Kenya Open Data two years later

Now two years old, the Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) has set a high standard for Open Data in Africa. The platform – the first of its kind in a developing country – has encouraged government transparency within Kenya and beyond. Software developers, NGOs, and other members of civil society have submitted hundreds of requests for new datasets to KODI, reflecting the public desire for even more information. Over 500 datasets now are available to the world.

The portal makes a large amount of public government data accessible to the people of Kenya. But just how useful is the data?

The program certainly has its challenges. Many changes were made to data in 2012, but 2013 seems to have been quieter. We find that only eight datasets have been added in the first six months of 2013. Similarly, only a handful of previous datasets have been updated in the same period.


Read more at: http://www.oafrica.com/ict-policy/kenya-open-data-two-years-later/


Commonwealth of Learning - Pan-Commonwealth Forum

COL’s Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF7) will be held in Abuja, Nigeria from 2 - 6 December 2013, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). The Forum will address "Open Learning for Development: Towards Empowerment and Transformation" through five themes: "Girls’ and Women’s Education", "Skills Development", "Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER)", "Innovation and Technology" and "Institutional Development".


PCF7 website: www.pcf7.net


Delegate registration: www.col.org/pcf7registrations


Early-bird registration discount is available until 30 September 2013.


Podcast #79: Two young activists on driving change

What motivates young activists – and what empowers them to drive for change? This episode of Beyond School Books features two young people who are working to build bridges between different communities.

See more at: http://www.educationandtransition.org/resources/podcast-79-two-young-activists-on-driving-change/


The Importance of Open Source Software and OER

Find out more about open source software and open educational resources (OER), so that you can use them in your teaching and learning.


Read more at: http://onlineanddistancelearning.com/open-source


Singapore's hawkers celebrated in new book

Kneading and shaping dough is second nature to Madam Chua Chay Cheng. The 92-year-old hawker, after all, sold traditional Teochew snacks for more than 40 years.


After her husband, a cook, died in 1971, she became a hawker to support her eight children, who were between seven and 15 then.

Her story of resilience is celebrated by Mr Sinma DaShow, 39, in the last


chapter of his book, Not For Sale: Singapore's Remaining Heritage Street Food Vendors, which focuses on 10 women hawkers. The book's launch is part of this year's Singapore HeritageFest.


Partially funded by the National Heritage Board, the book, which includes black-and-white photographs, took 21/2 years to produce. Co-authored by Singapore-based photographer Jim Orca, 39, it is being sold for $88 on website


Analytical Frameworks for Assessing ICT and Agribusiness Ecosystems For Application in Ghana and Kenya

DFID is exploring the analytical frameworks used to assess the support market system for startup businesses in the ICT and agribusiness sectors. The review of analytical frameworks will help inform a Terms of Reference (ToR) for carrying out startup ecosystem assessments in Ghana and Kenya. This Helpdesk Request supports this effort by providing an overview of the analytical frameworks, not by outlining the forms of startup support available for these sectors.

The frameworks of interest include “M4P and other frameworks and methodologies that have been used to evaluate the 'ecosystem' for innovative, technology-oriented startup businesses in a particular country.” The ToR will be for a project assessing the forms of “support available locally for entrepreneurs in both the ICT and agribusiness sectors including university-run programmes, business incubators/accelerators, training providers and financiers (angel investors and VCs).” The analytical frameworks would need to help evaluate existing institutions, gaps in the provision of support and ways in which the ecosystems may best be strengthened. To reiterate: the request is for a discussion of available frameworks, not for startup ecosystem assessments.


Read more at: http://zunia.org/post/analytical-frameworks-for-assessing-ict-and-agribusiness-ecosystems-for-application-in-ghana-an

IT “roadmap” needed to help schools’ quest for knowledge society

IT “roadmap” needed to help schools’ quest for knowledge society

Macau has the environment, the facilities, and the territorial size suitable to create a digital education system that will help Macau’s development towards a knowledge-based society, a scholar said in an international conference on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), often also called Information Technology (IT).
“The local government has done a great job in investing in ICT infrastructure. It shows the government’s commitment to creating the ICT enabling environment,” said Sanjay Nadkarni, Director of Research and Associate Professor at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai, who is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the City University. “And what we educators should do is to complement this effort by doing research that demonstrates which kinds of technologies are good for what type of courses,” he added.

Read more at: http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/macau/45392-it-%E2%80%9Croadmap%E2%80%9D-needed-to-help-schools%E2%80%99-quest-for-knowledge-society.html

Women empowerment in ICT: A step towards development

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provides enormous opportunities and avenues for national development. Women in particular are not supposed to use ICT for marketing and advertising alone, but to use the technology for information gathering and sharing of knowledge. There is, therefore, the need for the country to adequately train women in the use of ICT.

See more at: http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2013/07/15/women-empowerment-in-ict-a-step-towards-development/


Teaching With Tablets Piloted in E Cape

South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is providing multimedia tablets and training to 160 teachers at 11 schools in the Eastern Cape as part of a project that aims to develop a mobile teaching model that can be applied countrywide.

The CSIR's Meraka Institute said on Friday that it had completed a one-year pilot phase in which 17 teachers at Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School in Cofimvaba were trained in using digital content on tablets to support traditional teaching and learning.

A comprehensive mobile learning curriculum had been developed for this purpose, the CSIR said, and learnings from the pilot phase were being applied in the first phase of the project, which would see tablets rolled out to 11 additional schools over the next two years.

The rollout began on Friday, and would be followed by a second phase, starting in 2014, in which tablets would be rolled out to a further 14 schools.

