Mathy Vanbuel described his experience in the provision of educational services to remote schools in Europe in a keynote presentation given on 15th May during an International Conference held in Athens. This conference called "Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural Communities; Practical Solutions and Policies'' brought together project leaders of several pioneering projects many of which are using the latest developments in satellite technology to provide solutions for remote and rural school communities in Europe and elsewhere. Organised in the Ellinogermaniki School in Pallini, this event brought together policy makers, academics and field practitioners from Europe and beyond who share an interest in promoting the use of ICT by rural citizens of all ages. See the Conference web site for more information.
The LOGOFIND Project of the Department of Finance in the Philippines collaborates directly with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) to set up and manage a distance learning service, the Distance Learning Network. The research and training arm of the LMP, the Mayors Development Centre, is charged with the effective management and operation of this DLN.
The aim of the network is firstly to maximise on previous investments in development of training materials by extending the reach of these training courses to more and other trainees within the LGUs (including their Technical and Administrative Staff), and secondly to further explore and develop new methods of training and learning, in order to evolve towards more effective, personalised, flexible and affordable learning, using innovative learning technologies and sound pedagogical approaches.
In this initial phase a small network of Distance Learning Sites is installed in hosting institutions across the Philippines (Mindanao, Visayas, Northern Luzon) in order to accommodate the courses. During the month of May 2008, Mathy Vanbuel worked with the LOGOFIND, the LMP and the World Bank Institute in order to further define the programme and to move this deployment forward.
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.