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

Volume II Issue 11 November 2006

ISSN 0973-4139

www.digitalLEARNING.in

ICT Competencies Among Adults in Rural Malaysia PAGE 10

Hamro Pathshala Restoring Local Educational Standard PAGE 16

Learning Never Too Late Asia gearing up to transform communities

Rural Literacy Learner Specific, Family Supported and Technology Mediated PAGE 34

Leaders’ Speak Sonjib Mukharjee CEO, Metalearn Services India PAGE 30

A Look into Non-Formal Education Practices in Asia PAGE 6


Contents Verbatim

Volume II Issue 11, November 2006

To be successful in life what you need is education, not literacy and degrees. Munshi Premchand The best education in the world is that got by struggling to get a living. Wendell Phillips What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education. Harold Howe Former U.S. Commissioner of Education Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. Lord Brougham

Overview

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Learning through out life A Look into Non-Formal Education practices in Asia Manjushree Reddy

Community@Learning

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Perspective Competencies Among 10 ICT Adults in Rural Malaysia Abdul Razak Ahmad,Ramlee Mustapha and Norzaini Azman

Rural Literacy Learner Specific, Family Supported and Technology Mediated P. Thamizoli, K Balasubramanian, S Bose, R Seenivasan and M Deveraj

School Track

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Flexible Schooling

Techno-Savvy DPSGVITES Dr Lalit Modak

Research Model for 20 Environment Adaptive e-Learning Bhuntita Pravalpruk, Thepchai Supnithi, Pornchai Tummarattananont and Orrawin Mekpiroon

Corporate Diary

29 Enterprise eLearning Speak 30 Leaders’ Sonjib Mukharjee CEO Metalearn Services, India

Pathshala 16 Hamro Restoring Local Educational Standard in Nepal Karma Tshering Bhutia

News Regulars

19 44

M-Learn

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Mark Your Calendar

On the Web Sakshat

14 27 32 39 40

News India News Corporate News Asia News School News World

digital LEARNING is accessible on the web. Link up to www.digitalLEARNING.in


Education: Free or Fee A report from the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education examines the fate of the right to education in 170 countries. The report contains disturbing statistics: • In Sub-Saharan Africa primary education is only really free in three countries: in seven countries over 30 percent of children never even start school. • In post-communist states (such as Eastern Europe or Central Asia) free education is now virtually non-existent; teachers’ salaries are often below official poverty benchmarks. • In developing and transition countries 35 percent of the cost of education is privately funded, in industrialised countries the figure is eight percent. • Only two percent of educational funds come from international aid. ‘The State of the Right to Education Worldwide. Free or Fee: 2006 Global Report’ by Katarina Tomasevski, August 2006

Indian schools to address depression among kids For the first time, mental depression and aggression among kids will also be addressed in the schools through the Adolescence and Reproductive Sexual Health Programme (ARSH) as part of the National Adolescent Programme (NAP) initiated by Human Resources Development ministry in India and funded by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It will be monitored by National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT). There was also a tie-up with the Vidyasagar Institute of

Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (VIMHANS) to prepare the curriculum. Though no textbooks will be prescribed, awareness about these issues will be created among kids through compulsory participatory activities like role-plays and life skill based education. Kids, however, will not be overburdened with exams on the programme. A set of co-curricular activities like quiz and games will be introduced. The report on ARSH will be sent to all schools affiliated to CBSE across the nation for its implementation.

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:// www.digitallearning.in/editorial.asp 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 info@digitalLEARNING.in 4

Next issue: Smart Schools in Asia

YOUR SAY A definite useful resource for schools. I keep on encouraging people around me, who mostly are teachers, to keep track of the educational developments through this magazine. Can there be some discussion in future on non-formal education? Renuka Das Retired Deputy Inspector of schools, Orissa As a reader, teacher, and learner, I find the magazine in a whole package of incentives, motivations and interest. Good to see the section - School Track. R. Jagadish Reddy Teacher, DAV NHPC, Sikkim

A unique educational project for students Many of the children will be seeing something outside their villages and small towns for the first time. The Chinnara Suvarna Karnataka Darshana, a free educational tour programme under the universal primary education project, Sarvashiksha Abhiyan will help 11,750 children from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, this year, many of whom will be girls. The tour programme has been on since 2004-05, and close to 457 batches including 23,000 children have already enjoyed the travel experience. The children are given a diary to note down their impressions and there are competitive events too during the tours with prizes to be won. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


digital LEARNING Volume II, issue 11 | November 2006 President M P Narayanan

Editorial Giving a new meaning to education, via ICT

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: siddharth@csdms.in 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 info@digitalLEARNING.in 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.

Today the education system is at the crossroads. Most countries that have adopted a formal education system have been inspired by Macaulay’s ideology, are facing the challenges of ensuring enrollment, quality of education and learning. Critiques would say, what use of the 3 Rs, if they make you nothing but literate, and with not adequate skills, its hardly worth sending children to school. Yet, for education to become holistic, one has to integrate it with skills, capacities and experiences that enhance the quality of life, and cater to the development of a complete human being. Non-Formal Education fits the bill well. With the advent of computers in education, many innovative efforts have been put in place to make it possible for a wide range of community members to access education that is relevant to their livelihoods and fulfills the educational objectives. UNESCO’s efforts in Asia, as in other regions of the world are remarkable. They have helped in designing effective programmes to use ICTs for non-formal education. The range of examples where in relevant knowledge is gained through the use of new technologies, and use of computers, community radio, etc. that are covered in this issue of Digital Learning gives a flavour of this sector. It is very exciting to induct the learners in a peer-supported learning environment gives us hope that this indeed could be an effective strategy for ensuring that the society, especially in rural areas in developing countries leapfrog into the knowledge economy. Under the broad rubric of non-formal education, the communities and members have an effective way of asking questions, learning about new developments, health, farming practices, improvement in skills, market linkages etc. It aims to fulfill the goal of Basic Education for All. Non-government organizations, formal schools, campaigns, and facilitators all join hands to provide responsive and relevant solutions – for young learners and adults. Thus the scope of use of ICTs – be it radio, video, television, or computer aided (using very advanced learning management systems) in non-formal education and to achieve the goals comes closer to reality. What we need is more stories to learn and share, and replicate, so that all of us can contribute our bit in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Think Globally, Act Locally is ever so relevant now!

Ravi Gupta Editor Ravi.Gupta@csdms.in

digital LEARNING is published in technical collaboration with Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. (www.elets.in)

© Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies 2006 Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

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Overview

Learning through out life

A Look into Non-Formal Education Practices in Asia Manjushree Reddy,[MANJUSHREE@CSDMS.IN], Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, India

The term non-formal education now covers a very wide continuum of educational programmes. At one extreme lies the flexible schooling model - national or regional sub-systems of schools for children, youth and adults. At the other extreme are the highly participatory educational programmes, hand-knitted education and training, tailor-made for each particular learning group, with an inclusion of information and communication technologies to meet particular localised needs. Most educational programmes lie somewhere between these two points. The frontiers of knowledge itself, however, are rapidly expanding. The consequences are like a shift in teaching methodologies, moving towards teaching how to learn and instilling a sense of curiosity in the entire process. How people learn is becoming as important as what they learn. ICTs play a greater role in this transformation of existing knowledge into new knowledge. Catching here is a glimpse of such learning through technology that has helped achieving a new height in creating more scopes of learning just in time in Asian region. 6

November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


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ountries have interpreted nonformal education in various ways. For some, it meant every educational programme provided by the Ministry of Education apart from the schools and colleges, while others defined nonformal education as schooling like programmes provided by nongovernmental agencies. Various other countries have interpreted it as educational and training activities of different Ministries like Women’s Affairs, Health, Labour and Employment, Youth and Sports and Culture etc. Others again included within non-formal education, individualised learning programmes for different and specific learning groups. Some took it to mean every educational activity apart from schools and colleges, including radio and television programmes, the print media. In fact, it is very close to what some people define as ‘experiential learning’; and with the boons of information and communication technologies, now it is very close to total lifetime learning.

Practices – varied in nature and scope In countries like Bangladesh and India, which still have to go a long way to ensure basic education for all children, the natural choice has been to adopt innovative methods, in most cases through ICTs to reach out-ofschool youth and adults. Both these countries have chosen to illustrate the ICT innovations through initiatives of non-government organiations. On the other hand, countries like Malaysia, which has made tremendous progress in recent years in terms of providing basic education for all, has chosen to focus on

Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

extending the benefits of information technology through continuing education programmes. Lifelong or continuing education through nonformal means is becoming increasingly important in mobilising human resources in Malaysia, especially the youth. Approximately 1.2 million Malaysians currently have little or no access to ICTs. As one among the many fighters of the cause, Worldview Foundation conceived of the sm@sy (short for Smart Masyarakat meaning Smart Community) project in 1999 as a means of bringing information technology to rural Malaysia, as a powerful tool for communities to develop the new skill sets and knowledge they need to sustain themselves. sm@sy developed multimedia content in two languages, Malay and English, dealing with a wide range of topics specific to the residents of Kampung Raja Musa, which helped the residents, both computer illiterate and the illiterates as well to navigate offline and for free and to become a smart community. Penang e-learning community, ICT LitPro are some of the other such attempts made in the direction of making Malaysian communities smart with learning just in time. Non-formal educational programmes in Philippines are conducted by both public and private sector organizations. Within the government, the primary agency is the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. The Bureau of Non formal Education runs a livelihood skills project in collaboration with SEAMEO-INNOTECH (South East Asian Ministers of EducationRegional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology), which is called the Development of a Learning

system for the Improvement of Life. This community based education intervention seeks to improve the quality of life and develop skills needed locally within the community. In a rapidly changing country scenario, colleges and universities cater to such community demands and respond to their education requirements through a distance education movement. The University of Philippines has established the UPOU (University of Philippines Open University), an institutional arm that embodies the philosophy of open learning. The UPOU operates within the system of a conventional university and remains linked to the academic programmes of the UP. UPOU reaches out through the distance and open learning modes to people who are not able to participate in classroom style education. The draft ICT Master Plan for 20052008 of Office of the Non-Formal Education Commission (ONFEC) in Thailand focuses on areas like facilitating lifelong learning of Thai people through ICT, improving the quality of ICT services both for administration and for lifelong learning, providing ICT infrastructures for local learning centers and ICT personnel development. ONFEC aims to develop various electronic learning materials, improve the quality of distance education, set up a courseware center, promote e-learning, develop e-books and set up e-libraries. Center for Education Technology (CET) under ONFEC runs Educational Television Station (ETV); similarly some distance education and e-learning programmes are also provided at this level. The responsibility that the Department of Non-Formal Education has undertaken is to organise non-formal

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education programmes for adults who have missed the opportunity for formal schooling or have dropped out. The programmes offered are Literacy Campaign project, functional literacy courses, Hill Areas education, and continuing education. In an innovative new experiment to bring ICTs to rural Thai villagers, the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) of Thailand has established a Community Based Integrated Rural Development (CBIRD) Centre for factory workers and students working or living in the neighbourhood. Field staff of the CBIRD Centre use the Internet connections provided by the project to research farmers’ problems and print out solutions for discussion with the farmers during their field visits. Furthermore, two schools nearby have established their own computer labs using grants partly received due to training schools’ teachers had undertaken at the Lighthouse Project on ICTs and the Internet. In Indonesia, the UNITeS (United Nations Information Technology Services) supported by UNESCO has integrating local Radio with the Internet through Multipurpose Community Telecentres has converged local radio and informatics via community telecentres in rural areas. The project focuses on strengthening civic education, dialog and transparency aimed at rooting a sound democratic basis and good governance in rural Indonesian communities. Through daily interactive radio programmes the information available on the Internet is explored and visualised to all listeners and the methods of accessing civic and other information is illustrated. Combing this activity with a community-radio/Internet cafe where individual studies can be carried out with guidance offered by trained staff, the access to ICT services is strongly improved. Even though India has made major strides over recent decades, 8

script in computers and also to train rural youths in computer applications. A project ASHA -2005 was launched with the intention of reaching the most backward villages of Nagrota Surian block and help the villagers by imparting education and training in health, social welfare and environment. The world of corporate too encourages such attempts of restoring knowledge economy through innovations of ICTs by creating educational programmes which primarily focus on building educational infrastructure, mentoring, school dropout prevention, reading and literacy, scholarships, businesseducation partnerships and other local needs. increasing by six-fold the number of children enrolled in primary schooling, probably a larger number of older youth received little or no schooling at all. India seeks to improve the basic skills, literacy and entry vocational skills of out-of-school youth and young adults in poor communities in several India states through non-formal programmes like Bridges to the Future Initiative (BFI). BFI includes three components development of ICT-based software tools to improve basic education, literacy, and entry level vocational education for teacher training; creation of community learning and technology centres (CLTCs) for social and economic information resources (e.g. health, agriculture, HIV/AIDS prevention, etc.) and lifelong learning; and implementation of advanced ICTsupported services to disadvantaged regions. The programme of rural awareness started by a non-government social organisation, the Science Awareness Trust (SAT), is also a huge success in the remote villages of Nagrota Surian block in Kangra district of Himachal. The organisation planned to educate the illiterate adults by using Devnagri

