymara, the regional government of Apurimac and mining company opened in the previous day (Wednesday) Chalhuanca Digital, which will benefit communities of Suyamarca influence of the mining and surrounding communities as Cotaruse, Pampamarca, Iscahuaca, Promesa and Colca, also Pallancata, Santa Rosa and Ariso.

Hochschild Mining's president, Ignacio Bustamante, said that the project will require an investment of one million dollars, from what they have invested US$ 670,000 and 80 percent of the cost is borne by Minera Suyamarca and the rest will be assumed by local and regional authorities.

"It's a historic moment for Apurimac it is the first digital community in the country and this experience we will replicate in major districts of the region as Abancay, Andahuaylas and Cotabambas" he said.

He explained that the project has two stages and its implementation will take four years, the first step is the implementation of basic infrastructure to meet the needs of technology and communication technology which is required by the digital city.

In the second stage they will prioritize the needs of training in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education, employment and productive.

Meanwhile, the president of the Apurimac region, Elijah Segovia said that this project starts Apurimac digital inclusion in the framework of social inclusion promoted by the government, adding that help improve the educational level of the region, which is one of the main objectives of its management.

(Source: Andina)

Further details

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:50:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Experts at eLearning Africa 2011 suggested that eLearning could bridge the alarming skills gap that exists between nurses trained in different disciplines. Some pointed to successful partnerships with NGOs in East Africa. Others discussed scale and replicability in African medical training.

The question of content and related issues including information access and development was a key theme of the session ‘What contribution can eLearning make towards confronting the skills challenge of Africa’s health sector?’

Mohamed Labib discussed HSO.info, a well-resourced website with expert free health sciences information. The vision is to make this relevant and available to all health workers. The importance of partnerships was noted here, both south-south and north-south. The example provided was the University Teaching Hospital in Zambia, partnering with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

The session included two presentations from the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH). Angelo Nyamtema pointed out the severe shortage of healthcare workers in Tanzania and discussed the progress being made in developing an eLearning training programme, including their approach to pedagogical design and course structuring.

Diana Mukami discussed the African Medical and Research Foundation’s successful nurse upgrading programme via eLearning. Since its inception nearly six years ago, the programme – a classic public-private partnership – has enrolled 7000 nurses across 108 eCentres in Kenya and graduated over 2000 nurses. It comprises General Nursing, Reproductive Health, Community Health and Specialised Areas.

(Source: eLearning Africa)
Further details


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:45:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has just published a research on ICT and poverty in Africa entitled ‘Pro-poor social and economic opportunities in the African ICT innovation ecosystem’. This research analyses how new income opportunities are created from the “mobile revolution”, what their impact is on the contribution of ICT to development, and it also develops forward-looking perspectives to enhance how ICT can be accompanied by inclusive innovation practices that effectively address rural and urban poverty in developing countries.

The research project included extensive field research in Iringa, Tanzania, which was chosen as the case study locale, as it typifies, in many respects, the rural social, cultural, economic and geographic landscape in Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Full Text
(Source: Euroafrica)


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:37:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bolivian Educational Organization EDUCATIC has been voted the organization with the most social impact at the National Innovation Talents awards 2012. EDUCATIC is supported by IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium.

EDUCATIC was praised for the impact their innovative projects have on the quality of education and the promotion of equal opportunities for young Bolivians. The National Innovation Talents awards 2012 (TIC Bolivia 2012) were presented in June in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 20 teams from 5 different areas of the country participated in the third edition of the competition, claiming awards for Best Economic Impact, Best Environmental Impact and Best Social Impact.

Catalyst for the decision of the jury was the work of EDUCATIC in promoting the proper use of technological resources, the generation of innovative teaching content with the use of ICT locally to improve student achievement, the encouragement of teachers to develop their own digital educational content, according to the needs of students, as well as the promotion of Bolivian culture.

EDUCATIC’s CEO, Keiko Ignacio, has a long experience with the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in Education and collaborates closely with IICD since 2001. She is happy to receive the recognition for her organization’s years of hard work: “Together with a team of young people with the same convictions of service to development, we undertook a variety of projects that promote local and national growth for the benefit of Bolivian children”.

IICD collaborates with EDUCATIC and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium project ‘ICT for education in Bolivia. In this project, teachers and students will be targeted in 80 schools throughout Bolivia to enhance education with the use of Information and Communication Technology such as computers.

(Source: IICD)
Further details


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:31:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ICT in Everyday Learning – Teacher Online Toolkit project is funded by the Australian Government under the Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders and is a component of the Digital Education Revolution program. The project is led by Education Services Australia.

The project aims to change classroom practice by increasing teachers' capacity to incorporate technologies into teaching and learning as they implement the Australian Curriculum. It will assist teachers to access online professional learning with local support to analyse, plan and implement changes to their teaching approaches and to access quality online resources.

The Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, the History Teachers' Association of Australia, Deakin University and Macquarie University are working with Education Services Australia to develop and deliver the professional learning resources.

The project resources will include examples of how teachers can incorporate technologies into the teaching of English, history, science and mathematics and examples of cross-curriculum perspectives and general capabilities. The resources will also include advice and strategies for using digital content, mobile devices, collaboration tools, game-based technologies and communication tools.

The professional learning resources will be trialled in a range of schools. The resources will be accessible to all teachers on completion of the project in 2012.

(Source: ESA – Australia)
Further details


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:27:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dream-wings is a free online learning portal run by Gyeonggi Women’s Development Center – GWDC. It offers e-learning services and over 300 courses in office work, healthcare, social welfare, IT, foreign languages and hobbies.

Stay-at-home mothers wishing to get a job and working mothers looking for better career opportunities never have enough time for self-development. They find a favorable option with Dream-wings which can be accessed anywhere and anytime”, says Dr Cho Jung-ah, head of GWDC.

Dream wings-supports women’s career development, including finding a job or starting a new business. It started off in 2004 as a local website built for women living in Gyeonggi Province. Based on the research conducted by Samsung SDS, GWDC created a master plan offering e-learning services to women who have experienced an extensive period of career breaks. A year later, GWDC opened the online Gyeonggi Women Career Development Center, Korea’s first-ever free e-learning service for women. It began to offer nation-wide services in 2011. This year, GWDC introduced a mobile version of the portal – Smart Dream-wings.

Focused primarily on IT education, Dream-wings has expanded the scope of its services into total career development support by adding diagnostic services (e.g. competency diagnosis and employability diagnosis) and support for job placement and business start-up. The initiative is fully funded by the government.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:20:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 28, 2012

An intensive camp for budding female programmers and engineers hopes to increase the number of women in the tech world.

Women earn the majority of bachelor degrees in the U.S., but only 24% of females work in technical fields. "Girls and boys at 12 or 13 like math and science the same, but then something shifts. There’s a cultural perception that a coder or engineer looks like a white male", says Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and former New York City Deputy Public Advocate.

So she founded Girls Who Code, a summer program with backing from Twitter, General Electric, Google, and eBay that wants to help close the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) gap by giving high school girls (ages 13 to 17) the opportunity to learn more about what engineering and technology careers have to offer--and by giving them the confidence to pursue their goals.

The New York City program, which kicks off this summer, will have 20 participants, representing all of the city’s boroughs and 12 different ethnicities. "We wanted to focus on girls who didn’t have a lot of access at home or schools that were passionate about technology", says Saujani.

The Girls Who Code participants will have a jam-packed summer schedule, with activities planned Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Every week will have a different theme (mobile apps, robotics, entrepreneurship, etc.) and speakers will come talk to the girls every day. Already, Girls Who Code has lecturers like General Electric CMO Beth Comstock, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, and Gilt Groupe founder Alexis Maybank lined up. Once or twice a week, the participants will take field trips to various tech startups and established companies, including Twitter, Google, Facebook, and General Assembly.

During the final two weeks, the girls will work on their final projects, which will ask them to solve problems using tools they’ve learned during the summer. One example: The girls might be asked identify a challenge in their neighborhood, and develop something--a video game, say, or a mobile app-- to address it. The girls will receive feedback and help from their mentors teachers, and at the end of the program, they’ll have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to a group of entrepreneurs and engineers.

(Source: Fastcoexist)
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Thursday, June 28, 2012 3:49:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 25, 2012

The GSMA launched the Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) project in conjunction with Omidyar Network the philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder (Pierre Omidyar). Through an open access portal, MDI will offer data and analysis to support business decision-making and clarify the evidence of the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in the developing world. MDI will provide any user with over 70 metrics and the ability to tabulate, graph, map and export the datasets with country-level dashboards available for more than 140 developing world countries. MDI will continually add new datasets throughout the project and users can add data and content to the portal.

"The GSMA believes that open access to high-quality data will improve business decision-making, increase total investment from both the commercial mobile industry and the development sector, and amplify economic, environmental and social impact," said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Development Fund. "The GSMA is uniquely positioned to aggregate and host data and analysis on behalf of our mobile operator members and the wider industry. This open data portal will provide for the first time a complete landscape of the organizations and mobile services that are influencing and changing lives in developing populations throughout the world".

A challenge facing mobile industry stakeholders in the developing world is the lack of publically available data and analysis to support their business decision making. MDI will fill this information gap and will aggregate and host publically available data from multiple sources such as the GSMA, the United Nations, the World Bank, the wider mobile industry and development organizations.

MDI hosts a landscape of more than 800 organization profiles; in addition, over 750 products and services have been summarized, with an initial focus on mobile money and mobile health. Users can see these organizations, products and services on a global map and search for particular types of organizations. This will allow stakeholders to identify each other, understand each other's offerings and objectives, and form collaborations and partnerships.

There are an estimated 6.6 billion mobile connections globally, with the developing world providing the majority of global connections growth. The industry is moving beyond basic voice to the use of mobile to deliver services in adjacent sectors such as agriculture, education, financial services and health. As the most widely adopted technology in history, mobile is uniquely positioned to drive economic, environmental and social benefit. MDI will help increase this momentum by providing a robust, data-rich, user-friendly and freely available portal that offers a new level of global visibility.

(Source: PR Newswire)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:47:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Banglalink, the second biggest mobile operator in Bangladesh has introduced “krishi jigyasha 7676” which will provide suggestions and answers to any queries related to agriculture, vegetable and fruit farming, poultry, livestock, fisheries etc. Banglalink is the pioneer in Bangladesh in launching such a service.

To use this service a Banglalink customer just needs to dial 7676, talk and get expert’s advice on the problem. At present, the service can address problems related to harvests, pesticides, agro diseases, information on seeds, fertilizers, poultry and livestock feed, fisheries techniques and much more.

Also, Banglalink brought “babsha jigyasha 7677”, a one stop solution for existing and potential sme owners in need of business related advice. Now it is possible to just dial 7677 and get useful advice on important issues relating to business, which not only saves valuable time and effort but also minimizes operational cost.

Babsha jigyasha 7677 gives information on the following:

  • Access to finance: information relating to the availability of finance for operating or starting a new business. This will include account opening information, SME loan, deposit, interest rates, etc. of different banks and micro finance institutions of different regions across the country. The customers can obtain specific information of banking and financial services of their favorable location as well.

  • Business documentation process: there are various types of formal documents which are necessary for conducting business. Through this service, existing and potential business owners will receive information on the processing of such documents including trade license, tin, tax certificate, etc. to facilitate the smooth operation of their business.

Bangladesh, being an agriculture intensive country, this service will make a difference too many earning their livelihood in these sectors. The service will give them easy access to valuable advice and solutions to problems.

(Source: Banglalink)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:45:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

U.S. Internet giant Google announced today the launch of a website designed to facilitate the preservation of endangered languages, entitled "Proposed Endangered Languages (www.endangeredlanguages.com/)".

"The documentation of more than 3,000 languages on the brink of extinction is an important step toward preserving cultural diversity, honoring the wisdom of our elders and empower young people", argued Google.

"Technology can support these efforts to help people create good quality recordings of their elders, often the last speakers of their language, to contact the disparate communities in social networks and facilitate the learning of languages", they said.

Google said that they pretend to transfer the management of the site "within months" to a university laboratory, the Institute of Language and Information Technology at the University of Eastern Michigan, and the Cultural Council of the native peoples, AFP reported.

Google said that this project received funding from its philanthropic arm, Google.org, and invited other organizations to join this effort.

(Source: El Universal news paper)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:42:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: UCEP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: eschool)
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:18:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 15, 2012

The ICT Ministry announced that the Colombians may apply for forgivable loans to the ICETEX, for studies related to software development and applications. The budget is 36 billion Colombian pesos.

From now on, those interested in further studies related to software development and applications have the opportunity to do so in any education program in technical levels, technologist, professional and master's universities, technical and technological institutes accredited to the National Ministry of Education and without worrying about the cost, as the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) made available to forgivable loans with a total budget of 36,000 Colombian million pesos (US$ 20.18 million approximately).

The call to access these credits of the strategy 'Talento Digital' is open from June 14 this year. Those interested can register through the site: www.icetex.gov.co.

Forgivable loans are for students who wish to start classes earlier this year in any program of technical education, technologist, professional and master's in careers related to information technology.

"We need applications made by Colombians for Colombians, providing services that encourage the use of ICT and in turn help to create jobs and reduce poverty", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega, at the opening of 'Talento Digital '.

'Talento Digital' is the strategy of the ICT Ministry, which seeks to encourage the training of specialized human capital in the use of information technology, strengthening of Government Online and the development of competitiveness, research, innovation and the international projection .

More information

(Source: MINTIC)

Friday, June 15, 2012 2:29:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 14, 2012

ICT Update magazine is preparing an issue that will focus on Women and ICTs and they would like to hear from anyone working on agricultural or rural development projects that emphasize the role and position of women in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, where ICTs (mobile phones, computers, GIS, email, Internet, radio, TV, etc) are used to improve employment opportunities or to encourage an interest in traditional agricultural practices.

 ICT Update magazine is looking for projects that focus on empowerment, female rural entrepreneurship or capacity building. If someone is involved in such a project then they have to get in touch with brief details on the technology they use, how women are involved, and how it contributes to rural development in ACP countries. They can then send an article outline and list of questions to cover in the article, or organize a time for a telephone interview.

For more information, send an email to: evert-jan@contactivity.com

(Source: iConnect)

Further details
 

Thursday, June 14, 2012 3:18:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 13, 2012
After months of waiting, Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project came to reality when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officialy kicked of the project on Thursday and handed the first tablet to representatives of first grade students.

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

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

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

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

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

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 12:41:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |