International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, was appointed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a sponsor of an educational project to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies between children and adolescents through the project "Technology needs girls". In a letter sent by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, the body recognizes the work developed by the Vice President of the Republic through the 89 Community Technology Centers located in remote communities of the country, which have changed the lives of thousands of children and adolescents.

The project will allow children and adolescents to participate in local activities that allow them to remove barriers so that girls have the opportunity to explore careers in technology.

This recognition includes the Vice President to continue promoting the celebration on April 25 2013, the Day of  Girls in ICT , date that has been commemorated as the "Day of the Tecnochicas", with the aim of integrating girls from 14 to 19 years old in technology.

The Day of Girls in ICT was established by Resolution 70, which was updated and adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010. The Resolution "Mainstreaming a gender policy in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information technologies and communication" provides for the incorporation of a gender policy in all plans and ITU programs.

In May 2007, being the First Lady of the Republic, the Vice president Cedeño de Fernández received the "Award of the ITU World Information Society" for her contribution to ensure that technology services are available to residents of the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic. The ITU Award on Information Society is granted to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the construction of the information society. Personal achievement may take the form of social achievements, mobilizing public opinion or a key technical innovation.

(Source: Newspaper El Nacional)

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:51:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture will provide free internet for the first 30 minutes every day to urban and rural households with monthly incomes below RM3000 (USD 968).

The service will also be extended to households who quality for 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), a one-off cash payment initiative for low-income households. The database of BR1M recipients will be used as a starting point to identify qualifying households.

About five million people are expected to benefit from this service.

“People can use the first 30 minutes of internet for free for all their personal, family or business interests”, said Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Information, Communications and Culture Minister.

The Minister stated that the programme would be launched in April. The ministry will involve Internet service providers, and work with the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to mobilize the programme.

The ministry will determine by next week if subscribers of broadband, high-speed broadband, and fiber optic Internet services will be included.
Kampung Kerinchi in Kuala Lumpur is expected to be the first location for the implementation of the programme.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:34:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
May apply for the 2013 FRIDA Award+ all initiatives, researches or innovation projects in the field of ICTs for the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) that have made a significant contribution to the use of the Internet for the region's social, economic and cultural development since 2008 .

In addition to the above, those applying for an Award may also submit a concrete proposal for extending their project. The “Start up” provide small funds (up to USD 6000) to finance specific new actions – specific activities that can further the original project or contribute to its replication. These funds are not intended to be used to develop new projects, but instead to further or replicate the original project.

Topics under which projects/initiatives may be submitted:
Four prizes will be awarded among the nominated projects and initiatives, one in each of the following four areas:

Access – Includes initiatives that have allowed expanding fixed and mobile Internet access through new technical and organizational formats, as well as improving the quality of access based on various aspects of accessibility, disability and linguistic diversity.

Freedoms – Includes initiatives related to freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy, security, consumer rights, and new forms of intellectual property in the digital environment, with emphasis on "Citizenship and Rights" and "Identity, Privacy and Freedoms," as well as a wide variety of topics relating to the Internet and Human Rights.

Development – Includes initiatives that incorporate the Internet in order to directly contribute to improve the social, economic, cultural and environmental indicators in areas such as education, health, finance, and sustainability.

Innovation – Includes initiatives that have introduced technical innovations in any aspect relating to Internet use and development, either at physical or at conceptual level. Among others, this includes innovation in terms of materials, devices, software and content standards, as well as aspects relating to the development of open standards.

Finally, a fifth Award will be presented to the most creative project which has, in turn, deployed the best 2.0 campaign (+voted+creative project).
The five selected projects will receive a USD 3000 cash prize (three thousand US dollars), as well as travel and accommodation for one representative of each award-winning project to attend the awards ceremony at the Pre-IGF 2013 and the IGF 2013.

See here the applications rules here.
Further information

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:28:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), based in Kenya, is the leading ICT institute in the East African region. IAT needed to replace the 380 ageing PC desktops used in their training centres and classrooms but had only a small budget. To be successful, IAT would need to provide users with increased computing access while also reducing the high cost of maintenance both on hardware and support personnel.

IAT considered other traditional thin client solutions but found that many solutions were complex, requiring additional third party hardware components and an extra investment in technical support. Fortunately, NComputing’s end-to-end desktop virtualization solution was cost effective and, with the highest user density per dollar compared to any PC or thin client on the market, provided the essential features needed for a good desktop experience. In addition, NComputing virtual desktop access devices were compatible with existing applications, reliable and easy to manage, thereby eliminating the expensive IT support and maintenance costs.
Desktop virtualization, a shared computing strategy that maximizes efficiency by harnessing the computing power of underutilized PCs is an excellent way to bring classrooms into the 21st century, in a simple and cost effective manner.

By implementing NComputing virtual desktops, IAT has realized many benefits:

The NComputing solution has proven to be compatible with existing IT infrastructures and classroom orientations, allowing IAT to re-use and extend the life span of its existing PC desktops while not incurring new hardware capitalization costs.

NComputing virtual desktops are easy to deploy and maintain, drastically reducing the need for technical support and repairs.

IAT has reduced the cost of investment by 40% per seat, offering significant savings in operating and capital costs.

The NComputing solution has created a greener institution for IAT, simultaneously cutting costs and reducing power consumption while achieving environmental goals.

Finally, the most important benefit is that the new desktop virtualization environment has given IAT the means to scale desktop computing to additional users. The current virtualization environment supports approximately 500 virtual desktops, increasing the number of terminal workstations without increasing the number of physical desktops.
 


Futher details

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:20:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 22, 2013
Bangalore, the capital of the state of Karnataka, will become the first city in India to offer free wireless internet to residents.
A government-appointed ICT panel called the Karnataka ICT Group recommended the creation of two internet hotspots in popular shopping destinations in the city earlier this year.

“A smartphone revolution is happening in India, but connectivity is still an issue here”, stated Mohandas Pai, Chairman of the ICT panel. “We wanted to provide seamless internet access to people.

A pilot test has been initiated, and is expected to run for six months. A local internet service provider has been selected to run the pilot. “Once the pilot finishes, we will talk to other private ISPs and figure out a revenue-sharing model”, said Pai.

The ICT Group will evaluate the network and announce possible expansion plans once the pilot is finished.

(Source: FutureGov)

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:49:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Coordinated by UNESCO, the Report emphasizes the importance of broadband as a means of accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education and the Education for All goals. Less than three years away from the target date for achieving these goals, 61 million children of primary-school age, and a further 71 million of lower secondary-school age, are not in school. In addition, close to 793 million adults – 64% of them women – lack literacy skills, with the lowest rates in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.

“Education is a human right that strengthens the dignity and capacities of women and men -- it is also a motor for the sustainable development of societies as a whole” emphasized UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in presenting the Report to the Commission. “We must make the most of every accelerator towards 2015, and we know broadband technology is one key accelerator, leading a revolution in how we communicate, live and learn”.

At the meeting the Director-General also welcomed the adoption by the Commission of a new advocacy target “to ensure gender equality in broadband access by 2020”. According to data presented at the meeting, the difference in use of Internet between men and women is about 25%. This reaches 45% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Broadband can empower women by connecting them to a wide range of resources -- to learn, to improve health, to engage in income-generating activities and to create content”, the Director General emphasized. “We often speak of the digital divide – this masks also a gender divide”. Gender equality is one of two cross-cutting priorities of UNESCO and the adopted advocacy target will serve a reference on Organization’s work.

The full version of “Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda” can be downloaded here.

(Source: UNESCO)

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:46:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls In Tech – Egypt (GIT) is a global organization focused on women's innovative and entrepreneurial achievements in technology. Now Broadcasting from EGYPT.
GIT to kickstart 2013 with Mega Tech Event - More details to come!


 
Further details

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:38:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, Microsoft Country Manager of Anglophone West Africa has said the development of the African continent depends on the youth to make use of the power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transform the continent.

He said the willingness of the African youth to exploit the new information and communication technologies would help create a robust continent that would safeguard the future of the younger generations.

“A continent which fails to accept, adapt and make use of ICT is automatically disqualified to see development and forced to remain a marginal player in this world of creativity and innovations”, he said.

Mr Onyeje was speaking to students of the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) to encourage them to make good use of ICT to foster development and transformation on the continent.

He expressed Microsoft's willingness to support African students in ICT to enable them to contribute towards the transformation and development of the continent.
He said investing in the youth would help build a strong economic and social foundation to secure the future of the continent.

Mr Onyeje noted that Microsoft had put in place measures to discover young and promising ICT experts who were willing to bring about transformation on the continent through ICT.

He said the young people would be trained and given the opportunity to exhibit their creativity, adding that it would also stop them for going outside the continent to seek greener pastures.

