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 Friday, 28 September 2012
The WSYA selects and promotes best practice in e-Content. It demonstrates young people's potential to create outstanding digital contents and serves as a platform for people from all UN member states to work together in the efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Young creators of digital content can register their products themselves. An international young expert jury will then judge the products and select a winner in each of the six WSYA categories.

The reward for winners is to be recognized on a world stage, to be invited to the winners' events (with all related cost covered by organizers), to be able to connect with each other and discuss with renowned experts in the field of ICT for development. The Youth Award is not a cash award. Last years winner's events took place in Graz, Austria. In 2012, the event is going to take place in Montreal, Canada.

The WSYA is organized as a follow up activity of the World Summit on Information Society and its action plan towards the year 2015. The Youth Award is being organized by the World Summit Award Network for the fifth time after 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2011. It is promoted in all UN member states through the networks of the World Summit Award (WSA) the UN Global Alliance for ICT, other participating UN Organizations and Agencies such as UNESCO and UNIDO, governments and NGOs, youth organizations, and all those committed to making a real difference in the achievement of the MDGs.

The WSYA Team is based at the International Centre for New Media (ICNM), an independent non-profit organization in Salzburg, Austria.

(Source: WSYA)

Friday, 28 September 2012 11:07:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The book is an example of the development of the Plan “Vive Digital” as an initiative to promote equity and social development from the most remote and vulnerable public educational institutions in the country with the support of ICT.

This is a document that serves as a guide to teachers in ICT teaching of the schools which were benefited from Computadoras para educar (Computers for Schools), ICT Ministry program.

"We are convinced that technology contributes significantly in education", said ICT Ministry, Diego Molano Vega.

"We are more than technology. Computadoras para educar is sustainable social development for Colombia because the learning process supported from ICT, thanks to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education", said Director Martha Castellanos referring to the launch of this digital document, which includes a study by the University of the Andes and supports the results of the program since its existence and several articles on the use of ICT in education, written by experts and ministers of ICT and Education.

However, the focus of the publication is defined into the seven components of education mediated by ICTs, including the dimensions research, evaluative, communication, educational, technical and technological, attitudinal and disciplinary. The book also addresses the main challenges of the new age teachers, such as turning the student into the protagonist of his own educational process, making it more purpose and more focused on the skills that the accumulation of knowledge.

"This book is a real turning point between what is the use of computers in the classroom and the incorporation of digital tools to strengthen education", said the Deputy Minister of ICT María Carolina Hoyos Turbay.

The publication serves as a guide on the most important steps that the Government of Colombia has taken to meet targets on access to technology in the educational context, raised in Vive Digital Plans and Quality Education.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)

Friday, 28 September 2012 11:01:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A project that provides online legal advice and digital trainings to Bolivian victims of domestic violence was praised in a recent publication of International Capacity Building Organization PSO.

The project, which was formerly supported by IICD in collaboration with local partner Casa de la Mujer (Woman’s House), was presented as an example of an inspiring innovative approach to capacity development that leads to the improvement of people’s lives.

The project consists of an online consulting service for women suffering from domestic violence, which provides them legal advice and the opportunity to interact online anonymously with professional counselors. In addition, these women are trained in the basic use of computers as well as the use of tools such as chat and Skype where they can speak to their peers or learn how to anonymously tell their story.

Given that most women do not have a computer of their own, Casa de La Mujer has created computer centres throughout Santa Cruz, which women can visit and use for free to send messages to lawyers and psychologists who volunteer in the project or to other victims, anonymously, if they prefer.

As a result, the women feel that they are not alone. By interacting with other women facing the same problems and by being introduced to basic ICT skills like blogging or using Skype, they are given a voice to communicate about domestic violence and inspire other women who suffer in other areas of the country. In addition to this, ICT has given them the opportunity to seek help maintaining their anonymity, something that is really important to victims of domestic violence and gender discrimination.

IICD’s officer Community Relations, Innovation & Capacity Development, Saskia Harmsen says that “We are pleased with the results seen from the training of 600 women in the use of ICT, and in the use of the on-line legal services and in legal rights issues”.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:55:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Two projects, one in Kenya and one in Burkina Faso, show that female farmers have better access to ICTs and are using them to improve their livelihoods. However, there is still a gender digital divide, and some profound problems are preventing women from benefiting from ICTs.