 Read more at: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307231235.html


Ebooks from the Independent Evaluation Department at the Asian Development Bank

Download and read syntheses of key lessons drawn from evaluation and completion reports on your mobile readers. The Independent Evaluation Department has converted 20 of its information briefs into ebooks that you can load on your tablets or smartphones. Titles include: Evaluation Lessons of a Global Financial Crisis for Asia and ADB; Sharpening the Operational Focus on Inclusive Growth; Improving Project Success through Effective Communication and Participation; Improving Road Safety in Asia and the Pacific. 

 Link: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/adbevaluation ;

Can Mapping Nutrition Assistance Help Uganda Solve Its Malnutrition Problem?

Today, one out of every three children in Uganda is stunted, a key indicator of chronic malnutrition. Beyond the negative consequences for these children and their families, malnutrition is costing Uganda $899 million USD annually, according to a recent Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study. When I attended the Uganda COHA launch event in Kampala, I was impressed by the diversity of stakeholders represented and the fact that malnutrition requires a multi-sector solution.


IC4D 2012: Maximizing Mobile

This report analyzes the growth and evolution of applications for mobile phones, focusing on their use in agriculture, health and financial services, as well as their impact on employment and government. It also explores the consequences for development of the emerging “app economy”, summarizing current thinking and seeking to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. It’s no longer about the phone itself, but about how it is used, and the content and applications that mobile phones open.

Read more at: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/0,,contentMDK:23190786~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:282823,00.html

The powerful ‘Open Data for Africa’ platform is now available across the continent

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that it has completed the last phase of deploying its Open Data for Africa platform across the continent following deployments in Benin, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Togo.

The platform has now been rolled out to all 54 countries across the continent.

 Read more at: http://thenextweb.com/africa/2013/07/12/the-powerful-open-data-for-africa-platform-is-now-available-across-the-continent/


WSIS Knowledge Communities: Building inclusive societies for persons with disabilities

The “Building inclusive societies for persons with disabilities” community provides a unique opportunity for strategic debate and action oriented partnerships among various stakeholders such as persons with disabilities, practitioners, decision and policy makers, researchers, civil society, industry and UN system organizations as well as any individual who is interested in building inclusive education systems and knowledge societies for persons with disabilities.

 Read more at: http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/groups/584509/building-inclusive-societies-for-persons-with-disabilities/


Why National Broadband Plans Matter?

In 2011, at the Broadband Leadership Summit, the Commission endorsed a set of advocacy targets covering broadband policy, affordability and uptake. This report looks specifically at the first target, which calls for broadband policy to be made universal by 2015, and examines the importance of policy leadership and the effectiveness and policy implications of national broadband plans.


Read more at: http://zunia.org/post/why-national-broadband-plans-matter


Link: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/documents/reportNBP2013.pdf


Teachers: Technology Encourages Student Creativity, Makes Teaching Writing Easier

Are digital tools like cell phones and social networking sites undermining students' writing skills or helping to improve them?

A new survey of teachers from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that most teachers involved in the survey consider technology beneficial to writing in several ways, including creativity and personal expression (78 percent), collaboration (79 percent), and the ability to share their work with a wider audience (96 percent).

However, the news wasn't all positive. Among those surveyed, 68 percent said technology makes make students more likely "to take shortcuts and not put effort into their writing."

"These results challenge in many ways the notion that students' writing skills are being undermined by their increasing engagement with digital tools and platforms," notes Kristen Purcell, associate director for research at Pew Internet, in a statement released to coincide with the report. "Teachers do have concerns that digital tools are blurring the lines between formal and informal writing and see writing skills that need improvement, but they also see the benefit of students having more people respond to their writing and the increased opportunities for expression these digital tools offer."

Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2013/07/16/teachers-technology-encourages-student-creativity-makes-teaching-writing-easier.aspx#Stj68Cr6aOczEPJM.99 ;


A teaching adventure

THE first thing that drew university student Lu Song towards a volunteer position near Nairobi, Kenya was the opportunity to put the experience on his applications for postgraduate study in the United States (US). The second was the chance to spend an adventurous summer abroad.

But the 18-year-old did not count on a third factor that would only become apparent after he had begun working at a school in one of Africa’s largest slums — the desire to help.

Lu, a first-year undergraduate at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, found the experience so rewarding that he now recruits other students as volunteers, and is raising money for the school he worked at.

  Read more at: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Education/2013/07/14/A-teaching-adventure.aspx


Kenya's laptops for schools dream fails to address reality.

Mark Graham: Kenya wants to be Africa's digital heart but its e-learning strategy ignores the need for more trained teachers and less inequality


Mobile Learning: 5 Advantages and 5 Disadvantages

Learning is becoming more mobile and easier for the average student. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of mobile learning? Is easier better?

Namibia seeks partners in rural schools ICT programme

The Namibian government aims to embark on a programme to take ICTs to isolated rural schools, and is seeking investment partners to support the plan.

This emerged at the Namibian Investment Seminar staged for potential investors at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday.

 Read more at: http://www.biztechafrica.com/article/namibia-seeks-partners-rural-schools-ict-programme/6368/?section=development


Emerging countries open up new opportunities for marketers: report

Sixty-eight percent of consumers surveyed in emerging markets said that they want to receive weekly mobile promotions, according to a new report from Upstream.
Upstream’s new 2013 “Emerging Markets Mobile Attitudes” report examines which types of mobile content consumers in emerging countries are most interested in. In particular the report points to emerging markets as the next big opportunity for some of the big players in the tech industry, including Apple, Samsung, Facebook and Google.

Read more at: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/15657.html


Find Out More About Online Learning

Online learning is a convenient mode of study for many people, especially those who are working and do not wish to take time off work to attend campus for their studies.

Find out more about online learning or elearning - using audio and video-conferencing, email, chat, and completing an online degree or certificate by distance.


Read more at: http://onlineanddistancelearning.com/about-online-learning