“We live in a global knowledge economy where knowledge, learning, and information communication technologies are the engines for social and economic development”, he said.

Dr Robert Baffour, Vice President of the GTUC encouraged the students to be creative and innovative to become ICT "gurus" to help to secure a solid and quality foundation for the African continent.

(Source: Ghanaweb)

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:32:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A total of 12,500 students from first to sixth grade will benefit from the education program One Laptop Per Child, boosted by the Zamora Terán Foundation through the Ministry of Education, which will make Ciudad Sandino (in Managua) the First Digital Community. This undoubtedly will transform the current educational settings, improving the quality of education for girls and boys.

45 schools from the city will benefit and as part of the process, teachers will train on the use of computers XO.
The educational community, thanked those who will enable the project to convert the municipality of Managua in the first to be fully equipped with computers, and will be a tool to improve the performance of teachers and students.

In this regard, the municipal delegate of Education, Rolando Rivas, said that in April the first deliveries will start in nine schools, where 108 teachers will benefit.
"Teachers are happy to have a new educational tool that will benefit the quality of education and above all will provide instruction to students", said Rivas.
Students will have access to Internet and for helping them, teachers were trained in the use of this technological tool.

Notebook computers bring learning programs, virtual library, language programs, among others. And they are easy to use for students, allowing them to use tools such as Web browser and strengthen teacher content addressed in the classroom in different areas such as Literature, Science or Mathematics.

Also the Foundation Zamora Terán will be responsible for monitoring, maintenance and support to computers, in order of that the educational program will be stable and quality.

 

(Source: Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos - OEI)


Friday, March 22, 2013 4:23:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Following the Thai government’s second year of the One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) policy to give new lot of 1.7 million tablets to students in 2013, ICT Ministry has recently updated the process and revealed different specification of the tablet models for the coming e-auction.

Off 1.7 million units, the first grade students would receive 850,000 units while the remaining would go to the hands of seventh grade students countrywide. Another 54,000 units of higher specification would also be purchased and provided to teachers, said Group Captain Surapol Navamavadhana, Advisor to the ICT Minister Thailand, and a committee member and Assistant Secretary to the OTPC Policy Commission.

The average price per unit for the tablets of the first graders is THB 2720 (US$ 91.70), while THB 2,920 (US$ 98.44) is the price for the tablets for teachers and the seventh graders, he added.

“Tablets for teachers will come with HDMI slot, stylus pencil, and up to 8-GB SD card slot”, he said. According to Navamavadhana, this year the purchase will be via e-auction with specification being re-announced. “This is different from the last year’s purchase that the MICT identified the specification before giving to the winning factory to produce and supply the entire lot directly”.

The e-auction is expected to be proceed on April 29, and the contract will be signed by May 10. The delivery of the tablets will be within 90 days of the signing date of the contract.

Meanwhile, the survey on the user satisfaction of the OTPC project showed that the first grade students—who were given free tablets for education in 2012— in the North were 100% satisfied, while students from the North East showed 90% satisfaction on the device.



Further details

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:27:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ericsson has provided the network infrastructure and services to bring voice and data communications to the Millennium Village Project (MVP) in Koraro located in a remote part of northern Ethiopia. With access to 3G connectivity more than 4,000 students and their teachers at two schools involved in the Connect To Learn initiative will now have access to modern learning and teaching resources through Ericsson's cloud-computing solution. In addition, community health workers in the Millennium Villages will be using mobile phones provided by Sony Mobile and broadband access provided by Ericsson to deliver life-saving health care services directly to households to collect health information for improved monitoring.

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President and Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson says: "Education is key to ending poverty and ensuring a better life for people. ICT can play a vital role in providing access to quality classroom resources for both teacher and student, and fostering social awareness and global understanding which has become a necessity nowadays in secondary education.

"Many of the residents in this area rely on the community clinic for health care, with otherwise little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care. Connecting the health clinic in Koraro is one part of a new joint continent-wide campaign that aims to train, equip and deploy one million community health workers throughout rural sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2015, reaching millions of underserved people", Weidman-Grunewald continues.

The deployment of Ericsson's cloud computing solution in Connect To Learn at Koraro, Masho Secondary School and Megab Secondary School, includes netbooks and wireless terminals that enable both students and teachers to access educational resources on the Internet, along with basic ICT skills training for teachers.
In Koraro, community health workers use the Open MRS (medical record system) and a smartphone-based health-data management system to collect information and report on malaria and other diseases, the number of births, and the incidence of malnutrition and the health status of pregnant women during household visits. Many of these residents would otherwise have little or no access to the most fundamental aspects of health care services.

In all, Ericsson has provided connectivity to Millennium Villages in 11 countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania Uganda and Liberia.

(Source: Ericsson)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:19:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
To mark International Women’s Day, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics released an interactive tool to highlight the progress and pitfalls in girls’ and women’s education.

This tool uses a game approach to engage a general audience of a wide age range (including teachers, students, activists, pupils, etc) concerning gender disparities in enrollment and transition rates from primary to secondary and tertiary education. Users put themselves into the game by creating their own characters and then compare their situation with those of other characters around the world. They can also explore the data further by using a ‘time machine’ to change the settings of their characters.

This tool will be available from 01 to 15 March, in English, French and Spanish to reach a wide audience. The UIS seeks the support of UNESCO Headquarters, field offices, associated school networks and other partners (NGOs, IGOs, etc.) to promote this product, which will be automatically updated with new data in the future. The general appeal of this tool/game offers great potential for UNESCO’S social media channels.

Mind the Gap link: http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Pages/mind-the-gap.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN



(Source: UNESCO)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:12:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Holding his tablet to the camera, David Puttnam (educator and expositor in the forum on mobile learning and policy at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris) reminded the audience that the power to reach out to the world was now at everyone’s fingertips. From his home in Ireland, he was not only able to film his surroundings, but also lecture students in Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The future of education is incredibly exciting”, Puttnam told policymakers and education professionals at the UNESCO/ GSMA forum, part of the second UNESCO Mobile Learning Week (18 - 22 February 2013) which focused on achieving Education for All by increasing education access, quality and equality via mobile learning.
The outlook for mobile learning is promising. Mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and e-readers are being used by increasing numbers of people, with mobile phone subscriptions globally hitting a record-breaking high of 6 billion in 2012. As the cost of mobile phone ownership declines, mobile devices are being adopted in areas of great poverty, where even schools, books and computers are scarce.

The opportunities presented by mobile learning, particularly for learners who lack access to high quality education, is immense. One example of this, is the UNESCO Mobile Literacy Project in rural Pakistan, which uses mobile phones to complement a traditional face-to-face literacy course for adolescent girls. The project has produced impressive results, with the number of girls receiving an 'A' grade upon completion of the literacy course jumping from 28% to 60% after the introduction of the mobile devices.

Despite the considerable potential however, mobile technology was still not being adequately leveraged for education purposes, Janis Karklins, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information told forum attendees. “We cannot continue to pretend that we live in the pre-digital era, and to do so risks plunging schools into irrelevance. We live in a world where many, if not most young people carry a powerful, easy mobile computer in their pockets”, he said. “The question is not whether schools and school systems will engage with these mobile technologies but when they will and how they will”.
To mark Mobile Learning Week, UNESCO launched a set of Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning, with Mr Karklins urging participants to join him in exploring how mobile technologies can widen learning opportunities for all. Anne Bouverot, Director-General of the GSMA, said she was confident mobile learning was ready to go to the next phase.
“We believe that we can go to the next level, and we can move to large-scale, government backed, successful, mobile education programs around the world”, Ms Bouverot proclaimed.

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:01:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
eLimu, an iHub incubated company, is helping change the face of education in Kenya. The company is providing a gateway through which students can access new and innovative ways to learn using a tablet computer.

The eLimu tablet seeks to change the way Kenyans think about education, by making learning interactive and enjoyable for its primary school students. What's unique about this tablet is the focus on creating powerful content versus a technologically advanced device, with applications for students to harness their creativity, including: animations, songs, games, videos, and quizzes. The tablet was designed to enhance Kenya's national curriculum, and most notably, uses culturally relevant themes to relate to students, for example, an app that helps children add and subtract using local snacks.

The eLimu tablet was designed to make both an educational and social impact, educating and arming Kenya's citizens with the tools to work toward a better future for their country. eLimu is in its Beta period, and is currently being tested in non-formal schools in Nairobi: Kawangware and Mathare, where they are monitoring for: test scores, cognitive thinking and focus, social and environmental consciousness and IT literacy.

“I love the idea of using the device as a conveyance of content", says Wayan Vota, an infoDev alumnus and technology expert in utilizing information communication technologies for development. Wayan is critical of the historical impact of technology on education for two reasons: First, the expense of piloting a new technology, and second, the major emphasis on the technology. As he said, there are a myriad of gadgets that engage youth on many different levels, but the challenge is that these gadgets don't automatically emphasize learning. However, eLimu strives to work through these challenges and create a product to spur knowledge and innovation in the minds of Kenya's youth.



(Source: InfoDev)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:53:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 07, 2013
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is pleased to announce its first Girls Technology Camp of 2013, which is scheduled to take place from April 8 – 12 in Lagos, Nigeria.

The camp, which is aimed at encouraging girls to learn and use information and communication technology for their social and economic development, will also celebrate International Girls’ in ICT Day. International Girls’ in ICT Day is an initiative backed by the International Telecommunications Union, to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The W.TEC Girls Technology Camp is a technology education and mentoring programme organized by W.TEC, with the objective of helping girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology. For the camp duration, the girls will participate in technology workshops. The long-term goal is to increase the numbers of Nigerian women using technology productively for learning, professional and leadership activities.

The camp is open to secondary school students and workshops will include Graphic Design, Movie-Making, Web Design and Introduction to Programming.

To find out more about the camp and to register: email info@w-teconline.org or call +234.1.850.9782, 234.818.870.9251.

W.TEC is a Nigerian non-governmental organization working to encourage Nigerian girls and women to use information and communication technology (ICT) to empower themselves socially and economically. This is done through technology literacy training, technology-based projects, mentoring, work placement and research. W.TEC works in partnership with local and international NGOs, educational and research organizations.



Further details
(Source: W.TEC)

Thursday, March 07, 2013 4:14:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
On April 2, World Pulse is launching the fourth annual year of Voices of Our Future, their online training program in new media, citizen journalism and empowerment that gives a new generation of emerging leaders the skills and knowledge they need to actualize and vocalize their visions for themselves, their communities and the world.

During the month-long application process, women from around the world receive learning materials via online classroom introducing them to the frontiers of new media and women’s empowerment. They  are asked to complete four short writing assignments, which are evaluated by their volunteer Listeners and staff. Later they invite 30 of those women to join their six month training program starting in June.

Benefits of the full program include:
- New media and citizen journalism training by renowned experts, including program partners The Global Press Institute and The Op-Ed Project
- Personal mentoring sessions and support from a Vision Mentor
- An Editorial Mentor to help hone your unique voice
- Opportunities for publication through World Pulse and partner media organizations
- Opportunities to connect with grassroots women leaders from around the globe
- Increased visibility for issues and challenges faced by you and your community

In the last two years, over 1,700 women from 140 countries have applied. Join the growing wave of empowered voices across the globe!
Visit the "Voices of Our Future" Application Group to apply

Further details

Thursday, March 07, 2013 4:01:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Aligned with the Government’s “TI Maior” Strategy, Agreement Supports Research in Energy, Transportation, Education, Software Activities and Plans for Integration of up to 300 Researchers in Intel’s Laboratory Network.

The plan includes direct investments and is aligned with the Federal Government's Strategic Plan for Software and IT Services, the TI Maior (Greater IT), which aims to attract global centers of research and development to the country. The agreement aims to expand Intel and the Federal Government's activities in research, development, software and local innovation in partnership with entrepreneurs, universities and research centers in Brazil. The initiative amounts to an investment of R$ 300 million (USD 152.2 millon) from Intel in Brazil.

Energy, Transportation, and Education will be the priority segments for the research projects. Intel's Software and Services Group expects to hire up to 80 engineers in the country over the next five years looking to support the 70,000 local software companies and 400,000 local software developers.

"The joint efforts we are announcing today create exciting opportunities to develop cutting-edge technology that will create breakthrough innovations in energy, transportation, education and software development and explore new growth markets. We look forward to this new partnership between Intel and Brazil and the opportunity to position Brazil as a global center of IT innovation," said Justin Rattner, Intel's Chief Technology Officer".

The expectation is up to 300 researchers in the country will be connected to the Intel global research network, investigating issues related to cutting-edge technology. The work will be developed through research cells located in various centers of excellence across the country, connected to Intel Labs within a structure known as the "Intel Strategic Research Alliance".

(Source: Intel News)

Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:53:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO Kingston Cluster office in collaboration with Ministry of Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Ministry of Information, Government of Jamaica, University of West Indies and UNESCO National Commission for Jamaica is organising this first Regional Latin American and Caribbean Consultation on Open Access to Scientific Information and Research. The funding support for this consultation is provided by the Government of Japan and by Regular Programme IFAP funding.

The main objective of the Regional Consultation is to share how free and unrestricted access to research and scholarly communication can increase the impact of research and benefit research institutions, authors, journal publishers and the society as a whole. The Consultation will examine also how the context of Open Access in the region can add to the productivity, visibility and accessibility of research and research outcomes.

It is expected that the Consultation will create an enabling mechanism to assess contexts of mandates or policy framework that surrounds Open Access and that it will provide an opportunity for reflecting upon case studies and examples of how Open Access has influenced teaching, research and development in the region. Workshop participants will also have an opportunity to contribute towards highlighting priority areas for intervention to achieve “Openness” in the region and individual countries. Participants are also expected to review the UNESCO OA policy templates and workout specific policy for their own country/institution and develop a work plan on how to implement the same with specific timeline.

Among others, the Regional Consultation of the Open Access, organized also as a follow up to the Action Plan of the UNESCO/IFAP Conference on Building Caribbean Knowledge Societies (Grenada, June 2011), is expected to achieve the following results:

- National stakeholders enabled to specify trends and emerging challenges related to the impact of open access on scientific information acquisition and sharing;
- Context and the utility of Open Access policy and regional specificities analyzed and barriers or support for Open Access Policy adoption identified;
- Specific technology generated trends, and their consequences for development in scientific information and research sharing better understood;
- Collaborative and collective efforts and actions behind the Open Access movement discussed and their policy implications are appreciated;
- Best practices of Open Access Initiatives from the region and beyond shared.

The strategy action plan generated in the consultation will provide road map for implementing Open access in the region in the years to come.

Further details

Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:48:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As part of the European Commission and United Nations joint celebration of International Girls in ICT Day this year, a series of activities promoting girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics  (STEM) will be carried out in Brussels on 25 April 2013.

DigitalMuse.org announced that, as part of their activities, DigitalMuse.org has been asked to collaborate on delivering hands on workshops promoting digital skills to girls, and that their parent organization, Zen Digital Europe, will contribute to an EU Parliamentary hearing on the topic of “women in technology” on that day.

Learn more here and here about their activities last year for “Girls in ICT Day”, and be sure to stay tuned for further details about the 2013 “Girls in ICT” events in Brussels and to learn, how you can be involved!

Further details

Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:39:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with partners Qtel Group and AusAID, announced the winners of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, which aims to redefine the smartphone user experience for resource-poor women in emerging markets.

The GSMA mWomen Design Challenge was created to simplify the smartphone user interface to help overcome reading and technical literacy barriers for women. Twenty-two per cent of women surveyed in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda who do not use mobile phones say it is because they do not know how to use them.

Qtel Group CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih presented the Grand Prize of $20,000 USD to Jeremy Canfield, Sarah Fathallah and Angel Kittiyachavalit for their design, ‘Sahel Shake’, at a ceremony today at Mobile World Congress 2013. Second place, with a prize of $10,000 USD, was awarded to Aloke Pillai of the York Sheridan Design Program for ‘mpower’. The Emerging Talent Prize of $10,000 USD, which is reserved for an entry from emerging markets to ensure entrepreneurs are able to compete alongside professional design firms, was awarded to Raphael Mutiso, from Kenya for his entry ‘Simplified Grayscale Power Efficient Interface’. See here for a description of the winning programs and finalists.

“The standard of entries was extremely high, but the winning submissions were outstanding and we heartily congratulate them all”, said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development and member of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge selection panel. “Designing for the specific needs of resource-poor consumers is vital to increasing access to mobile’s social benefits, as well as increasing commercial value for the mobile industry”.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Qtel Group CEO, said on presenting the Grand Prize: “We are delighted to be involved in the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, as it seeks to address technical literacy issues for under-served communities around the world. The energy, creativity and innovation demonstrated by all the entrants are an inspiration and we believe that the winning entries will play a vital role in enriching the lives of women in the near future. Our congratulations go to the winners, and our thanks go to the GSMA and all the partners for their support for this competition. We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity to bring to market those innovations”.

In emerging markets, feature phones with basic voice and SMS capabilities are currently the standard. However, smartphones are forecasted to proliferate in these markets over the next few years, becoming the main way people in developing countries will access information, the internet and its associated benefits. Yet, there is a mobile phone gender gap in low to middle-income countries, where 21 per cent fewer women than men have access to this potentially life-enhancing tool.

Furhter details
(Source: USAID)



Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:03:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Broadband connectivity carries unprecedented potential to bridge education divides, transform learning and improve skills for the globalized economy provided that governments make broadband accessible, empower teachers and students to use technology, support the production of local language content and promote open educational resources, says a new report just released by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda, the outcome report of the Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Education, provides a vision of how access to high-speed technologies over both fixed and mobile platforms can be extended so that students and teachers everywhere can reap the benefits – for themselves and for their communities.

The report was presented during the opening session of the World Summit on the Information Society +10 at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters from 25 to 27 February, in the presence of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), who co-chair the Broadband Commission. It will be presented to all of the Broadband Commissioners at the 7th meeting of the Broadband Commission, on March 17 in Mexico City, hosted by the Carlos Slim Foundation.

Coordinated by UNESCO, it emphasizes the importance of deployment of broadband as a means of accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education and the Education for All goals. Less than three years away from the target date for achieving these goals, 61 million children of primary-school age, and a further 71 million of lower secondary-school age, are not in school; and an estimated 1.7 million extra teachers will be needed to achieve universal primary education. In addition, close to 793 million adults – 64% of them women – lack literacy skills, with the lowest rates in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.
The report recognizes that participation in the global economy is increasingly dependent on skills in navigating the digital world, but warns that traditional school curriculums still tend to prioritize the accumulation of knowledge above its application, and fail to train students in the ICT literacy skills they will need to ensure their employability in the knowledge economy.

The report confirms that, by 2009, in OECD countries about 93% of 15-year-olds had access to a computer and the Internet at school, with a ratio of eight students per computer. In developing countries, on the other hand, access to ICT facilities remains a major challenge. For example, a study in Kenya, published in 2010, stated that only 3% of schools had Internet access, while in most African countries, there are on average 150 schoolchildren per computer.

While fixed broadband infrastructure constitutes the bulk of high-speed connectivity in many countries, the ICT service with the steepest growth rate is mobile broadband. According to ITU figures, in 2011, growth in mobile broadband services was 40% globally and 78% in developing countries, where it is often the only way of connecting to the Internet.

Download the full version of the new report at:
http://www.broadbandcommission.org/work/working-groups/education/BD_bbcomm-education_2013.pdf

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:54:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
This is a national government initiative aimed to reduce the social, digital and education gap, and provide equipment, technology resources and pedagogical inclusion of ICT to primary schools.

The proposal provides the distribution of mobile digital classrooms from Digital Primary line: this involves equipment but also the development of a multimedia environment in line with the proposals and level targets.

Access the multimedia environment here and the general introductory handbook in pdf. here.

The system is designed to allow teachers and students to download content from the server, recharge laptops, interact with the whiteboard and work on an intranet (internal network). The environment offers a number of activities with specific pedagogical approaches, content and resources in each of the netbooks and the server. No internet connection is required for appropriation. In the case of having connection, the proposal can be enriched and deepened from the contributions of teachers.
The media environment was developed as considering the potential of technologies to accompany the processes of teaching and learning level. It is proposed as a space where students and teachers can act and interact, build together a collaborative and creative territory itself.

In its first phase, this national program plans to reach with digital classrooms at 200 schools.

With funding from the IDB, through PROMEDU (Support Program Policy on Improving Equity in Education), 1516 mobile digital classrooms will be delivered in 2013 to schools that joined the program in 2010 and which had not received equipment.

Also, this program will provide training for 3800 primary schools covered by the Program, from May 2013, for an average of eight teachers per institution.

(Source: educ.ar)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:45:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
What is the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the process of social inclusion of rural youth in Peru? New Braids program organizes the presentation of the study "The use, appropriation and impact of ICT on young rural women in Peru", by Mariana Barreto and Andrea Garcia, researchers of the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP).

The workshop discussion will present the findings of this project, developed in order to find information about the type of public policy approaches that have been implemented in our continent on key issues for the development of young rural women.

The study is part of a group of research papers which is conducting by “Nuevas Trenzas”, program that is implemented in six countries and coordinated in Peru by the IEP.
The event is this Friday, March 1, from 8:30 to 10:00 am, at IEP Office.  Admission is free, prior registration email floli@iep.org.pe



Further information

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:36:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
According to the World Report on Disability – issued jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank – approximately one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability.

The importance of extending ICTs to persons with disabilities and special need has become more critical than ever.
Within this context, Article 8B in the recently amended International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) calls on ITU Member States to promote access for persons with disabilities to international telecommunication services.

The ITU Development Bureau has been supporting ITU Members to ensure accessible ICTs for persons with disabilities through a range of activities and resources.
The first step in promoting access to persons with disabilities is to understand what kinds of features are required. Accessibility refers to users who live with some form of disability and giving them the means of gaining functional access to ICTs.

For example, if a user cannot see a typical screen, there must be a function provided for them to understand what is on it; If a user cannot hear the information being broadcast across myriad devices, a functional alternative must be provided to ensure that they receive that information; and if a user cannot input a command on a device, a mechanism must be provided for them to do so.

The ITU’s Development Sector (ITU-D) report entitled – Making TV Accessible describes the features that persons with different kinds of disabilities require to access TV; and the ITU-D report, Making Mobile Phones and Services Accessible describes the features that persons with disabilities require in order to use mobile phones as well as the key services tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities provided on mobile phones, such as GPS services for the blind.

The next step to ensuring access to international telecommunication services by persons with disabilities is to identify the roles and actions to be taken by government and private sector stakeholders, such as the development of policies, regulations and industry codes of conduct.

Stakeholder roles and actions are explored in the two publications mentioned above as well as the ITU e-Accessibility toolkit and the work of ITU-D Study Group Question 20-1/1 in addition to a range of awareness-raising workshops ITU-D has held in all regions of the world.



Further details

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:24:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2013
In celebration of information and communication technology (ICT) careers for women, Cisco is holding a prize draw on 25 April 2013 for girls living in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The draw is being held in partnership with the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union as part of their annual "Girls in ICT Day" campaign.
If you are a female Cisco Networking Academy student, a woman considering a Networking Academy course, or if you have been invited to a 2013 Cisco "Girls in ICT Day" and are over 15 years of age, you are eligible to enter the draw. Five lucky winners from different parts of the world will be randomly selected, lottery style, on the 25 April 2013. There will be one winner for each of the following regions: Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Middle East; Africa.

If you are already an ICT student or are considering a career in this agile, innovative sector, this opportunity is for you. The draw aims attract attention to the diverse career avenues available in ICT and the role that the Internet, in particular, is having on the world around us.

If you are a prize winner, you will be awarded an iPad mini to help you surf the net, learn and network wherever you are. Cisco will also facilitate a mentoring session for you with senior Cisco managers and women in your country of origin and take you on a Cisco site visit. You'll have the chance to experience Cisco technology first hand in their offices and learn both about a career in Internet networking and about working life in a big multi-national company. This is your chance to pose your questions to experts and get some clarity on your study and career choices.

If you don't win they will still enjoy your company and hopefully you theirs at a local Cisco office. The "Girls in ICT Day" event is a brilliant opportunity for you to learn about the breadth and depth of opportunities for women in the dynamic ICT sector. And in particular, with Cisco, you will learn about the life-changing role of the Internet.
They also strongly encourage you to stay tuned to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union's "TechNeedsGirls" Facebook page. Join this vibrant group of girls who, like you, are attracted by the dynamism and potential of the tech sector. Follow the action and learn about ICT careers from working women all over the world.
 

(Source: Cisco Networking)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:28:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
This day was established by resolution 70 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in order to celebrate the interests and opportunities that new technologies can offer to young women and encourage them to choose an education and a career in Information and Communication Technology Technology (ICT).

In 2012, this day was celebrated by about 90 countries member of the ITU, through events involving between 20 and 500 young people each, and a total of 30,000 young people. There were initiatives in schools, universities, organizations aimed at ICT conferences, interviews, among others (see  more)

Portugal also celebrated this day through two initiatives organized by the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Communications Museum: a school competition for primary and secondary education and a roundtable discussion that featured the testimony of women professionally connected with the ICT sector (see more)

This year, the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Museum of Communications, will again join this initiative through a program to be held at its premises (soon to be released). The celebration will be held, according to their agenda on Thursday, 25-April-2013, From 10:00 to 23:30.

(Source: Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:15:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
According to the Ministry of Education of Peru (Minedu), 51% of students in second grade cannot solve mathematics problems at thier grade level chords. To cope with this situation, the Minedu drives strategic alliances with private companies that use the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool to encourage improvements in the quality of education.

Through the portal Peru Educa, a virtual platform of distribution content, educational applications and services has been serving the schools and the education community. This is an innovative space for strengthening students learning and do not left anyone behind.
One of its main allies of Peru Educa is Telefonica Foundation (FundaciónTelefónica), with its portal Educared, a useful and free virtual platform, which in a fun and interactive way, test the knowledge of children in different courses. This space contains a number of own educational resources and external initiatives of professors and specialists from different countries.

Within Educared there are spaces which are designed to supplement mathematics, among which are:
1. - Mathematics for children: space with available games with exercises of comparing natural numbers, using symbols as "greater than", "less than" and "equal to". It also offers dynamic exercises as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with a difficulty levels to practice further.
Link: http://math.cilenia.com

2. - Strengthening Mathematics: is a intended tool for students in fifth and sixth grade. On this website you can find colorful applications for mental calculation, multiply and divide both integers and decimals, fractions, make transformations of different measurements and more. However, children can find many other courses of their interest.


(Source: La Primera News Paper)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:02:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka this week has formally opened applications to set up 40 ‘Nenasala’ or Telecentres in the Northern Provinces as part of the agency’s continuing efforts to bridge the digital divide in the country.

Telecentres, or also known as Community e-Centres, are public sites often situated in remote rural areas that enable people to gather information, create, learn, and communicate with others by using the ICT tools provided.

It gives the community access to ICT based equipment and services such as computers with internet access, printers, e-mail and other collaborative applications. They feature a broad range of services and applications aimed at catering to the needs of the community at very affordable prices.

Examples of services available in Telecentres are: ICT skills training, information awareness campaigns, telemedicine and many others.
In Sri Lanka, the initiative to roll out the ‘Nenasala’ stemmed from President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision to extend the reach of ICT to even the most far-flung villages in the country. At present, there are 692 ‘Nenasala’s” spread island-wide.

Applications to set up the telecentres are open to Rural development societies, women’s associations, sports clubs, public libraries, organizations in charge of places of worship and social groups committed to village development.

Further details
(Source: FutureGov)

Monday, February 25, 2013 9:51:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television on and offline to join UNESCO’s initiative, and to produce special supplements/programme on these topics and/or to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom for a limited period over the duration of the WMN initiative.
Available on the WMN website are downloadable banners and a logo that can be used to promote this initiative in your organization.

Launched annually on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), Women Make the News is a global initiative aimed at fixing global attention on an issue relating to gender equality in and through the media, driving debate and encouraging action-oriented solutions until global objectives are met. It is to this end that UNESCO has developed resources such as the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.

This year’s theme is related to the Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) to be held in November 2013. It is their intention to draw attention to the need for a global means, including media partnerships, to follow-up on the gender and media objectives of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 

The theme of the United Nations observance of IWD 2013 is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”. This theme will be one of the main topics to be addressed during the Global Forum on Media and Gender. Another key topic will be integrating media in national gender policies and strategies.

Therefore, UNESCO and its partners are also inviting media organizations, professional associations, journalists’ unions, women and men working in the media and civil society to use 8 March to share your thoughts on what could be the possible form of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender, what should it do and priority themes that the GFMG should address.

Further details

Monday, February 25, 2013 9:35:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Under the motto "Good ideas? Don't wait. Start.", Think Big is encouraging young people to realize their own ideas once again this year and to make them big by using digital media. The programme, which is run by Fundación Telefónica and the German Children and Youth Foundation in collaboration with O2, supports 14 to 25-year-olds by providing 400 euros and coaching. An important element of the fourth year of Think Big is that young people make a long-term commitment and take on more responsibility themselves.
 
There are stories like that of Berlin student Julius Korn, which show just what an idea can become when young people believe in themselves and consistently pursue their projects. Whenever the young football enthusiast wanted to go and kick a ball around, he found that the pitch was already taken or there were not enough other players to have a game. Julius wanted to change that. He applied to Think Big with his idea, built it up step by step and is now about to launch a nationwide online platform where interested individuals can get in touch with others and book pitches.

In 2013, Think Big is offering even more chances to get involved for the long term. This means that 60 projects will receive an additional 1000 euros in funding - three times more projects than the previous year. Think Big is also expanding the "Peer Scout" offering, in which experienced project makers can train to become ambassadors and project coaches for the programme and are responsible for their own budgets in these roles. They offer ideas workshops, for example, or advise other young people as media scouts. After all, one of Think Big's aims is to help young people to make their ideas grow with the help of digital media. The website at www.think-big.org is thus both an application and an interaction tool. It now also offers a map of Germany that allows young people to find other projects in their area and to get in touch with one another.

"Think Big shows clearly what young people can do. We believe in their creative potential and their ideas. What's more, we believe that innovative technologies can speed up positive change," says René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica Germany. "That's why we, as a telecommunications company, help young people to make use of opportunities the digitization offers and to realize their own projects. This promotes their innovative thinking, individual responsibility and entrepreneurial spirit".
Dr. Heike Kahl, Managing Director of German Children and Youth Foundation (GCYF): "Everybody talks about the fact that no child, no young person should be left behind. With Think Big, we show how all young people can be reached and not only those who already get involved anyhow".

Anyone with a good idea can upload it at www.think-big.org and start their project.

(Source: Telefónica – Germany)

Monday, February 25, 2013 9:22:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013
The event, which is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013, is a brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and was borne out of the need to encourage young girls to delve into the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) profession as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the industry in their local environment and internationally.

This year’s event, with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”, has further received the support of the Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs, Omobola Johnson, who noted that her ministry is ready to work in partnership with eBusiness Life to achieve the aims of the event.

In a mail to the organizer, Mrs Johnson said, “congratulations once again and be assured that the Ministry will support this initiative”. The minister had earlier highlighted on the need to encourage young girls to aspire to co-exist with their male counterparts in the field of ICT, noting that the profession also needs the feminine gender in development.

“It is a known fact that girls are more brilliant at very young ages and evidence abound from nursery and primary schools globally to verify this claim. However, as girls reach the ages of menarche, the pressures and pains of becoming a woman slow us down a little. Early marriages and childcare also contribute to the reduction in young women’s academic achievement. Girls must therefore be exposed to ICT education very early in life. So that the culture, orientation and requisite ICT skills would have been acquired”.

She further enjoined that in order to close the digital divide between the female and male gender in terms of education in, ownership of and access to ICTs, girls must pick interest in ICT and related careers as this will not only prepare them for employment, but will also improve their capacity to compete for jobs with fabulous rewards or ability to start their own businesses and be employers from the word go.

As part of this year’s week-long event, activities will include a one-day seminar, facility tours, essay competition, open quiz sessions, mentorship forum, and awards to deserving female ICT professionals, who have made their marks in the industry.

International Girls’ Day is an initiative launched through ITU Resolution 70 with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.

The Union declared the fourth Thursday of April every year as a day of encouragement to girls and young women to consider careers in ICT and society is reminded to support them in their choice.
Pilot projects and campaigns have been launched in a number of countries for more than 20 years, with the aim to change girls’ and young women’s behaviour patterns with regard to their choice of career and to expand their spectrum of career options.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:55:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Program organizers launch 'Project 24', which gives districts a customized digital learning plan; a Massive Open Online Course for educators to learn about ed tech; and more.
With an overwhelming 25,000 educators participating in Digital Learning Day on Feb. 6, ed-tech supporters used technology-based projects, lessons, and enthusiasm to mark what they called a perfect time to launch a national digital learning campaign.

“Every day should be Digital Learning Day,” said Karen Cator, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. “Access to technology has become as important to learning as access to a library, yet teachers remain the critical link between students and the content”. Cator said teachers are setting expectations for multiple “revision cycles” of student productions, made possible with “professional tools for writing, composing music, creating video documentaries, and design”.

“They are learning along with their students and modeling good questioning and internet research strategies, assigning more complex and challenging projects, and facilitating communication and collaboration even across borders”, she said.

“The president and I are convinced that with technology, we have an extraordinary opportunity to expand educational excellence and equity, and personalize the experience for students”, said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who attended Digital Learning Day in Washington, D.C.

Further details

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:45:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, held yesterday (05 February ) in over 70 countries worldwide, the ICT Ministry launched six television commercials as part of the outreach strategy of responsible and safe use of the Internet in Colombia.

Lola, Abelardo and  Elmo from Sesame Street are some of the stars of the commercials that launched MinTIC through “En TIC Confío”(I trust in ICT) strategy, which seeks to counter the risks in the network.

These promotions were conducted in partnership with Sesame Workshop and Channel Tr3ce. They are designed to raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities of Internet safety, so children do not fall into bad habits and be attacked.

The commercials are presented under the brand 'Monsters in Red' and initially launched four conferences:

1. When you want to chat online
2. Put down the video games and go out and play
3. With Internet there is no distances
4. What precautions do you take to surf on the web?

Similarly, “En TIC confío” advances the following campaigns "Ciberpapaya and Cibercuidado", directed to a larger population, which seeks to exemplify overconfidence, exposure and overexposure that youth and adults have in Internet use.
"We are convinced that Internet is not bad, bad is the use that we can give them, so in MinTIC we constant work in developing content that alert and prevent the dangers and risks in the network", said the Deputy of ICT of Colombia.

(Source: MINTIC Colombia)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:36:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Chinese scientists have developed and tested a prototype electronic notebook for blind people that is designed to be cheap to manufacture.

The e-notebook, called B-Notes, allows people to take notes or memos using Braille or by recording speech. It is similar in size to a mobile phone. B-Notes makes use of technologies developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), including translation software. Prototype e-notebooks were trialled on ten blind people last month (5 January).

Wang Xiangdong, technical leader of the ICT team that developed the device, says that Braille can be conveniently input using a panel on the e-notebook. "And when [B-Notes is] connected to a computer, the Braille-Chinese translation software can be used to convert Braille into Chinese characters automatically", he says.
Currently, there are almost 39 million blind people in the world, according to the WHO. And according to the China Disabled Persons' Federation, there are more than 12 million visually disabled people in China.

Wang said that the basic technological research for the e-notebooks has been completed and they are expected to be available in China later this year at a cost of 500 to 800 renminbi (around US$ 80 to US$ 130).

The e-notebook has three main features. First is the Braille input. The e-notebook's input panel has an array of mini keys that allows users to type.
Second is the intelligent translation system, which is up to 95 per cent accurate. When the e-notebook is connected to a computer, pre-installed software moves all Braille in the device over to the computer and translates it into Chinese characters.

Third, the e-notebook has a voice interface. There are voice prompts to guide users through the device's various operations.
Currently, the notebook can only translate Chinese Braille to Chinese characters. But Wang says that if other countries express an interest in the device, it will be possible to produce e-notebooks that translate other versions of Braille into other languages.

The blind people who tested the prototype notebooks told developers that they found them portable and easy to use. A spokesperson for the Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, which is sponsoring the e-notebook's development, says the notebooks could support blind people in their everyday working and living.

(Source: SciDev Net)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:24:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The 8th eLearning Africa conference (eLearning Africa 2013) will this year be hosted by Namibia's Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of information communication technology (ICT) from May 29-31.

The conference will be held in Windhoek, Namibia. In 2011, it was hosted by Tanzania. This year's international event will focus on tradition, change and innovation to show how new technologies combined with a pioneering spirit to improve lives are already changing the way people learn, work, and play.

Tanzania Global Learning Agency (Ta- GLA) is one of the organizers of the conference and as it did in previous years, it will link Tanzanians to important sessions of the conference through technologies. The following are some of the key questions to guide discussions at eLearning Africa 2013: How are African youth shaping their identities and navigating different learning spaces with these technologies? Are new technologies fundamentally disruptive to tradition or do they open up space for the digitization of tradition?

How is innovation in Africa shaping the continent's learning landscape? Over 1,500 decision-makers and practitioners from the education, business and government sectors, with 80 per cent coming from Africa are expected to attend the international conference. A similar event was last year held in Cotonou, Benin, from May 23-25. It provided an opportunity for Tanzanians and other participants to explore and get exposure to best available educational technologies and practices in the world and a platform to profile the country worldwide.

A total of 300 speakers and chairpersons from 50 countries addressed all forms of technology-enhanced learning, including a rich mix of themes, topics and a variety of sessions. Tanzania Global Learning Agency (TaGLA) provided an opportunity in last year's event as it will do this year, to connect Tanzanians through video conferences to selected sessions, inspire Tanzanians to access available conference materials online and engage them through the social media like facebook, twitter and Ta- GLA's website during and after the conference.

The eLearning Africa 2012 Report's key findings show that the number one factor constraining the African e-learning sector is lack of bandwidth, the top consideration for African organizations is access to appropriate content, the most important change agent is the government and the top motivation for using information communication technology (ICT) is to improve the quality of teaching. It was also found that 48 per cent of Africans use mobile phones in education, 36 per cent use shared resource computing in education and 74 per cent use ICT for classroom teaching and learning.

Further details

Monday, February 18, 2013 3:55:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies is a five-year project (2007-2012) to generate evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access to information and communication technologies. Looking at libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes, the study investigates impact in a number of areas, including communication and leisure, culture and language, education, employment and income, governance, and health.

Within Ghana, the study covered areas in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions, which were considered as the most commercial regions in the country and therefore could provide credible information on Public Access Venues.

Recently, the Ghanaian Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) held a dissemination workshop for the aforementioned global impact study and how it relates to current government initiatives.

TASCHA will be releasing their final overall research report at the end of February. In the meantime, follow the dialogue on Twitter: @taschagroup | @ictimpact.

Further details

Monday, February 18, 2013 3:49:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2013
The 10th annual Safer Internet Day -which took place on 5 February 2013 – focused this year’s theme on Online Rights and Responsibilities.

In recognition of Safer Internet Day 2013, ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré spoke of the fundamental role that ICTs have facilitated in driving social and economic progress, as well as opening new frontiers and opportunities for young people to cultivate their inherent creativity, innovation and dynamism in a digital environment.
The Secretary-General also talked passionately about the dramatic changes associated with the proliferation of ICTs, which also potentially brings with it new threats and risks to the safety and security of children – who are the most vulnerable members of society.

Moreover, the President of Costa Rica, H.E. Laura Chinchilla and Child Online Protection (COP) Patron, during her video message, highlighted Costa Rica’s efforts in implementing COP, through the appointment of a National Commission on Cybersecurity.

Under her commitment, Costa Rica has been working hard – jointly with ITU – to create and develop a national model to promote online protection involving not only government, but private sector partners, NGOs, schools, parents and abroad cross section of stakeholders – across Costa Rica.
In addition, Miss Deborah Taylor Tate – ITU COP Special Envoy – also highlighted how COP is empowering children on how to navigate safely and with respect from one and other to achieve their own dreams.

COP aims at building an international security framework for children and young people in relation to online protection and creates an excellent platform, where working together, relevant stakeholders can ensure a harmonized and comprehensive approach and best practices related to online protection of young people.

Finally in September 2013, ITU – under the patronage of H.E. Laura Chinchilla – will be organizing the Global Youth Summit, which will be hosted in Costa Rica.

The Global Youth Summit will provide a global platform to bring youth together to join forces and create solutions for social good, enabled through widespread access to ICTs. This will be a unique occasion for youth to advocate their online rights and demonstrate how ICTs are empowering them to fulfill their own dreams and careers.
Watch the video messages here

(Source: ITU)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:54:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Uttar Pradesh (UP) state government in India will purchase 1.5 million laptops from HP India and distribute them to twelfth grade students statewide.
The council of ministers on January 23, finalized the purchase of laptops for education valued INR 28.58 billion (US$ 536.32 million), at a unit cost of INR 19.05 (US$ 357.6) inclusive of taxes and duty cost. This deal was given to HP who had proposed the lowest bid.

The state cabinet meeting was attended by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and the decision came after the recommendations made by the evaluation and technical committee of UP Electronics Corporation were reviewed.

The state government gave an authorization to the UP Electronics Corporation, a civic body, to issue a letter of intent (LOI) to HP India for the purchase.
HP was mandated to supply five per cent of the total order within sixty days after signing the agreement, with an increased quantity to be supplied every subsequent month. It will have to complete the supply of total 1.5 million laptops in seven months after the date of the agreement, said The UP Electronics Corporation, MD, Prabhat Mittal who managed the bidding process.

Mittal added that the laptops would be delivered at the sub-district level in each district by the company, and the distribution of the laptops is expected to start in a month time.

The ruling party also promised to give free tablets for education to grade ten students. The bidding process for supplying the tablets to the UP government is still underway, and is expected to be finalized by end of February.

The UP state is located on the North of India, and is also the most populous state in India, with a population of 199,581,477 people as of 1 March 2011.

Further details

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:50:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As part of the ITU's Girls in ICT project & Tech Needs Girls campaign, Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN brings Technovation Challenge to Nigeria. The Mobile App Challenge was opened on Monday for secondary school girls (ages 13-18) who would work in teams of 5s to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor/role model from the technology industry. WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams from now till April on how to build the apps. The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market.

The goal of the program is to promote women in technology by inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.
Over this period girls will be trained 2 hours a week to develop a potential solution to a problem and program a mobile phone application to solve it. The app must solve a problem in their local community. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of a resource. They will learn how to study their competition, identify ways in which they can gather users and earn revenue. Each team will be guided by a teacher from their school and a female mentor from the high tech industry to support and act as a role model for her team.

The winning team will be celebrated in Nigeria on April 25th(Girls in ICT Day) and will travel to the Silicon Valley California to compete globally on May 1st, 2013. The overall winner will receive $ 10,000 in funding and support to complete their app development and release it on the market.

In the end, Girls learn about collaboration and teamwork, important skills in the technology industry.

To sign up- all you need is a team of 5 girls, a computer, an android phone, and a teacher or adult to support the team.
On February 2nd, Mrs Martha Omoekpen Alade, Chairperson of Women in Technology in Nigeria formally welcomed all teams in Lagos on the “hackday” to brainstorm on starting off.



(Source: WTIN)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:45:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Agricultural researchers are getting to the point where the advantages of using paper are no longer outweighed by the disadvantages of using advanced technology in a rural setting. The logistics of printing and distributing questionnaires, for example, can be time and resource intensive. Once the questionnaire is out in the field it becomes very difficult to make any changes or corrections to it, making it a rather rigid research tool, especially when managing unexpected outcomes.

Smartphones and tablets are now used frequently in agricultural and rural research. However, in rural development settings simple and appropriate solutions are still recommended, according to Sander Muilerman, who works for the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in West Africa. IITA did a baseline survey on occupational health and safety in 2012 among 420 adult cocoa farmers in Ghana without using paper. A parallel impact study using the same digital questionnaire targeted another 225 trained cocoa farmers.

No paper forms were used, only basic phones (and one GPS-enabled phone) equipped with a third-party Java application by three enumerators and a supervisor, with training on occupational safety and health. All phones were equipped with a special data SIM card, normally used in USB sticks for mobile broadband. This kind of SIM card only allows outgoing data connections, thereby effectively preventing misuse of credit by enumerators for calls or SMS messages.

Mobile phones can also be used because of other features and sensors available on smartphones: photos, GPS, multiple languages, audio, video, password, surface area measurement, compass reading, barcode, QR code, automated calculations, signature, slope, altitude and digital sketch. But it is not only technology that counts, according to Muilerman. ´Researchers need to think more about how to engage with farmers. Technology allows for more interactive and mixed method research – including with pictures, audio and video´. This is important for understanding agriculture as a complex system which, besides economic and ecological factors, also includes the social context of rural farming communities. Therefore, ICT projects in agriculture cannot be unidirectional or they may effectively devalue the traditional knowledge held by the farmers.

Using the same notion, scientists from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology started a project in a village near the town of Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Their aim was to establish an open and participative research process in which local farmers use smartphones and a web platform to document their environment and the effects of climate change, and thus create a collaborative knowledge base that is useful for farmers, extension workers and researchers.

The project is called Sauti ya wakulima, “The voice of the farmers” in Swahili. Five men and five women from the community take turns to share the two available smartphones, by exchanging them on a weekly basis. Whenever a farmer's turn to use the phone comes up, he or she has the task of using it to contribute content to the knowledge base. Farmers use messages, pictures and voice recordings to document their environment.

(Further information)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:38:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The inclusion of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) can help to eliminate the borders in access to health, while improving the access to global knowledge for the benefit of professionals and users of health services.

For example, the incorporation of these technologies can help the health sector to exchange information about patients and treatments more quickly and safely, including pharmacological knowledge, methodologies healthcare or medical procedures.Through the inclusion of ICTs, it is also possible to improve access to health services through remote care systems, thereby enhancing universal access to health even in isolated areas.

Furthermore, these technologies enable greater access to knowledge by citizens and professionals, facilitating the exchange and dissemination of information through technology platforms. Therefore, the incorporation of ICT in the health sector is an effective way to combat the problems of this key sector for economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Check out the infographic to learn more about the advantages of using ICT in the health sector:


(Source: BID)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:24:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 31, 2013
A telecentre can be defined as a public space where users have access to various ICT tools, enabling them to obtain information to broaden their knowledge or communicate, while facilitating a better knowledge of digital tools and infrastructure. While every telecentre may have its own specific features, the common goal is to use ICT to foster social, economic and cultural development by facilitating social networking – thus reducing the digital divide.

The reference model is the Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT), which has been supported by UNESCO since 1996 in various parts of the world.
Since the late 1990s, the African continent has witnessed the regular, more or less organized development of numerous projects enabling public access to ICT, be they public and/or private, free or paid. This can be seen as a direct consequence of the weak infrastructure of telecom networks, of the lack of competition between the operators, and of the access costs to their services and to computer equipment. It must be remembered that in this field, the continent is still the most expensive in the world. However, this tendency is perhaps about to be reversed due to the rate of mobile penetration, major technological infrastructure projects and increasing competition between operators and equipment manufacturers.

Many telecentres are situated in urban and suburban areas, but they are becoming increasingly prevalent in rural areas. Access in such areas varies from country to country. In general, it remains dependent on gender issues or on the degree of poverty among rural communities, both of which often limit the frequentation of telecentres. In Mali for instance, as yet too few women make use of telecentres; others criticize their establishment in regions with a largely illiterate population. From an economic standpoint, they struggle to find an appropriate method of management to generate income, compete with large companies and adapt to technological developments.
Despite often struggling with viability and sustainability, MCTs are, nevertheless, the real hub of transformation of African culture and economy. This is especially the case in rural areas, where they serve as vital centres of ecosystems and loci of social and economic innovation, creating a productive dynamic of wealth and knowledge between rural and urban communities. In Africa, more than anywhere else, access to ICT gives rise to homegrown solutions, which transform companies and fuel entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth.

Thus, MCTs can support rural companies in a number of ways. Farmers, for instance, share the ICT tools at their disposal to gain access to urban markets and business intelligence in order to expand their activities or to acquire new professional skills. Their customers can also order online.

(Source: Elearning Africa)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 5:41:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Millions of students benefit from free online courses that offer dozens of institutions.

All shows that 2013 will be the year of the MOOC, or massive open online courses, for its acronym in English. A new way of teaching and learning in higher education content is spreading from the campus of the best universities anywhere in the world.

The phenomenon of MOOC born in the United States in the hands of a few visionaries, such as the artificial intelligence theorist and ex  professor of Stanford, Sebastian Thrun. Although early experiences have several decades, it was not until 2012 that the phenomenon has become massive. During the last 12 months born major technology platforms to which universities have engaged their courses.

"It has emerged everything, since to being top chefs, learn to be more artistic, master in new sports, new tools, new programming languages, other languages and to become better teachers", wrote in their blog the Udacity responsible at the same time of their purposes for the new year. Created by Thrun and two colleagues, also they make clear its objectives in their mission statement: "Our mission is to provide higher education to the world in an accessible, attractive and effective way. We believe that higher education is a basic human right and we intend to empower our students to develop their skills so they can advance their careers". In just one year since its founding, Udacity has enrolled more than 150,000 persons.

At glance Udacity's web gives an idea of what you can learn in a MOOC. There are introductory courses in computer science or physics, artificial intelligence learning intermediate or advanced courses in programming and applied cryptography and robotics.

But more important is the content and philosophy of the MOOC. Like previous learning platforms are online. No matter where you find one, just a decent connection to sign up. But now are massive, in theory you can register as many people as you want. The MOOC are also open, which brings with it its free. It is a fundamental point of the philosophy in which it is based on: democratize and globalize higher education.

Although the phenomenon of individual initiatives came out from great teachers (Thrun and others), universities also have joined to this initiative. The MIT and Harvard University created edX, a massive online courses platform, to which have joined other senior centers as Berkeley College in Georgetown or Wesleley, last December. With the addition of the last two centers, edX also goes a step further in the contents. But if it is to have universities, the broadest platform is Coursera. Also born in 2012 now has more than two million students, making it the largest university in the world.

In the background of the coming revolution there is a change in the educational paradigm.

(Source: El Comercio NewsPaper)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 5:28:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Communications, Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams said she hoped that this initiative will enhance learner education and help make their lives and their community better.

“In our efforts to provide broadband connectivity to unconnected schools, the department has partnered with Vodacom because we believe that well-resourced and equipped learners will perform better and will improve the matric pass rate. Such partnerships are critical if we are to offer quality education to our learners and to schools, particularly those that have previously not been exposed to such learning opportunities.

“We are delighted to be handing over the computers as it is part of our schools connectivity initiative. We are committed to connecting schools nationwide through both public and private partnerships”, said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Vodacom’s Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs, Maya Makanjee, said the centre was not only expected to improve learner pass rates, but also ensure that learners have had some exposure to ICTs by the time they reach tertiary level.

School Principal Nombuyiselo Boya said she was humbled by the donation.

“Our school had no computers. We are humbled to be recipients of the mobile computer centre specifically for our learners. This will expose our learners to the internet and will also help improve the quality of education we offer our learners”, she said.

(Source: UNPAN)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Thailand’s Ministry of ICT has set a goal to expand 300,000 additional free Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide in the second quarter of 2013.

ICT Minister Group Captain Anudith Nakornthap said that the expansion of Free Wi-Fi is part of the move to push forward Smart Thailand project to provide the public an access to the internet, as well as a preparation of the country’s ICT network to welcome the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

The Minister spoke during an academic seminar among Thai and Japanese-related agencies on “Wireless Broadband Experience”.

Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications commission (NBTC), Thailand has earlier approved a budget of TH฿ 950 million (USD 31.9 million) to promote the MICT’s free public Wi-Fi project.

The NBTC Secretary-General Thakorn Tanthasit said that the Free Wi-Fi service would be made available at some 30,000 locations across the country including state universities, city halls, district offices, state hospitals, and major tourist destinations.

The installation of 150,000 access points will be set up with five access points per location at the speed of 2Mbps per second. One access point can accommodate up to 15 users at 20 minutes per access, and not more than two hours/ person / day, according to him.

Further details

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:25:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
We are pleased to participate in Social Media Week 2013, scheduled February 17-22 in Washington to showcase our use of digital space for development. USAID will host several events during the week to contribute to the conversation and highlight how we rely on technology for a multitude of reasons, including program management and reporting, and general educational purposes for a range of projects, funded by USAID.

As our development partners, we’d like to invite you to showcase your work in using social media for development through video at our #Popcorn + International Development event on February 21. This is a special opportunity for you to amplify a program you are proud of, or one which you feel deserves a louder voice in the public.

How to Submit:

Please submit, no later than February 13 at 23:59 EST one two-minute or less YouTube link (per organization) to socialmedia@usaid.gov. Your video should highlight a USAID-funded project or projects that use social media to further our collective development goals. Videos, of course, should be kid-friendly.
Be sure to include your organization’s name and your organization’s point of contact.

The top videos will be previewed at “#Popcorn + International Development”, followed by a short Q&A. We hope you will join us!
Non-selected videos may be compiled to a video stream and made available to the public through USAID’s YouTube channel, to encourage ongoing dialogue about social media and its role in international development.

Further information

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:10:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Lesson personalization, interactivity can improve student engagement and social skills.

Ed-tech advocates are discovering the numerous benefits that mobile devices, including iPads, can have for students. But a growing number of special-education teachers are finding that iPads can have a positive effect on their students with autism in particular.

Students with autism often have trouble communicating and might struggle with transitions, such as changing classes, getting on a school bus, or taking a field trip. A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last April indicated that one out of every 88 children is believed to have autism or fall somewhere on the autism spectrum.
Karina Barley, an Australian special-education teacher who runs Project Autism Australia, uses iPads with her students on the autism spectrum. Handheld devices such as the iPad offer students with autism the chance to personalize their learning while moving at their own pace, and the larger screen (when compared to a smart phone) makes it easy for them to manipulate various apps.

“They have fantastic implications”, Barley said. “One of the greatest things about them is that you can use iPads across lots of curriculum areas. I saw significant improvements in my kids within the first term”.

Barley uses iPads to teach math and English/language arts (ELA), and for customized learning programs based on each student’s individual needs. While some of her students with autism traditionally struggle with concentration, Barley said introducing the iPads caused a marked change.

(Source: eSchool News)

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:00:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013
An Indian designer is developing a smartphone with tactile text that can be used by blind or visually impaired people. Sumit Dagar's prototype Braille smartphone is expected to be ready by the end of February and the first model could be on the market within a year.

Dagar, who won US$ 50,000 in Rolex Award for Enterprise in November 2012 to develop the smartphone, says that design can help technology bridge the gap between people with disabilities and the rest of the population.

Dagar's partners in the five-year smartphone project, which started in 2009, are the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and eye health centre the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India.  He is working with a four-member team comprising experts from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, New York University in the United States, India's National Institute of Design and the LVPEI. He says that several other research institutions have expressed interest in collaborating on the project.
"The basic handset I am working on now has words and numbers going up and down in Braille. So a user can touch them and recognize or locate numbers and names", said Dagar. The screen is covered in pins that can rise up from its surface to form Braille words and numbers.

To make phones more affordable for visually impaired people, he says that efficient design may make them cheaper, although the primary goal is to design them to work well. There have been previous attempts to create a Braille smartphone, but no prototype has ever been made, says Dagar.

He adds that most experiments using touch-based - technology have been confined to creating vibrations, so this project is a step forward.
A more sophisticated version of the phone could even make images tactile, he says. But he expects such a phone to emerge only towards the end of the five-year project.
Ravi Bagree, a member of the Braille phone team from the Delft University of Technology, says that Dagar's mix of engineering and design background played a part in this innovative work.
"[A Braille phone] has not been possible so far because not many people think of the disabled and those who do so don't have the [necessary] technological background", says Bagree.

See here the video presentation

(Source: SciDev)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:11:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The 8th eLearning Africa conference will be held from May 29th to 31st at the Safari Conference Centre, Windhoek, Namibia. The key networking event for developing eLearning capacities in Africa, eLearning Africa 2013 will be hosted by Namibia's Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of ICT.
eLearning Africa 2013 will focus on tradition, change and innovation, and the call for proposals is now open.

New technologies combined with a pioneering spirit to improve lives are already changing the way we learn, work, and play. How are African youth shaping their identities and navigating different learning spaces with these technologies? Are new technologies fundamentally disruptive to tradition or do they open up space for the digitization of tradition? How is innovation in Africa shaping the Continent's learning landscape?

These are some of the key questions that will guide our conversations at eLearning Africa 2013; let us know what you think! We encourage all practitioners, experts and academics engaged in an African context to submit a proposal and be a part of Africa's largest annual conference on ICT for development, education and training. For more information on this year's themes, deadline and how to submit a proposal, please click here.

eLearning Africa at a glance
•    The key networking event for ICT-enhanced education and training in Africa
•    A must for those who want to develop multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships, as well as enhance their knowledge, expertise and abilities
•    The hub for first-hand information and real-life examples of how ICT advances the cause of education for all in Africa
•    Over 1,500 decision makers and practitioners from the education, business and government sectors, with 80% coming from Africa
•    Accompanied by an extensive exhibition and demonstration area.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:02:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
'Welcome to the project', so reads the foreword particularly literary lesson taught by Professor Sergio Tejero to 2nd grade students at ESO (Ekialdea institute). Chapter One: desks, whiteboard and laptop ready and connected to condense into 140 characters the passage 'which looks at the condition of the famous knight Don Quixote de La Mancha', as published Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Not surprisingly, the word 'post' in its infinitive tense, it becomes 'Trending Topic' in this computerized classroom.

The technology of this teaching academic method, which has attracted literary passion among his pupils, seeks to promote the reading and the language of Cervantes. "Each student is assigned a chapter to be summarized in a 'tweet', of not more than 140 characters text. Once finished, I correct it and then publish it live @ElQuijoTweet", explains Tejero.

More than 1,200 fans support this initiative. Julen, Irati, Jon, Jokin and other students have appreciated the story of Alonso Quijano.
"At first it seemed difficult, especially for the number of pages in the book -862 -. But now I find it amusing", Irune Valluerca perceived. The heavy old Castilian vocabulary has not been an impediment to their peers Joseba and Iñigo, boasting outstanding language. If you read Don Quixote at home, it could be not so much interesting. But one chapter to another is more entertaining", realize both students, reading lovers in its aspects of "adventure novel".

For their teacher Sergio, who has an experience of 12 years as a radio journalist, the motivation "is key" in teaching. Given the catastrophic connotations raised by the explosive mix of teens and social networks, Tejero commitment to seek "real value" of these tools. And the strict limitation governing on the Twitter text (no more than 140 characters), which is ideal for "summarize teaching" is not a trivial matter in academic development.

"Students who do not how to summarize, do not know how to study" he says. They are unable to absorb a lesson because they fail to understand: "They have difficulty making schemes". But thanks to the social network of the blue bird- dreaded from parent associations and schools directors", the students learn to search keywords and composing sentences". In short: make a good synopsis. "That helps them improve not only in language but in all subjects: science, history, etc".

As "the second most printed book in the world after the Bible", Don Quixote is the "universal classic" that every Castilian speaker should be conceived as "masterpiece" of Spanish literature. "Force them to read is not the solution. My goal is that they understand it, that they know the story, who was Cervantes, why the book is divided into two parts, everything that surrounds the Quixote de Avellaneda, etcetera". Undoubtedly, the method has permeated.

(Source: El Correo Newspaper)

Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:51:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |