Surgeon saves boy's life by text

I know there are now quite a lot of examples of e-medicine around, but this story from the BBC News UK really caught my attention.

While working with medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in DR Congo, vascular surgeon David Nott used text message instructions from a colleague to perform a life-saving amputation on a 16-year-old boy. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous. Mr Nott knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation, requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade.

He contacted Professor Meirion Thomas, from London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. "I texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it," he said.

David Nott explains the procedure

The operation is only performed about 10 times a year in the UK, and requires the back-up of an intensive-care unit. Patients usually lose a lot of blood during the procedure. Mr Nott had just one pint of blood and an elementary operating theatre, but the operation was a success and the teenager made a full recovery.

(Full story at BBC News UK)


Conference on Communities and Technologies

Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies
June 25-27, 2009, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University

Paper submission deadline: December 15, 2008


The Communities and Technologies biennial international conference serves as a forum for stimulating and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities - both physical and virtual - and information and communication technologies. Researchers studying aspects of the interaction between communities and technologies from any disciplinary perspective are invited to participate.

Sponsored by Microsoft Research and Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology. In cooperation with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM SIGCHI and SIGCAS). Proceedings will be published in the ACM Digital Library.

Information technology is not just for people who bowl alone!


Intelligent Communities

Creating a More Connected Community with Broadband: An Intelligent Communities ePanel

As friends of the Intelligent Community Forum, we would like to invite you to a special ePanel organized by the Ontario Ministry of Government Services:

What: An online discussion with four leaders of communities named as Intelligent Communities on how their communities are using broadband to help citizens and organizations increase their efficiency, expand their knowledge and improve living standards.

When: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST

Where: http://digitalontario.na3.acrobat.com/intelligentcommunities/
** You must pre-register by emailing digitalontario@ontario.ca **

Minimum Computer Requirements: Pentium II, 128mb RAM, 56kpbs Internet connection, speakers or headphones, most common internet browsers. (For full compatibilities, visit www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/systemreqs/)

ePanel Moderator:
Louis Zacharilla, Co-Founder, Intelligent Community Forum

ePanel Experts:
Gordon Kennedy, Former Deputy Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise, City of Glasgow - 2004 Intelligent Community of the Year

William Lin, Chief Executive Officer, Dragon Telecom, Tianjin, China - Two-time Top 7 Intelligent Community

Lev Gonick, Vice President, Information Technology Services, Case Western Reserve University, City of Cleveland - Two-time Top 7 Intelligent Community

Thomas Hurst, Chief Investment Officer, City of Sunderland - Five-time Top 7 Intelligent Community

Find out how the Intelligent Community Forum defines intelligent communities. Register for the ePanel today - spots are limited! Participants will be able to ask questions, rate content, take quick surveys and post comments.

For more information on ICF and the criteria for evaluating intelligent communities, please visit the Web site: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org

ePanels support the Ministry of Government Services’ (MGS) research into the challenges and opportunities of broadband technology.


Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF5)

The the Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF5), held at the University of London in July 2008, was a huge success. It was advertised in this blog on February 25, 2008, when I was eagerly anticipating going. Unfortunately I couldn't attend - instead I had an appointment with a Gamma Knife machine :-)

Here are some details of the event taken from an article in Connections/EdTech News, October 2008.


More than 700 delegates from 70 countries attended the Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF5) at the University of London in July 2008. COL's biennial forum has grown to become one of the world's leading international conferences on learning and global development. This year's forum was by far the largest. The theme of PCF5 was "Access to Learning for Development" and the unique contributions that open and distance learning (ODL) can make towards achieving international development goals.

There were more than 320 papers, workshops and discussions around the forum's four main action themes:
. Children and young people;
. Governance, conflict and social justice;
. Health; and
. Livelihoods.

Three cross-cutting issues - appropriate learning technologies, institutions and learner support - helped to inform the discussions. Over four days, delegates discussed best practices, shared their experiences and were inspired by keynotes from leaders in ODL.

COL's Excellence in Distance Education Awards were also presented at PCF5.


PCF5 was hosted by COL in partnership with the University of London, forming a part of the University's celebration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of its External Programme.

Vice Chancellor Sir Graeme Davies opened PCF5 with comments about the world's first open access university - the University of London. While many people associate distance education with the Internet and modern technology, the University of London began offering distance education in 1858 to enable people to learn without having to come to London. They exploited state-of-the-art technologies of the day - the postal service (developed to take advantage of the new railways) and the printing press. The University of London worked with partner institutions that provided local support and in so doing, helped to develop universities throughout the Commonwealth.

Charles Dickens' magazine, All the Year Round, called the University of London "the people's university". The External Programme's many graduates include five Nobel Prize winners, many heads of state and prisoners of war during World War I and II.

............. and finally, what everyone has been waiting for ...........


COL President Sir John Daniel and Dr. Latha Pillai, Pro Vice-Chancellor of India's Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), took the podium at PCF5 in London to announce that the Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning will be held in Kochi (Cochin, Kerala), India, co-hosted by IGNOU in late November 2010.


Towards a digital Quito

Original article: "E-government, access and transparency route: Towards a digital Quito,
06-11-2008 (Quito)"

E-government, access and transparency route: Towards a digital QuitoTraditional Ecuadorian chiva inviting citizens for a trip to a cybernarium.

All through this month, a local chiva, the traditional Ecuadorian bus, will be travelling to popular neighbourhoods of Quito and inviting citizens to get on for a trip to the closest cybernarium, the capital’s public Internet access centres. Once in the cybernariums, free training courses are to be provided on how to access local government information and use e-government services.

This activity is part of UNESCO’s IFAP project ‘E-Government Model for World Heritage Cities - Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador) and Cusco (Peru)’, supported by the Spanish government and implemented in collaboration with the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito.

In addition to the bus, radio and television spots will be broadcast daily in order to disseminate the information as widely as possible and invite citizens to participate. Local secondary schools will also be sending their students.

Target groups for this activity are secondary school students, neighbourhood leaders, social workers and organizations as well as house wives and elderly people. Each cybernarium will receive daily groups of 150 people, who will be divided into smaller groups of 25 for the training sessions. After each training course, the participants will receive a certificate as well as a set of information materials.