Microsoft is working to bring the benefits of technology and education to one quarter of a billion people by 2010 through its Unlimited Potential programme that works with nonprofits

around the world. It has teamed with the Beijing Xicheng District Library to assist rural migrant workers, working with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) to launch “Cyber SPOTS” to provide computer skills training to underprivileged youth, implementing the programme in four Indian states: Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana to deliver ICT skills training curriculum for women and girls. It also works with someother countries like Korea, Sri Lanka and Philippines. Others like Coca-Cola and Intel too are seen quite active in taking the goal forward. By 2005, Coca-Cola had November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


developed 123 Internet-connected elearning centers across seven Asian countries, the program being developed with government agencies and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to address local digital divide challenges. The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network enabling youth in underserved areas to access cuttingedge technology and become self-confident, motivated learners serves 20,000 young people annually in 20 countries. Similarly, the Intel® Learn program enables underserved youth ages 8-16 to engage in projectbased curriculum in an after-school, community-centered setting and has helped more than 225,000 learners in eight countries. In line with these continuing education activities, at the centre of all projects is found UNESCO’s AsiaPacific Programme of Education for All (APPEAL) implemented in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan. In Thailand, the project is developing inter-village connectivity and empowering the members of rural communities, particularly youth, who want to use ICT as a tool for community development. In Indonesia, activities include community data collection using the Participatory Rural Appraisal approach through CLCs

and a programme using the Internet to enable greater access to data and improved information flows between local communities and the Government. In Sri Lanka, the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement is establishing multi-purpose community telecentres, which serve Sarvodaya’s village banks as well as six CLCs operated under the NFE Unit of the Ministry of Education. Project activities include the development of community databases and the dissemination of appropriate information to villagers and entrepreneurs through Sarvodaya’s Mobile Multimedia Unit. Information and communication technology (ICT) is now so pervasive, and so powerful, that major changes in learning simply must follow. The effective employment of new technology in education requires a rethink about methods, one that particularly applies in the context of the radical goals associated with the lifelong learning agenda. The main rationale of this agenda is to draw in to new learning opportunities people who have not previously benefited fully, or at all, from education or training. Also, in the most ambitious way, to reposition education and training so that they will no longer be undertaken at a particular stage of life,

The ‘elephant schools’ of Thailand

Elephants have walked a long way, performing a variety of roles, ever since man managed to tame them. In Thailand, in an effort to reach education to the three million illiterate people in far-flung areas and integrate them into the mainstream, pachyderms work under the novel project, “bringing school to the children” came up by the Non-Formal Education Department. Started in late 2001 on an experimental basis, the project entrusted elephants reaching villages, taking books and learning aids, including writing boards and vocational skill-learning materials, video and audio cassette players, television sets, satellite dishes and receivers, electricity generators and modifiers with equipment. The budget for the project is 11,30,000 baht (one baht is equal to Rs.1.10), half of which is spent on hiring the elephants. They serve the remote northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, which are inaccessible by vehicles, and other places where even helicopters cannot reach. ICT, Education and Elephants- Truly Innovative! providing a single platform of knowledge and skill which will last for a whole career, or for a lifetime. Rather, this learning has to become a synonym for sustainability of the knowledge economy: for a world where knowledge and skills are continuous, and where people build their own knowledge and skill profiles from an instantly accessible menu of learning delivered just in time.

Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

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Perspective Ramlee Mustapha [RAMLEE@PKRISC.CC.UKM.MY], Abdul Razak Ahmad, Norzaini Azman, Faculty of Education, University Kebangsaan Malaysia

ICT Competencies Among Adults in Rural Malaysia

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s a developing country, Malaysia grapples with the task of building its economies to achieve sustainable development and to improve the quality of life of its people. There is a growing recognition that the education of the adult population is essential to sustain economic growth and development. As a country that has developed tremendously for the past two decades, Malaysia has become an example and is often cited by economic analysts and developmental planners as a model of a developing country. To continue to become fully developed, Malaysia needs a labour force that is well educated, dynamic and skilled.

The concept of adult education UNESCO defined adult education as: “…the entire body of organised processes, whatever the content, level and method, whether formal or whether they prolong or replace initial education in schools, colleges and universities as well as in apprenticeship, persons regarded as adult by the society to which they belong develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge, improve technical or professional qualifications or turn them in a new direction and bring about changes in their attitudes or behaviour in the twofold perspective of full personal development and participation in balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development”. The term ‘adult education’ in this article refers to the learning opportunities that are undertaken by adults in a non-formal education set up. This system in Malaysia includes community education programmes, vocational skilled training and the training at the workplace. 10

The article reports on the evaluation of two programmes Computer Literacy and Civic Development offered by a government agency (KEMAS) to rural communities, in addition to discussing the goals and challenges of adult education in Malaysia. The evaluation makes out some suggestions for the government agencies, private sector, NGOs and the wider community to work together in order to support adult learning especially in the rural areas and also recommends for a comprehensive assessment to be conducted by KEMAS in order to keep up with the current demands.

Purposes and goals of adult education Adult Education activities in Malaysia include the government literacy programme, personal development, citizenship education, political, ideological and religious studies, and employment training. The goals are: (a) to prepare an adult learner for jobs and job enrichment through vocationally oriented education, (b) to promote nation building in a multicultural society through citizenship education, (c) to provide ‘alternative education’ that allows mature students to continue their education in a non-traditional manner through distance education programme, and (d) to provide personal enrichment especially to senior citizens through participation in locally organised community programmes. Adult education programmes in Malaysia are mainly provided by three major groups: government agencies (39.6%), non-profit organisations (12.3%) and private sector (48.1%). November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


The providers are categorised according to target groups and/or disciplines of study or the way they offer or provide adult education programmes. Public adult education providers receive financial support from the government. They are from several Ministries such as the Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Women and Family Development, etc. Private providers comprise non-governmental organisations and receive contributions from the private sector and they are structured to earn a profit. The NGOs are either selffinanced or supported financially by the government, or the private sector or international bodies.

The context of the study The study examined the effectiveness of two programmes - Computer Literacy and Civic Development provided by KEMAS. As one of the government adult and continuing education providers, KEMAS (Community Development Department) is responsible for developing the rural community. KEMAS offers adults and continuing education programmes to the public through extension education and training in basic fields such as home science, nutrition, health, entrepreneurship, religion, functional literacy, civic development and vocational training. The article describes the evaluation of two non-formal programmes conducted by KEMAS using Hammond’s model. According to Hammond (Evaluation at the local leve- 1973), evaluation is a process that is best approached through objectives stated in behavioural terms. He further specified steps for programme evaluation. The first step is to determine the content area such as computer literacy or mathematics. The second step is to define the independent and dependent variables in the programmes. The third step in the evaluation process is to state the objectives in behavioural terms. Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

Issues and challenges The role of adult education in creating more equitable development in Malaysia has been in some ways positive. Advances have been made in three areas in particular (a) greater number of service providers for adult programmes especially by the government and NGOs, (b) the development of many diverse programmes and projects supported by governments, (c) access to professional development training in companies becoming more developed and more structured and with new forms of training being introduced (work/study, apprenticeship plans etc). The main challenge faced by adult education providers is a lack of coordination among the ministries. Thus, there is a need for a policy on adult education to be instituted at the national level and a coordinating body to be established to ensure effective delivery of adult education programmes. Among the most frequently cited problem encountered by the providers is a shortage of qualified and experienced educators/trainers. The problem is acute in smaller private sector providers and non-governmental organisations. Besides knowledge of subject matter, the educator/trainer needs to be skilful in designing and facilitating the learning process. Funding is another important issue that resulted in limited applications of computer technology due to the lack of facilities and software. Finally, the effectiveness of the programmes offered is another critical concern especially to the stakeholders. Quite often, the programmes are planned on an adhoc basis rather than on a long–term planning. Also, there is a lack of follow up studies conducted on the programmes.

Properly stated objectives will (a) specify the kinds of behaviour which will be accepted as evidence that the learner has achieved the objectives, (b) state the conditions under which the behaviour will be expected to occur, (c) specify the criteria of acceptable performance by describing how well the learner must perform.

Objectives of the Study The objectives of the study were to (a) evaluate the participants’ level of achievement in terms of cognitive, affective and psychomotor behaviours in both programmes, and to (b) investigate the participants’ perceptions towards the instructional dimensions in terms of the teaching methods, programme facilities and organisational management. The first domain used in this study is the cognitive behaviour. It includes the recall, comprehension and application of knowledge and the utilisation of intellectual skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. An example would be an achievement test. The second domain is the affective behaviour, which is defined as the interest, attitudes, values adjustments of the individual. It is the willingness of the participants to identify themselves with a given subject. Psychomotor behaviour is the third domain, which includes those acts that involve neuro-muscular coordination. On the other hand, instructional dimensions are divided into three categories i.e., the teaching methods, programme facilities and organisational management.

Research design and findings This research used a quantitative design taking a random sample of 537 adult participants from the Computer Literacy programme and 1563 from the Civic Development programme. The respondents participated in the Civic Development programme in four states – Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Johor. Most of 11


There is a need for a policy on adult education to be instituted at the national level and a coordinating body to be established to ensure effective delivery of adult education programmes. Among the most frequently cited problem encountered by the providers is a shortage of qualified and experienced educators/trainers. The problem is acute in smaller private sector providers and non-governmental organisations. Funding is another important issue that resulted in limited

participants (40%) possessed primary school education followed by those with lower secondary education (33.8%) and upper secondary education (20.3%). Only 6% of the respondents possesed High School Certificate. In line with their academic qualification, most of the participants (47.4%) were unemployed. 14.1 % worked in government sector, 11.6% were FELDA settlers, 7.3% worked as petty traders and 4.8% were farmers. For Computer Literacy programme, females still dominated (66.5%) as compared to males (33.5%). In terms of age range, computer literacy programme witnessed majority (55.3%) of the participants came from 30-40 age group followed by 23-29 (29.8%) and 41-50 (11.4%). The least group who participated in the computer literacy programme were from those above 50 (3.5%). In terms of academic qualification of those who participate in the computer literacy programme, 58.7% were those who had completed SPM followed by those completed STPM (27%) and SRP (11%). Those with Primary school qualification were only 3.4%. Similar to those participated in Civic Development programme, most (38.9%) who participated in Computer literacy programme were unemployed followed by civil servants (33.5%), private sector workers (111.9%), petty traders (5.2%), farmers (4.1%) and FELDA settlers (3%).

applications of computer technology due to the lack of facilities and software

Implications on adult education It is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of non-formal education especially in the civic and computer literacy programmes.

Dr. Ramlee Mustapha is a senior lecturer and chair of careers, technical and vocational education at the Faculty of Education, the National University of Malaysia. He is an expert in careers, technical and vocational education and training and human resource development especially in the Pacific Rim and East Asian region. His academic interests lie in careers, technical-vocational education, multicultural human resource development, gender and comparative studies. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in technology education, curriculum development in technical and vocational education, vocational education for special needs students, cross cultural, cross national human resource development and workforce education.

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The participants slightly agreed that the teaching method used in Computer Literacy Programme was effective. Respondents agreed that the instruction was easy to follow and systematic. Instruction also includes self-access learning. However, the participants were less certain whether the instruction suited to their experience. They were also unsure whether the instructor used variety of teaching strategies such as group work (cooperative teaching) and problem solving. The data show that much has to be improved with regard to the teaching Computer Literacy class. Evethough the participants seemed to agree that the classroom is appropriate for teaching and learning activities, they disagreed that the textbooks were appropriate. The participants were ambivalent in terms of the adequacy of the classroom and the computer labs, the appropriateness of the teaching and learning activities, and the use of computer software. The participants also were uncertain regarding the audio visual aids provided and whether the class enviroment was condusive. The data suggest that facilites and resources for Computer Literacy Programme need to be upgraded. Based on the findings and limitations, the study can conclude that the Civic and Computer Litracy Programmes conducted by KEMAS have, to some extent, contributed to the enhancement of knowledge and skills of the particpants in these areas. However, some aspects of the programmes need a reassessment in order to improve the overall programme. It is suggested that a comprehensive assessment should be conducted by KEMAS in order to keep up with current demands. Finally, it is recommended that the government agencies (including KEMAS), private sector, NGOs and the wider community should work together to support adult learning especially in the rural areas. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is ranked No.57 in the global list.

News INDIA Laptop for students pursuing higher education

American and British universities comprised nearly half of the top 100 universities in the world. United States led the way with 33 universities in the top 100, while Britain ranked second with 15. China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, had two apiece, along with Singapore, New Zealand and Belgium. Harvard University in Massachusetts topped the poll, with Cambridge and Oxford in England coming second and third.

Akshara maps Indian schools

Indian students pursuing higher education may soon be provided with laptops going by the recommendations of the Oversight Committee. The Committee headed by former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily, which went into the issue of preparing a roadmap for the implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions, has also suggested that teachers too should have laptops. The Committee in its final report submitted to the PMO said, every student and every teacher should be given such a device on an ownership basis and the process should be facilitated by bank loans. The report said the grand plan for technology deployment on campuses was aimed at preparing and providing them essentially digital infrastructure ready to be used by a “plugged in, digital savvy-generation” called “net-Gen”.

IIT among world’s 100 best universities According to the rankings compiled by the Times Higher Education Supplement, India’s premier science and technology education center 14

Karnataka Learning Partnership (KLP), an Akshara Foundation and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan initiative, has launched a Google-powered GIS map of Indian city Bangalore covering 1400 Government schools. The GIS mapping gives a complete picture of the literacy status among the children between second to seventh standard students. It was found that out of 1,83,000 students, 46 per cent of the students were unable to read fluently. The entire information captured in the GIS map is available on the website karnatakalearningpartnership.org. The map gives details of number of students, teachers in each school, the statistics and charts on the percentage of students who can read and who cannot read.

Students in India can now get to work with robots With the support of a major initiative by the European Union, Indian institutions can now aim at taking their levels of learning and experimentation to higher levels, besides furthering their research in robotic and systems engineering. The International Virtual Laboratory in Mechatronics is a project that is getting nearly 500,00 Euros from the EU under the European Union - India Cross Cultural Programme (EICCP). At

present, their Indian links are with the Chennai-based Anna University and the Madurai-based Thiagarajar College of Engineering. The main objective of the project is to jointly develop an International ‘Virtual’ Mechatronics laboratory, specialising in robotics and telematics, with facilities physically present in India and Europe but virtually available to students at each university. This virtual laboratory can be used for teleeducation and research.

IIT to provide satellite-based education to engineering colleges The faculty of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, would provide education via satellite to various technical and engineering institutes in Uttar Pradesh. The project has got the green signal from the state government and a team of professors from IIT and Harcort Butler Technical Institute (HBTI), kanpur, are busy giving final shape to it. The faculty members will deliver lectures and answer queries of students sitting even at far-flung areas using video-conferencing technology. 15 engineering institutions of the state will be taken up in the first phase of the project out of which 10 colleges will be from the private sector and the remaining government run institutions.

