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 Wednesday, May 01, 2013
On the 25 April the European Commission, ITU and key European stakeholders held a joint celebration of International Girls Day 2013 culminating in the European Parliamentary Hearing on Women in ICT hosted by ITRE – The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the FEMM Committee (Women’ Rights and Gender Equality).

The Hearing attracted full house of key players of the public and private sector, academia and NGOs and many students from secondary and tertiary education also attended the event.

The hearing focused around the topics of professional women in ICT careers and developing ICT skills for ICT jobs.

Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU opened the session by giving an overview of ITU's different initiatives to support the Girls in ICT agenda all around the world.

The key message of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda was that ‘Today not diamonds but ICT skills are girls’ best friends (reminding of Marilyn Monroes ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend’ song introduced in the original Broadway production of ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ sixty years ago) and Digital Women are worth more than diamonds for the industry!

Getting more women in ICT will enhance equality and competitiveness in an increasingly digital world’.
Please check out the summary of the day and the inspirational speaches of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda and Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU.

ECWT has played a key role in the preparations of the Heaing through presenting a Postition Paper and organizing an on-line consultation on the Hearing in year 2011-2012.
In the Hearing MEP Edit Herczog pointed out that industries need intermediators for their collaboration with girls and stressed that the European Centre for Women and Technology has since 2009 become the key intermediator for the women in ICT agenda.

Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women in Technology (NCWIT) raised also the importance of a regional platform and welcomed cooperation between NCWIT and ECWT in the future.

In connection with the Parliamentary Hearing the European Centre for Women and Technology published a special edition of the Parliamentary Magazine the 22nd of April.



Download the full document, here.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
April 25 2013 is a super day for girls and women in technology and Cisco was very present!  The day commenced with a breakfast session Women2020 platform hosted by DIGITALEUROPE with the topic of Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Smart Growth of the pillars of the European 2020 Strategy.

The morning session included a panel chaired by Ms. Cheryl Miller, Founder of Women2020, and Dr.Hamadoun Toure’, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union; Ms. Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology; Ms. Marietje Schaake, member of the  European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party; Dr. John Higgins, Director-General Digital Europe; Ms. Patricia Reilly Member of the Cabinet-Research, Innovation and Science; Ms. Linda Corugedo Steneberg, Director for Cooperation-DG Connect; Ms. Sabiine Everaet, CIO Europe Group at Coca Cola and a packed room of participants including myself.

Dr.Toure’ appealed to private-public sectors for a 50-50 aspirational target to include women in ICT. There was so much to say in such a short period of time from sustainable STEM education; to pipelining and retaining technical talent most notably women to values from the family that encourage young girls to pursue a technology career track. The group then moved to a location featuring a Brussels youth tech agora with robotics; using technology to create music and so on. European Union Vice President Neeli Kroes along with ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ greeted the youth technologists.

Lunch featured the Tech for Girls winners where Cisco and Intel were sponsors. Cisco Belgium and Luxembourg Manager Pol Vanbiervliet presented the awards along with ITU’s Secretary General Hamadoun Toure’.

It should be stated that Cisco is a staunch supporter of Girls in ICT, an initiative of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). In 2010, ITU members agreed to organize Girls in ICT Days on the 4th Thursday of every April. Cisco wants to encourage girls to consider ICT as a valuable career option.

Almost 80 Cisco offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas joined initiative this year to run local programs under the global ITU umbrella.
Additionally, Cisco’s Network Academy is doing a fantastic job with its flagship program in training young men and women globally. Cisco Networking Academy is the world’s largest classroom: with more than 1 million students participating in the program at present.

The afternoon session at the EU Parliament included members from the parliament along with EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ and participants from private industry.

The first panel was entitled “Women in ICT Careers: How to Explore Female Talent?”  
Other panel members included Ms. Gianna Martinengo, President of DidaelKTS and President of Women and Technology and Ms. Sakia Van Uffelen, CEO at Bull and CSB Consulting, and Digital Champion for Belgium. The emphasis indeed is that we do have a way to go in order to not only attract BUT to retain women in technology.

Why is this topic so important?
The top jobs of the future: What will be the hottest jobs of the 21st century; which jobs will be most in demand in 10, or 15 years time?
Hybrid jobs: combine ICT with business in every imaginable field. Examples for hybrid jobs: bioengineering, power grid informatics, digital media, social and mobile application development, telemedicine, remote learning systems, developing smart applications for buildings, transport, energy or production.
New job profiles: business analyst, data scientist and so on…

The second panel entitled, “Nourishing the Pipeline: ICT Skills for ICT Jobs” included Ms Kicki Stridh, Board Member, the European Association for Women In Science, Engineering and Technology Sweden; Ms Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women and IT; Ms. Donna Metzlar, Community Advocate, The Genderchangers, and Ms, Nidhi Tandon, Principal Consultant and Trainer, Networked intelligence. The message was clear: Girls when given the confidence to do so can and do pursue technical careers.

The afternoon ended with a live video exchange with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and a few members from the Parliament.

(Source: CISCO Blogs)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


On Thursday, April 25, 2013; Rwanda celebrates Girls in ICT day where hundreds of girls participated in this event held at Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux; where young girls learn more from their elders.

This event has been dubbed ’Girls in ICT Career Fair’ to celebrate the International Girls in ICT day and to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The occasion aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology. This year’s theme is “expanding horizons and changing attitudes”.

Girls in ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITUs Girls in ICT day, today, the group consists of girls in ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students whose mission is to inspire girls to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Clarisse Ilibagiza from HeHe mobile speaking to the press said that Rwandan girls are able to use ICT tools effectively.

In his remarks The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana advises young girls to embrace the culture of hard working and aim higher; “When you are confident, determined, you’re passionate about what you want, if you have a purpose, if you have a goal, if you have integrity and courage you can be very successful”.

Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister of Family and Gender Promotion noted that “As you are aware, the government is highly committed to promoting ICT as a key driver for rapid socio-economic development. We have put in place an enabling environment for girls to participate and benefit in ICT along with their brothers”.

International Girls in ICT Day in fact, has the aim to make everyone realize that girls are also able to use the new technologies, and that, due to the fact that girls are good at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, they have new technologies which change the world on a daily basis.

Moreover, ICT is the fastest growing industry today and more jobs are created in this industry than any other. The same prospects are for the future. ICT has been identified as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet a smaller, more accessible place. Therefore, Women and Girls should take a more prominent role in this process.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:49:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU Telecom World 2013, organized by ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology, is looking for the next generation of social entrepreneurs for its Young Innovators Competition.

Are you brave enough to transform your idea into a successful enterprise?
Can your concept or start up address one of our Global Challenges?

If you are aged between 18 and 26 and feel technology is your second nature, enter the Young Innovators Competition.

You could win a chance to take part in ITU Telecom World 2013 event in Bangkok plus benefits including:

• Up to USD 10,000 in prize money for start-ups and up to USD 5,000 for concepts; both need to address one of the Global Challenges
• High level industry mentorship for a year
• A chance to exhibit on the show floor and network with high level delegates
• Hands-on workshop training focusing on entrepreneurial skills

For details on how to enter the competition, visit: world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/ or contact us at young.innovators@itu.int

(Source: ITU)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:45:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria’s communication technology minister, Omobola Johnson, has encouraged Nigerian women to pursue careers in ICT and bridge the gap between males and females in ICT.

Speaking in Abuja on Girls in ICT Day, Johnson blamed the perception that ICT is only for geeks and men as the reason why, in spite of the advances recorded in ICT across the world, there are not enough women in the sector.