Margaret Wanjiku Mwangi has been a regular user of the Ng’arua Maarifa ICT Centre in the rural county of Laikipia in Kenya since it was inaugurated seven years ago. She has acquired computer skills free of charge and regularly borrows books and magazines to discover new ideas to improve yield productivity. For example, she learnt how to preserve various vegetable seeds for planting to enhance food security. It was also at this rural ICT Centre, an initiative of the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), that she came up with the idea of making a kitchen garden to grow vegetables in the dry season, and to make fruit juices at home to sell at special occasions and social gatherings.

Mwangi has also attended market access trainings at the ICT Centre, where she has learnt to use her mobile phone and the internet to check market prices. ‘Whenever my crops are ready,’ she says, ‘I use my mobile phone to check market prices in major towns so that I can learn about the current market situation. I share the information with neighbours, and we are no longer exploited by middle men’.

Bett Kipsang’, field officer at the Ng’arua Maarifa Centre says: “We have initiated training sessions targeting all the community members and specifically women. During these sessions, we introduce them to initiatives about online marketing skills, for example, where we train farmers to check market prices from a web-based portal using the internet and mobile phones”.

The portal is called Sokopepe, which loosely translated into Swahili means ‘online market’. It was developed by ALIN, for use by local farmers to access market information via the Short Message Service (SMS). The internet portal has been customized to receive SMS and give feedback on the prices of commodities as inquired by the farmers and buyers. The initiative enables farmers to upload their offers online and receive market information from different market centers in order to make informed decisions on where to sell their produce. This marketing system has helped rural women find prices and also discover the location of prospective buyers‘.

(Source: ICT Update)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:49:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The objective of The GSMA mWomen Design Challenge: Redefining the User Experience is to meet the needs of resource-poor women by improving the smartphone user experience.

Designers, programmers and innovators of all kinds are invited to consider the user experience of resource-poor women to reimagine a smartphone’s core user interface to be more intuitive and accessible. The more a woman can use her phone, the more value she’ll be able to realize from the pre-installed apps, widgets, and other functionality that can enhance her and her family’s lives.

Today, most mobile users in developing markets rely on basic feature phones, which generally offer little beyond basic voice and SMS functionality. But smartphones will drive the next stage of the mobile revolution, offering access to more phone features, as well as being the primary tool for internet access for many in the developing world. As competition grows and the phones become more popular, manufacturers will realize economics of scale and will reduce prices, creating a cycle that will ultimately lead to affordable smartphones throughout the developing world.

More information
(Source: GSMA mWomen)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:42:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Over the course of the past decade, the face of society has been transformed. In every aspect of daily life, technology has revolutionized the ways by which individuals communicate with the outside world.

In order to effectively contend with this evolving style, it is vital for educators to incorporate these changes into the classroom. One way of doing so is by the integration of mobile learning and, more specifically, remote teaching. This study attempted to measure the effectiveness of mobile learning and remote teaching in delivering classroom content within the university context, as opposed to traditional lecture-based delivery. Results indicated that mobile-based remote teaching is not only as effective as traditional instruction, but more so, in regard to student understanding of course content.

This study will explore the use of mobile technology in remote teaching, giving professors the ability to teach and instruct students via the mobile device while not in the traditional classroom setting. This study will utilize a quasi-experimental design between separate sections of no less than three classes. Three sections will be taught utilizing extensive remote teaching activities (i.e. sending students out of the classroom to experience different activities and blogging/podcasting about them remotely on their device, conducting “scavenger hunts” using mobile devices for instruction, using HeadsUp to facilitate group work while the professor is not physically present), while the other three sections will be taught identical course materials using traditional face-to-face methods. Measurement will consist of a pre-test/post-test design to compare student comprehension, retention of, and interest in course materials.

Full report
(Source: Abilene Christian University)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:37:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
It is time of the examination of economic geography at school Virolai in Barcelona's Carmel district. Students in 4th grade of Secondary (ESO) catch a pen and a paper, open their laptops, look for information on the Internet and answer the questions ... might even they see some data in their notes. The exam grade will only depend on the information they find in these sources. This is more than just play definitions. With the data that they have and their prior knowledge must be enough to solve problems and answer questions that test their ability to analyze and reflect.

