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The monthly publication on ICT and Education for Asia and the Middle East

Volume III Issue 1

January 2007

ISSN 0973-4139

Rs 200

Subscriber’s copy not for sale

New age Learning in


E-learning Implementation and Strategies for UiTM, Malaysia PAGE 6

Online Discussion Board Promoting Critical Thinking Skills PAGE 10

Model of Engagement Designing Multimedia Application for Children PAGE 14

Leaders’ Speak Subrat Mohanty CEO, Hurix Systems, India PAGE 29

Digital Learning Power School Awards 2007 PAGE 39

Contents Verbatim

Volume III Issue 1, January 2007

The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience. Unknown There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship. Mark Twain We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyfull of words and do not know a thing. The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cover Story


E-learning at Higher Education

Corporate Diary


Implementation and Strategies for Universiti Teknologi Mara Malaysia (UiTM) Posiah Mohd ISA

Subrat Mohanty CEO, Hurix Systems, India

Research Discussion Board 10 Online Promoting Critical Thinking Skills Jaya Athinarayanan

Leaders’ Speak

School Track


Network of Networks Global Classroom 35 The Connection One Classroom at a Time Will Glennon

Conference Report Euro-India e43 Belief Infrastructures Conference 14-15 December, 2006 New Delhi, India

Digital Learning ‘Power School Award 2007’

Perspective a ‘Model of 14 Towards Engagement’ Designing Multimedia Application for Children Dr Normahdiah Sheik Said



19 46

M-Learn Flash Card for Learning Dr Lawrence Wasserman

Mark Your Calendar

18 31 38 42 45

News India News Corporate News Malaysia News School News World

digital LEARNING is accessible on the web. Link up to

British teachers get guidelines on India Schools in England are to be sent extra guidelines on how to teach about the legacy of the British Empire in India. The guidelines are being sent out as the 60th anniversary of Indian independence is celebrated next year. The guidance aims to help schools explore the impact of British rule and key features of the cultural and religious history of the subcontinent. It comes from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and is for Key Stage 3 pupils (ages 12 to 14). It will offer teachers suggestions about how they can cover the key background to the struggle for independence and examine why India was such an important part of the British Empire.

Indian teachers pay price for every mark school students lost There is a price for every mistake. And Indian teachers in the state Karnataka have paid it literally for every mistake they committed in the SSLC answerscripts. In a move that should shame every wrong-doer, the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) has penalised 1124 teachers for their slipups in the evaluation of SSLC answerscripts of March’2006 exams. Their names, where they work etc., too have been put out on the Board’s website so that the teachers dare not

repeat their mistake. These teachers are working in government, government-aided and private unaided schools and had participated in the evaluation of answerscripts. Either out of carelessness or lack of competence, they committed mistakes that affected the scores of students.

Egg to be part of mid-day meal in schools Eggs will soon be part of the midday meal provided to schoolchildren in the Karnataka state in India. According to the Minister for Animal Husbandry Revu Naik, providing an egg to every child covered under the

digital LEARNING invites authors We invite editorial contributions from our readers in the field of Digital Learning. While no guarantee is made or implied, we will make every effort to incorporate all views and experiences in the relevant issues so as to better serve the ICT and Education community at large. Note that contributions may be edited for space and/ or clarity. Unconsolidated manuscripts and artwork will not be returned. Please be sure to read and follow the Editorial Guidelines available at http:// All correspondence should be addressed to: The Editor, Digital Learning G-4, Sector-39, Noida, India Tel +91-120-2502180 to 85 Fax +91-120-2500060 Email 4

Next issue: Learning Opportunities for Digital Asia

YOUR SAY On news- FOGSI launches satellite based education programme for Indian medical collegesIt is need of hour and quite informative. It was quite helpful to participate in it. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to participate in it. Sukirti Jain (drsukirti @ India On news - Internet training Programme for underprivileged children in Madurai, IndiaYes Sify iway is doing great for the under privileged children. Really these children have needed this type of Training. I wish him all success with this noble work. Thanks. Pratap Kumar ( Bhubaneswar, India Yes, Sify iway is doing a great job for underprivileged students in many cities like Coimbatore, Chennai, Salem and Madurai. Good job done. Narayanan ( India

scheme would also benefit poultry farmers who were finding it difficult to market eggs owing to surplus production. At present, the State Government was incurring an annual expenditure of around Rs. 400 crore on the meal scheme. The addition of an egg for every child was likely to put substantial burden on the Government. January 2007 |

digital LEARNING Volume III, issue 1 | January 2007 President M P Narayanan Editor Ravi Gupta Editorial Consultant Jayalakshmi Chittoor Sr. Assistant Editor Rumi Mallick Sr. Research Associate Manjushree Reddy Marketing Siddharth Verma +91-9811561645 (India) +65-93523305 (Singapore) email: Designed by Bishwajeet Kumar Singh Web Zia Salahuddin, Ramakant Sahu Editorial and marketing correspondence digital LEARNING G-4 Sector 39 NOIDA 201301, India Phone +91 120 2502181-87 Fax +91 120 2500060 Email Group directors Maneesh Prasad, Sanjay Kumar Printed by Yashi Media Works Pvt Ltd New Delhi, India digital LEARNING does not neccesarily subscribe to the views expressed in this publication. All views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors. digital LEARNING is not responsible or accountable for any loss incurred, directly or indirectly as a result of the information provided. digital LEARNING is published in technical collaboration with Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. (

Editorial Reviewing year 2010 - A Good Year! In the later part of this year, at the UN Summit 2010 on Millennium Development Goals, the Prime Minister of India announced India’s progress in achieving ‘Education for All’. India has not only been able to ensure primary education for all children in the country, but has also recorded a100% retention of all school-going children not only in primary schooling but also for the secondary level. The Prime Minister pointed out that this achievement has been possible though sustained efforts by the government, global assistance, and collaboration with private sector and the civil society. This year the government has recorded 100% Internet coverage of all secondary schools in the country. This initiative, a part of flagship programme of ‘nostudent-isolated’ programme, had received a remarkable support from the private sector connectivity and ISP providers who had come forward with a ‘low cost high coverage model’. Support from the government in the way of relaxing regulations and the opening up of a massive internal market for the private sector players has resulted in a surge in investment in rural connectivity. The government is planning to extend Internet connectivity to all primary schools by 2013. This year saw the ‘Networked Teachers Consortium (NTCI) of India’ surging ahead with the education reform programme. Earlier this year, NTCI representatives at the global meet of ‘21st Centuary Teachers’ received commitment of support from over 100 countries around the world for ‘global collaboration for education for knowledge society’ agenda. This was yet another laurel for the NTCI (this year, NTCI has added yet another 30 thousand teachers as member to its already hundred thousand strong membership). This has been leading the education reform process in India and the online (and offline) knowledge sharing and networking among teachers for professional development, and improving the outcomes of ICT-enabled teaching and learning in school. The students-led research programme ‘Local Environment Monitor’, initiated in 2007 by five government schools of Uttaranchal, has grown in the last two years to a national initiative with over thirty thousand schools (both private and government) across the country, collaborating and sharing results through the Internet. This student-led initiative that has build a student network across the country to monitor the local environment (bio-indicators of atmospheric change, pollution, deforestation, etc.) has received a tremendous support from the professional scientific community. This year, students expanded their network to collaborate with similar networks in Asia and Europe. 2010 was a good year for India as the country readies itself to lead the global knowledge society.

Ravi Gupta Editor P.S: We keep hoping for the ‘DREAM 2010’…and our wish list grows …

© Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies 2006 Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007


Cover Story

e-learning at higher education

Implementation and Strategies for Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia (UiTM) Posiah Mohd ISA,[POSIAH@SALAM.UITM.EDU.MY], Head, i-Lec, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia

The e-Learning Centre (i-LEC) of UiTM was established in December 2005, to serve as the core unit in initiating and implementing e-learning on a campus wide level. The main function of the centre is to implement and provide services to create a learning environment where lecturers provide Web-based contents and online learning activities. Universiti Teknologi MARA, with fifteen branch campuses spread throughout the country offers indeed vast untapped resources as far as expertise and infrastructure. This article attempts to describe the University’s efforts to embark on e-learning in a big way after a span of only one year of implementation efforts.


January 2007 |


n Malaysia, e-learning is no longer a new phenomenon, but it has not ceased to be a hot topic. It has established itself as an option in all level of education, especially in tertiary education, where it is poised to take a larger role. The diffusion of information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled existing and new institutions of higher learning in Malaysia to offer their educational services to a wider market place and in many instances, beyond geographic locations. The demand for education, on the other hand has been growing so rapidly in the last few decades most particularly among adults. This phenomenon is closely related to the change from the industry-based economy to the emerging knowledge-based economy, which focuses on the development of the human capital as the major contributor to a holistic development.

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is Malaysia’s premier institution of higher learning that has experienced a phenomenal growth since its inception in 1956. The university has expanded nationwide with 3 satellite campuses, 12 branch campuses, 6 city campuses, 25 franchise colleges and a smart campus for the future. Its formation is based on a vision of outstanding

Moving some activities online for example tutorials, discussion, announcements and assessment online and out of the classroom not only reduces demands on buildings but also creates efficiencies as digital materials are much faster, cheaper to produce, copy, distribute, adapt and share than other formats anywhere anytime scholarship and academic excellence that is capable of providing leadership in all fields of internationally recognized professional study. The university has the broadest range of disciplines that any one university can boast of-from hotel and tourist management to accountancy to communication and media studies to medical and health technology, encompassing 25 faculties and 250 academic programmes spread over Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Humanities and Business Management. Today, the university has an enrolment of nearly 100,000 students spread through out the country registered in all the different modes of study and disciplines. UiTM being a pioneer institution of higher learning is totally committed to producing a

significant number of Bumiputra professionals who are skilled in a broad spectrum of competencies covering a wide range of industrial and vocational requirements and therefore when given the mandate by the government that UiTM students enrolment will be expected to increase to 200,000 in ten years time, the university responded positively as it will contribute towards development of the human capital and increasing the national productivity of the country.

E-learning: The new age solution To respond to the challenge of 200,000 student enrolment and internationalisation of higher education, the management of the university is confident with the potential of the technology, most especially the growing availability of Internet connections. E-learning could be the solution to the growth of the student population for the university within the time given and the promotion of life long learning by taking advantage of the technological opportunity. For UiTM, e-learning will create an extended learning environment that supports, complements and enriches face to face classroom teaching and learning for the on-campus programmes as well as distance learning programmes. Now learning can extend well beyond the classroom in a blended learning powered by the virtual capabilities of e-learning. Academics now can put course

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007


materials online for students to access and also create online activities and discussion to improve students understanding and encourage deeper learning. Besides, moving some activities online for example tutorials, discussion, announcements and assessment online and out of the classroom not only reduces demands on buildings but also creates efficiencies as digital materials are much faster, cheaper to produce, copy, distribute, adapt and share than other formats anywhere anytime. Elearning is also easier for mature students and post graduate programmes.

produced 3,000 graduates since its establishment.

interactive mode were completed and uploaded online.

With the explosive growth of the Internet, in 1999 the university began to consider incorporating elearning into its education offerings and not only limited to distance learning but also to complement on-campus programs. The main challenge was how best to create a potentially powerful learning environment that could enhance fulltime on-campus education in the shortest time possible. The university embarked on a pilot project with twenty lecturers from different

Acquiring UiTM e-learning platform: (

The distance learning initiative for UiTM began since 1973 with the establishment of the Off Campus School which provides off campus learning opportunities (for certificate and diploma programmes) to individuals aspiring for higher education and improved qualifications but who are unable to take advantage of traditional modes of education. In 1990 the function and responsibilities of the Off Campus School were expanded to include distance-learning programmes through the use of study manuals and audio recordings. In 1995 the Off Campus School name was changed to ‘The Institute of Education Development (InED)’ and since July 2000, it began to offer online programmes (diploma, degree and masters) via the Internet. Currently, the Institute has an enrolment of 8,000 students and has successfully

faculties selected based on their interest and commitment on e-learning and use of technology in teaching. The platform chosen and used by this pilot group was Lotus Learning Space 5 (LLS 5). Subsequently two more ICT group of lecturers were trained and efforts were drastically geared towards equipping faculties with technologyenabled classrooms to encourage lecturers to adopt technology in their teaching. However, feedback from the pilot group members was not satisfactory regarding the platform. It was too cumbersome and unfriendly for them and students to get started on their own. The achievement of the project was limited due to infrastructure and software limitations and time constraint to train all lecturers as content developers. After three years, 23 courseware of highly multimedia


In 2003, UiTM decided to evaluate other e-learning platforms as alternatives. Among the criteria for evaluation are the ease of use, positive user feedback, performance issues, integration with students and staff information and cost–benefit analysis of acquiring and managing the platform. After a software trial, product comparison and gathering of feedback from other institutions, UiTM decided to acquire a platform based on open source technology. Among the benefits of this technology besides that it is cost effective, is the fact that it enables us to programme and develop to customise the system to our requirements and specifications. Moreover, the university has available expertise from that faculty of Information Technology and Qualitative Sciences to conduct research and development activities. The platform is called ‘i-learn’, a learning management system that provides tools such as: course development and management tools, content management tools, communication and collaboration tools, assessment tools, personal information management tools, system management tools. With this first version of the platform, in December 2005, the e-Learning Centre of UiTM (i-Lec) was established and given the task of promoting and implementing elearning campus wide. Through i-Learn, the centre hopes to achieve the following educational goals: January 2007 |


To train, equip and enable the academic staff to create online course content/materials and develop their competence to use the tools provided i.e. content creation and editing tools, online assessment tools etc. b) To provide a robust and reliable e-learning facilities and services for academicians and students community in content delivery, synchronous and asynchronous modes of teaching and learning. This includes an infrastructure of

March 2005. The whole process of these introductory workshops took a year to complete. Academicians were given training in computer labs during weekends and term holidays and at the end of the training sessions they are able to upload at least one course content digitally. The achievement of this exercise saw 60% of lecturers registered as active instructors and 1600 courses delivered onto the portal accessible to students anywhere anytime by the end of April 2006.

The achievements at i-Lec shows 60% of lecturers registered as active instructors and 1600 courses delivered onto the portal accessible to students anywhere anytime by the end of April 2006. Beginning June 2006, data of all full time students has been successfully integrated into the system and through the i-student portal they can access the i-learn portal and course content


hardware and software availability. To create an online learning environment that will expose the academicians and students to new teaching and learning approaches as they acquire skills for life-long learning.

Started were the training workshops to introduce the portal to all academic staff from 25 faculties campus wide and all 12 branch campuses since Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

The main objective of the first phase was to introduce the platform to all academicians and students and getting them on board. At this stage, the centre is more concerned with getting lecturers to upload their

teaching materials onto the platform so that when the portal is accessible to students, they can at least start off with the materials available online. Beginning June 2006 semester data of all full time students has been successfully integrated into the system and through the i-student portal of UiTM they can access the i-learn portal and course content. The centre regarded June-Dec 2006 as a trial period for the implementation of e-learning in the Shah Alam campus.

Implementation strategies The e-learning implementation strategy of UiTM will be carried out in phase. E-learning is not that much about technology but more about learning using technology which offers different levels of instructional design and applications. The e-learning centre (i-Lec) in future aims to make the e-learning environment more engaging, powerful and valuable in order to realise the e-learning best practices as a culture among academics and students of the university.

Prof. Dr. Posiah Mohd Isa is serving for Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia as the Head, Centre of e-learning (i-Lec). i-LeC was established in December 2005 and operates under the Academic Affair Division (HEA). The center is responsible for handling adaptation of e-learning in UiTM.


Research Jaya Athinarayanan [JEYA@ACADEMIC.SUNWAY.EDU.MY], Sunway University College, Malaysia

Online discussion board

Promoting Critical Tinking Skills


nternet has created a new medium for education known as “online learning” which enables “digitised information”, accessed by a wider society. Online learning allows learning to be tailored to meet the student’s needs and improve the interaction between instructor and student. The concept of online learning provides a bridge between the physical distance instructional resources and expertise and students who, for certain reasons may be of access to these resources. According to Totten, Sills, Digby, & Russ (1991) online discussions allow students to share their knowledge that enables them to take responsibilities for their own learning, and thus become critical thinkers.

Background of the study

This study is an analysis of level of critical thinking took place as defined in Practical Inquiry Model phases that are triggering event, exploration, integration and resolution (Garrison et al. 2001). This study is aimed to answer the following research question: How does online discussion assist students to develop critical thinking?

study would be on student led discussion whereas teacher does not play any role but just to guide the students to wrap-up up the discussion during the lecture. Asynchronous discussion allows students to do some critical thinking and hence express their own opinion. Although more time may be required, students are given a chance to

Online discussion is growing as a tool that could provide opportunities for teaching and learning beyond traditional classroom setting. This article presents a study on a group of four “Fundamentals of Networking” subject students to analyse the usage of online discussion in assisting them to encourage critical thinking. Blackboard Learning System that provides a platform for online discussion was used in this study. The result

This research focuses on measuring the participation and critical thinking among Fundamentals of Networking class students. The framework for this study is based on the theory of “community of inquiry” by Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, (2001). This framework for a community of inquiry consists of three overlapping core elements: social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence. Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, (2001)

Rationale of the study

Among these three elements, cognitive presence is the central to successful higher education learning experiences. “Cognitive presence presented is the extent to which students are able to construct meaning through sustained communication” Garrison et al. (2000). Within this framework, critical thinking falls under cognitive presence.

Jonassen et al. (1995) based on his study found that teachers control 80% of classroom discussions whereas in computer conferencing such as discussion board, instructors only contribute between 10-15%. (p. 14). Keeping this in mind, the current study designed to allow students interact online with their peers to share their ideas on a particular topic. The focus of the


indicated that online discussion is a useful learning tool in encouraging students to “speak” and exchange their opinions. The author finds online discussion board an ideal learning tool for teaching and learning as the new age Information and Communication Technology, the Internet provides limitless information for students to analyse and post quality messages. familiarise themselves with others’ ideas and then develop a better response from them. Walker (2002) pointed out that using asynchronous discussion to stimulate critical thinking could be very challenging. As such he suggested integrating various learning styles by using sound, music, pictures, graphics, and simulations that can stimulate creative and critical thinking. Text base asynchronous online January 2007 |

discussion is the only style used in this study. Classes’ met on an online discussion sessions are held for two weeks, between weeks three and four. During this week students are required to join the online discussion replacing the traditional classroom discussion. The discussion will be conducted using discussion board available in Blackboard, a Learning Management System software used by Sunway University College. For the purpose of this study, every group member is given a role and one of the members played the role of a leader. The next step is allocating a

Need is for a learner-focussed semester. In total there were seven discussion would never have this groups that took part inmaterial this online many messages especially when time learning discussion. The discussion started is limited. All students were given with “off-task� messages before moving into more active posting at a later date. This group posting are quiet consistent. Even though from 28th Jan 2006 to 5th Feb 2006 was a semester break, these students still able to contribute their ideas while being at home. This would not have been possible in a classroom discussion environment. It appears that in case that asynchronous online discussion allowed most of the students to participate at a time appropriate to him or her whereas in a face to face

equal chance to contribute their ideas and share their knowledge with their peers. Some students who hardly speak in classroom, have posted 12/13 messages over the two weeks. Marks could be the main motivator for this.

Online discussion encourage active participation The number of messages posted and read was gathered from the Blackboard system and added to get the total. In total there are 47 messages posted over two weeks. The average number of posts per student was 11.75. The length of total messages is 2291. In a group of 4 students, these results indicate a high level of participation, which might not have been achieved in a typical classroom discussion setting. The self-pace environment that online discussion offers allow students to post quality messages, which shows that deep learning, took place. In total, the messages are read for 602 number of times. This shows that students have read the messages many times and this gives them an opportunity to increase their knowledge. Whereas, for discussion that takes place in classroom there will be no way to access or read it on their own pace and time.

problem base question to the group in the discussion board. The instructor in early week 3 posted the question. Each student is then required to post discussion base upon their role also to respond to their group members. As this is a group work, each member of the group is required to help each other to solve the problem.

Critical thinking in online discussion Discussion started in week 3 of the Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

Online Discussion Online learning tools such as discussion board provide many ways to increase communication between students and instructor. Rossman, (1999) concluded that communication using asynchronous postings to the discussion forum allows students to post at their convenience. Students are able to take time to read the messages, have deep thought and understanding about it before responding with valuable and mind provoking responses.

The analyses of messages revealed that the quality of messages posted gets better in second week of the discussion whereas in week one students spend time introducing themselves, exchanging contacts and assigning of roles. In week two, critical thinking skills such as exploring, integrating and later on applying the ideas into real world took place. Most of the time, these students post their message at night. This is not possible for classroom discussion. The above example shows that active participation happen regardless of time in online discussion. 11

Practical Inquiry Model measuring cognitive presence (adapted from Garrison et al., 2001) Descriptor Indicators Phase 1 Trigger events


Recognising Sense of puzzlement the problem

Phase 2 Exploration

Information exchange Suggestions for consideration Brainstorming


Phase 3 Integration


Phase 4 Resolution


Connecting ideas, synthesis Creating solutions Vicarious application to real word Testing solutions

There are four phases of PIM to measure level of critical thinking. All messages were analysed on these entire four categories.

Findings and discussion Higher number of messages in resolution phase could have been reached if instructor interfered and facilitated the discussion. McLoughlin & Luca (1999) found that when instructor interferes in the discussion, he is able to guide the students into a higher level of critical thinking. Quality of messages improved rapidly in Week Two, as students were able to discuss and understand the given task better. It also helps them to have intense thought before responding with mind provoking responses. Evidence from messages posted in Week Two shows that students have improved their writing skills as well. Discussion board helps student improve their writing skill. Cohen and Spencer (1993) as cited by Greenlaw (2003) commented that writing is essential for critical thinking as it allows student to build arguments. Students that fail to attend lectures were still able to take part in the online discussion. They can still grasp the knowledge that they miss in class by reading the messages posted in the online discussion board. In this study the high number of messages read (602 times) shows that the students spend a lot of time reading 12

Critical Thinking According to Cohen and Spencer (1993) as cited by Greenlaw (2003), writing is an important element for critical thinking. It allows the students to learn and develop arguments that are supported by logic and facts. While Jonassen (1995) cited that, critical thinking involves three general skills, evaluating, analysing and connecting, it also allows students to construct new knowledge that empowers them and encourages critical thinking.

effectiveness of discussion board in building critical thinking

message. This is supported by Greenlaw (2003) who commented that students would not miss the discussion as they can observe the flow of discussion anytime, anywhere without attending class.

Lengthy messages might not favour some students as it takes long time to read and understand. As such, students need to be made clear on the length of messages they can post.

The design of task given in this discussion is also another crucial issue for the success of online discussion. Each student assigned a role and grouped in a group of four. This gives them pressure and an impression that their contribution is very important to ensure the success of the group.

Discussion should include other features such as images, videos, animation rather than plain text. This will help students communicate their ideas easily and creatively. This is supported by Walker (2005) who found that integrating various learning styles in online discussion board encourages critical thinking.

Future recommendations

Discussion board- the ideal learning tool!

Students were able to reflect their thoughts better with the guidance from Instructor. As such, instructor should involve himself in sending prompt replies to student to guide them to post high quality messages. This will be another motivating factor for students as it gives them the impression that the instructor checks each of their messages in detail.

Flexibility in time that online discussions allow students to critically analyse their message before posting it. Therefore, discussion board would be an ideal learning tool for teaching and learning as information are always overflowing with the arrival of Internet.

Information collected from the messages posted by students is not sufficient to check whether critical thinking took place. Additional information from questionnaires from students would give a better insight to the researcher to evaluate the

Jaya Athinarayanan is a Lecturer in Sunway University College, Malaysia. She has been teaching various levels and programmes from Diploma up to Degree level for the past seven years specializing in Multimedia. Currently, she is in charge of developing subjects as the Member of the Curriculum Development Committee for Multimedia Center. January 2007 |

Perspective Dr Normahdiah Sheik Said [NORMA@FBMK.UPM.EDU.MY], Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Towards a ‘model of engagement’

Designing Multimedia Application for Children


here are lots of multimedia applications designed for children. A lot of imagination has gone into these designs especially educational applications but evidence from a scoping study and literature has demonstrated that the children find them boring much to the disappointment of some designers and producers. Having gone through periods of successes and failures, the educational software that was supposed to enrich and widen the child’s “window” on the world has to some extent failed to capture the interest and engagement of children. The kernel of the whole research was about discovering if this is true and if so to find out what we can do to make the multimedia appropriate for children. Perhaps a Design Model that could represent what children want in a multimedia application designed for them could prove to be useful for designers and evaluators to design systems that are both engaging and educational.

Engagement factors Basically there are four main issues that seemed to be present in any discussion of children interacting with computer applications. The probable issues circulate around questions like: • Does the application allow them to interact with it? • What are the operating tools used? • How immediate is the feedback when using it? • What are the goals expected of them or could be set by them when interacting with the multimedia environment? Being able to interact is not the only criteria of preferences. The scoping study has demonstrated that the most 14

important factor about children preferences with the multimedia CDs had to do not only with the ability for them to interact with the system but also to have design features that could draw the user’s attention so that he or she would not want to stop when asked to do so.

Most believed that multimedia has enormous potential. Many tried to design rich multimedia experience. Some works but some does not work. A search was made for a multimedia application that fitted the ‘wish lists’ of end-users in a scoping study.The Sims was a popular game about Life Management, where players play a major role in the management of everyday family life like providing a place to stay, managing finance, basic needs, moods and desires.The end-users had a very engaging experience interacting with this application. It was then chosen as a vehicle for these investigations. An Engagement Model was developed by the researcher through a number of experimental situations on end-users as they interact with this application. Findings from the experiments has given incites into what design factors that engages end-users and what does not when interacting with a multimedia application.The findings are not only useful in designing for children but in any elearning environment.

This sense of “engagement” or “being engaged” will enable the user to be fully immersed from the moment in the timeline of interaction when they are totally cut off from their surroundings through a force derived from within - intrinsic motivation. This Stanton (1998) refers to as hedonic. Therefore, the whole business of fulfilling the children’s need is to find multimedia that has properties that helped them to achieve this state and remain in it.

The research programme There are five experimental situations involve in this research study. The overall purpose was to find out what really matters when designing multimedia for children. The story began by finding out what works and what did not and the whys behind it all. In a preliminary scoping study it was revealed that multimedia, as an approach, was rated higher than books but the children found the multimedia applications shown to them much less interesting than the corresponding books. These findings seem to suggest that the children did realise the potential of multimedia but did not like the design of the multimedia applications given to them. As a result the experimental programme became focused on the features of the multimedia that could create this sense of engagement. The study started to develop a theoretical January 2007 |

framework that was later tested and retested and ended in the formulation a multimedia design model that engages children. Each experimental study conducted illustrated how engagement really worked in a multimedia environment. To sum up the findings from the scoping study it appeared that what children wanted was an application that let them: be in control, work at their own pace, manipulate the system, play a role in the action, create, see the things done on the screen immediately, have feedback that is not too delayed, and have goals either set for them or set by them. A review of the literature about engagement and related concepts reinforced these conclusions and led to a provisional statement of the five design features that contributed to the experience of engagement.

An application that exemplifies user engagement One way to find a multimedia application that exemplified user engagement is to look for a multimedia application that has been proven to be very popular with children. The

What do the children want? A scoping study in a natural setting was conducted to see the reactions of children when interacting with books and a number of multimedia applications that comprises of information CDs and a game CD. Through a grounded theory of ‘discovery lead by children‘ method the researcher had factors those could make one multimedia system more engaging than another. Findings from this scoping study demonstrated some needs that would help them stay engaged. • Children wanted a system that allowed them to be in control or in charge. When made to compare, books were preferred because they preferred to read rather than be read to. They could flip through the pages and feel them. • Children wanted a system that allowed them to create. Children expression of their wish of wanting to create is all about having a chance to get some form of ownership or personalisation into the system they are interacting with and not having everything already there “created” for them like the information CDs and some educational websites designed for children. • Children wanted to see what the impact would be if they did this or that to the system. They wanted some form of immediacy to enable them to see immediately what happens if an action is taken like a position of the cursor change when a mouse moves to a certain direction, etc. • Children wanted feedback preferably immediate rather than delayed. • Children wanted goals and purpose for doing something either set by them or set for them. In this scoping study, the children were free to play around with the multimedia given to them. The purpose was to see whether the design features in the multimedia could give some form of motivation to attract them to it. The findings show that goals are important for children, either set by them or set for them, that is, either extrinsically or intrinsically motivated. Therefore, when an external drive is not present, the multimedia must have goals either directed to the children by the system or it must make it possible for the children themselves to set and achieve their own goals (task closure) to arrive a certain level of attainment.

To sum up the findings from the scoping study it appeared that what children wanted was an application that let them be in control, work at their own pace, manipulate the system, play a role in the action, create, see the things done on the screen immediately, have feedback that is not too delayed, and have goals either set for them or set by them application has to be entertaining and educational. The purpose of this study was to find out whether the five design features identified in the scoping study were present in the application and if so whether the features do contribute to the degree of engagement experienced by children. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

A website from an independent and reputed source that sells all kinds of edutainment and games CDs for children was seek. It was found that the game, The Sims got very high ratings (higher upper end ranging from 8/10 to 10/10) in terms of preferences from lists of 96 customer reviews about it collected by the

source from 18 Feb 2000 to 23 October 2001 (Woolworths, 2002) since its release 11 Feb 2000.

The Sims The Sims was a popular game about life management, where players play a major role in the management of 15

everyday family life like providing a place to stay, managing finance, basic needs, moods and desires. A close observation of the application revealed that this multimedia has all the five elements mentioned above. Through in-depth observations and analysis the researcher found out that The Sims let’s children do role-play and be creative. It gives immediacy to actions made from input devices on screens. It gives feedback: immediate when they are building and rather more delayed when seeing the consequences for families. Its goals are either, directed or non – directed. Most initial goals are task directed by designers but when the child wants to continue playing, the child can set the goals.

Structure of study

The Engagement Scale Score

A number of experimental stages were made in this study. The first group of experiments was conducted to find out if this multimedia application, The Sims, that has all five features, is really engaging. The next experiment was if the game is engaging, which of the factors contribute to the sense of engagement. A Preliminary Engagement Model was designed from these factors that contribute to engagement. The other experimental studies that follow were conducted to test this model. Factors in the model were dismantled to test, design, retest and redesign under varying conditions till the Engagement Model gets its final form.

The children were asked to place their feelings about stopping if asked to do so at the moment when the bell rang. They could place as high as 10 if they did not want to stop and wanted to continue playing or as low as 0 or leave the game if they want to stop or bored with the game.

Towards a model of engagement Even though it did not prove possible to disentangle all of the engagement

factors so that they could be separately tested, the following overall conclusions could be drawn from a systematic analysis set out to test the role of these five factors in creating an engaging experience. The findings were: • When all five features are present children achieve a high engagement score over a 40 minute period • Enabling children to set higher goals for themselves, as in construct interaction, often led to more sustained engagement • Children with prior experience of the game became engaged much faster than those without experience • The Construct Interaction condition tended to sustain permanent skill retention better than the Simulation Interaction suggesting that motor skills are more reusable than mental model skills • Children continue to develop and therefore their aspirations with any application change over time. They continued to be engaged by the application whilst they could still achieve new goals with it A model built from this summarises the results from these studies and having initially demonstrated how the five factors interplay to create an

An engagement scale score An engagement scale score of 0 to 10 with a 5-point scale smiley face was created for this study. The scale score had been tested calibrated and validated before it was used in the experiments to develop the Engagement Model. Every child was asked to record an engagement scale score whenever a bell is rang at every 5-minute interval. 16

The Engaging Multimedia Design Model for Children January 2007 |

engagement experience, there is now an inclusion of a further factor, the sixth factor of the past experience of the child.

Interactivity Through tests on this engaging application it was demonstrated that, in most cases, no interaction does mean non-engagement. This finding supports the hypothetical statement that interactivity is premier in any form of engagement. Basically a multimedia has got to be interactive in order for it to be engaging. The

children have got to be able to do something and see the impact on it for them to be engaged to it. However, children were not necessarily engaged just by having some design feature that allowed them to interact using some basic operative tools. It was found that children quickly get bored not only when they had only a few things to do; but also when the design features are in plentiful variety. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

Children felt bored because there was nothing to do. This is because of passiveness of the design. It became evident that, though interactive, these design features lacked the ability to allow the children to do anything with it and this bores them. In other words for a child to appreciate and like a multimedia application there must be some kind of activity occurring between the user and the computer application that helps them stay engaged. Schank (1993) suggested that students learn well when they are engaged in active exploration, interpretation, and construction of ideas and products with multiple resources. The scoping study demonstrated that having the ability to interact and get immediate feedback using basic motor skills was necessary but not sufficient for engagement. The applications did not help children achieve a set of goals that is intrinsically motivating if external motivation is not present. As far as learning through play is concerned, engagement steps in when

the line of demarcation between the two kinds of rewards disappear. For the children in this research, at least, engagement is all about the drive from within, an intrinsic motivation of not wanting to stop, a point in time when the drive from without becomes “irrelevant” to the situation under study. There are a number of reasons why this phenomenon happens. At most times it is all about goals setting. Some design features sustained engagement better than others because of the wider scope of freedom of goals setting the design promoted as in Construct Interaction. Others tended to restrict freedom of goals setting thus hindering the extension of creation and imagination, which in turn resulted in a much shorter engagement span as in Simulation Interaction. Goals, intentions, dreams, and desires are in most circumstances affecting the mental model skills of the individuals, whilst tools used to achieve these goals are affecting the motor skills of the individuals. Therefore ‘being engaged’ is about having these skills interchanging until the goal is reached. A previous experience factor accelerates the process to reach this engagement phenomenon. The more experienced the child is the faster the child reached this stage of ‘being engaged’, when they could set their own goals. The limit in engagement is reached when the design system exhausts the chance to set and achieve advanced goals. Therefore engagement can be sustained as long as the system can successfully continue to give chances for users to set more goals.

Dr. Normahdiah Sheik Said is the Multimedia and IT Lecturer in Department of Malay Language, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication in Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her areas of specialisation are Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - Cognitive Ergonomics, Interactive Multimedia, Language Technology. Educational Technology and Media in Education, Designing Technology for Children: game multimedia applications, educational multimedia applications, encyclopeadic multimedia applications, Children as Design Partners, Digital Story Telling are some of her research interests.



educate the students with latest 3D design technologies and prepare them for careers in engineering as well as design. It will also enable global interaction.

INDIA Schools all set to enter ‘space age’ Schools in the state Tamil Nadu are set to reap the benefits of space-age technology with the State project directorate of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) launching a project to digitally map all schools to cover ‘bald patches’. The project, School GIS, will use the Geographic Information System and the Global Positioning System to spatially generate digital format maps under the District Information System for Education (DISE). The maps will be used to generate data on which habitations do not have access to schools and which schools need to be upgraded. Schools low on performance and enrolments will be identified. The DISE has been revised this year to include data on unrecognised schools. Tamil Nadu was the first State to achieve complete coverage under DISE in 2004-05 and the reports thus generated will be shared with stakeholders at various levels.

Cutting-edge technology for education sector AutoDesk Inc. has launched a global student engineering and design community portal (http:// in India, to

Students and faculties across the country can access the portal by entering the university id. Consumers of the community will have access to a number of tutorials, different forums, class discussions, social networking, a library of international projects, case studies, and search for employment and internship. Autodesk’s recent initiative is aimed at acquainting Indian students with the wide possibilities that 3D design technologies offer and provide them a larger platform for marketing themselves to the global community. Providing students and educators the opportunity to freely download and use such high-end software packages along with the training materials is going to help advance ‘design enablement’ of India.

UGC plans virtual university, with on-line exams As educational institutes gear up to increase the number of seats in view of the new quota bill, the University Grants Commission has mooted a proposal of setting up a virtual varsity, that does away with the need for classrooms. The proposed university does away with the concept of classrooms and offers interaction with teachers via television using the Edusat satellite and also makes available the study material on the Internet that can be accessed from home. Exams, too, would be conducted on-line for different undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The proposal by the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), an inter-university wing of University Grants Commission (UGC), comes against the backdrop of a bill passed by the Parliament that mandates


increase in number of seats to allow quotas for OBCs in Government-aided educational institutions. CEC has installed satellite interactive terminals in most of the general universities across the country where students can go and participate in the programmes. The CEC has also installed receiveonly terminals in several colleges, including 72 institutions in northeastern States. The programmes will be available in these centres, but the students will not have the scope to interact with the experts here.

IBS Launches India’s First AI Focused Institute

Intelligent Business Systems (IBS), the AI-based business competitiveness solutions firm, has announced the launch of IBS Education Pvt Ltd (IBSE). It will bring to India research-based education and training in areas of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. It will offer customised courses for corporates, and long-term graduate and postgraduate level degrees like MSc, MPhil & PhD in areas such as Computational Neuroscience, Intelligent Systems and Computational Intelligence. It plans to target software professionals, who are working in software companies, IT departments and also students with MCA, B.Tech and B.E qualifications for its short-term and long-term courses.

MS lines up pilot Tathya Mitra kiosks in Bengal Microsoft Corporation has partnered with the panchayat and rural January 2007 |

development (P&RD) department of government of West Bengal to set up five pilot ‘Tathya Mitra’ kiosks at the gram panchayat level in the state. These kiosks will assess the information needs of the rural people and viability and sustainability of their operation on commercial basis through women SHG members. Two of these kiosks will come up in Purba Medinipur and three in Birbhum district. These ‘Tathya Mitra’ kiosks will employ ICT to catalyse progress and access to information, education, e-governance, tele-medicine services, amongst others, in the rural areas.

IITs seek quotas for foreign students The seven IITs have asked the HRD ministry to reserve 25% post-graduate seats and 10% faculty posts for foreigners. The idea to introduce reservations for foreigners was mooted after all the seven directors agreed that having a mix of “unlike minds with different backgrounds” will work towards enhancing the academic environment on campuses. This is not the first initiative aimed at widening the pool of students. In fact, to draw talent from overseas, the IITs have also announced setting up jee centres in Singapore and West Asia. As part of the expansion plan to accommodate 27% OBC students, campuses will require 1,200-1,500 more faculty members. Officials hope to meet some of the demand by recruiting abroad.

Vocational subjects in CBSE course soon The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be introducing vocational subjects required by the industry at the plus-two level in a phased manner to equip students for employment. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

The course would be known as Professional Competency Education or Occupational Oriented Education and some of them have been identified so far. The subjects could range from health care, fashion and garment technology, BPO call centre courses to financial management transactions. President A P J Abdul Kalam had spoken about equipping students with vocational training at the ten-plus-two level saying there was a need for them to acquire skill at that stage.

BMC’s mantra for exam success is ‘live@school’ The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has hit upon a new idea to improve Secondary School Certificate examination results in its schools. Students will be asked to make the school their home for three months preceding the exams. This, officials feel, will ensure that BMC students score better.

To implement the proposal, the BMC has sought the support of NGOs to provide the necessary facilities, serve lunch and dinner, organise lectures on concentration, and maintain physical and psychological fitness. But the proposal is facing some opposition in the BMC’s education committee, a body comprising corporators. The committee has decided that parents’ permission must be sought before implementing the proposal.

Project Sharada bags best IT usage award

From left Lalit Sahni (Chairman CSI), Mukesh Hajela (CEO of NICT), Mahendra Gupta (CTO of NICT), Indira Yadav (Director-Primary Education, MCD), Jitendra Choudhary (COO of NICT) with the award

NICT an NGO of Indore bagged the first prize under the category “CSITCS Award for Best Usage” of the CSI National IT Awards 2004-06 for the year 2004-05, for implementation of “Project SHARADA” in Primary Schools run by the second largest Municipal Corporation in the world, the Municipal Corporation Delhi, MCD. Project Sharda is a unique project in which ICT is being used to meet the challenges faced by MCD primary schools like low retentions, enrollment disinterest in education and coming to school in the urban poor community. The project has contributed remarkably in the Govt. vision and concern about primary education its univeralisation, reach and affordability with quality education. The award was given to NICT and MCD Jointly in a ceremony held during the 41st CSI annual convention of Computer Society of India (CSI) at Kolkata on 23rd November 2006. The theme of convention was “Affordable Computing”.


Digital Learning - The Year 2006 The year 2006 keeps immense significance for Digital ting Learning Celebra in 12 as it success sues is allowed g in g n cha us to start the journey together, to see through all its moves closely, to gather all moments- victory and defeat- and to

January 2006

learn from those, to capture all moments through issues every month, uninterruptedly, and leaving behind all memories with the end of the journey, along with endless hope and energy to move forward in order to create and collect a lot more from the world of ICT and education. The end of the year marking the joy of celebrating first anniversary at Digital Learning certainly speaks volumes on

February 2006

our commitment to the communities. Twelve months back, we attempted to define ICT and Education in our first issue. 12 months later, we are trying to redefine ICT and Education, with the year 2006 passed and with the commencement of a New Year. Digital Learning extends the joy to you all, who have been the reasons for it to make the attempt, to take the march, and to see a better tomorrow in the New Year.

March 2006

April 2006

Discussions of the year • • • • • •


Smart schools in Asia ICT in Education in India School Networks Emerging technologies in Education Thailand- the next Asian education hub Partnerships in ICT-led education

• • • • • •

Lifelong learning ICT in Education policy Digital content Celebrating innovation and enterprise Ushering knowledge revolution in Asia Technologies in education

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006 January 2007 |

O pportunities for

D igital A sia 6-8 February, 2007 Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Malaysia


knowledge for change

Host Organisations

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (MEWC) Government of Malaysia

Institutional Partners

Principal Sponsor

International Government Partners


Knowledge Partners

Tourism Partners

Media Partners ov


University of Malya


Supporting Partners

Asia's largest conference on ICT4D eASiA 2007 through its five seminal conferences, will focus on five emerging application domains of ICT for Development - eGovernment, ICT in Education, ICT and Rural Development, ICT enabled Health Services and Mobile Application and Services for Development

What? •

Meeting point to foster cooperation in ICT for Development in Asia

Platform for consultative dialoguing, strategic planning and business partnering

Comprehensive programme with keynotes from professionals, technical sessions and an exhibition

Participation of high level speakers and experts on ICT from Asia and beyond

Forum to address the issues of digital divide and explore opportunities for Digital Asia

Who? •

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication, Government of Malaysia

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Malaysia

Microsoft Corporation

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland

The Commission in Information and Communications Technology, Philippines

The National Computer Center (NCC), Philippines

Ministry of Information and Communication, Government of Korea

The National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Malaysia

International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada

... And many more

Why? •

Meet key decision makers, experts, leaders and stakeholders in ICT arena at one platform

Meet professional service providers, IT vendors, Telecom vendors, Satellite providers, Consulting firms, Government agencies and National-International development organisations in the domain of ICT

Opportunity for potential business partners from Asia and beyond to meet and exchange ideas and needs

Opportunities for cooperation in the field of ICT for development, education, governance and health among Asian countries

6 - 8 February, 2007 Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Malaysia

The Venue The Putrajaya International Convention Centre or better known as PICC among the Putrajaya residents, is located on top of Taman Puncak Selatan in Precinct 5. PICC takes its shape from the eye of the pending perak (a silver Malay royal belt buckle) with the main halls set in the eye of the pending perak. Putrajaya International Convention Centre Dataran Gemilang, Precinct 5 Federal Government Administrative Centre 62000 Putrajaya, Malaysia Tel: +6-03-8887 6000 Fax: +6-03-8887 6499 E-mail: Web:

Transportation and Accommodation Transportation By Road: Putrajaya is 25 kms from Kuala Lumpur and 15 minutes drive from KLIA and F1 circuit in Sepang. It is the most accessible city in Malaysia. You can reach Putrajaya using expressways, urban highways and rail. Prepaid Taxi: Delegates may take prepaid taxis from Airport to Putrajaya and/or from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. Putrajaya International Convention Centre is approximately 30 min from KLIA and approximately 40 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city. Shuttle Service by organisers during the conference period: The organisers will provide a shuttle service for delegates from the Putrajaya Station to Conference Venue and Conference Hospitality Partner Hotels in Putrajaya (and back) on hourly basis. By Train: A high-speed train service either from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KL Central (city), Kuala Lumpur, is the fastest way to reach Putrajaya.

Accommodation Organisers are pleased to announce Marriott Putrajaya as the Conference Partner Hotel for eASiA 2007. The hotel will offer the delegates room accommodation at a subsidised rate. Please visit the link for more details and to book your room.

eASiA's Unique Value Proposition •

High level speakers and experts from Asia and beyond

Right technology solutions and partners

Opportunity to forge strategic partnerships with sellers and buyers

Focussed session and target audience

Face-to-face meeting with key customers and prospects

Latest e-Solution services and initiatives from across Asia

6 - 8 February, 2007 Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Malaysia

Asia's largest conference on ICT4D

ASiA 2007

ASiA 2007

egov Asia 2007 will bring together some of the best minds from the highest echelons of government, industry, academia and civil society to discuss and deliberate on the key strategies for e-Government. The conference aims to create an invaluable Asian platform for consultative dialoguing, strategic planning, knowledge networking and business partnering in the field of e-Government. Highlights: • National e-Government strategies • International and regional perspectives • Policy reforms for ICT-enabled governments • Models of e-Service delivery • Emerging technology solutions

Digital Learning Asia 2007 will bring some of the key drivers from the leading countries of technology-enabled education to deliberate on the pressing challenges of technology-enabled education from capacity building to reengineering pedagogy; change management to providing digital access.

Asian Telecentre Forum 2007 aims to bring the Asian practitioners on a platform for learning and sharing the experiences. Experts will be engaged in close assessment of issues relating to project monitoring steered by external financial support, from international development agencies & governments in Asia.


Highlights • Telecentre movement in Asia: Road ahead • Partnerships for developing telecentre networks • Financing mechanism and sustainability factors of rural telecentres: A reality check • Service delivery and capacity building through telecentres

• National strategies on ICT in education • Localisation, customisation and content development • Educating the educators • Re-engineering pedagogy • e-Learning trend and practices • Education technology trends in Asia

Get Visibility through our Four Niche Magazines

ASiA 2007

Key Speakers

eHealth Asia 2007 aims to provide a platform to discuss the recent trends and emerging issues in the development of information & communications, science and technology and its integration in healthcare systems. Conference will provide a knowledge sharing platform for deliberating on the opportunities and possibilities of ICT use for better health care delivery.

mServe Asia aims to discuss and showcase the different aspects of mobile services, technologies, implementation and implications, developments on the public administration and tie them to the existing and future m-Government, education, agriculture and other applications. The conference will provide a platform to promote networking and business opportunity development.


Highlights • Enterprise mobile workforce management • Mobile infrastructure and connectivity issues • Next Generation 3G Network • mLearning • mServices • Emerging applications

• e-Health in developing countries • e-Health administration and management • Rural telemedicine • Emerging technologies in e-Health • Challenges and opportunities for collaborative action in e-Health

• Walter Fust, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) • Richard Fuchs, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) • R. Chandrashekar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Government of India • Gerri Elliot, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft

Host and Partner Organisations Host Organisation

Supporting Partners

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia The Ministry is the key policy formulator and service regulator in Energy, Water and Communications sectors in Malaysia. The Ministry's main thrust is to facilitate and regulate the growth of industries in these sectors to ensure the availability of high quality, efficient and safe services at a reasonable price to consumers throughout the country.

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization that supports programs in Asia that help improve governance and law, economic reform and development, women's empowerment, and international relations.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is the regulator for the converging communications and multimedia industry. The role of the MCMC Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is to implement and promote the Government's national policy objectives for the communications and multimedia sector.

International Government Partners The Commission in Information and Communications Technology, Philippines, is the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, regulating, and administrative entity of the executive branch of Government that promotes, develops, and regulates integrated and strategic ICT systems and reliable and cost-efficient communication facilities and services. The National Computer Center (NCC), Philippines, fundamental functions were to provide information bases for integrated planning and implementation of development programs and operational activities in the government.

Knowledge Partner INTAN is a premier government institution of Malaysia providing world-class training and capacity building programmes for public sector organisations of the country.

ASiA 2007

ASiA 2007

Bellanet promotes and facilitates effective collaboration within the international community, especially through the use of ICTs. The Commonwealth is an association of 53 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace. is both a social investment program that supports grassroots telecentre networks and a loose family of organizations with a common commitment to helping the telecentre movement thrive. In India USAID is investing in economic growth, health, disaster management, environment and equity in India and in programs that focus on areas where help is needed most and people-level impact is high. in Warisan Global is a knowledge strategy company of Malaysia that is in the business of designing, developing and executing projects in the area of bridging the digital divide and grassroots entrepreneurhsip.

Institutional Partners The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a multicampus university of global standing, with distinctive strengths in education and research and an entrepreneurial dimension.

MobileMonday Malaysia is an open community of mobile professionals fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events that share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets.

UiTM is Malaysia's premier institution of higher learning that has experienced a phenomenal growth since its inception in 1956.

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland's international cooperation agency within the Swiss Foreign Ministry. Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) was established on 30 November 1965 as a chartered international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture in the Southeast Asian region. Sarvodaya is dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of rural Sri Lankans.

University of Malya

Universiti Malaya is the first University of Malaysia, situated in the southwest of Kuala Lumpur - the capital city of Malaysia.

Conference Contacts Exhibition: Himanshu Kalra ( Papers: Prachi Shirur ( Registration: Mukesh Sharma ( General Information: Himanshu Kalra (

Asia's largest conference on ICT4D

Top Reasons to Exhibit at eASiA 2007 Targeted audience eASiA 2007 brings the right mix of quality delegates unparalleled at any other Asian forum. Unlike many other general IT fairs, it addresses the need to bring region's top public sector buyers at one place thus saving time and resources of focussed suppliers.

Valuable opportunity for face-to-face meetings eASiA 2007 maximises the face-to-face time exhibitors spend with key customers and prospects through informal meetings, structured appointments and many networking lunch and dinner receptions.

Listen to key decision-makers' needs eASiA 2007 gives you access to government IT decision-makers with the need, the authority and the budget to buy your products and services.

Focussed sessions for sponsors to position their solutions Sponsors could benefit from the key sessions, panel discussions and workshops by participating in the discussions and presenting their solutions to the quality audience from around Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Proven organisers eASiA 2007 is organised by Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and GIS Development, who have more than 10 years of experience in organizing niche events on ICT and GIS across continents along with several government partners.

Exhibitor's Response! "I wish to congratulate you all on pulling off not one but three conferences, all at the same platform. That was truly audacious in scope." Cisco

"I congratulate the CSDMS team for organising such a prestigious event. It was insightful for us at least." Canon India

"I was deeply honoured to participate in the conference. The quality of discourse, talent and depth of knowledge by the speakers, and the extraordinary opportunity for learning made Vision 2010 a great success for TechSoup." TechSoup

6 - 8 February, 2007 Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Malaysia

Key Sessions • ICT in education: Opportunities for Digital Asia • ICT in education: Reviewing Policy and Practice in Asia

• e-Learning practices for K-12 education : Scaling models and managing change • Optimising the potential of e-Learning in higher education, Panel discussion by University Technology Mara

• Panel Discussion on ‘Digital Technologies for Development: Reassessing the Asian Experience’ by National University of Singapore, Singapore

• Educating the educators

• Online courses and distance education: challenges of infrastructure, pedagogy and content

• Content development and Managing e-Learning environments

Participating Organisations •

Independent University, Bangladesh

University of Delhi, India

University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

NIC/CAG of India

Shah Jalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh

International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics, India

Regional Information Center and Software Engineering, Egypt

IGNOU, India

National Institute of Open Schooling, India

Sunway University College, Malaysia

DOEAC Society, India

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Annamalai University, India

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Centre for Environment Education, India

University Tun Abdul Razak (Unitar), Malaysia

Infosys Technologies Limited, India

Rasala Publications, Pakistan

Mangalore University, India

National University of Singapore

Henderson Secondary School, Singapore

ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, India

University of Colombo School of Computing

Computer Science University of Indonesia

University of Lelaniya, Colombo

University of Tehran

Institute of Cartography, Switzerland

Institute of Cartography, Switzerland

Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Nigeria

And many more


knowledge for change

Host Organisations

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (MEWC) Government of Malaysia

eASiA 2007 Secretariat (Malaysia) GIS Development Sdn. Bhd., Suit 22.6, Level 22, Menara Genesis, 33 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur 50250, Malaysia Tel: +60166852201 Tel: +60166910129

Principal Sponsor


International Government Partners


eASiA 2007 Secretariat (India) Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies G - 4, Sector-39, NOIDA - 201 301, India, Tel: +91-120-2502180 to 85 Fax: +91-120-2500060 Web: E-mail:

6 - 8 February, 2007 Malaysia


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Delegate Registration Fees Details Malaysia Delegates

Delegates from outside Malaysia

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Fees Entitlements The Delegate Registration entitles the individual to participate in all technical sessions, workshops, keynotes and plenary sessions and social functions for all five/any egov Asia 2007, Digital Learning Asia 2007, Asian Telecentre Forum 2007, eHealth Asia 2007 and mServe Asia 2007 conferences. It also includes: •

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Tea/Coffee breaks on all three days of conference.

Lunch for all three days

Cancellations and Substitutions In case of any unforeseen or unprecedented occurrence beyond the hold of the conference secretariat, where the conference is called off, due to natural disasters, epidemics, man-made civil disturbances or other mishaps of large scale, there shall be no refund or reimbursement of any fees or commitments. Cancellation and Substitution Policy !

In case a registered participant is unable to attend, s/he may send his substitute to attend the conference. S/he must inform the Secretariat by 6th January 2007.


In case a registered participant is unable to attend and wants refund of registration fees, s/he may convey the same by 6th January 2007 and is liable to claim back 50% of the Registration Fee, subject to decision of the Secretariat. This does not hold for force majeure condition.



eASiA 2007 Secretariat (Malaysia) GIS Development Sdn. Bhd., Suit 22.6, Level 22, Menara Genesis, 33 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur 50250, Malaysia Tel: +60166852201 Tel: +60166910129

Fax +60321447636 (Malaysia) +91 120 2500060 (India)

eASiA 2007 Secretariat (India) Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies G - 4, Sector-39, NOIDA - 201 301, India, Tel: +91-120-2502180 to 85 Fax: +91-120-2500060 Web: E-mail:

For any information/enquiry contact: Tel: +60166852201 (Malaysia) Tel: +919312907675 (India) Web: Email:


A Preferred Thought Partner! Subrat Mohanty, Chief Executive Officer Hurrix Systems, India Could you elaborate on the kind of e-learning activities Hurix systems is engaged in? Hurix is a one-stop shop for end-toend learning solutions. We specialise in providing thought-partnership to our clients to formulate and implement the learning solutions that integrate their business and people strategies. We help enterprises assess its learning requirements and then use our skills and experience to design, create, and implement the perfect solution to meet those requirements. Our complete e-learning solutions are judicious blends of technology based and instructor led trainings. They are the perfect fit between technology, audience, learning objectives, and content in the most useful, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Innovation in process, Excellence in results and Values in practicewith this mission Hurix Systems, the Indian multinational has continuously been trying to shape the Gen-next e-learning since year 2001. Hurix offers a complete suite of services with flexible solutions that address specific e-learning needs and challenges. The man at Hurix behind the strong understanding of learner needs and industry requirements, Subrat Mohanty, Chief Executive Officer, gives an update on products, people and systems. With over nine years of technology-based training experience, Subrat is now looking forward to simulations and virtual labs for Hurix. Gizmocrazy Subrat also dreams to set up a personal robotics lab. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

The services we offer in the e-learning sphere can be divided into content and technology solutions. These include curriculum design, content development, content integration, content migration, content management services, application design, development, and deployment. Our clients belong to a vastly diverse set of industries such as Educational Publishing, Aviation, Healthcare and Pharma, and Hi-tech. Why did Hurix choose to work in education? Hurix was founded by people with the twin passions of education and technology. Globally, education is poised on the cusp of great change. The coming years will see the world teach and learn in new ways that are 29

CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERS’ SPEAK inconceivable for the vast majority of people today. The various elements that define the way people learn are metamorphosing to open up the whole new worlds of possibilities. More than anything else, the power of technology will be harnessed to facilitate empowerment through learning. We believe there is tremendous opportunity for innovative products and services during these times of change and as a business it is our goal to address these opportunities with world class services. Hurix has multiple development centers in India. Do you have any specific reasons? Kindly brief us about the geographical presence of Hurix, and the further expansion plans, if any. Multiple geographical centers are mandatory to facilitate disaster recovery and redundancy. We have 2 development centers in Mumbai and 2 more in Chennai. We have found the right balance of infrastructure, availability of resources and cost in these cities. We are also looking at other cities for our future expansion. We are evaluating Delhi (we have small office in Delhi Currently). Some of the other cities we are considering include Kolkata and Pune.

prevalent. Although e-learning is still making great strides in those markets, and there is a lot more that can be done, they are still years, perhaps decades ahead of us. Perhaps the most telling comment would be that the overwhelming majority of work being done in e-learning in India is targeted at global audiences.

How did you succeed in establishing a place for Hurix in this global niche market of elearning? What has been your forte in this sector? Hurix is much more than services and solutions. Our forte is Thought Partnership. From the beginning, we have made it a point to look beyond the immediate task given to us by our clients. We always make the effort to understand the business goals of our clients. We deploy high quality assets and resources to help our client create a solution that complements their business strategy, and then formulate the perfect technology and learning strategy that address the business problem. This has helped us to consistently exceed client expectations and create exceptionally robust client relation-ships that stand the test of time.

How different are the Indian elearning initiatives and foreign ones? e-learning is a means to an end, a tool if you will. The way it is used depends on what it is being used for. Since it is given that every country would have its own peculiar challenges and needs where teaching and learning are concerned, it follows that no elearning initiative can be a copy of other. Therefore, an Indian e-learning initiative, by definition, is bound to be different from foreign ones. As things stand, however, the biggest difference, of course, is in the degree of maturity: in India it is still just emerging, whereas especially in the US and Europe it is a lot more 30

What are your views on opportunities in the domestic market? What needs to be done to promote e-learning in India? India is an emerging market for elearning with tremendous potential in the medium to long term. We still have a way to go before it will be viable for a player like Hurix to thrive on the business available in the Indian market alone, but the day is not too far off when that becomes possible. Right now there are too few institutions with programmes that create the kind of human resources that we need in this industry. Hurix has been running a programme to interact closely with educational institutions with programmes that are relevant to our industry, with a view to help align their curricula to the needs of the industry and also to give the students doing these courses an idea about the possibilities and opportunities in our industry. We have also been talking to various other entities to set up an e-learning chapter within NASSCOM. How do you see the global market for eLearning? Which sector of the market (K-12, higher education, corporate learning etc) do you think will see the maximum growth in the next few years? The market is huge, and it is growing. K-12 and higher education are the sectors that will see the greatest growth in the next 1-5 years, because corporate learning has already grown to a considerable extent. What have been the critical roadblocks for you in this direction?

Five years from now, my vision of Hurix is to be • A preferred thought partner to the clients • An industry leader in terms of revenue and profitability • A preferred destination for professionals in our industry.

Size. Very often we think and act like a company more than ten times our size. As a result, we end up competing against much larger entities both for business as well as talent. In these situations, our size sometimes acts as a roadblock. January 2007 |

CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS Indian Internet companies Mercantila, TutorVista get funding Two India-based Internet companies Mercantila and TutorVista, catering mainly to customers in the United States, have received US$29.5 million funding from Lightspeed Ventures Partners.

enabling 20 million students in educational institutions of India to offer e-learning simultaneously. On completion, FLAG Global Network would span over 1,15,000 km by December 2009 taking the total optic fibre assets of Reliance Communications Group to over 2,30,000 km.

New Cisco Academy launched at St Michael’s Foundation Investment, Industry and IT Minister Austin Gatt has launched the first of a series of five new Cisco academies in Malta, at the St Michael’s Foundation. While Mercantila, an online retail venture, has received US$22.5 million funding from LVP, TutorVista, an online tutoring company, has received US$7 million funding from the investors. TutorVista was set up in November 2005 to offer online tutoring. It received a first round of funding of US$2 million from Sequoia India in May 2006.

The first Cisco academies in Malta were opened in 2002 at the Swatar Training Centre, the University of Malta and MCAST. Through these three academies, some 700 individuals have followed Cisco courses to date.

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

Subject matter for the training was spread over a wide variety of areas, predominantly based on the latest Microsoft Technologies, but also on building domain competence like business intelligence and soft-skills including communication and presentation skills. Training methodologies were also varied including formal training, in-house presentations, e-learning and self-study.

Global IT services spending is likely to increase at around 7-8 per cent over the medium term to $500 billion in 2007 from $470 billion in 2006.

Reliance to carry FLAG far and wide

FLAG Global Network would have the capability to carry 2.5 billion simultaneous voice calls, 300 million simultaneous webchats, 52 million simultaneous video chats and

A University calendar was published for the first trimester and it included an unprecedented 76 training hours in that period. Annualised, this works out to 28.5 training days per employee every year; well above the annual training provided to software employees in most organisations.

Global IT services spending to grow 8%

Lightspeed is looking for more Indian ventures to finance and may invest about US$100 million to US$150 million in India in the next few years.

Reliance Communications is all set to expand FLAG Telecom’s global optic fibre network, as FLAG will build the world’s largest IP network over submarine cable systems, over the next 36 months. Called FLAG Next Generation Network (NGN), the project will cater to the telecom needs of over five billion customers across the globe.

across Bellevue (WA), Fairfax (VA) and Chennai (India).

The Cisco Academy set up at St Michael’s is special, because the school took a brave and innovative step as a secondary school to integrate the IT Essentials curriculum in the full-time ICT curriculum taught at Forms III, IV, and V.

iLink creating Saturday university iLink Systems Inc. launched a unique Saturday University program (http:// default.asp?Display=4) for all it employees in their offices spread

According to a report by Icra, IT services spending is likely to be driven by strong forecast GDP growth of 3.5 per cent in the US, moderate increase in IT spending in the US, and strong growth in IT spending in emerging markets. For Indian companies, growth is expected at around 28-30 per cent in the medium terms, driven more by reallocation of corporate budgets from internal to external spending rather than growth in aggregate IT spending. Although communications products and services represent the largest single category of ICT spending in 2006 with $1.57 trillion, software is the fastest growing category with annual growth of 10 per cent. 31

CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS MALAYSIA Aptech opens training centre in Malaysia Indian global learning solutions giant, Aptech Limited officially opened its maiden office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the launch, Aptech also announced the inauguration of a high-end training centre located at Antarabangsa, in the heart of the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur. Aptech initially plans to offer services & solutions to individuals, corporates and academic institutions in Malaysia and later address the client’s needs across South East Asia. Aptech has been operating in Malaysia in partnership with Human Resource Development Corporation (PSMB) and Cosmopoint since 2002. Under this special partnership, Aptech has provided high end software development training to over 1000 IT graduates and has an excellent 98% post training job placement record. The IT outsourcing wave has been driving India’s economic growth and India continues to dominate as the preferred provider for global e-learning solutions. In recent years, the escalating demand for e-learning and certification coupled with the lack of globally-recognised solution providers, has led Aptech to expand rapidly.

The company would increase the headcount to 2,000 over the next four years as part of steps to strengthen foothold in Malaysia. The campus would serve as a major technological development and software support facility for its ASEAN, US and Middle-Eastern clients. The campus is in addition to the 100-seater global solution center (GSC) established about three years back. The GDC would be established along with Malaysias Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC), which oversees the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative. The current staff strength of Satyam is 150 employees of which majority are Malaysians. It launched its first mass recruitment program for fresh graduates outside India in 2004. Till date, more than 65 Malaysian engineering graduates have been trained by the organisation and absorbed as full time employees at the global solution center in Kuala Lumpur.

IT grants for United Voice and Prihatin

Open document format push IBM Malaysia is taking strides to push the OpenDocument Format (ODF) concept into the public sector. These include educating the various Government agencies of the advantages of ODF, providing suggestions on the ODF migration paths, and helping in solving certain issues that crop up. Last year, Thailand, China and Japan were some of the nations to endorse a position paper from Harvard University that supports software based on open standards. And in June, the Thai government held a summit of many Asian nations which agreed to explore its adoption. India, the Philippines and Thailand are running pilot programs for ODF. Research company Gartner has predicted that by 2010, ODF will be required by 50 per cent of the governments worldwide and 20 per cent of commercial organisations.

Satyam to set up 2,000 seat development centre in Malaysia Satyam Computer Services, the country’s fourth largest software exporter, said it will set up a 2,000-seat software engineering global delivery campus in Malaysia.


Those with learning disabilities can now converse more eloquently with a picture-to-speech communicator PDA. The gadget is one of the technology-breaking projects funded by Samsung Digital Hope 2006. The Samsung Digital Hope grant programme, which is into its fourth year, recently awarded US$620,000 to 16 organisations from South-East Asia and Australia. Two of the beneficiaries are from Malaysia. They are Pertubuhan Prihatin Sosial Malaysia’s E-Community Technology Centre for Unemployed Youths, a recipient of the grant for the second consecutive year, and United Voice, which provides social, communication and leadership skills, and forums on issues related to people with learning disabilities. Pertubuhan Prihatin Sosial Malaysia (Prihatin) was awarded RM255,000 while United Voice received RM34,000.

January 2007 |



Flash card for learning

A 24/7 Tool for Learning Anywhere Anytime Dr. Lawrence Wasserman, [WFUTURE@HOTMAIL.COM], Consultant, USA Today the whole world faces and recognises the enormous force of information streaming via TV/cable, Internet, MP3, IPOD, radio, books, magazines, newspapers, smart cell phones, and handheld devices. People live in society of access to everything via the access to web pages and information searches such as google. So how do we combat Information Overload? The answer is we change the way the message is delivered! How do we change the message delivery system? By Chunking - that is grouping larger bodies of information into smaller, meaningful segments which has certain advantages. This article describes flash cards in terms of transferring content to pocketsized cards as well as access to cards by mobile phone along with making own personal mobile flash card system.

Flash cards for learning By definition Flash Cards are fast reading, pocket sized deck of cards that enable individuals, public and private enterprises to quickly tap into the best minds on business, professional development, communications, sales and marketing and host of other important content topics in work, occupation, organisation and or business. Flash Cards change the way the message and medium is traditionally delivered to one using innovative technological mobility tools in the communication age. It provides persons or enterprises to have ready access to information or serve as a learning tool for capacity Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

building to raise their level of competence to perform tasks. By chunking these flash cards can provide a learning platform for content dissemination that meets the needs of institutions – individual and companies alike.

Flash card application for bringing solution to learning Flash Cards assist knowledge workers and learners to grasp main concepts without exhausting them with extraneous details. Key ideas and important insights are extracted from CONTENT (published books, information material etc) and

placed onto pocket-sized cards with benefits of saving learning time and helping learner grasp main concepts without exhausting them with extraneous details. Flash Card application enhances the skills and capabilities of organisations to access knowledge and information easily. Best selling books (professional, business, wealth, sales, and personal development) with approval of authors and publishers are transferred onto physical reading cards and accessed them by mobile phone/PDA platform or by computer desktop/ laptop delivery with user testing capabilities. Flash cards make it practical that content needs to be learned, retained and delivered with real time access.

Flash card specifications Flash cards fast reading pocket sized cards are presented with font colors and on the backside of each card there are motivations and quotations, and inspiring messages. It’s packed with the actual methods, strategies and techniques needed at the workplace or study environment. It allows the users to easily pull out a different card each day to read as daily business building subject matter. The innovative applications for Flash cards: 1.



Pocket size cards printed and delivered with the capability of mobile access using PDA, desktop, laptop and mobile smart phones Twenty tools for individual and/ or in groups for training situation exercises within the programme Library of titles (250) available depending on number 25, 100, or 250 titles. 33

Access to professional books enables one to quickly tap into the best minds on business, management, professional development, and communication, sales and marketing and host of other topics important in the workforce or organisation. Each title deck contains key ideas and important insights extracted from existing book or pre set content. There is a library of over 250 books available in flash card format that can be used by trainers; incorporated into corporate and government training activities, and as an individual training tool. Each plastic card is black, red and yellow colors with face card telling the reader an important component of the book with around 28+ cards per deck.

of learners to gather and respond to real or simulated data unique to the current location, environment, and time using flash card content. “Engages learners in the learning process and provides for immediate reflection of the effect of their actions on the system as a whole.” (Harasim, 1992) 4.


Portability - The ability for learners to carry flash cards with/ or mobile device within a learning environment or to different learning environments with ease. “Over 50% of all employees spend up to half of their time outside the office.” Statistics from Empowering Technologies Incorporated cited by Keegan (2003)


Social Interactivity - Sharing and collaboration between learners. “The role of trainer changes from transferring knowledge to individual learners to a facilitator helping learners work together in the construction of their own knowledge.” (Harasim, 1990)

3. 34

Context Sensitivity - The ability

Author books are now available on mobile platform with ready access on smart phones, PDA, desktop/ laptop or iPOD and can be saved onto personal hard drive.

Examples of Flash card applications including mobile access 1.

Human Resource Management – mobile delivered books and content can be displayed along with types of study aides such as Checklists, Reference Tools and Self Assessments, Tests and Quizzes, Refresher Tools, In Class Pre Test Preparation, and Best Practices.


Communications and Training – using mobile media audio, and video with superimposing instructors on top of power point slides, documents or graphics, real live training can be reproduced and integrated into Flash cards.


Making own mobile flash cards

Connectivity - Learners are always connected to a shared mobile network for the purposes of data submission, data retrieval, and communication.

Experts hired to develop 20 ways and exercises on how to use flash cards. Each exercise has a unique way of learning content from a book, used individually or used in organisation by grounds or instruction.

The key features and benefits of mobile applications for Flash cards


Education Learning - access to professional books where each deck of cards contains key ideas and important insights extracted from a best selling book that will enhance training of government and enterprise staff and trainer resources

StudyCell, a company dedicated to making educational software for cell phones operates mobile flash card system which offers pre-made mobile flash card decks for studying a variety of subjects (languages, math, history, etc.), in addition to its patent pending system for creating individualised flash cards on the StudyCell Web site for download to students’ cell phones. Once created, these individualised “make your own” flash cards can be shared with other students and teachers. Flash cards can serve as a advertising or marketing tool that can be used as quick reference, reminder and reinforcement learning and operating tool or buy them for the office, co-workers – trainers and educators, and they also can be used in trade shows/exhibitions or provide clients as an important product tool as a custom message that the institution wants to deliver.

Dr. Lawrence Wasserman serves as international development consultant and mobile technology advisor working in mlearning and digital marketing areas in Asia and the United States. Lawrence has worked in over 15 countries Asia and Africa with international donors as well as private business sector. As a trainer he conducts seminars and workshops in development management. Presently writing chapter in book on Asia Corporate Governance. January 2007 |

Network of Networks

Will Glennon [WILL@CLASSROOM-CONNECTION.ORG], Global Classroom Connection, Philippines

The Global Classroom Connection

One Classroom at a Time


o you remember the go-go days of the Dot COM boom? I do, very well. Living in the heart of the digital explosion in Northern California it was impossible to avoid. Getting bombarded from every avenue with talking heads claiming that “nothing would ever be the same,” that every idea, every product, every thought ever valued before was now history and the world had shrunk to a global village where everyone was but one click away from everyone else. At the time I found myself getting more and more irritated at a story that while exciting and glittering with new possibility was just as obviously at very best, just an utterly wild exaggeration. My own interest was in the Global Village part so I decided to do a little research to find out exactly how connected we all were. The results of that research were depressing. Despite all the growth of the Internet and even all the efforts to build elearning sites and communities what we found was that while the fact of the Internet created the potential for a true Global Village, the reality on the ground was something else entirely. For all the hype and marketing, the “Internet Explosion” was essentially restricted to first world countries and the very wealthy segments of the population in other parts of the world. For most part the real villages of the world were not only bypassed but not even a consideration. At that point I started wondering just how digital technology could be employed to really create a Global Community. How, in other words could we use this supposedly revolutionary technology, to being to empower the most unempowered individuals, the youth of the world. Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

That question sent us on a two-year exploration of what was being done and what could be done. The result was the founding of the Global Classroom Connection (GCC). What we discovered was that while a lot of people and organisations were sincerely trying to use the Internet to reach and empower youth, their efforts were almost always constructed on a “build it and they will come” structure that mirrors the Dot Com business models but that has proven to be utterly ineffective at achieving any meaningful results in the education venue. It turns out “they will come” only after they have already reached a level of technical sophistication (not to mention language proficiency) to comfortably surf and decipher the available options. For the majority of the youth in the world that level of technical and language proficiency is years, if not decades, away. The result is that the muchheralded Global Village turns out to be little more than a cruel joke that privileged people wanted to believe because it glossed over the much more disturbing reality of the digital divide. Yes, the Internet opened the possibility for leveling the playing field, but the reality was that without a wholly different approach, the same old divisions remained with the wealthy privileged few reaping all the benefits and the vast majority of the world’s population still struggling to play catch-up. We started from there and asked the two fundamental questions: if the normal Internet model doesn’t work how can you reach the young people of the world and how can you get them into a robust cross-border

Global Classroom Connection expanding in Asia


dialogue? Everything we have done since then was built around trying to answer those questions and construct a model that could not only succeed but succeed on a truly massive scale. The first thing we realised is that to get students really communicating we had to create small digital communities that would have the time and opportunity to actually get to know each other. Just connecting youth to the larger Internet community was not, by itself going to have such a significant impact. That world is just too big, too diffuse and too dominated by the already tech savvy predecessors. Secondly, if you just give young people access to computers and the Internet without also giving them something compelling to do most will end up playing video games more than anything else. Finally, we realised is that if we really wanted to include as many young people as possible including and indeed with a particular emphasis on youth in the underdeveloped world, they would not come to us, 36

we would have to go to where they are and where they are is in school. Once we had figured that out the core of our strategy became clear: the digital communities had to be based on already existing youth communities, the millions of classrooms around the world. Connecting those classrooms through encrypted joint websites would give us a very flexible vehicle within which the students could communicate safely, freely, and robustly, and at the same time would give teachers a very powerful tool to direct students in cross border understanding and exploring of jointly determined curriculum. We began piloting the GCC in Asia and in the United States in 2003 and

quickly discovered both the benefits of the program and the obstacles that needed to be overcome. The greatest benefit was simply student enthusiasm. Students in virtually every classroom participated enthusiastically and reported back a very high level of interest and excitement at being able to communicate regularly and directly with peers in another country. From an institutional point of view we discovered that the GCC programme dovetailed neatly with some of the highest educational priorities of most school systems across Asia. Specifically, the promotion of ways to learn and practice English as a foreign language; implementation of positive ICT programs; and exposing their students to the global community. In

We discovered that the GCC programme dovetailed neatly with some of the highest educational priorities of most school systems across Asia. Specifically, the promotion of ways to learn and practice English as a foreign language; implementation of positive ICT programs; and exposing their students to the global community January 2007 |

every classroom we piloted the programme we were met with real enthusiasm and very active participation.

We are also in the formative stages of cooperation in Indonesia,

It turned out that the biggest obstacle the GCC would face in the short run would be overcoming teacher fear of technology. Most teachers in Asia did not grow up with computers and are understandable less than comfortable with the technology. When we introduce them to the GCC they are initially very skeptical. To overcome this problem we made the web building software incredibly easy, so easy that someone with no computer experience at all can learn in less than five minutes. That has helped but the resistance is still there. Of course with the younger teachers who are more familiar with computers the reaction is exactly the opposite. Young teachers instantly understand the concept, get very excited and are immediately thrilled to join in.

long-term plan is to establish a solid network of connected

Since initiating the program we have run a number of excellent pilots in Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines and made some serious progress particularly in both the Philippines and Malaysia. In the Philippines the GCC is partnering with the Gilas Project which is connecting high schools to the Internet while the GCC is then giving those high schools the option of getting instantly connected to classrooms in other countries. In Malaysia the GCC is one of the “international” options that will be offered throughout the school system beginning with this coming school year. We are also making the program available in both Thailand and Japan for inter-country connections in their own languages. We are also in the formative stages of cooperation in Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei and parts of China and working hard to get the funding to allow us to expand rapidly throughout Asia. The long-term plan is to establish a solid network Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

Vietnam, Brunei and parts of China and working hard to get the funding to allow us to expand rapidly throughout Asia. The classrooms in Asia before branching out to the rest of the world of connected classrooms in Asia before branching out to the rest of the world. In the long run, we hope to build a truly massive network of the worlds youth which will not only allow students to connect with their peers in other countries on a regular basis throughout their school career, but will also provide a platform for youth to share their hopes and dreams and perhaps even begin their own programmes and initiatives. In the history of our world youth has always been the most un-empowered segment of society. The GCC model opens the possibility of changing that once and for all and giving our young people both a more sophisticated and deep understanding of the world in which they live and an opportunity to have their own input into the directions we will move. The GCC is a nonprofit and like many nonprofits the single biggest obstacle we have faced so far is raising the funding necessary to allow us to grow to a level where the program will be self-sustaining. Every possible funders we approach gets very excited at the long term vision, loves the program itself and is very impressed with the rapid and solid progress we have made, but then apologizes and explains that our program is not within their “category” for funding. That is of course always true since what we are doing is quite unique and so far we have not found a funder with the vision to step outside their categories and assist us but we are working hard at it and have confidence the support will come soon.

Knowledge Finder The COL knowledge finder service is the place to find documents on open and distance learning. The COL knowledge finder indexes about one million documents on education and development from selected websites related to education and development. It is operated by Commonwealth of Learning. New documents are added regularly as are “dead links” removed. The contents of this virtual library includes documents from around the world and aims to support and enhance the work of learners, educators, administrators and policy makers.

Search for: Free Open Educational Resources (OERs) Complete Library of Resources (about 1 million documents) The COL knowledge finder is the optimum technological tool for “mining” and refining the resource base of open and distance learning information repositories available through the Internet. This knowledge finder service is designed for open and distance-learning practitioners. It searches the majority of well-regarded sources of information in open and distance learning from a central location and provides tools to organise the information gleaned.

Searching can be as easy as typing in a keyword or phrase. COL also offers this powerful tool to assist users in identifying information on the priority international development goals like poverty alleviation, health and education for all. The complete list is accessible on the search page. 37

News MALAYSIA Malaysian ICT market achieves 12% growth in 2006 Malaysia’s ICT market achieved the 12% growth as forecasted earlier in 2006 by the Association of the ICT Industry Malaysia (Pikom), compared to an estimated 10% in 2005. The most promising industry segment was services; business in the “oldline” segments of hardware, software and systems integration was flat. The market for notebook PCs has grown much faster than for desktop PCs, and there is strong demand for PDA(personal digital assistant) type products. Another bright spot in the ICT industry was outsourcing. In 2007, ICT market is expected to grow around 13%. The Government sector should remain the main driver of growth, since the Ninth Malaysia Plan’s allocation for ICT projects was double the previous plan’s.

Teachers are ICT heroes

Many teachers in Malaysia are adept at Information and Communication Technology and even capable of servicing and maintaining computers in schools. According to Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, this was clear from the way teachers were able to handle high-tech gadgets like laptops and overhead projectors. 38

Unemployed IT graduates urged to register with MDeC Unemployed information technology (IT) graduates have been encouraged to register with Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC). Making this call, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Mohd Jarjis said IT companies such as Dell Malaysia and Satyam Computer Services Ltd were expecting to provide job opportunities for local IT graduates. Dell, which has opened a centre here, expects to produce 1,500 jobs while, Satyam, an Indian based company expects to provide 5,000 jobs over the next five years.

Free job camp for unemployed engineering, ICT graduates Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) is offering unemployed Malaysian graduates in engineering and information communication technology (ICT) the opportunity to participate in a three-week Job Camp beginning Jan 15 2007. The job camp, to be held in collaboration with the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia at the Curtin Sarawak campus, is to enhance ICT graduates’ employability. The participants will be exposed to Windows Server 2003 server administrator and will be equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills for the ICT industry and will receive the Microsoft Certified System Adminis-trator (MCSA) certificate upon completion of the camp. Admission is free but the university is limiting the number of participants to 30.

Govt to extend IPTA students’ practical training The Higher Education Ministry has agreed in principle to extend the practical training of those who had

completed their studies at public universities (IPTA), especially those studying information communication technology (ICT), from six weeks to six months. Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said a study showed that students who had a longer practical training attachment had a better chance of getting a job. More than 600 Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM) students from Shah Alam, Selangor, Melaka, Terengganu and Perlis took part in the programme which entailed doing community work in the state assembly constituencies of Bukit Bunga, Air Lanas and Kuala Balah. Mustapa, who is also Jeli Member of Parliament, said students taking up entrepreneurship courses should also attend a longer practical training to produce world class entrepreneurs

Klang Valley to turn MSC The Klang Valley will be turned into a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in stages, according to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said details of the plan were being worked out and more cybercentres would be rolled out quickly in the Klang Valley. Abdullah said the Government would continue enhancing efforts in information communications technology, and eeducation was being carried out in schools. January 2007 |

Springdales Pusa Celebrating Success in Rome The Springdalian Team

Powe r School Springdales school in Pusa Road, New Delhi, India was selected by the International Jury to take part in the Mondialogo Symposium in Rome, Italy from 4 to 7 November 2006. Springdales was selected with its partner team from Königin Kathariana Stift, a school in Stuttgart, Germany as one of 25 finalists representing 50 most committed teams from 2600 schools of 137 countries in this year’s Mondialogo School contest. It was the only school to be selected from India. The contest, initiated by Daimler Chrysler and UNESCO in 2003 is the world’s largest global contest on international dialogue.

finalist teams, as well as the intensity of dialogue between them. The school’s team included students Sainyam Gautam, Priyanka Grover, Supriya Malik, Aakash Lamba, Uday Vir singh, Arjun Bhandari, Pankaj Jindal, Dhruv Gupta, Esha Kher, Suryanshu Prakash and the coordinating teacher was Simmi Kher.

School Tra ck The winners were selected by an international panel of judges, which includes Jean Ping (Gabon), Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola (Japan), Vigdis Finnbogadottir (Iceland), Mounir Bouchenaki (Algeria) and Lourdes Arizpe (Mexico). The Mondialogo Symposium programme included many opportunities for intercultural dialogue and a tour of the sights of Rome. The symposium brought members of these teams together to discuss the importance of intercultural exchange in a series of workshops and debates.

The Symposium at Rome

Its aim is to encourage dialogue between students from different cultures, paired with each other to work on a joint project. The cooperation is intended to develop understanding, tolerance and friendship between people with different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds. The use of creative and innovative approaches to different topics was one factor influencing the selection of the Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007


s l o o h c S r e w o P

Delhi PPubli ubli asun dh ar a ublicc School V Vasun asundh dhar ara

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St. M ary School,

New Delhi

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January 2007 |

Digital Learning ‘Power School Award 2007 2007’ Digital Learning has also introduced the Digital Learning Awards in 2006. In 2007, we are introducing the ‘Power School’ award for best practice in ICT-enabled education in schools. Digital Learning would run this campaign from January 2007 to July 2007 to select the best school in ICT in education in India. An eminent group of experts would serve as jury members to select the best schools. These schools would be awarded at the Digital Learning India 2007 Conference, to be held in August in New Delhi.

Schools are the drivers of ICT-enabled education for children. While the government has funded the integration of ICTs for learning and teaching in government schools, several private schools have taken the lead in enhancing learning outcomes of students through ICTs. These schools have innovated in training their teachers, engaging students and using innovate multimedia content for teaching. While their endeavours have met with mixed results, these initiatives have definitely build hopes and encouraged educators and teachers to explore newer ways for utilising the immense potential of ICTs for educating their students. Digital Learning has encouraged schools and teachers to share their experience in ICT-enabled education. The responsibilities of the educators and teachers have increased manifold in ICT-enabled learning environments- administrator, facilitator, technical support and evaluator, and many of them have taken up this challenge and are leading their schools to show the way for the others. Digital Learning salutes these schools and their teachers and school principals who are providing leadership in taking teaching and learning through ICTs to a different level. In the last six months (since the ‘school track’ section has been introduced in this publication), Jeffry Thomas, Academic Technology Coordinator, Woodstock school, Dehradun, Simmi Kher, IT coordinator, Springdales School, Pusa Road, New Delhi, Dr Lalit Modak, Biotechnology Teacher in Delhi Public School, Vasundhara, Annie Koshi, Principal, St. Mary’s School, New Delhi, Divya Jishi, Deputy Director, DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi have shared their schools’ activities in ICT-enabled education. In sharing their stories, these schools have taken the lead in knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning between schools and teachers and are also emerging as front-runners in ICT-enabled education. We invite schools, which may be at various stages for ICT-enabled teaching and learning to share their stories with Digital Learning. We invite you to build your network of peers in other schools who have invested and initiate ICT-enabled education. We invite schools to share their experience in ICT-enabled education in schools. Please also look out for more details on how to apply for this award in the Digital Learning website Till then, Happy reading!

Digital Learning ‘Innovation 2006’ Award was given for the innovative ‘Camera school programme’ in Udaipur district of Rajasthan in India, which was implemented to reduce teacher absenteeism in schools. Cameras, the simplest form of ICTs, were provided to single-teacher schools run by Seva Mandir, a not-for-profit organization in Rajasthan. These tamper-proof cameras have shown how to improve teacher attendance by keeping record of entry and exit hour snaps of the teachers in schools with the students.

Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007


Learning Curves Cambridge University Press ties up with RiiiT to promote ICT education for schools throughout South Asia RiiiT conceptualised a unique innovative ICT Education for K-12 and is named as IT Kids. IT Kids is a special package of teaching material, to assist students and teachers in honing ICT Skills. Cambridge University Press, impressed with the concept of IT-Kids joined hands with RiiiT for publishing, distribution and marketing to cover rest of India as well as the whole of South Asia. IT-Kids has been successfully tried and tested in Karnataka. RiiT not only provide end-to-end ICT education to schools but also provide ICT solution for school Administration and training teachers on ICT. In stage-1, the child and teacher is supported with conventional books; in stage-2 digital aid is being provided, where in the teacher is supported with classroom presentation, workshops/seminars, orientation programs, session plans, In stage-3, Computers based tutorial and online crossword puzzle, quizzes, memory games, animations & walkthroughs. In stage-4, e-learning content is provided with more through images, audio, simulation and multimedia.

‘Emotion software’ spots distracted students Tutoring software that knows when students’ are losing interest in a lesson and can adjust to keep them on track is being tested by researchers in China and UK. The system keeps track of students’ attention by measuring physical signs of emotion. It then varies the speed and content of a lesson based on an assessment of their level of interest. Ultimately, it could improve electronic tutoring, say the researchers, thus helping developing countries deliver education to remote areas that lack educational institutions. To use the new learning software, a student wears a ring fitted with sensors that monitor heart rate, blood pressure and changes in electrical resistance caused by perspiration. This data is transmitted via Bluetooth to a computer that assesses the wearer’s emotional state. It judges if they are interested and keeping up or bored and struggling. For example, it can slow down or change topic if a student seems disinterested, or appears to be falling behind. The software might also try a different mode of delivery, switching from text to video. It can also learn that certain types of material are more stressful to the student than others. This could help the system determine which material is most difficult for a student and requires further focus.

Students from NE States steal the show

Courtesy: Guardian Unlimited (

School students from the north-eastern Indian states stole the thunder at the finals of a digital art competition conducted by software training major NIIT at the “Kidex” exhibition of Confederation of Indian Industry at Chennai Convention Centre. The winners in all three categories — sub-junior, junior and senior — were from the north and some of them were from Meghalaya and Assam. Some of the winners, such as Bhargob Gogoi and Tanya Gupta from Uttar Pradesh, were flown into Chennai by the organisers only on the previous day of the event and were visiting the city for the first time.


January 2007 |

Conference Report

Belief Euro-India e-Infrastructures Conference


he first European and Indian eInfrastructures conference was held at the Grand New Delhi, New Delhi, India from the 14 - 15 December 2006 attracting over 250 ICT research, industrial and academic delegates. The aim of the first of its kind event was to exchange views on how eInfrastructures are currently deployed in both Europe and in India with the objective of analysing how their increasing role is viewed in a business, educational, socio-political & scientific context. The two-day intensive discussions looked at promoting the sustained use of the EU India link (Geant2 connectivity) and its use by new user communities especially. The conference was organised by the BELIEF (Bringing Europe’s eLectronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers) consortium. The BELIEF partners are from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise spanning Europe, Asia, America and Latin America. The BELIEF Consortium possesses experience in Community development, e-Infrastructure expertise, networking connections & Digital Library development, sharing complementary skills, international resources & links in the areas of eInfrastructures. What impact will eInfrastructures have on distance and eLearning? Case studies from European and Indian leaders explored the future of Distance and eLearning in the conference by harnessing the power of eInfrastructures. M.M.Pant from Planet Edu Pvt (India), Prof. Krithi Ramamritham, from the Bombay IIT, and Prof. Pierluigi Ritrovato, CRMPADigital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

Centre of Excellence for Learning and Knowledge set out to answer many such similar questions. Prof. Ritrovato presented the European perspective to the session and helped demonstrate to the BELIEF audience how can Europe and India collaborate given their mutual strengths, skills and knowledge in eInfrastructures. The European Learning Grid Infrastructure (EU funded) project

Prof.Pant’s presentation looked at the possibility of linking Indian eLearning initiatives to the European eLearning Infrastructure to deliver high quality learning and prepare youth for the emerging global economy across an Indo-European System. Notable means for this are the ERNET, the EDUSAT, the INFLIBNET on one side and the GSM and CDMA cellular phone networks on the other. With

concern with use of Grid technologies for supporting the implementation and adoption of pedagogy driven, user centred learning model, enabling experiential based and contextualised learning approaches. Information on the ELeGI software architecture for formal learning, defined as a Domain Specific Grid based Service Oriented Architecture, was provided highlighting the innovative design process followed in order to guarantee the compliant with respect to the pedagogical model.

the possibility of 3G on the horizon, there is a huge opportunity for this convergence to rapidly accelerate the growth of Distance and e-learning. Prof. Krithi Ramamritham provided the eLearning picture in India and the potential of using eInfrastructure through showcasing aAQUA, an online multilingual, multimedia Agricultural portal for disseminating information from and to the grassroots of the Indian agricultural community. 43

The rich, and diverse two-day programme specifically targeted Industry and Research experts and new users who wish to adopt eInfrastructures effectively within their workplace or research activity. The participants represented a rich mix of industry, government, research and academia, NGOs and European Funded Projects. The participants were mainly from India, besides European and Latin American delegates. Some of the speakers in Europe included representatives from: CNRS-IN2P3 (France), Copenhagen

Indian representations included members from: Ministry of IT, ERNET India, Avanade Inc, Sullivan University, C-DAC Noida, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (media partner), DELNETDeveloping Library Network, Development and Media Studies, IIIT Bangalore, IIT Bombay, Indian Institute of Statistics, Indian Institute of technology, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Informatics Centre, PlanetEDU Pvt.Ltd, Sullivan University. The visionary plenary and stimulating parallel sessions explored the

Business School (Denmark), D - Grid (Germany), Eindhoven University of technology (Netherlands), Enginnering (Italy), GEIE ERCIM (France), GRNET (Greece), INFN Cagliari (Italy), Infra Technologies (France), KTH (Sweden), Martel GmbH (United Kingdom), Poznan Supercomputing (Poland), RENATER (France), University of Salerno (Italy).

eInfrastructures. Members could select from the following topics:

Additionally, officials of the European Commission and of the European Union delegation to India were present to exchange information with delegates on opportunities for mutual, collaborative R&D European funded programmes.


Connectivity and sustainability new user communities for eInfrastructures (services) between India and Europe; Government delivered services eInfrastructures the current case studies, future plans and visions in India and Europe; eHealth - The new opportunities for EU-India e-health cooperation using eInfrastructures; Scientific repositories - How can the EU best collaborate with India to create worldwide digital repositories;

Digital divide – the eInfrastructures role in reducing the digital divide; Enabling Business – what impact will eInfrastructures have on business in India; Distance and eLearning – harnessing the power of eInfrastructures; Mobile Grid - the convergence of eInfrastructures, mobile and Grid technology.

Some Highlights of the Conference EUIndiaGrid Project Session: The EUIndiaGrid ( project session discussed priorities for training and interoperability between EGEE and Indian Grid infrastructures; and explored possibilities of pilot applications for this new infrastructure support project. Belief Conference Promotional Zone: This Promotional Zone displayed highly relevant documentation published by the European Commission and ERNET. The focus of this promotional area was innovative Grid-enabled technologies and eInfrastructures developed or being developed by Europe and India; national and international initiatives aimed at facilitating the adoption of these new, more powerful resources, intensifying collaboration between the two regions and spurring innovation for mutual benefit. Get In Touch Sessions: BELIEF offered all delegates the chance to participate actively in the conference and learn about the activities of various projects as well as FP7 opportunties. Each Session comprised a series of 10-minutes presentations focusing on project activities and ideas for eInfrastructure funding under FP7. The EuroIndia-IT project was on hand to offer expert advice on future opportunities under FP7 to foster further collaboration between India and Europe. January 2007 |

News WORLD Dubai Education Council honours ‘I-Teach’ graduated teachers

Dubai Education Council honoured 200 teachers of the ‘I-Teach’ programme. ‘I-Teach’ is an IT Training Programme for Teachers who have been awarded the Cambridge International Diploma in teaching with ICT.

ICT in primary schools

to help them in delivering their lessons to improve pupils’ learning.

Macedonia announces bold plan for PC access, training The government of Macedonia has recently announced a massive fourprong approach to beefing up computer literacy. The Macedonian government intends all primary and secondary students to have a computer within the next two years. Through a programme of computer purchasing, training, Internet access and scholarships to those students who specialise in Internet technology, the government hopes to build its IT literacy and competitiveness. Although the exact number of computers that would need to be purchased is not yet known, the initial phase of the program would be 150,000 at cost of about 9 million euros for 2007. The total amount just for the first project is expected to reach 20 to 22 million euros. The next two phases of the program will offer every citizen the opportunity for free basic computer training and free Internet access. These are expected to be implemented in Spring 2007 and 2008, respectively.

GEMS Education to develop ‘School of the Future’ The Iceland-Seychelles Development group (ISDG), together with local partners, Air Seychelles and Cable and Wireless Seychelles, are collaborating with the Ministry of Education to develop primary school teachers in becoming more confident about using technology and maintaining students’ interests in the classroom. This follows the first round of intensive training in a project to implement Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in primary schools as from next year. The aim is to ensure that teachers have access to the latest technology Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2007

for teachers and the installation of Microsoft certified ICT labs.

GEMS Education announced that it has concluded an agreement with Microsoft Gulf that will see the launch of ‘State-of The Art Education Solutions’ across the network of GEMS Schools in the United Arab Emirates. The initiative, the first of its kind in the region, will include development of the ‘School of the Future’, a visionary educational model that is rooted in empowering the school community through continuous, adaptive and relevant learning. The entire programme will be supported through Microsoft certified training

The ‘State-of The Art Education Solutions’ will include the launch of learning gateways in GEMS Schools. The integrated framework will provide parents, students and teachers access to online lessons and tutorials.

ETV for schools in Philippines Ten elementary and high schools in Rizal province in Philippines will soon have access to educational television (ETV) through the joint efforts of the British Embassy in Manila and the local Knowledge Channel Foundation. The embassy did not name the schools, but noted that Rizal Province was selected as the project site for its contribution to the workforce requirements of the Metro Manila metropolis. Studies show that ETV increases learning and improves academic performance while decreasing absenteeism among students.

Applied ICT Teaching and Learning Business Portal for Schools The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), the unitary awarding bodies in the UK, and the National Computing Centre (NCC), UK’s leading independent IT membership organisation announced that they have formed a partnership to build a unique web-based information portal for schools and colleges which will provide their academic, business and operational functions with access to relevant business case studies and benchmarked IT materials. 45

Mark Your Calendar january 15 - 19 January, 2007 Sydney, Australia

iLearn Paris Forum 2007 30 – 31 January, 2007 Paris, France

ASTD TechKnowledge 31 January – 2 February, 2007 Las Vegas, NV

february Educational Technology Research Symposium 5 - 6 February, 2007 Austin, Texas, United States

Training 2007 Conference & Expo 26 – 28 February, 2007 Orlando, Florida training/index.jsp

march WEBIST 2007 - 3rd International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies 3 - 6 March, 2007 Barcelona, Spain

iptvworldforum 07 5-7 March, 2007 Olympia, London

e-Learning 2007 17 – 20 February, 2007 New Mexico, USA


Innovations in Testing Technology: From Promise to Practice 23 February, 2007 Richmond, Canada


2nd International Conference on Engineering Education & Training, ICEET-2 9 - 11 April, 2007 Kuwait City, Kuwait

The First International Conference on Information and Communication Technology & Accessibility 12 - 14 April, 2007 Hammamet, Tunisia

Interactive Mobile and Computer aided Learning 18 - 20 April, 2007 Amman, Jordan

1st Asia Pacific Regional Mobile Learning Conference On Wireless & Mobile Technologies In Education And Edutainment 5 - 8 March, 2007 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

6 - 8 February, 2007 Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Malaysia


International Conference on Information and Communication Technology 7 - 9 March, 2007 Dhaka Bangladesh

International Conference and workshop on e-Learning strategies: Edutainment 2007 12 - 17 March, 2007 Bangkok and Surin Island Thailand

TxDLA: Discover the Treasures of Distance Learning 27 - 29 March, 2007 Galveston, Texas United States

LET’S HEAR FROM YOU Please use this address to send us your comments, suggestions and story ideas or to subscribe to digital Learning: (include your contact details) html

January 2007 |

digital LEARNING

Now on the STANDS


international partners






thematic sessions

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6-8 February 2007, Putrajaya, Malaysia

New age Learning in Malaysia : January 2007 Issue  

[] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...