She expressed the commitment of her ministry towards the encouragement of more girls to develop interest in ICT and to erase the perception. ‘’When I was studying engineering, I was one of five girls in a class of about 80. My daughter has just graduated in an engineering degree and she was also one of about five or six girls, so nothing has really changed in 30 years’’, Johnson said.

“We need to ask ourselves why and help remove all the barriers militating against girls and women embracing technology. Some of the barriers limiting women has to do with lack of support and encouragement and the ministry will provide the necessary support by encouraging women to embrace careers in ICTs”.

The highest achieving girls in the sciences from various schools have been invited to a one-week event organised by the ministry to encourage and expose them to sciences with the goal of increasing the number of women and girls in ICT.

Johnson said the ICT sector in Nigeria has tremendous opportunities for women in areas such as software development, telecommunications, IT, space development and electronic engineering.

Addressing girls in Abuja, Johnson said: “You just need to work hard and don’t be retiring. Women tend to think that our work will speak for us – sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Speak out, work hard and don’t be afraid! Women can do it if they try”.

At the event, 35 girls who had excelled in sciences received Vantium Computer Tablets to empower and encourage them to strive for excellence in ICTs.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Samsung Electronics, the global electronics giant, has delivered one container, the first of what could be a number of Solar Powered Internet Schools based in containers in the country.

The project is being made possible in association with the Angolan government and other partners.

The Solar Powered Internet School, which is geared to provide access to the Internet and electronic textbooks, will operate on a shift basis and will meet the needs of 200 children a day, according to Thierry Boulanger, IT director for solutions and business to business in Africa at Samsung Electronics.

“This school represents a breakthrough in the delivery of education by helping to break down the technological barriers facing education in Angola”, Boulanger said.
The facility, housed in a ‘40-foot’ shipping container, was delivered by truck to its site, he said.

Samsung said the school, which will be used on a rotational basis by children during the day, operates between 08h00 and 17h00 every day. Boulanger said: “It may be a small beginning, but for the 200 children who will benefit, the school opens the door to huge opportunities. Finding the funding to create hundreds of similar facilities across Africa could, within a comparatively short period, transform education, quality of life and service delivery across Africa”.

Samsung also said the school has the capacity to operate effectively for up to 36 hours without any sunlight at all. “The power generated by the panels each day also means that the school can be used beyond the traditional learning day. After-hours it can operate as an adult education centre or a community centre over weekends”.
Built to withstand harsh African conditions the solar panels powering the school are made from rubber instead of glass, to ensure that they are hardy and durable enough to survive long journeys across the continent, Boulanger concluded.

Further information

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:32:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As the ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, I am thrilled to be greeting all the girls around the world, as we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day on 25 April 2013.

Technology is offering large-scale opportunities to empower women and girls, creating a systemic cultural shift by improving how they’re portrayed and represented. These are the tools that will ultimately allow women and girls to reach their full potential.

My awareness of gender imbalance in the media came when I started watching children’s television, videos and movies with my then two-year old daughter, Alizeh. I was stunned to see that there seemed to be far more male characters than female characters in these entertainments that were aimed at the youngest of children.
As a result, I launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm called See Jane. We sponsored the largest body of research ever done on gender images in media. The results are stunning: in American family films there is only one female for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 per cent of the characters are female. There was no improvement in those numbers over the last 20 years we studied.

Our research also shows that females are missing from critical occupational sectors in entertainment media.

We recently completed a study on the careers of female characters in popular United States television and film, and found that with regard to STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, in family films, males hold 84 per cent of all STEM jobs. This calculates into a ratio of 5 male STEM characters to every one female STEM character.

No female leads or co-leads are shown with STEM careers.

Looking across the categories of computer science and engineering, the ratio of males to females in these arenas is 14.25 to one! And in television, characters with STEM jobs are 79 per cent male and 21 per cent female.

I am happy to say that positive role models exist off-screen. Some tech companies, including Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox and Yahoo, are headed by women. But there are just 21 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. It is time to change this imbalance.

New and future technologies, especially broadband will be key to providing women with the means to educate themselves and their children, improve their own health and the health of their families and communities, start their own businesses, keep themselves safe, and innovate to build and shape the future they want.
ITU is focusing on increasing the number of girls and women who want an ICT career; increasing the number of girls and women who receive an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics; and encouraging ICT businesses to attract, recruit, retain and promote women to achieve long-term sustainability.
Last September, I participated in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and was very pleased that these leaders are committed to empowering women and girls as part of the digital revolution and agreed to set up a working group on gender.

A major outcome from a meeting on 17 March 2013 in Mexico City is that the Broadband Commission agreed on an ambitious new target designed to spur female access to the power of ICT. The target mandates no less than “gender equality in broadband access by the year 2020”.

Last October, as Special Envoy, I attended the Women with the Wave: High-Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls, in Seoul in the Republic of Korea. The Asian broadcasters, filmmakers, Internet stakeholders, academics and others demonstrated their commitment to lead the change in the images of women and girls in ICT. From Korea’s famous K-dramas to Bollywood musicals, they are looking for the characters that will inspire tomorrow’s technology-centred professionals.
We have the opportunity to ensure that women and girls are fully included in the expansion of the digital world, and that their voice and presence are shaping the United Nations development agenda and strategies beyond the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

Let us all join hands to achieve the new gender target from the Broadband Commission. I urge all Member States and global CEOs to fully implement the principles in Resolution 70 (Rev. Guadalajara 2010) on “gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies”.

Everyone participating today is a change agent, and the media and technology sectors will come together and take a leadership role to promote more positive portrayal of women and girls in the media — starting, if I may, with some inspiring tech-savvy role models in film and television. Because changing perceptions will be the real game changer in achieving greater empowerment and participation of girls and women in the technology sector.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:29:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mexican telecommunications company Telmex's recent Aldea Digital event has won the company an entry into the Guinness World Records book as the largest digital inclusion event in the world. Hosted with the goal of gathering as many users of digital technologies as possible in one place, this free-of-charge and open-to-everyone event brought together 154,000 people between March 16 and 26. Visitors were able to use smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as attend 30 courses and workshops ranging from computer basics to application development in the Zocalo of Mexico City, the city's central plaza.

Throughout the event, more than 5,000 computers operating at high-speed connections of 20 Gigabytes per second were loaned out to attendees. A speakers' line-up of high-level telecommunications experts from all over the world drew impressive and diverse crowds spanning all ages and generations - from young kids to their parents and grandparents - from tech-savvy developers to those for whom access to computers and the Internet was a novelty.

The Carlos Slim Foundation, which engages in philanthropic efforts in the fields of education, health and justice, expressed its pleasure with the success of the Telcel 4GLTE-Infinitum Digital Village, and stressed the importance of digital literacy to advance Mexico's social and economic development:

"The Aldea Digital event, now recognized as the largest digital inclusion event in the world, reinforces our commitment to continue to bring digital access to Mexico", said Carlos Slim Domit, Co-Chairman of America Movil.

The Aldea Digital event, which was co-hosted by Telmex, Telcel and the Mexico City government, ties into the overall context of promoting access to broadband technology as a tool to meet the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Carlos Slim Domit added, "With education and access to opportunities being the foundation of society, digital inclusion is increasingly becoming one of the main tools that binds and strengthens the ability to make it possible. As such, increasing access to information and communications technology is the key to advancing the Millennium Development goals".

Among the international leaders and industry experts that participated, the most notable were:
Hamandoun Toure, Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU); Ben Kauffman, Founder of Quirky; Noam Bardin, creator of Waze; Chris Anderson, founder of 3D Robotics; Nigel Jacob of New Urban Mechanics; Elaine Weidman of Ericsson; Ken Wang Shengqing of Huawei; and Gabrielle Gauthey of Alcatel all addressed the latest technological and digital advances and trends.

(Source: CNBC)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:26:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The United Nations E-Government Survey presents a systematic assessment of the use of ICT to transform and reform the public sector by enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability, access to public services and citizen participation in 193 Countries.
  
We are pleased to inform that the Government of Costa Rica (Digital Government Secretariat), in partnership with the National University of Costa Rica, has kindly provided the translation of the United Nations E-Government Survey to all Spanish- speaking countries.    

The E-Government Survey has been adopted by United Nations Member States and economists as a useful tool to benchmark e-government development.  The Survey is also a tool to guide policies and strategies on how Member States can improve overall public service delivery and bridge the digital divide. 

Main Findings:

Progress in online service delivery continues in most countries around the world. Among the e-government leaders, innovative technology solutions have gained special recognition as the means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors.  One of the key findings that emerges from the 2012 Survey is that while it is important to continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly rethink their e-government approach by placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages among government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development.
 
The Spanish edition may be accessed and downloaded directly from the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) at: http://workspace.unpan.org/sites/Internet/Documents/EGovSurvey2012_Spanish.pdf.

(Source: UNPAN)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:19:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 25, 2013
With the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010 and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. In only its third year, global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow with over 100 countries expected to hold events hosted by governments, private sector and NGOs in 2013.

Events in Brussels
- ITU has joined the European Commission and European Parliament who are hosting a full-day session in Brussels including a Parliamentary Hearing to debate women in ICT careers and nourishing the pipeline. The European Parliament event can be followed live via webstreaming.

 The ITU Secretary-General will also be addressing the Women2020 panel session on Women in STEM for Smart Growth. The Women2020 event can be followed live via webstreaming.

Speeches :
Women2020 Breakfast: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General

Events at ITU Premises
Back at ITU Headquarters, in ICT Discovery museum, ITU and the Mission of the United States in Geneva have co-organized workshops for local school girls on satellites, coding, mobile apps, + video, together with the chance to meet expert role models.

Speeches:
- Ambassador Betty E. King
- Mr Philippe Metzger, BDT Deputy Director

- The ITU Regional Offices of Cairo and Moscow are also hosting Girls in ICT Day activities.

Girls in ICT Days around the world


(Source: ITU)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:34:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career, writes Doreen Umutesi.

About fifteen girls formed a group which they named Girls in ICT Rwanda. Its main objective is to tour schools and encourage more girls to take on courses in Information Communication technology (ICT).

The Girls in ICT Rwanda launched their annual activity calendar on March 22nd, 2013 at a Networking Night with their guest speaker, Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the US Department of State.

The activities stipulated in their calendar involve encouraging women entrepreneurs in ICT, visiting schools to talk to girls and encouraging them to take on courses in ICT.
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

In an interview with Akaliza Keza Gara a member of Girls in ICT and Founder of Shaking Sun a multimedia company, she said that the government supports initiatives that empower women in ICT.

"One of our main goals is to encourage more girls offering ICT courses to join Girls in ICT Rwanda. When I talk to young girls, a lot of them say that they see it as a man's subject because people we see in the media doing ICT initiatives are often men. Even when they go to school they are surrounded by men so the girls tend to lose interest because they feel they are the odd ones", Akaliza explains.

She also said that there are allegations that women feel intimidated when they are surrounded by men hence women work better when they are surrounded by fellow women.

"Girls are just choosing not to take on ICT so as Girls in ICT Rwanda, part of what we do is to encourage and show them that if we took on the ICT course they can do the same. We encourage them to join us as the rallying troupes' idea. Our target after this year is to find out how many schools we visited and how many girls are offering ICT courses to measure our impact", Akaliza Discloses.

(Source: All Africa News)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:08:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel Corporation and the 10x10 campaign, partners on the new feature film "Girl Rising", today announced they will work with policymakers in low- and middle-income countries to develop transformative education and technology policies that empower women, achieve gender equity in access to quality education and accelerate economic development.

Together, Intel and 10x10 will develop and host gender equity and education policy workshops, and develop regional policy frameworks based on key gender needs. The workshops will help governments think deeply about issues of gender equity as they develop national policy plans for broader education transformation.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "What Works in Girls' Education", each year of secondary schooling increases a girl's future wages by 10 to 20 percent. At the national level, increasing the share of women with secondary education by just 1 percent increases a country's annual GDP by an average of .3 percent. Yet studies from the United Nations and International Labour Organization show that in 2009, girls accounted for 53 percent of all out-of-school children and 87 million women were unemployed in 2010, up from 76 million in 2007.

"We've seen first-hand the transformational change that can occur when girls have access to an education", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "By working with 10x10 and policymakers to improve gender equity in education, Intel is taking the vital message of 'Girl Rising' into action. Together, we can empower girls and help them become agents of positive change in their communities".

"By sharing the personal stories of these nine girls, 'Girl Rising' illustrates just how important education is in the movement to empower women and girls", said Holly Gordon, 10x10's executive director. "Our partnership with Intel to provide decision makers in developing countries with scalable policy solutions to expand gender equity in education marks the next step in our commitment to change both minds and policy to positively impact girls' lives".

Through the policy workshops, Intel and 10x10 will help leaders determine how to utilize technology to facilitate gender equity across school policy, curriculum and assessment, teacher development, and research and evaluation. These efforts will build on Intel's existing policy framework, which leverages education policy and information and communications technologies (ICTs) to create mechanisms for empowering girls and achieving gender equity in education at scale.

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:59:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Join the ITU team and special guests for a day of tech-oriented activities

With the number of schoolgirls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

ICT jobs are consistently ranked among the top 20 careers with the best pay and best long-term prospects, and the technology industry remains one of the world’s most robust sectors, creating strong ongoing demand for young tech professionals.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010, and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. Global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow, with 1,300 events held by governments, the private sector and NGOs in 87 countries in 2012 reaching over 30,000 school-age girls, and around 100 countries are expected to hold events this year.

To celebrate this important day, journalists are invited to join ITU staff on April 25 for a programme of workshops and inspiring discussion with local schoolgirls aged 13-17.

What: ‘Girls in ICT Day’ at ITU

When: 08:30am - 14:30pm, 25 April, 2013
          8:30-9:00 Registration and coffee (please bring photo ID or UN press badge), + welcoming remarks by Philippe Metzger (ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau)
          9:00-10:00 Guided tour of ICT Discovery
          10:00-11:20 Workshops on mobile app development and web coding
          11:30-13:00 Workshops on Flash video game development and video production
          13:00-14:30 Informal lunch with female ICT professionals, including the chance to chat to students and speakers.
Where: ICT Discovery Museum, 2nd floor, Montbrillant building, ITU headquarters, Place des Nations, Geneva

Who: Around 80 girls from schools in the Geneva area (including France voisine), with ITU technical staff and other experts.

Registration to attend this event is essential. Journalists are requested to confirm their attendance to pressinfo@itu.int by close of business Tuesday 23 April. If you do not have a UN media badge, please ensure you bring photo ID with you in order to obtain a Visitor badge.

Follow the event on Twitter at @ ITU #GirlsinICT. The full story of Girls in ICT Day 2013 is being curated at http://storify.com/ITU/girls-in-ict-day-2013 and through ITU’s campaign Facebook page www.facebook.com/TechNeedsGirls.

Photos from event will be available for download from ITU’s Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157633221090112/

For more information on this event please contact:

Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information, ITU
+41 22 730 6135
sarah.parkes@itu.int

Nicolas Jammes
Coordinator, International Girls in ICT Day
+41 22 730 5996
nicolas.jammes@itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:46:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On April 25th 2013, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) will join the world to mark the International Girls in ICT day, an initiative of the ITU to advance a universal environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to pick up careers in the growing information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector.

WITIN is organizing a one-day conference themed- Women and Girls in Technology - Expanding Horizons. This inaugural high-level conference will bring together high school students and women in Nigeria to discuss how to foster women’s contributions and empowerment through ICT as well as to celebrate the feats of young girls in the just concluded Technovation challenge.



Keynote speakers include Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Diaspora Committee of the Nigeria Federal House of Rep. representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Honourable Minister, Fed. Ministry of Science and Technology and Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology at the US Department of State under the chairmanship of Chief Oma Eyewuoma, Exec. Vice-President, Technical Conoil Producing Ltd, Nigeria.

Ann Mei Chang pointed out that “Women and girls continue to be dramatically underrepresented in the ICT field around the world. Not only is this an issue of opportunity for individual women and girls, but as the ICT sector continues its outsized growth it will increasingly contribute to a talent gap which leaves critical jobs unfilled. Girls often lack role models and may be discouraged from pursuing ICT by parents, teachers, or peers. Girls in ICT Day is an important event to raise visibility of the many successful women who have pursued ICT careers”.

Other speakers include Njideka Jack of MTN Nigeria, Folakemi Olawolu of Phase3 Telecoms, Chinyere Edward Azike of Signal Alliance Limited, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi of YNaija, Martha Omoekpen Alade of Women in Technology in Nigeria and Samuel Eyitayo of the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos.

The CEO of Phase3 Telecom Mr. Stanley Jegede states that “women are often unsung heroes in the advancement of Information Technology especially on the African Continent; it is why Phase3 Telecom as an equal opportunities employer is focused on influencing and driving the needed change in this reality. Ensuring women contribute at least 47% to the Phase3 Telecom workforce”. Thus; he commends ITU’s celebration of women in the advancement of Technology around the globe through the Girls in ICT initiative. He emphasizes the need for the IT industry to actively encourage and champion the indelible contribution of women to the development of new technologies and innovation in our world. Also in this vein, the president of ISPON Dr Chris Uwaje Lauds the feat of the young winners of the Mobile App Challenge who will be celebrated also on the Girls in ICT day.

Highlights of the event also include recognition of the winners of Technology Affects Me- TAM; mini-challenge for girls and young women. Short Presentations will be made by teams who took part in the Technovation Challenge, a program of Iridescent. The team facilitators include Esther Ugbodaga of Channels TV, Toyosi Odukoya of MTN Nigeria, Nnenna Ugwu of EDC Pan African University and Ijeoma Abazie of Microsoft Nigeria. The winners will also be announced and awarded; they hopefully will represent Nigeria and travel to Silicon Valley CA to compete globally on May 2nd. The event will be held at Twitter HQ and will be co-hosted by Twitter and LinkedIn. The Secretary General of ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré will be rooting for the Nigerian team in Silicon Valley.

(Source: Women in Technology in Nigeria)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:32:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
There is a need for more research and development (R&D) investment and new ways to ensure that technology transfer is used to overcome global development challenges, a meeting of international academics in Indonesia concluded last month. What does this mean for disabled people around the world? The meeting is part of the lengthy process of agreeing new UN-coordinated global development goals post-2015.

It identified R&D investment and technology transfer as ways to address the massive inequalities between developed and less-developed countries. Irsan Pawennei — one of the meeting's conveners — highlighted inequality as the main issue to consider in setting the successors to the Millennium Development Goals.

These points are very relevant for people with disabilities. In all societies, disabled people experience substantial social and material poverty, and many inequalities. Technologies are available that could help improve their lives, but too often they are delivered in insufficient quantity or quality. For example, damaged wheelchairs and broken hearing aids can be found around the developing world no longer serving a purpose.

Technology transfer to less-developed countries has generally focused on non-disabled people. Intentional efforts acknowledging the needs and rights of disabled people is an important first step in redressing this. Without this effort inequalities between disabled and non-disabled people will become further entrenched. Irsan said at the meeting technology transfer should rely on the transfer of knowledge rather than products, to ensure the poor benefit in the long term and inequalities aren't further entrenched. This is a key consideration point for disabled people.

Products can quickly become redundant, but knowledge is more sustainable. Copyright-restricted software packages date fast, can be expensive and can make users reliant on a 'brand'. Communications technologies can transform the lives of hearing-impaired people but hardware has rapidly moved on from minicoms to mobile phones and now smartphones.

Information on technology transfer should be delivered in formats and methods that people with different impairments can access, for example by providing audio versions or by using simple language. If accessible formats are not consciously considered, disabled people will be excluded from both benefiting from their content and engaging in the process.

Irsan discusses the potential for information and communications technology (ICT) for creating jobs in urban areas. ICT also offers massive potential benefits for disabled people if it is intentionally applied. In some African countries, mobile phone companies — for example Safaricom in Kenya — are creating jobs for physically impaired people in call centres. Mobile communications offer huge inclusion benefits to people with hearing impairments. Ever improving screen-reader technologies open up many opportunities for visually impaired people.

Decisions made on the post-2015 targets could dominate the development agenda for the next two decades. Making commitments for disability-inclusive technology transfer would be a vital part of reducing global inequalities.

(Source: SciDev. Net)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:27:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With women projected to comprise a majority of the world’s urban dwellers and head increasing numbers of households, gender equality in employment, housing, health and education is vital to ensure the prosperity of the cities of the future, according to a new United Nations study.

“Women are key drivers of economic growth and that wealth in the hands of women leads to much more equitable outcomes in terms of the quality of life of families and communities”, the study, entitled State of Women in Cities Report 2012/13, said. “Addressing the barriers to women’s participation in cities creates a situation where women’s potential is more fully realized and households, communities and governments also reap rewards”.

“It is imperative that women and men should enjoy equal rights and opportunities in cities on moral/ethical, economic and political grounds. This will not only engender women’s well-being but it will increase their individual and collective prosperity, as well as the prosperity of the cities in which they reside”.

Produced by the Nairobi-based UN Human Settlements Programme, known as UN-HABITAT, which is mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all, the report also stressed the need to address unemployment and other disadvantages that hobble urban youth.
The report called for policies to enhance gender equality, equity and prosperity of women in cities, noting that cities of the future will comprise a majority female component, especially among people older than 60 and even more so among those older than 80 years.

While underscoring the unpaid caring and social activities that women undertake, such as childcare, caring for the sick, disabled and elderly, washing, cleaning and other community services that allow the urban economy to function and prosper, even if this labour is seldom recognized or valued, the report stressed the “crucially important” economic contributions they make through their paid work.

“The ‘feminization’ of the global labour force tends to be associated with urbanization, with the related concentration of women in export-manufacturing, the service sector and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)”, it said, adding that women, especially the urban poor, are disadvantaged in terms of equal access to employment, housing, health and education, asset ownership, experiences of urban violence, and ability to exercise their rights.

UN-HABITAT’s State of Urban Youth Report 2012/2013 stressed that while the young are “society’s most important and dynamic human resource” – with 1.3 billion between ages 12 and 24, most of them living in urban areas – nearly 45 per cent of them, some 515 million, live on less than $2 a day.

It called for better aligning educational and training systems with the current and future needs of young people, so that they cannot only discern developmental issues but may even be capable of suggesting innovative solutions to deep problems of development and growth.



(Source: UN News Centre)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Digital Talent (Talento Digital) is the ICT Ministry program that seeks to encourage the formation of Colombian in careers related to information and technology. In its first calls 1,336 people benefited with forgivable loans, covering up to 100% of the tuition.

Through 'Digital Talent' the MinTIC bets on the formation of specialized human talent in the use of information technologies, strengthening government online strategy and development of competitiveness, research and innovation.

For the third call, the Ministry allocated a budget of more than $ 17,638 million colombian pesos (aprox. USD 9.6 million) to fund, through ICETEX, technical careers and technological issues related to software development and applications, IT project management, IT services, control and quality assurance in IT Architectures and IT security, marketing, consultative selling, business management and sales management in IT.

The call is now open and will close on June 17th, 2013. Deadline to submit all required documents for accessing ICETEX credit  forgivable.
"We have benefited in the first two calls to 1,336 Colombians, especially in strata 1 and 2, who did not have to worry about money to advance techniques, technologies, and professional degrees in the areas of information technology", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega.

Overview of the call:
- Credit 100% forgivable
- Access to credit by ICETEX
- Studies in Technological levels
- Study: Universities, Technical Institutions and Technological Education Institutions for Work and Human Development.

For the forgivable loan is necessary:
- Get relevant diploma or degree
- IT application development for Government Online
- Certificate issued by an entity of public nature
- Transfer of property rights

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:43:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Cabinet of Social Policy trained 280 girls from primary school in Nigua, San Cristobal, as part of a series of seminars and workshops conducted in the Technology Community Center (CTC), which dedicated the month of April to promote technology approach in the youth of this location.

The activities are framed in the Forum "ICT learning in 21st Century", through which girls from eighth-grade of Nigua School were trained.
Moisés Esterling de Jesús Cedano, computer center manager, said that in the educational forum girls are taught in various aspects of the use of information technology and the technology available.

"With this continued efforts from the government, through the Community Technology Centers set up by the Cabinet of Social Policy across the country and which is directed by the vice president, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, we want to reduce the digital divide in the Dominican population", said Esterling de Jesús Cedano.
He added that the workshops of "technological tools" and "Information and Communication Technology" involve groups from different schools, colleges, neighborhood associations, NGOs and other community organizations which receive the necessary knowledge for widely different aspects of technology, communication and best uses. The activities include panels, forums, lectures, practical exercises, presentations and exhibitions of technological tools that are used today, plus other trips to the ITLA and other interesting places.

Alfredina Samboy Beltré, one of the girls in eighth grade of basic education, said that she was interested because she likes the communication and interact through the use of technology.

Also, Archy Yoselín Rijo Nova, 14 years old, from Boca de Nigua school, said that in addition to participating in forums and lectures given on technology, she wants to learn English in the courses taught at the CTCs, which are very important for people who want to travel to other countries. "I'm here in the ICT Education Forum to learn about technology and the use of computers, projector and other technological aspects", said Danilca Brito Germán, 13 years old, who participated in one of the talks.

(Source: Vicepresidencia Dominican Republic)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:12:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order to promote the interest of girls worldwide to study careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the specialized agency in Telecommunications of the UN commemorates every year the International Day of Girls in ICT.

The commemoration held annually on the fourth Thursday in April and this year will be held on 25th of this month by an urgent call to the school principals, teachers and guidance counselors to show to their female students the excellent job prospects that open for them in the ICT sector.



Another objective of the commemoration of this day is that companies are aware of the low participation of women in this area and hire, retain and promote women in charges related to the use of technology.

The UN initiative is born because the worrying global figures which shows the lack of interest of women in developing their careers around the use of technologies. For example, the proportion of women who work as computer science professionals in Europe is extremely small: according to a report by Eurostat, in 2006 only 0.7% of ICT professionals were women and this figure remained unchanged since 2001. In Latin America, the scenario is not different, so if you want to review documents related to this topic, we recommend the articles published in regional site of UNESCO Women, Science and Technology.

Activities to do with your students that day:

- Make field trips to government offices, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), businesses, museums,
science, etc.. These will let girls to have first-hand contact with women leaders who use ICT in their daily work.

- Conduct workshops to raise awareness about the importance of ICT in the daily operation of the world today and show how women can take a leadership role every day.

- Make a presentation in the classroom with pictures and posters  what display the path of women with successful careers in organizations in the ICT sector.

- Develop biographies of famous women, leaders in ICT-related areas. Both girls and boys should conduct research on the Internet that will let them to prepare a list of women and write their biographies. The list should include many local women as well.

- Invite to an ICT industry leader to speak to all students. Ask whose words inspire young women to choose careers in this field study.

- Contact a local college or nearby and invite women teachers in ICT-related subjects to conduct workshops with students, professionals picnics, lectures, etc.

Finally, on the site http://girlsinict.org/ you can check how this day was celebrated last year and get ideas of how celebrate this day with your students.  If you need more information you can contact the team of Girls in ICT in girlsinict@itu.int

(Source: Eduteka and Educacion 360)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:33:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Wanted: your views, experiences, ideas, suggestions and recommendations on inclusive education.

On behalf of the Education Taskforce of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities, UNESCO and UNICEF are organizing an online discussion from 22 April to 12 May to address the following questions:

- What do we understand by the concept of inclusive education?
and
- What are the key recommendations for an effective implementation of Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities?

Take part in the discussion by joining the Knowledge Community on Inclusive Education at this link

Worldwide, more than one billion people live with some form of disability. Young people with disabilities have particular difficulty gaining access to both education and work and the right to education remains a challenge.

The online discussion will bring together civil society organizations, UN agencies, development agencies, NGOs, and academia who work to advance the rights of children with disabilities. This discussion is part of the “Building Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities” community which has been established for the promotion of the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities.

Further information

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:24:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ICT has become an essential tool for humanitarian aid work, and its role in both education and healthcare throughout sub-Saharan Africa is indispensable: particularly its use in educating large groups of young refugees, from diverse backgrounds and with varying levels of basic education and literacy.

The largest refugee camp in the world is located in Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya, 100 km from the Somali border; more than 500,000 refugees reside here, many of them displaced by the civil war taking place in southern Somalia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been working to provide not only food and healthcare for the camp’s residents, but also educational opportunities for its more than 80,000 young people. To achieve this, they have been integrating solar-powered technologies to support ICT delivery in the 39 primary and secondary schools and 4 vocational centres in the camp.



The difficulty in educating such a large and diverse population using traditional educational tools is in addressing language barriers, illiteracy, and the high drop-out rate found throughout the camp. Making the task more difficult is the absence of necessary infrastructure, materials and qualified teachers. This is where ICT is making a difference: the use of computers and portable devices has allowed young people to obtain quality education in a safe and secure environment, taking part in eLearning programmes that can be adjusted to the needs of the individual student.

The close-knit community in the camp has played an important role in the design, sustainability and success of the project, with meetings attended by teachers, students and parents at every stage of its creation. Additionally, each school was responsible for designing solutions to the challenges of security and computer maintenance, as well as for sourcing additional funding to ensure the project’s sustainability. Erin Hayba, Associate Community Services Officer at UNHCR and a speaker at the upcoming eLearning Africa conference in Namibia, has been involved in the project for several years and explains the situation:

“This particular project that I have worked on to bring computers, Internet and solar power into the schools has sparked a new trend amongst the refugee community and partner NGOs to be innovative. Implementing change and innovation is often extremely difficult, with many hurdles to overcome, including dealing with naysayers. Innovation, in my mind, happens when people come together with varying perspectives, experiences, and knowledge to address a challenge and work toward a solution. Once a solution proves viable and people see positive results, this encourages more innovation to occur”.

The stakeholders involved in the project have been brought together to find innovative uses of ICT in education, particularly within the harsh and volatile environment of humanitarian work. And because the schools and communities are encouraged to participate in the design and implementation, as well as to invest in their own learning, the solutions found are more sustainable and appropriate. It has sparked a wave of innovative thinking within school- and education-focused humanitarian organizations. As a result, a foundation of learners, teachers, and community members who are more knowledgeable about ICT in education has been developed, creating a platform from which eLearning can grow and flourish.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:19:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Vice President of Intel Corporate Affairs Group Shelly Esque signed a five-year Framework agreement on 13 April to build capacity in engineering and science worldwide, and harness information and communication technologies (ICTs) for educational advancement.

“We are longtime partners because there are strong synergies between Intel and UNESCO, combining new ideas and innovation with our policy drive for quality education”, said Mrs Bokova after the signing at UNESCO Headquarters. “This agreement opens new opportunities. There is a crying demand today for knowledge, science, education and new technologies, and we need to help Member States gain the full benefit of this knowledge and innovation for driving their development”. Ms Esque affirmed that UNESCO and Intel share similar goals, highlighting that the Framework agreement would open new doors.

UNESCO and Intel will work on improving and delivering learning tools on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for sustainable development, enhancing STEM capacities of universities, supporting the UNESCO Engineering Initiative through engineering education projects, and using ICTs in education policies and master plans. The agreement foresees a special focus on Africa, one of UNESCO’s global priorities, together with gender.

The agreement also seeks to enhance the participation of girls, disadvantaged students and women in STEM. UNESCO and Intel will cooperate on specific projects targeting girls and women as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on secondary education and adult literacy, especially in Africa and Asia.

Intel and UNESCO have been cooperating since 2004 when the first Memorandum of Understanding, focusing on developing guidelines to improve the quality of ICT teacher training programmes, was signed.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:10:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In 2012, many African nations celebrated International Girls In ICT Day. We counted 13 official events in Sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Swaziland, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, The Gambia, and Tanzania). In less than two weeks, International Girls in ICT Day will again be held the world over. The initiative, launched by the ITU with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, aims to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.
 


Once again, a variety of African tech stakeholders will sponsor dedicated events for girls interested in ICT. So far, at least five African countries will hold a gathering during the week of April 25th:

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Rudi International will organize another program in Goma. Expect a training workshop and a cultural event whose themes revolve around Internet security and the Internet as a tool for development.

Senegal: The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy intends to make this day a moment of reflection, sharing, and strategic focus on the problem of girls’ digital training. A variety of panels and speeches will take place throughout the day.

Kenya: On April 27th, AkiraChix will be hosting a Girls in ICT day event aiming at exposing young women to career opportunities available in the tech industry.

Nigeria: Event to be held at Digital Peers Intl, Abuja. More events will most likely be held in Lagos.

Rwanda: Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda may be hosting an event.

Also, a webinar co-presented by Ronda Zelezny-Green will feature Kenyan and Moroccan perspectives on gender and mobile learning.

Check out ITU’s Girls in ICT Day 2013 Storify or follow #GirlsinICT for the latest info!

(Source: Oafrica News)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:04:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Next Generation Learning platforms based on field-tested technology have the power to transform the teaching and learning experience. Educators are acting upon valuable insights derived from analysis of education data to improve teaching practices and student outcomes.

Schools and universities now have a remarkable opportunity to transform education for a new generation. Integrated digital learning resources and professional learning services make it easy to tailor curriculums and monitor progress to help students shine.

Digital content is at the heart of Next Generation Learning, and educators can choose from a dazzling array of rich media resources and interactive options. How can they find the best digital assets to personalize learning and help ensure success?

In the transition to a digital learning environment, K-20 institutions can adopt an engaging platform that integrates diverse learning tools to help personalize the student’s experience, enable collaboration and accelerate digital content adoption.



View the full article here

Thursday, April 18, 2013 9:52:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 15, 2013
On March 27, three young women from CERN participated via a video link in the UN Economic and Social Council “Youth Forum”, delivering a series of recommendations to improve the situation for women in science. During this all-day event held in New York, young people were invited to contribute ideas on how to improve our world, no less.

ECOSOC is still seeking input from young people ahead of its 1 July meeting where governments will meet in Geneva to address the important topics of Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture. They will adopt a Ministerial Declaration for scaling up actions in this field.

At the start of the meeting, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon asked the young audience if the UN was doing enough for youth. A resounding “No” came back from the audience but he got the opposite answer when he said “Could the UN do more for the world’s youth?”

This ECOSOC meeting provided CERN with its first opportunity to engage directly with a UN organization since it was granted Observer status at the United Nations General Assembly last December.

Three graduate students currently based at CERN were speaking during the “Women in Science” session on behalf of a larger group of young women scientists who had gathered to draft a series of recommendations aiming at improving the situation of women in science.

Kate Pachal, a young Canadian woman currently enrolled in a PhD program at Oxford, discussed what could be done to attract more women into science. Her three points were:

- Fight gender stereotypes at all levels. Improve the representation of women in textbooks, including in the phrasing of problems; Use gender-neutral language when referring to scientists; Increase the visibility of women scientists in the general culture by providing more female contacts for the media.

- Help young people build a strong “physics identity”: Students who do not feel good at maths or science do not pursue a career in it. Encouragements from peers, teachers and family help young girls believe in their own ability. Classroom activities such as having discussions on cutting-edge physics topics, being encouraged to ask questions or teaching peers all contribute to build a strong  “physics identity”. Having discussions on why fewer women are in science also helps young women see the problem does not come from them but has social roots.

- Provide role models and mentors for young women. Do it at all stages. Hold career fairs to reinforce girls’ self-esteem and provide a context where they can discuss with other girls facing similar challenges. Provide places where young women can talk with peers and find support.

Sarah seif el Nasr, an Egyptian-Canadian doctoral student at CERN, delivered three recommendations to hire more women in physics and science in general:

- Implement anonymous job application processes. The applicant’s gender should be hidden during the job application process to avoid gender bias since a study revealed that both men and women discriminate against women. The number of female musicians tripled at five major orchestras once job applicants performed behind a curtain.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. Both men and women should be given parental leaves and men strongly encouraged to take them. Young women of child-bearing age would then be less likely to be disfavored in hiring if both parents had to share the weight more equally. Shared or split positions would also allow both parents to participate equally in child responsibilities.

- Add spousal considerations to hiring processes. Institutions should recognize the existence of the dual-career situation and choose to deal with it since half the women with a PhD in physics have a spouse with similar education level (as opposed to only 20% for men). Institutions should take action before beginning a search to provide assistance for spouses and consider split/shared positions. This would help young women find positions without taxing their relationships.

Finally, Barbara Millan Mejias, a Venezuelan graduate student at University of Zurich, explained what can be done to retain women in science:

- Provide mentors for young women starting their careers. The mentor should be different from their boss or supervisor and have proper institutional support. The mentor could for example make sure the young woman progresses properly, that she is given adequate funding and support, that she gets to attend meetings and give talks at various conferences. The mentor should be able to advise the young women on academic and professional issues.

- Have broad discussions about gender issues at large scientific meetings. Men are often unaware of the situation faced by women in science and lack opportunities to discuss this situation, even though they are most often open to it. Men often unconsciously discriminate against women. Education would improve the situation.

- Hold scientific meetings for women where young women could see how valuable women’s work is, find positive reinforcement, get to talk with peers and get support. This would also provide a place for discussions on issues facing young women as well as opportunities to share experiences and support each other.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. This point is crucial not only at hiring time but also to retain young women in science.

(Source: Quantum Diaries)

Monday, April 15, 2013 1:23:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
As the International Girls in ICT Day draws near, MainOne Cable Company says it is ready to partner with e-Business Life Communication to ensure the successful hosting of the event in Nigeria.

The International Girls in ICT Day celebration is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to bring young girls to the knowledge and active participation in fashioning the ICT landscape of their various countries is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013 and goes with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”.

MainOne Cable Company, the major sponsor at the 2012 edition of the event agreed to partner with eBusiness Life due to the company’s alignment to the vision of the campaign aimed at drawing attention of growing girls to the profession of ICT and how they can contribute their quota to the growth and development of the profession both in their local domain and globally.

CEO of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke had also called on other companies that have the growth of Nigeria’s ICT industry in mind to join in ensuring that the event is a huge success.

Also joining the growing number of partners, Omatek, a pioneer indigenous integrated IT system builder says the campaign will be a veritable platform to engage young girls and help them actualize their future in a field that was once seen as the exclusive preserve of the male gender.

CEO of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki had earlier pointed out the need to have more female IT practitioners to enable the industry grow faster on a balanced scale.
The partnership with MainOne and Omatek is a testimonial to the importance of the campaign in Nigeria, as both companies were also part of the previous edition of the event.

Chief Executive Officer, eBusiness Life Communication, Mrs Ufuoma Emuophedaro, while speaking on preparations for the event further disclosed that special awards will be given to women who have been exceptional in the growth of the ICT industry in Nigeria. She also revealed that prominent Nigerian women, both in the public and private sectors of the industry will grace the occasion.

She applauded the contributions of the CEOs of MainOne and Omatek to the growth and development of the country’s ICT industry, describing the two women as “amazons in the industry”.

Expressing her optimism to the success of the event, Mrs. Emuophedaro noted that corporate organizations are interested in the campaign because they know it is the right thing to do. According to her, “This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. If other countries have observed the need to grow this industry through encouraging young girls, then, we should not be left behind. We must make sure that our young girls are given the chance to prove themselves in this all-important field”.
She stated that the Girls in ICT Day workshop and subsequent campaign will further open up opportunities for girls in ICT sector.

(Source: Daily Independent News)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:59:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls’ in ICT Day, an initiative that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), will take place on April 25th.

As part of this global initiative a number of different event and activities will be taking place that give girls the chance to gain a better understanding of the opportunities that the ICT sector holds for their future.

In the lead up to this year’s International Girls’ in ICT Day Intel Ireland will be sharing each week, through their newsroom, profiles of females who are working in ICT related roles at their campus in Leixlip, Ireland.

In addition, Intel is giving people the chance to participate in their ‘Girls in ICT’ competition, which is running each week from now until April 25th on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

To be in with a chance to win an Intel powered RAZRi smartphone, simply follow the Intel Ireland Twitter feed (@Intel_IRL) and answer the question they post on Monday April 8th and Monday April 22nd, be sure to use the #IRLGirlsinICT hashtag in each answer so that they can track your entry. Or you can enter via Facebook on Monday April 15th by liking the Intel Ireland page and answering (through comment) the question posted as a status update.

For full terms and conditions click here:

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:54:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Girls in ICT Essay competition is on again!

Last year the theme was on Girls can do ICT. This year the theme is on creating opportunities and changing attitudes that will encourage more Girls into ICT. Research consistently shows that girls tend to choose carriers where they feel they can make a difference such as healthcare, education and medicine but not ICT. Therefore the challenge for the ICT industry globally is how to change this trend to get more girls choosing careers in ICT. Some work has been done in PNG to empower and educate more girls and women but the challenge remains to create those opportunities that will attract more girls into ICT. Therefore the issue we need to address is:

“How can we expand ICT horizons (opportunities) for Girls and what attitudes do we need to change to provide these opportunities”

Competition Eligibility:
- Competition is open to FEMALE Grade 10, 11 & 12 students only.
- Dependents of NICTA staff are not eligible to enter.
- Competition opens on the 26th of March 2013 and closes on the 15th of April 2013 (3 weeks). Any entries received after the closing date will not be considered.

Winners will be announced on the NICTA website on the 25th of April, 2013 to observe the Girls in ICT Day.

Further Information

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:46:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Building on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this Global Report addresses strong recommendations to all stakeholders – from decision-makers to educators, civil society and industry – on how concretely to advance the rights of people living with disabilities. These recommendations draw on extensive research and consultations. Studies launched in five regions have allowed UNESCO to understand more clearly the conditions and challenges faced by persons with disabilities around the world.

To empower persons with disabilities is to empower societies as a whole – but this calls for the right policies and legislation to make information and knowledge more accessible through information and communication technologies (ICT). It calls also for applying accessibility standards to the development of content, product and services. The successful application of such technologies can make classrooms more inclusive, physical environments more accessible, teaching and learning content and techniques more in tune with learners’ needs.

This UNESCO publication not only makes a major contribution to the understanding of disability, but also highlights technological advancement and shares good practices that have already changed the lives of people with disabilities. It also makes concrete recommendations for action at the local, national and international levels, targeting policy and decision makers, educators, IT&T industry, civil society and certainly persons with disabilities.

Download the Full version



Further details

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:35:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The report, produced by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India, says that mobile phone interventions to ensure patients comply with treatment, medical stock is available and healthcare workers stick to treatment guidelines could save some of the three million lives lost each year across Africa to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and pregnancy-related conditions.

"Many of the deadly conditions are relatively simple to treat, prevent or contain. SMS reminders to check stock levels at health centres have shown promising results in reducing stock-outs of key combination therapy medication for malaria, TB and HIV", it says.
"Delivering mobile-assisted awareness to pregnant mothers and traditional birth attendants could reduce prenatal and maternal mortality by up to 30 per cent, while programmes that track mobile-usage patterns have been very successful in predicting disease outbreaks and in reporting malaria reporting adherence", according to the report.

Africa's low adoption of mHealth solutions is mainly due to a lack of health literacy among patients, says Shashank Tripathi, leader of the strategy and research practice at PwC India and one of the study authors.

Patricia Mechael, executive director of the US-based mHealth Alliance, says mHealth can help to strengthen overall health systems. For instance, she says, equipping field health workers with mHealth skills and phone applications can enable them to instantly communicate with authorities so they can take rapid action.
The potential number of lives that mHealth initiatives could save in Africa over five years to 2017 differs greatly, from 1,500 in Botswana up to 143,000 in Somalia, the report estimates.

Besides differences in mobile phone ownership and use, these variations are also due to differing mortality rates for individual countries, says Tripathi.
The report was launched at the annual Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this year (25-28 February).

Access to Full Report

(Source: SciDev. Net)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:27:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Government of Costa Rica announced the first week of April an initiative to install Internet in all public schools in the country in order to reduce the digital divide and improve educational tools.

Currently 4800 public schools have Internet and this year will reach 100% coverage with the installation of the service in the 151 missing schools, according to a statement from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), State supplier of electricity and telecommunications services.
Connections, most broadband, are part of a joint project between ICE, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT), signed last Wednesday.