The main objective of this initiative is to sensitise citizens on the benefits of e-government services in a festive environment, motivating them to use information and communication technologies (ICT) without fear.

My comment: This top-down model of providing access to "local government information" and "e-government services" didn't work particularly well in Australia some years ago - thank goodness the government improved its approach later. We need to get away from using ICT to "deliver information" and embrace using ICTS to "communicate with one another".


Solar-powered Linux computer networks for remote villages

Original article by Robin 'Roblimo' Miller on November 04, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

Scott Johnson of GNUveau Networks has developed a solar-powered Internet "hub" system (running Ubuntu GNU/Linux) that he builds to order in his Daytona Beach, Florida, home.

Here is a video about his solar powered system.

His objective is to bring computers and the Internet to places that have no connectivity, no phone service, and no electricity. This is no pipe dream. There are real SolarNetOne installations running in Africa right now, providing wireless connectivity and "Internet Cafe" access to hundreds of people. The system uses off-the-shelf hardware that Scott modifies to run on 12V -- and to use a lot less power than the stock versions. As Scott says, in solar-powered computer installations, "The Watt is king."


Standing by Ponds

You may recall that in May, I blogged about an open access online journal: The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT). Here is another such journal that actually uses the same open source software to publish it. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) is an excellent refereed, open access e-journal that aims to disseminate research, theory, and best practice in open and distance learning worldwide. IRRODL is available free of charge to anyone with access to the Internet.

Here is a rather interesting video-editorial to IRRODL, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2008 by Jonathan Baggaley:


Searching the web

Here's another useful video by Lee LeFever of CommonCraft.

I recommend visiting the CommonCraft site to see all the other explanatory videos available.


Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on human rights and the rule of law in the Information Society

In May 2005, the member states of the Council of Europe formally recognised that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a driving force in building the Information Society and have brought about a convergence of different communication mediums. They also recognised that ICTs can offer a wider range of possibilities in exercising human rights, and therefore that limited or no access to ICTs can deprive individuals of the ability to exercise fully their human rights. The “Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on human rights and the rule of law in the Information Society” captured this in a series of statements.

That was over three years ago. So how much of this has filtered into policies and strategies? I guess these things take a long time, but with ICTs, one year is a very long time. So that we don't lose sight of what that important document said, here is a brief summary of each statement.

I. Human rights in the Information Society

1. The right to freedom of expression, information and communication

ICTs provide unprecedented opportunities for all to enjoy freedom of expression. However, ICTs also pose many serious challenges to that freedom, such as state and private censorship. Member states should promote, through appropriate means, interoperable technical standards in the digital environment, including those for digital broadcasting, that allow citizens the widest possible access to content.

2. The right to respect for private life and correspondence

Member states should promote frameworks for self- and co-regulation by private sector actors with a view to protecting the right to respect for private life and private correspondence. A key element of the promotion of such self- or co-regulation should be that any processing of personal data by governments or the private sector should be compatible with the right to respect for private life, and that no exception should exceed those provided for in Article 8, paragraph 2, of the ECHR, or in Article 9, paragraph 2, of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

3. The right to education and the importance of encouraging access to the new information technologies and their use by all without discrimination

Member states should facilitate access to ICT devices and promote education to allow all persons, in particular children, to acquire the skills needed to work with a broad range of ICTs and assess critically the quality of information, in particular that which would be harmful to them.

4. The prohibition of slavery and forced labour, and the prohibition of trafficking in human beings

Member states should maintain and enhance legal and practical measures to prevent and combat ICT-assisted forms of trafficking in human beings.

5. The right to a fair trial and to no punishment without law

Member states should promote codes of conduct for representatives of the media and information service providers, which stress that media reporting on trials should be in conformity with the prescriptions of Article 6 of the ECHR. They should also consider whether there is a need to develop further international legal frameworks on jurisdiction to ensure that the right to no punishment without law is respected in a digital environment.

6. The protection of property

Intellectual property rights must be protected in a digital environment, in accordance with the provisions of international treaties in the area of intellectual property. At the same time, access to information in the public domain must be protected, and attempts to curtail access and usage rights prevented.

Member states should provide the legal framework necessary for the above-mentioned goals. They should also seek, where possible, to put the political, social services, economic, and research information they produce into the public domain, thereby increasing access to information of vital importance to everyone. In so doing, they should take note of the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, in particular Article 10, on offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights.

7. The right to free elections

Member states should examine the use of ICTs in fostering democratic processes with a view to strengthening the participation, initiative, knowledge and engagement of citizens, improving the transparency of democratic decision making, the accountability and responsiveness of public authorities, and encouraging public debate and scrutiny of the decision-making process. Where member states use e-voting, they shall take steps to ensure transparency, verifiability and accountability, reliability and security of the e-voting systems, and in general ensure their compatibility with Committee of Ministers' Recommendation Rec(2004)11 on legal, operational and technical standards for e-voting.

8. Freedom of assembly

Member states should adapt their legal frameworks to guarantee freedom of ICT-assisted assembly and take the steps necessary to ensure that monitoring and surveillance of assembly and association in a digital environment does not take place, and that any exceptions to this must comply with those provided for in Article 11, paragraph 2, of the ECHR.

II. A multi-stakeholder governance approach for building the Information Society: the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders

Building an inclusive Information Society, based on respect for human rights and the rule of law, requires new forms of solidarity, partnership and cooperation among governments, civil society, the private sector and international organisations. Through open discussions and exchanges of information worldwide, a multi-stakeholder governance approach will help shape agendas and devise new regulatory and non-regulatory models which will account for challenges and problems arising from the rapid development of the Information Society.

1. Council of Europe member states

Taking full account of the differences between services delivered by different means and people's expectations of these services, member states, with a view to protecting human rights, should promote self- and co-regulation by private sector actors to reduce the availability of illegal and of harmful content and to enable users to protect themselves from both.

2. Civil society

At a trans-national level, civil society is urged to cooperate in the sharing of objectives, best practice and experience with respect to expanding the opportunities held by the Information Society.

3. Private sector

Private sector actors are urged to play a role in upholding and promoting human rights, such as freedom of expression and the respect of human dignity. This role can be fulfilled most effectively in partnership with governments and civil society.

4. The Council of Europe

The Council of Europe will raise awareness of and promote accession to the Convention on Cybercrime and its Additional Protocol, and the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, on a worldwide basis. The Convention Committee will monitor the implementation of these conventions and their additional protocols and will, if need be, propose any amendments.

The complete document can be found at https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=849061


Social Action and IT

Making Links Conference
11th - 13th November 2008
Melbourne University, ICT Building, 111 Barry Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

Making Links is a conference that seeks to engage interested people, organisations and groups working at the intersection of social action and IT - including community workers, educators, trainers, not-for-profit organisations, school teachers, environmental campaigners and activists.

Making Links

The Conference seeks to:
  • Bring the community sector together to access resources, training and services, and to share ideas, skills and creative applications of technology;
  • Explore the possibilities ICTs generate for communities whose voices have been marginalized and excluded from the mainstream;
  • Showcase innovative, grass roots ICT initiatives in community cultural development, outreach, and e-learning;
  • Build and develop networks amongst workers and activists interested in how ICT can be used to support social justice.
The conference, which started in 2004, is organised by a steering committee composed of representatives from a range of not-for-profit organisations.


Electing a US President

Given the recent worldwide interest in the Presidential elections in the USA, this explanation of "Electing a US President in Plain English" by Lee LeFever of CommonCraft is timely.

Seems like a complicated and unfair way to conduct an election, but I guess I'm not a politician.

I recommend visiting the CommonCraft site to see all the other explanatory videos available.


Community Media for Learning

From WikiEducator

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) "Media for Learning" programme aims to make media to be an effective part of the larger Open and Distance Learning process, especially at the community level and particularly in relation to COL's mandate to enable learning for development.

Learning about what? Whatever a community's needs and priorities are. For some this means health issues, like HIV/AIDS, malaria or diabetes. For others, it means supplementing secondary school education in English, math and science.

How do communities learn using media? By engaging with media to design innovative programmes to address specific needs, e.g. improving agricultural practices, and linking to groups, both in the community and externally, to access useful and appropriate knowledge sources.

What does COL focus on in this area?
  1. Building the capacities of media; and
  2. Supporting the establishment and growth of knowledge and learning networks.
Some of COL's initiatives include:
  1. Developing effective learning programmes; Good practice: Community Radio Madanpokhara; Recent activity: Jet FM in Jeffrey Town
  2. Strengthening organisation: community ownership and participation, policies, sustainability planning; Upcoming activity: Radio Mang'elete
  3. Smart technology choices
  4. Open sourcing community media; Good practice: KRUU FM
For more details go to: http://www.wikieducator.org/Media_for_Learning


Web 2.0 for Agricultural Development

Here is an eight minute Business Africa/CTA video production documenting actual cases on the use of Web 2.0 applications in the development sector, specifically among farmers in Africa.

Business Africa is produced by People Television and broadcast on a network of more than 45 African and 5 european partner channels.

CTA is an ACP-EU institution working in the field of information for development. It was set up in 1984 with the task of improving the flow of information among stakeholders in agricultural and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Its work focuses on three key areas:

  • providing information products and services (e.g., publications, question-and-answer services and database services)
  • promoting the integrated use of communication channels, old and new, to improve the flow of information (e.g., e-communities, web portals, seminars, and study visits)
  • building ACP capacity in information and communication management (ICM), mainly through training and partnerships with ACP bodies


ICT4D Research Grants

The Strengthening ICT4D Research Capacity in Asia (SIRCA) Programme is pleased to announce a call for grant proposals.

The SIRCA Programme seeks to identify future research leaders and to facilitate their development through the support of research grants. The awards are intended to ensure capacities to conduct research in the area of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D or ICTD) are built in Asia. This applies particularly to emerging researchers based in Asia who are relatively new to ICTD research and interested in undertaking theoretically-based and methodologically rigorous research. Additionally, these applicants would benefit from concerted capacity building exercises including a mentorship arrangement. In particular, the program promotes broad-based high-quality multidisciplinary research in ICT development, e-services, new media use and social impact, and policy for the benefit and advancement of individuals, organizations, nation and society.

  • Applicants must register online at www.ntu.edu.sg/sci/sirc/sirca with their name, project title, email address and country of research by 29th September 2008.
  • Applicants are free to choose relevant topics within the overall ICTD discipline.
  • Proposals must be received via email by 13th October 2008. Send email submissions to sirca@ntu.edu.sg with “SIRCA Proposal” in the subject line of your message. Attachments must be in MS Word, MS Excel or PDF and should be labelled with your name (for example: Jane_Doe_Info_Sheet.doc or .docx or .pdf).
Visit the following web pages for additional information about the programme and the call for proposals:

SIRCA Brochure

SIRCA Research Grant Proposal Guidelines

SIRCA Programme Secretariat
Email: sirca@ ntu.edu.sg
Website: www.ntu.edu.sg/sci/sirc/sirca


More Open Educational Resources from UKOU

You may wonder why I keep blogging about the UK Open University? Well - my first experience of distance education was as a Tutor with them when they first started in the early 1970's. They were leaders then and they are leaders again with their OpenLearn (Open Educational Resource repository), which has seen over 2 million people take advantage of free education since it was launched in October 2006.

Latest study units


Make Internet TV

The website "Make Internet TV" provides a guide with step-by-step instructions for shooting, editing, and publishing online videos that can be watched and subscribed to by millions of people.

Here is a video introduction by Dean Jansen:

Very soon, this site will feature short videos from experienced internet video publishers. If you're interested in sharing your expertise, visit the Make Internet TV (MITV) wiki and find out how.


Learning maths and science online in Africa

Educational content is an issue with which many African countries still struggle, so Intel’s approach to preparing Ghanaian science students for the digital age seems quite promising. The objective of www.skoool.com.gh is to provide a rich and integrated platform for science and math education.

Topics generally seen as being very “dry” are delivered in a rather playful manner. An interactive football match, for example, serves to illustrate math topics like types of angles. On the methodological side, the main features of skoool are interactive simulations, exam-centre study notes, exam guides for maths and integrated science as well as study and revision tips.

In conjunction with its participation in the third eLearning Africa Conference, held in Accra, and in line with its Intel World Ahead Program, Intel launched the localised Ghanaian version of its worldwide digital education content platform www.skoool.com. The site – www.skoool.com.gh – is being run in collaboration with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (MOESS) and the Ministry of Communication (MOC). The interactive teaching platform conforms to the action points taken at the conference. All content developed for the site will be based on identified areas of difficulty in various subjects. The learning resources are similar in each country in which it operates but are populated with local content.

In the course of the official launch ceremony at the Kofi Annan Centre, Accra, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, Minister for State in charge of Tertiary Education, said that the Ghanaian government was focusing primarily on science and technology to accelerate the pace of technological advancement, with www.skoool.com.gh also complementing the government’s efforts to drive ICT in the country. Dr Benjamin Aggrey Ntim, Ghana’s Communication Minister, asked the heads of the schools to encourage their students to use the resource to develop their skills in the areas of mathematics and science.

The platform www.skoool.com.gh aids students with curriculum-focused multi-media learning and research, offers open-ended learning tools to help students explore wider concepts and provides valuable exam focused resources to help students prepare effectively for state exams standards. The parent platform, skoool.com, has been active in Africa since 2006, starting with a platform in South Africa. The first release of skoool Nigeria supported the successful Classmate PC proof of concept and deployment during 2007. The online version of skoool Nigeria will be launched in 2008.


ICT for Social Change

"One laptop per child" - It was the ambition of Kevin Rudd during the last election in Australia and it is the plan being realised by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT. The only way Professor Negroponte can realise his dream is by having cheap laptops, costing $100, or eventually, less. How is this done? And what difference do these computers make in the villages of Africa, South America and Asia? Professor Negroponte, founder of the Media Lab at MIT and author of the bestseller Being Digital, talks to an audience in Boston, Massachusetts in "One laptop per child" on ABC Radio National, presented by Robyn Williams.

ICTs bring Ugandans together

Father Joseph Okumu on the use of Inveneo ICTs and BOSCO systems to bring Ugandans together.


A Portal to Media Literacy

Presented at the University of Manitoba June 17th 2008, by Kansas State University Professor Michael Wesch.
Url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4yApagnr0s

Taken from:
Recently Dr. Wesch spoke at the University of Manitoba where he explained the the basis of this video in a talk entitled, "Michael Wesch and the Future of Education." I found it fascinating! He describes how he so naturally incorporates emerging technologies into his courses from the smallest seminar type class to the largest lecture theatre filled class.

More importantly he not only talks about the technologies but how he encourages extraordinary participation and collaboration from his students by engaging them in meaningful learning activities.

Although the video is 66 minutes long...pour a coffee, iced tea or glass of wine and enjoy this dynamic presentation from a master teacher."

(You should probably watch A Vision of Students Today first.)

Taken from:
Dubbed “the explainer” by popular geek publication Wired because of his viral YouTube video that summarizes Web 2.0 in under five minutes, cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch brought his Web 2.0 wisdom to the University of Manitoba on June 17 (see video above).

During his presentation, the Kansas State University professor breaks down his attempts to integrate Facebook, Netvibes, Diigo, Google Apps, Jott, Twitter, and other emerging technologies to create an education portal of the future.

“It’s basically an ongoing experiment to create a portal for me and my students to work online,” he explains. “We tried every social media application you can think of. Some worked, some didn’t.”


A Vision of Students Today

Url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o
Created by Kansas State University Professor Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University - a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.

This should probably be viewed before A Portal to Media Literacy.

Music by Try^d: http://tryad.org/listen.html


New UWI Open Campus officially launched

Published on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ST JOHNS, Antigua: The official regional launch of the University of the West Indies (UWI) newest campus, the Open Campus, took place during the 29th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM Community (CARICOM) in Antigua and Barbuda.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Nigel Harris formally launched the Open Campus during an official news conference with the international, regional and local media on Wednesday, July 2, 2008.

Professor Harris stated that the University deliberately chose this moment to announce this initiative when the Heads of Government of the Caribbean were gathered, to reiterate the University’s continued dynamic response to broaden and enhance the reach of the institution to the people of the Caribbean.

The Vice-Chancellor revealed that the UWI’s Open Campus is an amalgamation of the previous Office of the Board for Non-Campus Countries & Distance Education (BNNCDE), the School of Continuing Studies (SCS), the UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC), and the Tertiary Level Institutions Unit (TLIU).

“This entity is designed to capitalise on advances in online technologies and on the platform of over 50 sites... to advance a more student-friendly, much broader basket of degree, diploma and certificate programmes for Caribbean people who live beyond the immediate vicinity of our established campuses.. For more than two years, we have been offering nursing degree programmes, bachelors in education programmes and other courses designed to enhance the opportunities of the working public to uplift themselves educationally, without necessarily enrolling on one of the three campuses of the University.”

The Vice-Chancellor also spoke to the development of the Open Campus as an essential strategic element of the University’s ongoing five-year strategic plan to transform its curricula and education systems, as well as to enhance the postgraduate programmes and research productivity. He stated that “the Open Campus will insist on quality education relevant to the region, student-centredness, student- friendly services, and the creation of knowledge and outreach to the Caribbean Community outside the walls of the University, particularly in the Eastern Caribbean, Belize, the Cayman Islands and in rural areas in campus countries.”

Also speaking at the official news conference was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, who referred to the new entity as ‘a campus for the times and a campus for the future.” Professor Simmons-McDonald stated that the Open Campus has the same level of autonomy as other UWI campuses with its own Academic Board, financial management, registry, administrative and student support systems.

She said that “the Open Campus currently utilises a wide variety of distance and mixed-mode delivery methods and has a staff of almost 400 professionals to support its growing student population across the region. We work very closely with faculty on the three other UWI campuses, as well as with other tertiary institutions and development agencies throughout the Caribbean to design, develop and deliver quality programmes by distance to meet the learning needs of the people of the Caribbean.”

The Open Campus will formally begin to offer its services across the region on August 1, 2008 to coincide with the year-long celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the UWI. The Chairman of the Open Campus Council is the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir K. Dwight Venner.


Distance education: Some free COL resources

Foreign Providers in the Caribbean: Pillagers or Preceptors?

Stewart Marshall, Ed Brandon, Michael Thomas, Asha Kanwar and Tove Lyngra

Published: 2008

The growing phenomenon of cross-border higher education (CBHE) will not help developing countries unless it is accessible, available, affordable, relevant and of acceptable quality.

"Foreign Providers in the Caribbean: Pillagers or Preceptors?" focusses on the trends of CBHE in the Caribbean, which has its own unique characteristics.

The nine commissioned case studies provide an in-depth analysis and insights into a very complex and dynamic phenomenon. Are the foreign providers in the Caribbean pillagers or preceptors? Do they threaten existing institutions or further the developmental objectives of the countries they operate in? Are they a financial threat or an opportunity? Can the subjects they teach address both global and local concerns? Or is this a new form of cultural imperialism? These are some of the questions that this timely publication invites you to examine.

Free to download from: http://www.col.org/colweb/site/pid/5310

This is a new book in the "Perspectives on Distance Education" series. Other books in the series can be found at: http://www.col.org/colweb/site/pid/4039

Other COL Resources

"Costs and Financing in Open Schools" (Ed Du Vivier, ed.), resource book and CD-Rom

"Education for a Digital World", collaborative resource and course materials, co-published with BCcampus

"A Prospective Vision for Universities: The role of the technology transfer units and distance education" (Luis Miguel Romero Fernández, Ph.D., Rector, Universidad Técnica Particular De Loja). Translated from Spanish and published in English by COL.

Updated resource CD-ROM:

COL produces a CD-ROM that contains our most popular resource publications, news, and software. It now contains over 70 publications including training manuals, start-up guides and research, including all 21 titles in COL's popular Knowledge Series, as well as free and open source software. While most of the contents are also available in print or on the COL web site, the CD-ROM provides a convenient, fast-loading compilation of the open and distance learning resources that COL has produced for public distribution and use. It is available upon request.


Technology: A platform for development?

Thursday 30 - Friday 31 October 2008
Chatham House, London

Technology is now recognized as having the potential to transform the lives of millions in the developing world. This major international conference will seek to identify best practice for achieving the successful implementation of new technology. Sessions will address issues including:

* The role of broadband and mobile technology
* The political environment and regulation
* Infrastructure development and scaling up solutions
* Selection of optimum technologies
* Driving new investment
* Ensuring successful implementation

This conference will provide a unique opportunity to meet with senior figures from the technology and development sectors, including policymakers, government representatives, industry leaders and investors. The format of the event allows extensive opportunities for networking and informal meetings between conference sessions, and at the drinks reception at the end of day one.

Conference brochure

All details for this conference will be published on the Chatham House website. Please check the site for up to date information on registration, confirmed conference speakers, sessions and other information.

Speaker highlights

Greg Butler
Industry Director
Microsoft Education Solutions Group

Professor David P Mellor OBE
United Kingdom Telecoms Academy

Rt Hon Alun Michael MP
United Kingdom

Richard Simpson
Director General, e-commerce
Industry Canada

Estelle Akofio-Sowah
Managing Director

Professor Tim Unwin
Professor of Geography and UNESCO Chair in ICT4D
University of London


A virtual conference on educational technology in Africa

e/merge 2008 - Professionalising Practices (7th - 18th July) is the third virtual conference on educational technology in Africa. e/merge (http://emerge2008.net) is primarily designed to share good practice and knowledge about educational technology innovation within the further and higher education sectors in the region, as well as to strengthen communities of researchers and practitioners. This includes sharing stories, sharing good practices and sharing research. The conversations in e/merge 2008 will engage with our regional context of unequal access to technology and to education within a global context of changes in teaching and learning tools and practices. The range of topics includes infrastructure, learning design, staff development, mobile learning, gendered use of learning technologies, open educational resources, new tools for educators, and learning environments. The interaction will include both asynchronous discussions and live online meetings.

What participants said about e/merge 2004 and 2006:
* "High calibre ... it met if not exceeded the quality of a face to face conference"
* "Thank you for a well organized, professional and thought-provoking experience"
* "technology ... can help make the difference through networking and exchanging of ideas"

The e/merge 2008 keynotes are:
* Dr Bakary Diallo, Rector of the African Virtual University on "Reaching the potential of ICTs in African Higher Education Institutions: Lessons learnt from the AVU Capacity Enhancement Program";
* Irene Karaguilla Ficheman, Researcher at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil on "Digital Learning Ecosystems: Authoring, Collaboration, Immersion and Mobility";
* Dr Ross Perkins, Senior Research Associate at Virginia Tech, United States on "Rethinking e-Learning Strategies in a Web 2.0 World";
* Howard Rheingold Author and Online Community Pioneer, Visiting Professor at Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, United States on "A Social Media Classroom for Student-Generated Learning"; and
* Dr Sasha Barab, Professor of Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems Technology & Cognitive Science, Indiana University, United States on "The Quest Atlantis Project: A Curriculum for the 21st Century".

Conference Registration is open online at http://emerge2008.net.
The conference fees have been set to encourage participation:
* Participants based in Africa - R200
* Participants from other regions - R780 (approx US$100)
There will be a small number of sponsored places.

Full information is available on the conference website:
Web: http://emerge2008.net
e-mail: info@emerge2008.net
Hosted by the Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Open standards and open source

Harsh words for Microsoft

I see that Microsoft is in the news again. According to James Kanter in the New York Times on June 11, 2008, European Union’s competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, "delivered an unusually blunt rebuke to Microsoft on Tuesday by recommending that businesses and governments use software based on open standards."

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/technology/11soft.html?ref=technology)

"Ms. Kroes has fought bitterly with Microsoft over the last four years, accusing the company of defying her orders and fining it nearly 1.7 billion euros, or $2.7 billion, on the grounds of violating European competition rules. But her comments were the strongest recommendation yet by Ms. Kroes to jettison Microsoft products, which are based on proprietary standards, and to use rival operating systems to run computers."

But Ms Kroes did not explicitly name Microsoft in her address to a conference in Brussels - instead she referred "to the only company in European antitrust enforcement history that has been fined for refusing to comply with orders".

In her speech, she praised the City of Munich for using software based on open standards, along with the German Foreign Ministry and the Gendarmerie Nationale, a department of the French police force. A policy by the European Commission adopted last year to promote the use of software products that support open standards “needs to be implemented with vigor,” she said.

Yochai Benkler: Open-source economics

In this Ted Talk on "Open-source economics" Law professor Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization. By disrupting traditional economic production, copyright law and established competition, they're paving the way for a new set of economic laws, where empowered individuals are put on a level playing field with industry giants.


ICT for Social Change and Sustainable Development

Here are a couple of free resources that I recently discovered, one on ICT for social change and one on ICT in education for sustainable development:

Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use

Cons & Camp copyBy Sheila Kinkade (ShareIdeas.org) and Katrin Verclas (MobileActive.org).
Commissioned by the United Nations Foundation-Vodafone Group Foundation Technology Partnership.
Published: 2008

Mobile technology is transforming the way advocacy, development and relief organizations accomplish their institutional missions. This is nothing new to readers of MobileActive. This recent report Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use, released by the United Nations Foundation and The Vodafone Group Foundation, brings this point home.

The report examines emerging trends in “mobile activism” by looking at 11 case studies of groups active in the areas of public health, humanitarian assistance and environmental conservation.

Among the programs highlighted are two conflict prevention projects, both active in Kenya. Oxfam-Great Britain and the Kenyan umbrella group PeaceNet created a text messaging ‘nerve center’ that collected alerts about violent outbreaks during the recent civil unrest and mobilized local ‘peace committees.’ The project served as a vital tool for conflict management and prevention by providing a hub for real-time information about actual and planned attacks between rival ethnic and political groups.

The GSM Association, together with a handful of non-profit and private sector groups in Kenya, developed another conflict prevention project that allows farmers to preserve their crops while protecting wildlife. The program monitors instances when elephants approach farmed land, and provides an early warning system via mobile that is reducing the incidence of human-elephant conflict in an area where as many as five humans and 10 elephants are killed each year.

The report, the second in the Access to Communications Publication Series, produces studies that give governments, NGOs and the private sector research and recommendations on how to use technology and telecom tools to effectively address some of the world’s toughest challenges.

Please download the entire report here. For individual chapters and more information, please also visit the UN Foundation/Vodafone Group Foundation site.

Full survey results are available here: Executive Summary and Memo and Presentation with highlights.

Courtesy of KatrinVerclas's blog.

How Information and Communications Technologies Can Support Education for Sustainable Development: Current uses and trends

By Leslie Paas and Heather Creech
Published: IISD Publications Centre, 2008. Paper, 38 pages.

As part of IISD's involvement with Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth and the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, this paper presents a brief history, and identifies current uses and trends for deploying ICTs, primarily in the formal Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, with a focus on the online environment. It considers three main questions:
  1. Why do ICTs need to be considered as a critical tool in education for sustainable development (ESD)?;
  2. What ICTs are currently being used by educators and learners?; and
  3. What can we expect to see in the near future?
Details and download at: http://www.iisd.org/publications/pub.aspx?id=956


Free and open access journal on development

The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT) - http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/ - is an e-journal that provides free and open access to all of its content.

IJEDICT aims to strengthen links between research and practice in ICT in education and development in hitherto less developed parts of the world, e.g., developing countries (especially small states), and rural and remote regions of developed countries.

The emphasis is on providing a space for researchers, practitioners and theoreticians to jointly explore ideas using an eclectic mix of research methods and disciplines. It brings together research, action research and case studies in order to assist in the transfer of best practice, the development of policy and the creation of theory. Thus, IJEDICT is of interest to a wide-ranging audience of researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, government officers and other professionals involved in education or development in communities throughout the world.

Vol. 4, No. 1 (2008) of International Journal of Education and Development using ICT has been published online at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewissue.php?id=15

The contents are as follows:


Editorial: Using ICT in education for development
Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies, Barbados, West Indies
Wal Taylor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

Refereed Articles

Teaching using information and communication technology: Do trainee teachers have the confidence?
Ab. Rahim Bakar and Shamsiah Mohamed, Universiti Putra Malaysia

School-based Technology Coordinators and Other Human Factors in the Implementation of ICT in Primary Schools: A Comparative Study
Kit-pui Wong, Lingnan University, Hong Kong SAR, China

The Use of Intranet by Omani Organizations in Knowledge Management
Khamis Nasser Al-Gharbi, Sultan Qaboos University
Syed Jafar Naqvi, Sultan Qaboos University

The use of interactive wireless keypads for interprofessional learning experiences by undergraduate emergency health students
Brett Williams and Malcolm Boyle, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Internet in developing countries: A medium of economic, cultural and political domination
Abdulkafi Albirini, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Drivers For and Obstacles To the Development of Interactive Multimodal Technology-Mediated Distance Higher Education Courses
Dawn Birch and Michael D Sankey, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

eLearning for international agriculture development: Dealing with challenges
Buenafe R. Abdon, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Robert T. Raab, UNICEF

A survey on the application of computer network technologies and services over heterogeneous environment in higher educational institutes
Mohd Nazri Ismail and Mohd Zin Abdullah, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

From the Field

Enhancing quality in e-Learning by knowledge-based IT support
Priti Srinivas Sajja, Sardar Patel University

Notes from the Field

Prospects and challenges of an online teacher training project in Oman
Gregory C Sales, Seward Incorporated
Thuwayba Al-Barwani, Sultan Qaboos University
Shirley Miske, Miske Witt & Associates, Inc.


Call for Papers: Open Educational Resources

It seems like I am constantly writing about Open Educational Resources (OER) these days. But they are so important for the future of education, especially in developing countries, that I think they warrant lots of publicity.

Remember, OER are learning and teaching materials that are offered freely to anyone under licenses that allow to use, modify and distribute the items. But that's not all. Through the world-wide movement of OER, magnified with user-generated content and underlying Web 2.0 technologies, the advantages and opportunities are numerous for teachers, authors, eLearning practitioners, developers and content providers, researchers and decision-makers, and last but not least: the learners.

Different models to develop, use and make OER content available have evolved. Examples vary from leading educational institutions that have made their content available for users who otherwise would be deprived of it, to communities of educators who collaboratively create content and share it. Moreover, new effective technical architectures are now in place to enable better discovery of Open Educational Resources across learning repositories on the international level, which allows users to access larger and more varied collections. Also, easy-to-use ways to acquire re-mix and mash-up user-generated content are around, examples of which are seen in the educational context too.

Against this background, the eLearning Papers invites contributions in the area of Open Educational Resources.

With this issue, we want to support the establishment of a new kind of ecology of Technology Enhanced Learning that focuses on Open Educational Resources as a chance to make a real difference in education and lifelong learning. We want to give a possibility to share OER-related practices and experiences that support people in acquiring the competences, knowledge and skills they need as individuals in the political, economic, social and cultural life of a modern society.

The papers should focus on one or more of the following themes:

  • Lessons learned and best practices of OER projects, tools and initiatives
  • New findings, facts and figures of OER development and usage
  • Discussion and position papers on how the OER movement can be supported
  • Pedagogical innovations and OER, does OER make any difference?
  • Transferability and usability of OER
  • OER as a way to create and support sustainable development
  • Business models around OER

Please consult the eLearning Papers website for writer guidelines:

The deadline for article submissions is June 30, 2008
Authors will be notified by July 27
The provisional data of publishing is September 30, 2008.

For further information and to submit your article, please contact: editorial@elearningeuropa.info

Invited Editors:
Sandra Schaffert
Riina Vuorikari


OpenLearn: New OERs

OpenLearn - the UK Open University's portal for its own open educational resources - has released some new resources for May.

One that I found particularly useful is Creating open educational resources - which is a unit that looks at the pedagogical issues involved in the creation and selection of self-study educational resources for a set of intended learning outcomes.

The other units released are:
  • Creating musical sounds
  • Revolutions in sound recording
  • Voice-leading analysis of music 1: the foreground
  • Voice-leading analysis of music 2: the middleground
  • Ratio, proportion and percentages
  • Working life and learning
  • BSE and vCJD: their biology and management
  • The MMR vaccine: public health, private fears
  • Composition and improvisation in cross-cultural perspective
  • Structural materials in cells
  • Numbers, units and arithmetic
  • Rounding and estimation
  • Vectors and Conics
  • An Introduction to Information Security
  • Scattering and Tunnelling
  • Am I Ready to Study in English?
  • Exploring the English Language
  • Personal and Career Development
  • Operations, technology and stakeholder value
  • Complex numbers
  • Number systems
  • The big bang
  • Introduction to active galaxies
  • Jupiter and its moons

Given that I will going to Ghana in a couple of weeks, I found the previously published unit Textiles in Ghana to be very interesting.

As always, I recommend a visit to the OpenLearn portal.


Making Free & Open Education a Reality

Open Educational Resourses (OERs) are digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and re-use for teaching, learning and research.

Open World Learning Institute

The Open World Learning Institute (OWL) helps individuals, families, and communities find, create and use open educational resources. OWL collects, organizes, creates and distributes OERs to make it easy for anyone to use them effectively and meaningfully. OWL does this by resolving the key issues of time, skills and access.

  • Supports the community in the use and development of open education;
  • Establishes self-sustaining, community-based open education centers;
  • Provides digital literacy programming and community outreach;
  • Researches best practices in open education;
  • Performs scientifically-based research of learning technologies, products and services;
  • Develops open source educational tools;
  • Produces standards-compliant open education courses;
  • Conducts research and advocacy in the area of digital and educational law and regulation.


Here's a useful snippet: Chris Garrett and Yoav Ezer posted an article "50+ Open Source/Free Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat & PDF" on their blog "Codswallop".


UNESCO Free & Open Source Software Portal

It really is good to see so many international NGOs and intergovermental organisations creating open educational resources and/or promoting open access. UNESCO has created a gateway to resources related to Free Software and Open Source Technology movement.

The UNESCO Free Software Portal gives access to documents and websites which are references for the Free Software/Open Source Technology movement. It is also a gateway to resources related to Free Software. With the Free Software Portal, UNESCO provides a single interactive access point to pertinent information for users who wish to acquire an understanding of the Free Software movement, to learn why it is important and to apply the concept. Visitors to the UNESCO Free Software Portal can browse through pre-established categories or search for specific words. They can add a new link or modify an already existing link.


The world as a village

The Village - suppose the world was a village of just one hundred people - what would it look like? This video gives us a sobering way to look at the world's statistics about the distribution of wealth.

It is an old video (2006) but I think it deserves playing again.


More Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student, or self-learner. OER Commons is an open learning social network portal where teachers and professors (from pre-K to graduate school) can access their colleagues’ course materials, share their own, and collaborate on affecting today’s classrooms.

The OERs uploaded to this site may be either Course-Related Materials or Libraries and Collections items. Course-Related Materials include both Full Courses and Learning Modules. Components include syllabi, lectures, lesson plans, homework assignments, quizzes, lab activities, pedagogical materials, games, and simulations. Libraries and Collections items are resources from digital media collections or libraries of digitized primary sources.

Click here to go to the teaching materials.


International Institute for Communication and Development

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) - a non-profit foundation that specialises in information and communication technologies (ICT) as a tool for development.

The following video - "Presenting IICD" - gives an introduction to the work of IICD.

IICD creates practical and sustainable solutions using both modern media and traditional media to connect people and enable them to benefit from ICT, thereby contributing to the Millenium Development Goals. Currently, IICD is active in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana, Jamaica, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in the sectors education, environment, governance, health and livelihoods (agriculture).

The following video - produced by ICT Bolivia and supported by IICD - explains how the monitoring and evaluation process has helped them to understand and improve on their ICT projects.

More information on TIC Bolivia: www.ticbolivia.net.


Wireless Networking

Today I'm returning to the issue of access and connectivity, because I came across some websites and articles with useful information and ingenious solutions.

Wireless Networking in the Developing World

The goal of the wndw website is to help you get the resources you need to build a wireless network that solves your communication problems.

One of the major resources provided is a free book - Wireless Networking in the Developing World - about designing, implementing, and maintaining low-cost wireless networks. In it you will find information about:
  • How to design a wireless network that extends the reach of an existing Internet connection
  • Understanding radio waves, antennas, and transmission lines
  • Choosing and configuring wireless networking hardware
  • Designing a solar energy system to provide power to network devices in remote places
  • Securing, monitoring, and maintaining your network
  • Implementing an economic model that will sustain your project

Wireless Wok

A few years ago, a university lecturer in New Zealand developed what he called the Wireless Wok approach. It is very DIY and low cost, but needs a fair bit of technical support



United Villages provides villagers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America with a digital identity and access to locally-relevant products and services using a low-cost, store-and-forward "drive-by WiFi" technology. Mobile Access Points (MAPs) are installed on existing vehicles (e.g. buses and motorcycles) and automatically provide access for WiFi-enabled Kiosks along the roads. Whenever a MAP is within range of a real-time wireless Internet connection, it transfers the data from and for those Kiosks. United Villages sells prepaid cards to village Kiosk Operators and local sales agents who resell the cards to users at a profit and provide a human interface for our products and services, which include:
  • Sending and receiving voicemails, text messages, emails, and faxes;
  • Purchasing locally-unavailable products such as medicines, books, and seeds, which are delivered to Kiosks on the MAP-mounted vehicles;
  • Accessing value-added services such as job searches, travel bookings, and matrimonials;
  • Browsing locally-relevant websites and information caches.

Other Resources

There is a useful summary of resources at the webpage "Resources for low cost wireless networking".

The materials developed as part of the "Capacity building for community wireless connectivity in Africa" initiative which is funded by IDRC and coordinated by APC are available for trainers at: Wireless networking.

The South African CSIR Meraka Institute's Wireless Africa program is dedicated to making low cost networking accessible across the African continent: Wireless Africa.

A DIY Mesh Guide prepared by the Wireless Africa group at the Meraka Institute: Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network.


ICT as a tool for development

As well as having insufficient access to food, education and health care, disadvantaged people in developing countries may lack access to public services, technical innovations and even electricity. They may be excluded from political processes, be unaware of what is going on, and unable to voice their needs. ICT can be a powerful economic, social and political tool when placed in their hands. It can help them to access, process and disseminate information quickly, effectively and on an unprecedented scale. Better access to ICT is particularly vital in enabling them to address issues such as poverty, illiteracy and general lack of development.

This is the view of the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) - a non-profit foundation that specialises in information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool for development.

IICD creates practical and sustainable solutions using both modern media (such as computers, Internet, email and multimedia) and traditional media (such as radio and television) to connect people and enable them to benefit from ICT, thereby contributing to the Millenium Development Goals.

Together with partners from the public, private and non-profit sector, IICD puts knowledge, innovation and finance to work. Currently, IICD is active in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana, Jamaica, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in the sectors education, environment, governance, health and livelihoods (agriculture).


Conference on national community multimedia centres in Jamaica

A conference under the theme 'Igniting and Sustaining Community Development in the 21st Century' was held from 12 to 14 March 2008 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.

UNESCO is cooperating with the Jamaican Ministry of Energy, Mining and Technology (MEMT), ICT4D Jamaica, the Cable and Wireless Foundation, and the HEART Trust/NTA to set up a national network of community access points (CAPs) through community multimedia centres/telecentres in Jamaica.

The purpose of the Conference was to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders in order to consolidate fragmented community-based ICT projects being implemented across the island. It also aimed to highlight the use of CMC/Telecentres as tools for mainstreaming development issues at the national and community levels. Over the three days, the Conference featured presentations, mini workshops and panel discussions to provide participants with an in-depth perspective on lessons learned and best practices in establishing networks as well as the application of ICT for community development.

The involvement of private sector, development organizations, donors and other participants will serve to reinforce the purpose of CAPs and improve collaboration which will contribute to enhanced effectiveness, sustainability, policy and advocacy. The feedback obtained from participants during the conference will be used for further development of the national network.

Click here for more details from UNESCO and here for details from ICT4Dev Jamaica.


ICT for the voluntary & community sector

Just recently came across this very useful website ICT Hub. The hub is a partnership of national voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) who provide a range of services to help organisations in the voluntary and community sector benefit from ICT. Some of their free publications include:

ICT Foresight: Consultation and Campaigning in the Age of Participatory Media

Cons & Camp copy

This report, based on a survey of almost 300 senior managers in the voluntary and community sector; maps out emerging trends in relation to the critical 'voice' and representation roles of the sector.

ICT Foresight: How Online Communities can make the Net Work for the Voluntary & Community Sector

How Online Comms copy

This report examines the impact of the internet on the growing trend for individuals and organisations to come together through online social networking, forums, blogs, wikis and other new technology.

A Guide to Managing ICT in the Voluntary and Community Sector

This in-depth guide covers all aspects of managing information and communications technology. It contains over 100 pages of accessible information that is useful for anyone whatever your level of technical knowledge. This publication has been supported by ESiT.

Download a copy of the Guide to Managing ICT in the Voluntary and Community Sector PDF 1.55MB.


New Media Case Studies

The Media Trust have produced a booklet highlighting 10 VCOs of all shapes and sizes who have used new media to communicate with their audience.

ff3 cover

Future Focus 3: How will we use new technologies in five years' time?

New from the Performance Hub, this guide looks at how ICT is impacting on the voluntary and community sector and suggests ways for your organisation to make strategic choices and plan ahead.

If you would like a copy please visit the Performance Hub website

More free resources available from ICT Hub.