Translation industry has vast potential in India The translation industry has the potential to generate more than 500,000 jobs in India, and necessary recommendations would be made to exploit the potential, says Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda. Pitroda said the entire education system in India needed a complete overhauling - right from governmentrun schools to institutions of higher education - since education was becoming a privilege for the few who could afford it. He added that the November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Knowledge Commission - set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 - has given a set of 10 recommendations in this regard to the government and another set of 10 suggestions would be made in a couple of months.

Indian University to set up digital library Periyar University in the Indian State Tamil Nadu will soon join the select band of higher education centres with a digitised library. This knowledge bank will ensure its students and researchers latest information on a variety of subjects through the University Grants Commission’s (UGC)-Infonet connectivity.

As a part of the efforts to set up a ‘digital library,’ the university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre, UGC and ERNET for getting the UGC-Infonet connectivity, which would use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet to provide resources to the students. It will also help the students to access more than 2,600 e-journals on various subjects.

Schools in boats, brick kilns Education was never so innovative: schools in fishing boats, mobile schools in brick kilns; programmes like Meena campaign, Ujasbhani and Diwali camp for girl’s education, special teachers for children with disabilities. These and many more innovations made by four-year-old Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to achieve universalisation of elementary education have been documented by IIMAhmedabad. The 91-page document highlights best practices and innovations done by Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, UP, Uttaranchal and West Bengal. The study has found that the SSA has met with considerable success quantitatively if not qualitatively. While quality remains an area of concern, the SSA has been able to bridge the enrolment, retention and achievement gaps between the sexes and among social groups. According to the IIM-A study titled ‘Shiksha Sangam: Innovations under the SSA,’ the out-of-school population had come down from 28.5 per cent of the six-to-14 year age group in 2001 to 6.94 per cent by the end of 2005. Dropout rates at the primary level stands at about 12 per cent and 190 of the 400 districts were showing a declining trend in 2005-2006. information about IT tools, to introduce to them electronic sources of information, train them in searching for information stored in a multi-media format, train students to use computer-aided instruction packages, introduce various online search programmes and methods to identify sources of information.

A unique educational project for students Many of these children will be seeing something outside their villages and small towns for the first time. The

Information literacy programme in Kerala colleges The Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kerala is preparing to place before the Syndicate a proposal for implementing an information literacy programme in colleges affiliated to the university. The Information Literacy package will aim to provide students the basic Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

Chinnara Suvarna Karnataka Darshana, a free educational tour programme under the universal primary education project, Sarvashiksha Abhiyan will help 11,750 children from Scheduled Castes and

Scheduled Tribes, this year. Many will be girls. The tour programme has been on since 2004-05, and close to 457 batches including 23,000 children have already enjoyed the travel experience. The children are given a diary to note down their impressions and there are competitive events too during the tours with prizes to be won.

Community radio license at last opens up for NGOs The Community radio opening up will allow NGOs to apply for licenses without a license fee and to carry five minutes of advertising per hour of broadcasting. First, non-governmental organisations with a record of at least three years of community service will be permitted to apply for licenses, and these will be given free of cost. It will still be an enormously centralised process. Having decided to open up radio frequencies to the NGO sector enabling provisions are also being worked out. The frequencies that have been identified to begin will be 90.4, 90.8 and 91.2 MHZ, or thereabouts. 15


Flexible Schooling

Hamro Pathshala

Karma Tshering Bhutia [KARMATSHERING@GMAIL.COM], Coordinator, Nepal Community Multimedia Centre (CMC), UNESCO

Restoring Local Educational Standard in Nepal

English language teacher on air with local school students in Madanpokhara CMC. Photo UNESCO

Hamro Pathshala (meaning Our School in Nepali) is a distance education of Madanpokhara community multimedia centre (CMC) ideally designed for any 1314 year old disadvantaged Magar ethnic girl from Palpa district in Nepal. The targeted audience will be currently studying in class 8 and appearing for school leaving certificate (SLC) exam in three years time. The main goal of the initiative is to improve the performance of rural poor and disadvantaged students when they appear in SLC exam in three years time 16

M

adanpokhara community multimedia centre (CMC) in Palpa is an outstanding example of rural based community access in Nepal and South Asia. Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) promotes community empowerment and addresses the digital divide by combining community broadcasting (community radio and TV) by local people in local languages with the Internet and related technologies. The CMC here combines community radio in local language with telecentre facilities. The main goal of the radio station is to contribute to local development by promoting public awareness and dialogues, knowledge sharing, good governance, community participation and local culture and positive entertainment. It is run, managed and controlled by the media committee comprising of various community people engaged in development works. In August 2005, the CMC launched a new educational programme called “Hamro Pathshala” (Our School) using both radio and new media tools. With majority of young people failing in school leaving exam, the programme aims to improve local students’ performance over the next November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


three years. Recently the programme completed its first year of academic session. It has become an effective distance learning tool for students in Palpa in western Nepal who face disturbing and disruptive political situations in Nepal hampering the educational progress. Over 99 episodes of half an hour programme have been broadcast between August 2005 and March 2006.

Why a formal course in nonformal mode? Hamro Pathshala is ideally designed for any 13-14 year old disadvantaged Magar ethnic girl (Magar is the most predominant ethnic community in Palpa with majority of this ethnic girl child failing in SLC) from Palpa region. The targeted audience will be currently studying in class 8 and appearing for SLC exam in three years time. She has an average intelligence level but cannot afford special tuition classes outside school. Her family is completely dependent on agricultural labour and they cannot afford to send her to private school in Tansen, the district headquarters. According to local District Education Office (DEO), Palpa district pass percentage in 2005 School Leaving Certificate examination was a dismal 26.43%. In 2004 only 38% of the total 2,16,303 examinees managed to pass. An analysis of the figures shows that students from ethnic, dalit and backward communities predominate among the failures. Compared to other South Asian countries, the SLC failure rate in Nepal is very high, the average of five year results in the Palpa district being as low as 40%. Although the main reason behind the failure is none other than the education policy and programmes adopted by the government have also played a negative role. The shortage of trained and motivated teachers is another main reason, and the others are understaffed and under funded rural government schools. Limited skilled teachers Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

are available in subjects like Mathematics, Science and English of remote areas in Nepal. All this coincided with the Maoists shutting down private tuitions and schools during the conflict and a ban on using government funds for development work. It was a double whammy for a district that placed a premium on education. As the blockade closed highways, students appearing for SLC had to walk to the district headquarters every day for their exams. Considering all these challenges Madanpokhara CMC came up with the plan to use media for education to improve the student performance, teaching and learning process.

Programme design Hamro Pathshala is run by local teacher who have volunteered from three local high schools and airs three days a week for 30 minutes. Last year the interactive classroom targeted class 8 rural poor and disadvantaged students in subjects like Mathematics, English and Science. This year the programme will reach to class 8 and 9 students. In the following year, the programme will reach to class 8, 9 and 10 students. The programme planning is done with teacher volunteers and the production team. Four local teachers participated in the UNESCO supported two phase week long training on educational radio concept development and radio literacy. During the training, teachers were also introduced and trained in the application of computer and Internet in web browsing the educational materials, learning and teaching processes. The programme combines actual teaching with school content covering awareness, general information, teaching and learning experiences.

“I didn’t go to school and instead went to Madanpokhara CMC for recording the programme. I had planned to solve the question paper of class 8 which could also state how much this programme could help the student. I solved some of the long questions of class eight and then gave some information on the coming programme of Hamro Pathsala. The programme was broadcasted at 7:20 pm. After listening the programme, I was satisfied though I prepared it in less time and hurry. I got some ideas about the next programme after listening to it. On the next day, some of the students asked me answer of the I.Q question. This gave me an idea that students listen to the programme during the examination period as well, which encourages me to work harder on the coming programmes.” extracts from the field notes of Dinesh Bashyal, local Mathematics teacher who is one of volunteers of Hamro Pathshala.

Dinesh Bashyal, Mathematics Teacher, Volunteer for Hamro Pathshala

17


Madanpokhara CMC to learn about computing and Internet application for web searching the educational content and enhancing their knowledge and skills by accessing information.

Evaluation and assessment

Magar ethnic girl of class 8 listening to Hamro Pathshala programme of Madanpokhara CMC. Photo UNESCO

Palpa district pass percentage in 2005 School Leaving Certificate examination was a dismal 26.43%. Compared to other South Asian countries, the SLC failure rate in Nepal is very high, the average of five year results in the Palpa district being as low as 40%. Although the main reason behind the failure is the education policy and programmes adopted by government, shortage of trained and motivated teachers and limited teachers in important subjects like science and english are also other important factors

Programme clock The programme effectively reaches to over 27 village development committees (VDC) and Tansen Municipality covering over 7 lakh potential audience. According to DEO fifteen thousand students of sixty high schools in the region directly benefits from the programme. Madanpokhara CMC has also extended its network with the establishment of four telecentre facilities in the government run schools. The telecentre facilities in the schools are used for basic computing training, digital content production and accessing the educational programme for students studying in class eight, which will be later followed by class nine and ten. The recorded educational programmes are archived in the form of digital library in each of these telcentres. The students and teachers use the telcentre facilities in listening to previous day’s education content and discuss about the programme. It is particularly useful for students and teachers who miss out during the 18

broadcasting time. This education programme has become the part of the school curriculum in these four centres. The telecentre facility also helps the programmer get the immediate feedback on the programme, both from school teachers and students. Damkada high secondary school, where one of the telecentres is located has about 30 visually challenged and blind students. These students express their happiness as it is audio based programme and is particularly useful for them. This programme has impacted not only students but with some of the incompetent teachers of government schools. By listening the programme, teachers have learnt the teaching tips and the information from World Wide Web have encouraged them to learn the computing skills. Recently seven local school teachers joined

To study the impact and effectiveness of the programme, a five member advisory and monitoring committee is formed. The service provided by the committee is voluntary. The committee consists of experts from the DEO, experienced teachers and representative from CMC. This committee meets once a month to evaluate and provide feedback to the programme. Two full time local researchers from Madanpokhara CMC use the tools of ethnographic action research (EAR) for regular feedback and development of the programme. Teachers involved in the production of education are also involved in the process of EAR to study the impact of the programme as per the needs of the students. The other tools that are in use are the continuous feedback from students and teachers in the form of letters. The impact of the programme will be known after three years when the present class 8 students sit for the SLC exam. Disclaimer: The author is responsible for the choice and the presentation of the facts contained in this article and for the opinions expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the organisation. The designations employed and the presentation of materials throughout the publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its frontiers or boundaries.

Karma Tshering has over four and half years of field and project development experience to innovate and research local application of community media, information and communication technologies for the development and management; experienced researcher, skilled trainer and writer. He is currently employed by UNESCO’s major programme on Community Multimedia Centres (CMC) in Nepal. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


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M-Learn

M-Update

Map, directions on mobile

The MapmyIndia portal is tying up with mobile service providers to offer easy navigable maps that will point out landmarks, shortest routes between two points and tell one where the nearest ATM is, all on mobile phones. Cruising through complex roads in Indian cities using mobiles is no more a difficult task. To begin with the company has tied up with Airtel and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited to provide the service covering 163 cities. Consumers of other mobile providers can log on to the Web site mobile.mapm yindia.com/launch. Mobile users will require a GPRS-enabled handset to avail them of the service, which is to be launched shortly. The portal will remain free for desktop users. The company has launched the new version of mapmyindia.com, which covers the same number of cities but has increased the coverage from 2,50,000 km to 1.7 million km of road. It also has an added eLocation provider, which allows registered consumers to enter their location on the maps.

Malaysian schools offer daily report card on SMS Malaysian parents anxious to know what their children are up to at school will soon be able to receive daily SMS text messages from schools. The service is being offered at 88 schools in a pilot project but will be made available nationwide over the next two years, as it still depends on mobile network coverage. It provides daily details on attendance, disciplinary problems, homework, exam results and school activities. This is a practical approach for parents to keep track of their children at school. Parents will have to pay a monthly fee of three ringgit (0.83 dollars) for one or two children and double that for more.

M-Tool

Schoolwork

Using the Palm OS application “Schoolwork” student can manage all their homework, marks and timetable. Possibilities that Schoolwork creates: • can enter an infinite amount of homework items. Students can enter homework very fast by choosing a date, selecting the hour on your timetable and fill in the homework. • can view the homework on three different periods: per day, per week and per month. • can enter marks per subject, with a weight (example: a test counts 1 time, an exam 5 times) term and description. • can list all marks for a subject in a summary. • can easily view report, on which all averages are listed. • can enter timetable very easy: choose a subject, the teacher will be placed automatically, and finally enter the room.

Project Molave study on viability of SMS technologies for distance learning would motivate or hinder people to use SMS for distance education, what would be the best marketing, design and instructional design strategies to promote, attract and sustain SMSenabled distance education programmes, etc. Molave Development Foundation, Inc. (http://www.molave.org/ SMS.htm) in Philippines is currently implementing research on the effectiveness and commercial viability of using short-messaging (SMS) technologies in its country, the SMS capital of the world. The research will answer how feasible would it be to use SMS for non-formal distance Education, what are the factors that Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

The expected outputs include SMS Learning Packs - courseware in SMS format and other ancillary materials (i.e. booklets, cassettes, CD-ROMs, etc.) - on different subjects and topics identified as learning needs of different groups; an SMS server in the country to handle student registration, storage, and deployment of the educational materials, trained personnel on SMS-enabled

Requirements: Any hardware, Palm OS v3.0 Download: http://www.aaronweb.net/ software/english/downloads/ schoolwork.zip technologies, a set of standardized assessment tools and forms for use by partner countries, shared online educational materials, and a set of suggestions for policy guidelines and standards for the use of the SMS platform in distance learning. 19


Research

Environment Model for Adaptive e-Learning Buntita Pravalpruk [BUNTITA.PRAVALPRUK@NECTEC.OR.TH], Thepchai Supnithi [THEPCHAI.SUPNITHI@NECTEC.OR.TH], Pornchai Tummarattananont [PORNCHAI.TUMMARATTANANONT@NECTEC.OR.TH], Orrawin Mekpiroon [ORRAWIN.MEKPIROON@NECTEC.OR.TH], National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, Thailand The development of Internet and Network enables people to access and get information easier and faster. There are a lot of devices provided for manipulating information, such as desktop, laptop, Pocket PC, and mobile phone. Each device plays a different role depending on individual needs. Mobile phone is a personalised device, which can be easily used anywhere to communicate with others, but cannot handle a high speed and large size of data, while laptop with a bigger size and high performance, can apply for a high speed and high quality content.