This is what the teachers consider; to adapt the tests to what is taught in classrooms every day, and especially at how it is taught. "In one hand, they tend increasingly to teach skills, teachers want the students to be able to do something with the stuff they learn, think and analyze, but in the opposite way we (teachers) mostly continue evaluating memory", said Coral regi, Director of Virolai School and professor of Biology. Regi raises another issue. The reality is this: people access to various sources of information, books, manuals, journals, internet, experts ... - to respond to the questions they face in their lives, at work ... Do not rely all the data stored in their brain. But the school does not allow it in testing. In this center, and in another thirty Spain, have decided to turn around the situation.

Virolai center of Barcelona is part of a program of DIM research group from Universat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), coordinated by Pere Marquis, who proposes something similar. Last academic year this group conducted a research in fifty schools and colleges where they could realize the evaluation during the exams. About 70% of teachers felt that the result for the students was positive. Students who were good they continue good and those who had difficulties improved with effort, but those who were dragging deficits or who were unwilling to work could not perform well. Therefore, this course has launched a second phase of research, which will continue the 2012-2013, in which they propose a new approach to the curriculum - called bimodal.

(Source: La Vanguardia – Spain)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:32:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In June this year, thirty-year old Limbikani Makani was nominated by the United States embassy in Harare to participate in the State Department’s Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders. The Washington summit brought together 65 inspirational young leaders from 42 African countries, and Makani was able to share his experiences and insights on how he has spent the last three years developing a platform to transform the ICT landscape in Zimbabwe. At the time, there was a dearth of information on ICT for the local context, and having identified a niche, he launched the TechZim website, which has arguably become one of Zimbabwe’s leading technology websites for product reviews and local IT news. With approximately 3,000 page views per day, TechZim is proving popular, and Makani says, "We have set our sights on building a culture of start-ups and innovation in Zimbabwe".

Whilst tech start-ups are now able to access news and information readily, TechZim has had another unprecedented impact by helping secondary school students who are learning the ropes of using ICT as a tool for academic research. Makani explains, "We decided to take on young people from secondary schools and colleges to teach them how to use the Internet and social media networks for their academic research". They host free informal training seminars during the school holidays where a few youths at a time learn about software, web designing and project management. For novices, there are sessions on basic computer skills – something so many privileged people take for granted these days. "We don’t award certificates because we aren’t a college", says Makani. "We are basically demystifying ICT and assisting students who would otherwise not be able to afford computer classes at all", he says.

Makani’s project has proved popular, so much so that the Department of Media Studies at WITS University in Johannesburg invited his input for a study into the revision of the regulatory framework of a new national media policy for Zimbabwe. "If tech start-ups are to succeed, the overall ICT climate has to be conducive to doing business", he argues. "For eCommerce to become a reality, we need to be investing in skills; in research and development and working towards Universal Internet Access".

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:27:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 September 2012

During the SSOE Deployment Milestone Celebration on August 24, the Ministry of Education (MOE), in partnership with NCS, announced the completion of the transition phase that would empower over 500,000 students. The devices consisting of desktop computers, notebook computers, and tablet Pcs have been arranged for over 40,000 principals, teachers, and administrative staff who have been educated on the use of the new services and solutions under the programme.

”The Schools Standard ICT Operating Environment (SSOE) programme has enhanced the ICT infrastructure of schools in Singapore, to provide an environment for greater use of ICT in teaching and learning in schools”, said SSOE Programme Director Lim Teck Soon.

“With SSOE, schools can now look forward to faster speed, enhanced security and full on-site support for their computing needs to enhance teaching and learning. A strong focus on users’ needs and the close partnership between MOE and NCS had enabled the entire programme to be implemented successfully. We are confident that SSOE will redefine the pedagogical approach in the education system in Singapore and equip future generations of students to harness the full potential of ICT”, he added.

Launched in June 2010, the SSOE programme has arranged and managed desktops, network and ICT support for all MOE schools in Singapore, enabling both wired and wireless network to improve the school’s network performance and accessibility to education applications. Also, the programme has provided computing devices to all staff and school computing labs to facilitate effective and efficient use of the ICT infrastructure.