"We engaged to bridge the digital divide in education" said in the statement the Education Minister Leonardo Garnier, who also highlighted "the importance of this company for the future of education in Costa Rica".

In Costa Rica, a country of 4.5 million people, about 940,000 students began the school last February  in public schools nursery, primary and secondary education.
Costa Rica's investment in education is 7% of gross domestic product and the level of literacy is 97.6%, according to official data. 96% of children attend school, although 2% do not finish primary school, while in the case of high school, 86% of young people are going to school, but the dropout rate is 11%.



(Source: El Carabobeno Newspaper)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:23:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 08, 2013
Open to 18-26 year-olds worldwide, the Young Innovators’ Competition is looking for concrete solutions using cutting-edge technology to one of six Global Challenges developed in partnership with specialized UN agencies and leading private sector players:

- Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers
- Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level
- Facilitate access to public services for the elderly
- Improve natural disaster prediction and response
- Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians
- Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

The Challenges reflect the most urgent spheres of life where ICTs could have a significant and wide-ranging impact. The competition seeks pragmatic, market-oriented, scalable solutions making use of connected technologies, such as augmented reality, mobile apps, 3D printing or geospatial tracking.
Submissions may be either in the form of a concept, well-researched or documented ideas which have not yet been implemented, or a start-up, which is already up and running but in need of funding to take it to the next stage.

Applications can be made by simply completing the application form available at http://world2013.itu.int/participate/innovate/ and sending it to young.innovators@itu.int with “2013 Young Innovators’ Competition” in the subject line.

Ten finalists selected by a committee of experts will win the chance to attend ITU Telecom World 2013, the platform for high-level debate, networking and knowledge-sharing, as well as an ICT showcase, which will be held 19-22 November in Bangkok, Thailand, on the theme "Embracing Change in a Digital World".

Finalists will work with our partners from both public and private sectors to develop their initiatives and refine their solutions within the global market in the run-up to ITU Telecom World 2013. At the event itself, they will enjoy mentoring and pitching sessions, workshop training on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and the chance to showcase their projects on a dedicated showfloor pavilion. Prize money in the form of seed funding will be awarded up to USD 10,000 to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups, and up to USD 5,000 to realize winning concepts.

"This competition for young ICT innovators represents a wonderful opportunity to uncover creativity, innovation and talent in solving serious challenges that impact upon us all", said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. "We look forward to supporting and fostering new, creative thinking and fresh ideas and showcasing them on the world-class stage at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok".

The deadline for initial submissions is 30 June 2013, 24:00 GMT +2.
For further details and the application procedure see http://world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/. You can also visit the Young Innovators Facebook page or send an email to young.innovators@itu.int.

(Source: ITU News)

Monday, April 08, 2013 4:41:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The WikiAfrica space was inaugurated on March 15th in Doual’art, a centre for contemporary art located in Douala, Cameroon.
For the first time, a computer room with high-speed internet is available for people in Douala who want to participate in Wikimedia projects. Contributors can find documentation there, and will benefit from the help of employees trained to edit Wikipedia.

Scarce access to computers and to internet has caused a lack of coverage of African topics on Wikipedia. For example, the French language Wikipedia contains more than 220,000 articles about France, but less than 1500 about Cameroon.

To fill this gap, the WikiAfrica Cameroon project is welcoming a Wikimedian in residence for three months, with the goal of increasing articles about Cameroon and encouraging contribution by Cameroonian contributors.

This initiative also has a training component: Twenty contributors will be trained to take pictures with provided smartphones and to upload them to Wikimedia Commons. Five other Cameroonians will follow a more complete curriculum about Wikimedia projects in order to be able to train other people themselves. Regular, shorter workshops will also take place.

Many institutions are very interested in the WikiAfrica project. Several initiatives are currently being planned, including training workshops, content liberation and the organization of Wiki Loves Monuments.

WikiAfrica Cameroon is a pilot project initiated by the Lettera 27 Foundation and the Africa Centre, led by Doual’art and supported by the Orange Foundation. After the Cameroonian project, it will be expanded to other African countries.

(Source: Wikimedia Foundation)

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:58:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State wants girls in Rwanda to embrace and effectively use modern telecommunication technologies because they have the potential to enhance business undertakings.
Chang noted that during her 3 days stay in Rwanda where she visited different Ministries but mainly she met the Girls in ICT Rwanda to have talks on how to increase the number of Girls in ICT in Rwanda.

This was revealed during the official launching of Girls in ICT Network last Friday, where Mrs. Chang told them that there’s a path for women to get into ICT. She noted that women are more practical by nature and they can compete in ICT sector.

Speaking to The New Times, Akaliza Keza Gara from Girls in ICT Rwanda, said that “Our aim is to see girls in Rwanda embrace information technology because that is the direction Rwanda is taking”.

Representatives from the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Rwanda Development Board, Nike Girl Hub, Imbuto Foundation and DOT Rwanda participated in the ceremony.
Later that evening, there was a networking event of the Girls in ICT Rwanda at Telecom house boardroom. The girls were able to have one on one conversation with those who have made it as a Girl in ICT and the calendar for the different activities for the year was shared.



(Source: Ministry of Youth and ICT - Rwanda)

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:31:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


 “Our future is shaped by technology and, with over 95% of all jobs now having a digital component, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is a exciting place to be”, says the official flyer.

More Information



Monday, April 08, 2013 2:25:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With the use of ICT and social networking tools increasing, the International Coordination of the UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) wished to maximize the use of such technology to enhance interaction and knowledge sharing on key issues across the Network. Thus, UNESCO has launched its first ASPnet in Action online collaborative platform dedicated to learning and exchanging about biodiversity.

The purpose of this platform, developed with the support of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust, is to facilitate a global exchange of experiences, materials and information on school-based initiatives and to raise awareness among ASPnet members to take concrete actions to actively engage in local and global initiatives to support and promote biodiversity. It is also an opportunity for ASPnet Schools to share activities, projects, resources and multimedia as well as to connect and discuss topics related to biodiversity such as on climate change, culture, health, water, agriculture, food.

ASPnet Schools around the globe are encouraged to take part in this online collaborative platform to enhance networking and communication between students and teachers and to work together to actively engage in local and global initiatives to support and promote biodiversity.



(Source: UNESCO)

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:16:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


TAM is a mini-challenge for girls and young women "as part of the ITU's Girls in ICT project & Tech Needs Girls campaign" to upload a less than 60 seconds video telling us how technology has amazed and affected them & how far it can take the world at this time.
To participate, visit www.witin.org/wap on your mobile device, or email your video to tam@witin.org

Further information

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:11:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Science and technology information has been made available via a stand-alone onsite research kiosk developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines.

The Science and Technology Academic and the research-based Openly Operate the Kiosk Station, dubbed ‘Starbooks’. Those are the first of this kind of research tool in the country, that delivers a collection of digitized science and technology resources in multimedia formats on wide variety of topics.
The system is operating without the internet connection.

One agreement was signed by Tarlac Governor (Victor Yap) and Chief of Finance and Administrative Division (Arlene Centeno), from the Science and Technology Information Institute (STII)—the DOST’s information body— to kick off ‘Starbooks’ debut in Tarlac last month.

The first beneficiaries of the project are Tarlac National High School and Carlos P. Romulo Library.

Up to 143 Starbooks kiosks have been installed in various provinces across the archipelago including schools in Davao and the Cordillera region.
The STII has been conducting a seminar and workshop at the end of Febuary to guide the beneficiary institutions on the appropriate use and function of the Starbooks.

(Source: FutureGov)

Monday, April 08, 2013 11:20:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 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)  #     |