Adaptive learning is considered as a learner-centered model. There are a lot of approaches that try to adapt the system based on learner history, behavior, activity and so on. However, very few researches concentrate on different environment, for example, speed of Internet, and connecting devices. The article mainly considers on the adaptive system based on the environment of each learner. The research designs the system to automatically detect the environment for each learner and transfer the suitable content for his/her environment. It introduces a process on choosing type and format of data for e-Learning system according to the environment.

Learning, the process of transferring information from one to others has a long history. E-learning is a type of distance learning where learning content and data are sent through the Internet. With the combination between learning and device, one can say we come closer to achieve learning anywhere and anytime. Adaptive e-learning tries to analyse system to match with individual needs. It collects learner history, behaviour, etc to construct learner model and make the system automatically adapt to support user’s need. There is, however, another approach that does not concentrate on learner model. It tries to realise the important issue based on digital divide. In Thailand, there is very big gap between students in urban and rural in accessing Internet, and computer performance. Based on these infrastructures, one issue becomes important which is how to develop and analyse the appropriate 20

content for each learner’s environment, which ultimately forms the “adaptive environment model”. A system has been designed in this research to automatically detect the environment for each learner and transfer the suitable content for his/ her environment. A process has been

introduced on choosing type and format of data for e-Learning system according to the student’s environment.

System Architecture In order to automatically detect the environment for each learner and November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


System Architecture

transfer the suitable content for their environments, it is necessary to design the architecture by considering both client and server side. In the client side, an appropriate LMS will be installed and executed based on device. There are two main modules, which are necessary to exist in LMS, Information Requesting Module and Information Executing Module. Information Requesting Module will receive a request for information from a user and send to server. Information Executing Module will apply the information received from server and execute

it to user. It is normally a part of LMS. In the server side, there are three main modules, Environment Detecting Module, Infor-mation Selecting Module and Information Transferring Module. Environment Detecting Module detects environment for each user. Based on the environment information, Information Selecting Module will analyse and select the most appropriate content in the server which matched Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

with the needs of user. Finally the content will be transferred to client in Information Transferring Module. The article concentrates mainly on Adaptive Environment Module, which is the module that assists the server to send the appropriate information based on the environment.

Adaptive Environment Module The process on detecting environment is explained here. The server starts with detecting connec-tion speed. The speed is detected by calculating average time per a prepared data. A data is sent and the starting time and finishing time for calculating speed connection is chec-ked there by. This method will enable the server to detect the speed based on the average size of content. After that, server detects the user’s opera-ting system and web browser. Finally, it detects the supported file types. The existing command is applied in PHP for detecting operating system, web browser and supported file types.

The server classify content into three groups, text-only, picture-and-text, and full-multimedia. The server detects user environment and match with the three types of content based on environment information. The server applies the following criteria for selecting content. 1) Regarding the connection speed, Internet connection could be in many ways such as dial-up modem, broadband, Wi-Fi, satellite and cell phone via GPRS and EDGE etc. Range of the connection speed is wide. The rate is up to connection type ranged from 56Kbit/s-maximum speed of dial-up modem connection to 160-Gbit/s highest speed broadband. If a server detects low connection speed, below 60 Kbit/second, text-only will be assigned for the users. If a server detects medium connection speed, at 61-200 Kbits/second, picture-and-text will be assigned for the users. If a server detects high connection speed, more than 200 Kbits / second, full-multimedia connect will be assigned for the users. 2) Regarding the device, if a server detects mobile phone device, picture-and-text will be assigned for the users. Otherwise, fullmultimedia connect will be assigned for the users. 3) Regarding the web browser, Mozilla and Firefox cannot fully support JavaScript, some tags type, such as DHTML, while Internet explore can support this. Moreover the supported plug-in for each web browser is different. After the server knows the environment, the server selects appropriate learning content from information stored in an XML file. In XML file, learning contents are represented in tag format. Each part of the content refer to three learning object for each user group. The system choose appropriate learning object according to the detected learning environment and then send the learning object to the user. 21


Type of device

Output data

A system has been

PC with Linux and Firefox

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041123 Firefox/1.0

designed in this research

PC with Windows XP and IE

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)

to automatically detect

Mobile phone with Linux and Opera

Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/ 1.0.1479/LoFi; mobile phone; no; U; ssr)

learner and transfer the

Pocket PC with Windows CE

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320)

Motorola mobile phone

MOT-E680/R51_G_0F.46.A1P MIB/2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1

Nokia with Symbian

Nokia6260/2.0 (3.0436.0) SymbianOS/7.0s Series60/2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0

Nokia mobile phone Samsung mobile phone

Implementation The speed detection is implemented by using JavaScript. The starting time is calculated, and then some data is sent with 54.921-Kbyte sizes. After finish sending the data, we get finish time, and calculate the speed with data size divided by sending time ⎛ Data Size(KByte) ⎞ ⎟⎟ . ⎜⎜ ⎝ Sending Time ⎠

<script language=”javascript’> <!— time = new Date(); starttime = time.getTime(); </script> …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………… …….Send Some Data……… …………………………………………………… …………………………………………………… <script language=”javascript”> <!— time = new Date(); endtime = time.getTime(); downloadtime = (endtime - starttime)/ 1000; connectspeed = KByte_data/ downloadtime; ………… </script> The JavaScript code for detecting speed connection

22

Nokia5100/1.0 (3.05) Profile/MIDP-1.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0 SAMSUNG-SGH-E630/1.0 UP.Browser/ 6.2.2.6 (GUI) MMP/1.0 Then, the speed time is sent to another PHP file with Post method. PHP file detects the user environment by applying the command seen in the figure showing Environment Detection Implementation. It is possible to get the information of the user’s browser and operating system with etenv(“HTTP_USER_AGENT”). Moreover, the file types that the user’s system support can be detected with getenv (“HTTP_ACCEPT”). ………… $user_info = getenv (“HTTP_USER_AGENT”); …………. $user_accept = getenv (“HTTP_ACCEPT”); Environment Detection Implementation

Examples of output that are detected from each operating system and web browser-

the environment for each suitable content for his/ her environment. A process has been introduced on choosing type and format of data for e-Learning system according to the student’s environment. Supported file types information In this experiment, content is constructed, which has two styles. The first style is a plain text. The second style is full multimedia content. Based on the environment detecting, the first style data is retrieved in low speed connection and second style data in high-speed connection.

Future Work The research explained the idea on developing an adaptive environment model for transferring information based on infrastructure. The experiments show that the model works efficiently based on environment information. For the future work, there is plan to develop various contents in repository to enable user get the suitable information. Moreover, it is necessary to combine the adaptive environment with adaptive system based on user model.