For the next phase of the SSOE programme, NCS will manage the operations and provide maintenance support and technology refresh of the desktops and infrastructure, as part of the eight-year contract with the MOE.

(Source: NCS)

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:57:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Under the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched last week, Malaysia will equip 10,000 national schools nationwide with 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak unveiled the plan to embed ICT in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and parents through the expansion of 1BestariNet (Wi-Fi) programme to all schools.

Also, the government will increase the number of ICT devices until the ratio of student-to-device reaches 10:1. He added that the ratio can continue to be lowered further subjected to the availability of funds and impact assessment.

Between 1999 and 2010, Malaysian government has invested up to RM6 billion (US$ 1.97 billion) on the initiative ICT for education projects. Most of the funds went for additional computer labs especially to support the PPSMI scheme—the government’s education policy aimed at improving the proficiency in English among pupils at primary and secondary schools.

In the blueprint, the effective use of ICT is required to foster students to learn how to leverage ICT efficiently to scale up quality learning across the country. It will also further strengthen the foundation of ICT-enabled schools as well as introducing proven ICT solutions into the education system.

The government will also pilot a distance-learning and self-paced learning before scaling up nationwide.

Under shift 9 in the same blueprint, a system called School Examination Analysis System (SAPS)—an online system to monitor students’ progress, will be set up at some 500 trust schools as part of encouraging the partnership among parents, community and private sector to monitor learning performance of the students.

The government will also invest in ICT solutions for groups with specific needs such as rural schools, under-enrolled schools, and gifted students to enable cost-efficient access to high-quality teaching and learning resources.

(Source: FutureGov)

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:55:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
At Sengerema hospital, patients coming in for small treatments in the so called ‘outpatient’ department were often confronted with many difficulties. First of all, it was difficult to register as a returning patient because patient files were stored manually and it took quite some time, before a file was found. The digital system will also solve the problem of long tiring standing queues where patients were often pushing each other in order to get served first. With a new patient registration system in place, patients can wait to be called while sitting comfortably on a bench.

Moving to digital hospital management took some time. In the first phase, with the support of IICD, some key staff was trained and computers were already partially used in the administration office to for instance create schedules for nurses and computers were placed in an Internet café in the hospital. This allowed staff to already get familiar with computers. Then about 2 months before introducing the Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), 40 staff members were trained for 2 weeks in a basic ICT training that was focused on getting to know the system in simple way.

In addition to the reduced waiting time, another benefit for patients is that they now know better what they pay for. As there was not a general price list, pharmacists often worked with estimated prices. This meant that it differed what you had to pay depending on which pharmacist you would get. With the digital system, errors are virtually impossible. All products are priced in the system and patients now get digital receipts with the exact amounts.

For the hospital, the digital system also has financial benefits. Of course it costs money to implement, but it also raises money. The hospitals had to deal with patients not paying for their treatment and medicine, because of poor communication between the registering office, the lab, the pharmacy and the billing department or simply because of a hurry.  This lost the hospital a significant amount of money every day that could have been used for new hospital equipment or hiring specialists.

Now, it’s not possible for a patient to walk out without paying anymore. The doctor orders a certain medicine from the pharmacy for a patient digitally and then the billing department gets the information about how much this medication costs. Only after the patient paid the amount for medication and doctor treatment, will the computer system allow patients to pick up their medicines.

The system is cost- and energy efficient by using Ncomputing hardware. The big advantage of this virtual desktop solution is that multiple computer screens and keyboards are able to run on one computer. This makes the system very energy efficient and does not require a lot of maintenance.

(Source: IICD)
Further details

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:51:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zack Matere is not an average farmer. Having studied for a diploma in business administration at Eldoret Polytechnic in Kenya, he ventured into white collar jobs, which he quickly abandoned to concentrate on what many people on his age regarded as a poor man’s job: farming.

He started farming vegetables, and first encountered ICTs when a strange disease attacked his potatoes. Not even the agricultural officer could diagnose the cause. Zack’s farm is in Segereya village, near Eldoret, a long way from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He had learned a little about computers and the Internet at college, so Zack cycled 10 km from his home to the nearest internet café. He opened the Google search engine and typed ‘potato diseases.’

He found that ants had attacked his potatoes, and also found a cheap and environmentally friendly cure: spraying wood ash. Amazed by the results, Zack returned to the Internet café and, after a few clicks, he was able to find a buyer for his potatoes.

Zack invested in a 3G-enabled phone that he could use to look for information online from the comfort of his home. Zack is lucky, he is internet literate, but thousands of farmers in his area do not even know how to use cell phones. Zack has therefore become the bridge between these farmers and the internet. Zack pays 50 Kenyan shillings (0.50 euro) everyday to access the internet from his phone, an amount that is beyond the reach of his fellow farmers.

Zack has tried to bring these farmers the information that they so desperately need. The initial challenge was to identify the most effective and inexpensive platform to reach and interact with a community of 10,000 people within a radius of 50 km. He came up with the idea for the network of notice boards, an initiative he calls Leo Pamoja, in Swahili for ‘together today’.

More details
(Source: ICT Update)

Friday, 21 September 2012 12:04:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Malvar Community eCenter (CeC), a telecentre based in Batangas, Philippines, has been declared the winner of a contest organized by Foundation (TCF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to support their joint Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign. The contest was open to all telecentres conducting digital literacy training for women from April 7, 2011 to September 1, 2012. A total of 221 organizations and telecentres from 65 countries participated in the contest, submitting verifiable reports of the digital literacy training for women they conducted during the contest period. TCF tallied and verified the reports, which showed that Malvar Community e-Center had trained the most women. ITU will now award the Malvar Community eCenter 15,000 Swiss Francs worth of ICT equipment for its telecentre.

Malvar CeC, was able to train a total of 528 women in basic digital literacy courses during the contest period. Of the total, a vast majority (316 or 60%) admitted that the training was their first introduction to the Internet. Trainees came from all walks of life–from students to public and private sector employees, to the unemployed, to retired senior citizens.

Upon hearing that they had won the contest, Malvar CeC Manager Linda Balbuena said, “Competing with the world’s telecentres is really daunting and quite intimidating. But we gave it our best shot and we won! We, at the Malvar Community eCenter are all thrilled and exhilarated! With the prize equipment, we think of how much easier it will be for us to reach more women in remote areas and teach them basic computer literacy. Thanks and more power to Foundation and ITU!”

Malvar Municipal Mayor, Carlito Reyes, who was instrumental in the establishment of the government-supported telecentre, also expressed his delight at the win, saying: “I am very happy and honored to learn that our Community eCenter won the contest of training the most women to become digitally literate. It is totally remarkable and amazing that we won in an international competition like this.”

The Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign target is to reach 1 million women.  To learn more and participate in the campaign, please visit


Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:09:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 September 2012

The service - 'Business Women' - was introduced by Nokia West Africa, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) and MTN. Cherie Blair, founder of CBFW, told journalists that women entrepreneurs are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses, including access to affordable resources, marketing channels and training inputs.

According to Blair, the new information service aims to address this imbalance by providing essential entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service.

Women entrepreneurs present at the launch of the service expressed optimism that the new information service would assist them in overcoming some of the social and economic barriers preventing women from reaching their economic potential.

Respondents agreed that computers and the internet allow women to build entrepreneurial success; however, mobile phones have the most potential because their portability and ease of use make them a particularly friendly tool to support women's business growth.

James Rutherford, the Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said the initiative was part of Nokia's "commitment towards connecting people to new opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion of people to be connected".

"Nokia Life is by far the world's largest mobile information service suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live and share information better", he said. "The foundation invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses; and in doing so, benefit not only them but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help their businesses.

The service will be available for free, for the first six months, to Nokia Life users who are also currently subscribed to MTN Nigeria.

(Source: Daily Times)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:57:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Atul Bharve, a farmer from Maharashtra's Marathwada district, says a mobile phone message saved him from crop losses this year. When monsoon was delayed, he sent an SMS to Nokia Life Tools - a text message-based information service-seeking advice on what to cultivate and was promptly advised to focus on fodder.

Kapil Mehta, a farmer from Sabakantha district in northern Gujarat, took up sorghum cultivation, which requires less water, this season in line with a voice message advisory from Iffco Kisan Sanchar, a joint venture between mobile carrier Bharti Airtel and fertiliser firm Iffco.

If India avoids a farming disaster of huge crop losses due to deficient monsoon rains this year, part of its credits go to specialized mobile-based advisory services such as Iffco Kisan Sanchar, Nokia Life Tools and Reuters Market Light, which are helping a millions of farmers across the country take the right decisions.

Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia says nearly 30 million customers subscribe to its Nokia Life Tools service and a sizeable chunk of this group are farmers.

Reuters Market Light, an initiative of news and information firm Thomson Reuters to provide personalized agricultural information through text messages in local languages to farmers for Rs 999 a year, boasts of one million unique subscribers.

These service providers are now working overtime to respond to a deluge in demand due to delayed monsoon. Experts believe mobile-based farmer advisory providers will play an increasingly larger role in coming years.

B V Natesh, director (emerging markets services) at Nokia Life Tools, says: "Since the Indian farmer now faces significant monsoon-related challenges, we've been providing our subscribers with best practices and tips on water and soil moisture conservation, alternate crop selection in low rainfall scenarios and five-day weather forecasts". Nokia Life provides personalized text messages on 270 commodities in 12 languages across 22 states in 12 languages and can be accessed by farmers on a daily basis.

According to the World Bank, mobile-based access to price information has improved average farmer incomes by up to 24%, adding that the most common usage of text messaging in the context of agriculture includes access to price information, crop disease and meteorological information.

(Source: The Economic Times)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:52:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Futurecom is the largest and most qualified Telecommunications event in Latin America, with special focus in Brazil. 14 000 attendees from more than 40 countries participate at Futurecom Brazil. 

Futurecom struggles to be an environmentally responsible event by reducing the impacts to the environment, becoming an example to be followed in the management of environmental impacts. We encourage exhibitors, sponsors and partners to do their part.

It has a 20.000 sqm. exhibition area and an outstanding International Congress with more than 250 speakers and 3500+ delegates. Most of worldwide ICT companies participate at Futurecom, as well as all Brazilian Fixed and Mobile Carriers. Futurecom 14th edition will be held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, from October 8th to 12th, 2012!

Link Box:, Facebook, Twitter  #futurecom, Linkedin and Youtube

For more information see:

(Source: Innovationsky)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:40:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The capital city of South Korea will be providing smartphones and free wireless Internet service at homeless shelters as part of the city government’s Social Networking Service, education program for 300 homeless people who are trying to reintegrate back into society.

Under the program, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and its partners will be providing second hand smartphones, donated by citizens to homeless residents, which they can use during hosted workshops on how they can interact with society through the social networking services. In addition, workshop attendees are also taught how they can make better use of mobile applications available in their smart phones.

After completing the workshops, each homeless resident will receive a new smartphone with a KRW 20,000 credit. From then on the users will be responsible for adding credit themselves. However, even if the credit runs out, the phone will still work wherever free Wi-Fi is available.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, by using smartphones, homeless people can now search for jobs and employment related information, online, anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, they will be able to reconnect with their family and friends and interact with the rest of society through social networking services.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:32:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Remote, mountainous, and hard-to-reach areas like Uganda’s Kabale district suffer from inadequate access to information of all kinds. Because the region, located in the southwestern corner of Uganda, is predominantly agricultural, timely and relevant information for farmers in Kabale would significantly help improve their livelihoods.

A mobile phone application developed by the project Life Long Learning for Farmers in Uganda (L3F Uganda) is helping Kabale farmers get the information they need. The project sends text messages with agricultural updates and information to about 1,000 farmers. This information, disseminated twice weekly by L3F Uganda, has helped farmers get valuable guidance on market access, fertilizer application, plant spacing, timely planting, local diseases, and other topics. The project is a partnership of Commonwealth of Learning, Makerere University’s Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo, and local community organizations, and was instituted as a pilot project in Bufundi, a sub-county of Kabale, in 2009 with the hope of extending it to all of Uganda.

The main aim of L3F Uganda is to help solve the many challenges farmers confront in the region. These include inadequate road networks, preventing farmers from getting to markets; a lack of credit and financial services; volatile market prices; and a lack of up-to-date information about seeds, weather patterns, appropriate fertilizers, pests, and other agricultural issues. Traditionally, the government’s agricultural extension service was the main source of information for farmers in Uganda, but the current ratio of extension workers to farmers in the country is 1:24,000, rendering the service largely ineffective. In Bufundi, the ratio is 1:46,000.

(Source: iconnect)                                                                                                                                                        

Further details

Monday, 17 September 2012 15:21:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez Will Accept “Diversity Advocate” Award On Behalf of the Commission in New York City September 12.

The leaders of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls expressed gratitude to the Walter Kaitz Foundation for the Foundation’s decision to bestow upon the Commission the Foundation’s Diversity Advocate Award.

“The Healthy MEdia Commission strives to promote representations of women in the media in the areas of healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and increased roles of women and girls”, said Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and a co-chair of the Healthy MEdia Commission. “We’re proud to receive this award in recognition of our goals to ensure we’re creating a positive media environment for our children”.

The Healthy MEdia Commission is guided by its principal sponsors, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Creative Coalition, The National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The Walter Kaitz Foundation is the cable industry’s national foundation dedicated to advocating for diversity.

“It’s especially gratifying that a prestigious organization such as the Kaitz Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing and increasing diversity in media, would recognize the efforts of the Commission. We thank the Foundation for that recognition”, said Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez, who will accept the Award on September 12 on behalf of the Commission. “We and the Healthy MEdia Commissioners also look forward later this fall to delivering a full set of recommendations on how to encourage the proliferation of healthy images of women and girls in all forms of media”.

The Kaitz Foundation on July 18 announced that the Healthy MEdia Commission would be recognized with its Diversity Advocate Award at the annual Awards Dinner of the Foundation, on Wednesday, September 12, in New York City. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversity.

More details

(Source: Walter Kaitz Foundation)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 10:11:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 September 2012

In line with Omantel’s vision Together, we innovate to build a totally connected society and as part of its endeavors to offer products and services that meet the needs of its wide range of customers, the Company announced yesterday the launch of a new Hayyak package for people with Disability to help them get in touch with their families and friends. 

Commenting on the new Hayyak package, Saleh bin Mahmood Al Maimani, Manager – Core Services at Omantel said “At Omantel, we focus on meeting the various needs of our valued customers. This new package is designed to meet the special needs of disabled to help them get in touch with friends and family through different communication means. The new package offers reduced rates of up to 25% on mobile broadband and a flat calling rate of 29 bzs day and night. This move comes as a part of the company commitment to provide something for everyone. 

To avail of this special package, applicants should visit their nearest Omantel retail outlet and present their Disability ID issued by the Ministry of Social Development. He added.  

Commenting on the service, Hamoud al Shabibi, Director of Special Care Department at the Ministry of Social Development said “We are delighted with Omantel initiative which reflects the attention and care given by the Company to this important people in our society”. 

“We are pleased that this initiative will further enable them to communicate more with friends and family through different means of communications be it through voice calls, video calls, SMS, MMS or even the mobile internet”. 

 (Source: SAMENA Daily News)

Monday, 03 September 2012 22:19:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 31 August 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):

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, 31 August 2012 21:33:08 (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:

(Source: Online Educa)

Friday, 31 August 2012 21:22:00 (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, 31 August 2012 21:14:17 (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, 31 August 2012 21:05:47 (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, 31 August 2012 20:58:28 (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, 31 August 2012 20:50:11 (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, 31 August 2012 20:35:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 20 August 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)
Further details

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:52:50 (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)
Further details

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:30:21 (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, 20 August 2012 20:26:12 (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)
Further details

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:22:04 (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)
Further details

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:11:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 13 August 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, 13 August 2012 22:03:36 (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, 13 August 2012 21:56:50 (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)
Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:52:49 (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)

Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:49:00 (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)
Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:43:40 (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.

Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:40:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 07 August 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)
Further details

Tuesday, 07 August 2012 19:31:42 (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, 07 August 2012 19:29:42 (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)
Further details

Tuesday, 07 August 2012 19:27:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 July 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, 30 July 2012 13:08:41 (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, 30 July 2012 13:04:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 25 July 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, 25 July 2012 21:41:56 (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, 25 July 2012 21:35:17 (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, 25 July 2012 21:33:04 (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, 25 July 2012 21:28:13 (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, 25 July 2012 21:21:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 July 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, 17 July 2012 05:45:57 (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, 17 July 2012 05:39:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |