Tag Archive: Connecting Schools



The Government of New Zealand will look into possible mobile-learning initiatives to connect rural schools, following its announcement to subsidise the costs of ultra fast broadband.“The Ministry of Education is currently looking at how to harness the potential of digital devices that nearly all students have already – their mobile phones,” Colin McGregor, Ministry of Education, group manager of curriculum teaching and learning design, told FutureGov Asia Pacific.

“An ‘m-learning’ pilot has already been successfully implemented by Onehunga High School. The Ministry is currently supporting a second project at Howick College in partnership with Waikato University and Vodafone.”

The government has identified broadband as a significant driver for e-learning and equity in education and has committed to providing 97 per cent of schools with access to speeds of 100Mbps or more via the national fibre rollout. The remaining 3 per cent in areas too remote for optic fibre currently receives 10Mbps via satellite or wireless technologies.

The ministry has been using the Virtual Learning Network (VLN), which provides mainly rural students with access to online courses. In 2010, more than 2000 New Zealand students took part in these virtual classes over the VLN.

Other initiatives include the Ministry of Education’s Laptops for Teachers and Principals scheme, which subsidises the leases on laptops for permanent, full-time or part-time teachers at state and integrated schools. The Ministry has about two thirds of the lease cost of the teacher’s laptops and fully subsidises the base model for principals. More than 43,000 laptops are currently on lease, representing an 88 per cent uptake.

(Source: Aisa Pacific futuregov)

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Digicel, in partnership with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, is starting a new initiative which will deliver broadband internet service for free to communities and schools across the twin-island nation.

The initiative – entitled “Technology for Communication, Education and Empowerment” – is a joint initiative between Digicel and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and will use Wi-Fi technology to bring Broadband Internet into 3,000 homes across the communities of Grays-Green, Yorks, and Lower Gambles, as well as more than 5,000 secondary school students.

Digicel is partnering with the government to provide community computer access centres in 12 secondary schools, which will include the physical infrastructure as well as the furniture and air-conditioning. Each of these community access centres will accommodate at least 20 students. The initiative will significantly increase the number of households with regular access to the Internet as schools, homes, and villages get connected for the first time.

(Source: Caribarena Antigua)

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ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and Mr Paulo Campos, Vice-Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communications of Portugal, signed an agreement that Portugal, through its e-School International programme, will provide comprehensive technological solutions for schools in a number of interested countries as part of ITU’s Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative. This announcement follows through on a commitment made by Portugal during the ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF), in Lisbon in April 2009. Some twenty countries will benefit from this first phase, with the initiative supporting the launch of one connected school project per country.

Each project will test innovative approaches using ICT in the classroom, measure the impact, showcase the benefits and share lessons learned. The assistance to participating countries will include: 1) New laptops (up to a maximum of 50) for a group of students and teachers in one school per country, 2) Laptops equipped with software and educational content,3) A smart board in each classroom, connected to the laptops to facilitate interactive e-learning,4) Wireless modems along with a school server, 5) Broadband internet connectivity provided by the local partner.

A multi-partner, international group of experts will support project implementation, including the development of a national school connectivity plan.

(Sources: ITU news, Moneybiz)

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Macedonia’s Primary Education Project (PEP)


The Primary Education Project (PEP) is a five-year initiative targeting all public primary schools in Macedonia. PEP seeks to improve the quality of instruction and increase employment skills in youth.

PEP’s ICT in Education Component is supporting the computerization of Macedonia’s primary schools by training teachers, developing maintenance solutions, providing digital content, and introducing innovative uses of ICT such as computer control, robotics, electronic music, video & audio recording.

The highlights of ICT component are that it supports the development of digital content for Macedonia’s schools and helps to adapt and localize existing applications in Macedonian and Albanian. The focus is on Math and Science, but content is created across the curriculum. This will enable students to benefit from modern technology in all subjects. PEP has also introduced innovative hardware and software solutions in selected primary schools in Macedonia. The range of hardware varies from low-cost lap-tops to electronic microscopes, music recording equipment, robots and control technology kits.

Macedonia, once the least developed of the Yugoslav republics,has been transformed into the world’s first “wireless country” of its size or larger. Through a grant from USAID, and support from Microsoft, Motorola and several other partners, AED project Macedonia Connects worked with a local internet service provider to connect every one of the country’s 430 primary and secondary schools to a wireless network. Now a vast majority—95%—of the country’s population has access to wireless, broadband internet service.

(Sources: PEP, USAID)
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The JEI is one of Her Majesty’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s nonprofit organizations. The JEI works hand in hand with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information Communication Technology (MoICT) to support Jordan’s efforts to improve the education system and its use of ICT to transform the learning environment in Jordanian schools and advance learning for all students.

Since its launch in 2003 by the World Economic Forum partners, the JEI has been involved in multimillion dollar initiatives that have had a strong impact on the modernization of education in Jordan. The JEI relies highly on partnerships and collaborations with local and global entities. The global partners include WEF, USAID, UNESCO, CISCO, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM, SMART etc. Direct contributions to the Initiative from global and local partners have reached over US$ 25 million.

The initiative has so far reached more than 80,000 students, up-skilled more than 3,000 teachers across 102 Jordanian Public Schools. Thousands of electronic lessons have been developed and many electronic teaching tools and equipments have been deployed in schools. The JEI has also employed SMART interactive whiteboards in its discovery schools. The JEI has also piloted installing 100 Intel Classmate PCs in discovery schools.

The JEI has not only received an award from Ministry of Education but has also received 2009 UNESCO award for use of ICT in education.

(Sources: JEI, WEF )

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Nepal Wireless Project — tale of an ambitious leader


Connectivity and quality access to ICTs is essential for survival in this era of digital revolution. Mahabir Pun foresaw this in 1997, when due to his immense efforts his mountain village of Nangi in Nepal first embraced computers. A simplistic website connected his village to the digital world bringing along a large number of foreign volunteers to support his cause. The project had a humble beginning with donations of used computers from Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and several design topologies for wireless connectivity being tested, details here (all with help of volunteers). The computer was assembled into a wooden box integrating the discrete components. This was the beginning of digital age for students in Nepal.

By now, his initiative has evolved into Nepal Wireless Networking Project which has connected around 42 villages in rural Nepal through wireless technologies, creating new opportunities of education, agriculture, Tele-medicine and E-commerce for the villagers providing them with an opportunity to trade goods from live yaks to handicrafts. Numerous institutions and technology firms such as the Donald Strauss Foundation, the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology at George Mason University, the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), smartBridges, Pacific Wireless, and others provided support in this endeavor.

Nepal wireless project is working with Open Learning Exchange for developing educational content in line of the national curricula. The main goal is to use the network for live teleteaching transmitted from one school to other schools in remote areas to overcome the shortage of quality teachers. Another aim of project is to link the health workers to the doctors and even doctors directly to the patients.

“We are using the wireless network for health, providing telemedicine services to the remote villages,” said Mr Pun.

The project is also helping establish communication centres in the Villages to enable the villagers to have VOIP calls for communication to other villages. The project has been replicated under the name of Makawanpur wireless networking project. A detailed report of the project is available here. The vision of Mahabir has inspired many people and now Himanchal Education Foundation is working to use the school as a community centre. Connected school through the wireless project would mean a connected community through connected school.

Innovative ICT-enabled educational practices in Australia


Australia’s primary school students are now being equipped with the skills needed for the digital age. School students are now being switched on to some of the most up-to-date technology available, from laptop computers for students in years 9-12 to interactive whiteboards, video-conferencing equipment and even virtual classrooms.

The West Australian Education Department recently trialled a program that allowed students and teachers to download free information and resources through iTunes U – an area of the iTunes store offering free education content from top institutions around the world.

students using interactive whiteboard in a school in NSWSchools throughout Australia will be using the technology of interactive white-boards, which have the capabilities of connecting immediately to the internet so students and teachers can access information immediately. By connecting the whiteboards to a laptop computer and projector, teachers can also convert freehand writing on the whiteboard into text, and then print it for students.

The Victorian education department is now trialing virtual classrooms – a computer accessible, online learning environment intended to fulfill many of the learning facilitation roles of a physical classroom. The
Queensland Education Department has a similar concept in the Learning Place – a comprehensive online eLearning environment available to all staff and students with anywhere, anytime access through a dedicated portal.

Source: Sydney morning herald


“Partners in Learning” is a global initiative designed to actively increase access to technology and improve its use in learning. Since its launch in 2003, Partners in Learning has touched the lives of more than 135 million students, teachers, and education policymakers in 101 countries.

Its program “Innovative Schools” helps schools around the world to move beyond the limits of the classroom and traditional learning models. For instance, In Singapore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and Microsoft have initiated BackPack.NET, an ambitious five year program which encourages inquiry, creativity, and student-centered learning through advanced applications of technology in the classroom. It includes a pilot project that puts Tablet PCs into the hands of every student at a number of “pioneer schools.”

“Innovative Teachers” connects and empowers educators worldwide. For example, in India, Microsoft is working with education departments, colleges, and universities to incorporate pre-service information and communications technology (ICT) curriculum in a sustainable and scalable model. Already, 160,000 teachers and hundreds of teacher educators have been trained in ICT skills. The Innovative Teachers Network enables teachers to learn from one another and work collaboratively on new approaches to learning through national or region-wide portals. Today, on a daily basis, more than 400,000 teachers on 52 local networks connect and share ideas, practices, and professional development resources.

“Innovative Students” aims to provide students with access to programs and curriculum that help fully integrate technology into the learning process, both in school and at home. It also enables qualified governments to provide used computers and affordable software to underserved primary and secondary student households that aspire to own a PC. Microsoft is also supporting the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) research project to contribute information and policy insights on effective education transformation.

Detailed information about Microsoft Partners in learning initiatives in five Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam can be found in this case study.

Source: Adapted from Microsoft Partners in Learning webpage and brochure.

UNESCO SchoolNet Project in South-east Asian Countries


SchoolNet is an initiative that promotes the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in learning through supporting the connection of schools to the Internet and by creating a network of schools. The UNESCO SchoolNet project, “Strengthening ICT in Schools and SchoolNet Project in ASEAN Setting”, was initiated in recognition of the need to assist teachers in integrating ICT into teaching and to facilitate participation of teachers and students in the Asia-Pacific region in SchoolNet telecollaboration activities.

The project was launched in July 2003 and focuses on three subject areas, languages, mathematics and science. SchoolNet activities have been piloted in 24 schools in8 participating countries of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

The UNESCO SchoolNet project aims to encourage use of ICT in teaching-learning, improve connectivity, expand access to the wealth of educational resources available via the Internet and establish and promote SchoolNet in the Asia-Pacific region. National coordinators facilitate project implementation in each participating ASEAN-region country. Project partners include Japanese Funds-in-Trust and ASEAN Foundation.

Source:UNESCO SchoolNet Project resource


 computer lab in Philippines schoolThe department of Education (DepEd) in Philippines has joined hands with several private corporations and social organizations to launch DepEd Internet Connectivity Project (DICP). Under this program, DepEd has fully adopted and supported Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) project.

Launched on May 15, 2009, DICP aims to connect all the public schools in Philippines to internet as well as providing necessary training to teachers and students in about five years. Provision of electronic library system and integration of ICTS in all learning areas of curriculum are also on the target list of DepEd. So far, the project has already connected 2,375 out of 6,505 schools throughout the country.

Through DICP, Philippines was the first country to affiliate with ‘ICT for Education project’ of Intel. Globe Telecom, IBM, Microsoft Philippines, Apple South Asia, and Philstar.com are among many other partners of the program.

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