The VENUS Handbook entitled 'Creating New Opportunities for Universities' has just been published. This handbook is based on the experience of the partners in the VENUS project who organised Virtual Seminars on a broad range of European subjects and a Summer School on the Use of Social Software in Business and Higher Education.
The handbook contains practical advice about how universities can set up these kinds of services and opportunities and provides plenty of guidelines, checklists and tips. With summaries available in French and German, this handbook guides the reader through the different steps involved in this process, from choosing a pedagocial approach, selecting a suitable topic to preparing speakers and supporting participants.
Edited by Sally Reynolds, Kamakshi Rajagopal and Bieke Schreurs, more information is available from the VENUS site http://www.venus-seminars.net/
A recent article by Mathy Vanbuel carried in the eLearning Africa News Portal puts forward his views as to why ICTs are crucial for the Continent's development. It traces the evolution from small scale pilot projects in different countries to large-scale implementation actions, with the potential to provide a basis for sustainable change. It highlights the fact that Africa is leading the world in finding ways to utilise mobile phones, wireless networking, solar energy and reusable energy sources, but also points out the need to be realistic given the many demands on Africa's limited resources. The forthcoming eLearning Africa conference, http://www.elearning-africa.com taking place 28-30 May in Accra, Ghana offers an important opportunity to further this discussion and more specifically to focus on the importance of ICT in education and training within this perspective.
To read the full article, visit the eLearning Africa News Portal.
The RURAL WINGS project offers e-learning services to users at school, at work or at home in regions in Europe that are difficult to connect by means other than by two-way satellite technology.
A network of over 120 DVB/RCS satellite terminals has been deployed all over Europe. The pilot sites are located in really isolated and remote villages in rural areas and geographical locations such as mountainous regions or islands where broadband Internet access (by means of ADSL or Cable) has never been possible before.
13 European Countries (Greece, Spain, Sweden, France, Romania, Cyprus, Estonia, Poland, UK, Israel, Armenia, Georgia, and Switzerland) participate in this EC funded project that promotes the use of satellite telecom technology for the bridging of the digital divide. Furthermore over 25 locations will be equipped with WiFi networks to provide access to even more remote users in these villages and locations.
Thanks to the RURAL WINGS project, eLearning services are provided amongst other services to people who otherwise would be left out and isolated.
On 12 to 15 March 2008, ATiT visited sites in rural Greece, more precisely in the village of Valtetsiniko, and spoke with the Mayors of Valtetsiniko and Mesta, both small towns that are enthusiastic users of this promising technology.
The final workshop for the Health Informatics Project BEANISH took place in Gabarone on 13-14 March and brought together representatives from health authorities, ministries and universities in Ethiopia, Malawi, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique and Norway to review the progress of this EU supported project and to discuss plans for the future. The purpose of BEANISH is to strengthen and extend an existing Europe-Africa collaborative network to support the application and sharing of IST application development so as to support cooperation, learning and innovation in mutually beneficial ways. In its 3 year lifetime, the project has taken significant strides in the right direction and large scale take-up of the applications developed by the network are now taking place in several countries. For more information, visit the BEANISH web site.
The new web site for Online Educa Berlin 2008 has just been launched, visit the site to find out more abut the themes for this year's conference which takes place from 3-5 December. You can submit a proposal for a presentation, a pre-conference event, a discussion or debate, an expert session or a demonstration. Deadline for receipt of proposals is April 30th! for more information visit www.online-educa.com
The campaign for the MEDEA Awards 2008 is in full motion and we're still welcoming participants, partners and sponsors! The aim of the MEDEA Awards is to encourage innovation and good practice in the use of sound, video or media-rich applications in education. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor and supporting this competition, please download our PDF with conditions and benefits for our different sponsoring categories. For more information you can visit the website http://www.medea-awards.com.
ATiT staff recently spent several days in Greece providing support to the HERMES project funded by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. HERMES is a pilot project providing two way interactivity based on DVB-RCS technology to remote Greek schools, many of them located in areas for which satellite is the only access option possible. This project will contribute to a national roadmap on how schools Internet access can be provided on a nationwide basis.
We have spent most of February surrounded by workmen, yellow trucks and recently even an impressive red crane, but by the end of February we will have a new roof and a fine new storage area for equipment, files and servers. Bad news for the significant numbers of birds nesting in the chimney though who have recently had to seek new housing.
The final VENUS Training Workshop on how to organise virtual seminars and summer schools via videoconferencing takes place on Monday 11th February. This workshop highlights in very practical ways how you can bring intercultural dialogue into your classroom, create new instructional design models and find ways to put in place a highly innovative Faculty of Extension, for more information see http://www.venus-seminars.net
When asked recently for his 2007 highlights, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karel de Gucht, identified the March 2007 Brussels Conference on Good Governance. In his interview with Belgian newspaper "De Standaard", de Gucht states "Probably the international conference on Good Governance that we organized in Brussels, with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson as a speaker. The conference was broad in its approach, the whole world was present and this potentially has impact on the longer term. We don't only have to talk about the security of countries, but also about human security: cluster bombs, water, good governance." ATiT supported the conference through the provision of a live web site and multimedia. For more information about the event, visit the conference web site http://www.improvinggovernance.be