Send your feedback and suggestions for this magazine at info@digitalLEARNING.in November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Host Organisation

Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Government of Malaysia


Improved communication and information services are directly related to social and economic development of nations. Internet and modern communication platforms offer immense potential as multipurpose tools through which information and services can be delivered anytime and anywhere. However, upon delivery, the uptake of information and online services depends on the capacity of people and organisations. Again, of prime importance is service access points such as telecentres and borderless technologies like mobile technology as an way to address the 'reaching the unreached' and empowering the rural community. In the emerging global knowledge economy, it is imperative for countries, communities and enterprises to strategise towards adoption and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and enhance their overall capacities. Asian countries are increasingly realising these critical factors of success and are becoming proactive in improving existing conditions. A lot of collaborative efforts are required between governments, industry, academia and civil society across nations to materialise these objectives of balanced development in a digital era. eASiA 2007 is an open ICT for development cooperation platform for Asian countries for discussing opportunities and challenges for promoting growth of ICT for development in Asia through consultative dialoguing, strategic planning, knowledge networking and business partnering. eASiA, through its five seminal conferences, will focus on five emerging application domains of ICT for Development - e-Government, ICT in Education, ICT and Rural Development, ICTenabled Health services and Mobile application and services for development. The five conferences - namely egov Asia 2007, Digital Learning Asia 2007, Telecentre Forum 2007, eHealth 2007 and mServe 2007 will address the issues of digital divide and identify and explore opportunities for Digital Asia.

ASiA 2007

ASiA 2007 1

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Asian nations are emerging as most promising global economies; traditional governments and their ways of governance surely need to be redefined. With a plethora of public management and administrative challenges facing most Asian nations, coupled with heightened expectations of rapid socioeconomic development, the need for efficient government is higher than ever before. Modern ICTs provide boundless potential with proven credibility in transforming organisations and economies; governments across the world are increasingly getting active to embrace technology and leap-frog administrative reform. With a purpose of creating an invaluable Asian platform for consultative dialoguing, strategic planning, knowledge networking and business partnering in the field of e-Government, 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. Highlights: • National e-Government strategies • International and regional projects, case studies and best practices • Policy reforms for ICT-enabled governments • Models of e-Service delivery • Emerging technology solutions for eGovernment • Public private partnerships in eGovernment

ASiA 2007

ASiA 2007 3

Today Asian countries are competing with each other to be the frontrunner in technologyenabled education. While most countries do not want to miss the opportunity to connect to this ‘connected world’, the struggle to close the existing divides continues. Research and practices have confirmed that a holistic approach that integrates and emphasises process, be it capacity building of the educators or transforming pedagogy or creating localised and relevant ICT-based content, has substantial impact and sustainable and effective integration. Asia has geared up to this challenge. Within these countries, while the private sector and the civil society has assumed leadership in some countries, governments in others are drawing the roadmap for a systematic integration of technologies in education. 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. Highlights • National strategies on ICT in education • Localisation, customisation and content development • Educating the educators • Re-engineering pedagogy • e-Learning trend and practices in higher education and school education • Education technology trends in Asia

eASiA2007 EXHIBITION

Telecentres are increasingly emerging as one of the most important equalisers of digital divide among urban and rural citizens. Telecentres or common service centers are aimed at expanding access to ICTs. Telecentres as sustainable, multi-purpose service centres are emerging as a tool for empowerment of the community, enabling their access through ICTs to relevant information and common services. The 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 and governments in Asia. Stakeholders from various sectors, viz., NGOs, Governments, Private sector, Donor agencies, Research organisations etc. will participate in this conference. There will be opportunity to showcase key project work and experiences through presentation sessions and/or panel discussions and through an exposition of products and projects.

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There is a significant action happening in the sphere of e-Health globally led by experts in healthcare and hi-tech industries with an aim to fully harness the benefits available through convergence of the Internet and health care. eHealth is today’s tool for substantial productivity gains, while providing tomorrow’s instrument for restructured, citizen-centred health care.

The lack of adequate connectivity has been one of the biggest cause of the limited impact of ICT to bridge the digital divide. Mobile phones have spread throughout much of the developing world more quickly and deeply than any previous technology based as rolling out a mobile phone network is far cheaper than building a fixed-line systems and Internet networks for computers.

There are many examples of successful eHealth developments taking place in Asia including health information networks, electronic health records, telemedicine services, portable monitoring systems, and health portals. However, there are challenges to overcome in access, technology and the right practices. There are much more to gain from sharing knowledge on the existing practices and deliberating on the opportunities and possibilities that ICT use for healthcare delivery.

Mobiles offer a lot more services than phones and entertainment (Games, Screensaver, Ring tones, Movie clips). These include: news, stock prices; location tracking; telephone directory; mobile banking; ticket reservation; trading and so forth.

eHealth Asia 2007 aims to provide a platform to discuss the recent trends and emerging issues in the development of Information & communication science and technology and its integration in healthcare systems.

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 share local and international developments, experiences and lessons learnt for knowledge sharing, and promote networking and business opportunity development.

• Telecentre movement in Asia: Road ahead

Highlights

Highlights

• Partnerships for developing telecentre networks

e-Health in developing countries

e-Health administration and management

• Financing mechanism and sustainability factors of rural telecentres: A reality check

Rural telemedicine

Emerging technologies in e-Health

• Service delivery and capacity building through telecentres

Challenges and opportunities for collaborative action in e-Health

• • • • • • •

Highlights

Important Date Last date for receipt of abstracts: 25th November 2006

The eASiA 2007 conference will host an exhibition of latest e-solutions, services, initiatives and case studies from across Asia and beyond. Professional service providers, IT vendors, telecom venders, satellite providers, consulting firms, government agencies and national/ international development organisations involved in the domains of ICT for Development, education, governance and health, are participating in the exhibition.

ASiA 2007

For any information/enquiry contact: Himanshu Kalra himanshu@csdms.in Tel: +60166852201

m-Government m-Learn m-Agriculture m4development m-Health m-Infrastructure m-Services

Conference Secretariat Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), G-4, Sector - 39, Noida - 201301, India Tel. : +91-120-2502181- 87 Fax: +91-120-2500060 Web: www.csdms.in Email: info@csdms.in

PROGRAMME ADVISORY BOARD Chairman

Convener

Members

Dato Dr. Halim Man Secretary General Ministry of Energy, Water & Communications Government of Malaysia

Dr. M P Narayanan President CSDMS India

Dr. Milagros Rivera Associate Professor & Head Communications and New Media Program National University of Singapore

Maria Teresa M Camba Director, Field Operations National Computer Centre Commission on Information & Communications Technology

San Ng The Asia Foundation USA

Walter Fust Director General Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation Switzerland

Amitabha Pande Secretary Inter-State Council Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India

Devindra Ramnarine Adviser (Public Sector Informatics) Governance & Institutional Development Division Commonwealth Secretariat, UK

Nooraini Mohamed Ismail Dean, Faculty of Administrative Science & Policy Studies Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia

Norma Mansor Dean/ Professor Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Dr. A T Ariyaratne Founder Sarvodaya Sri Lanka

R. Chandrashekhar Additional Secretary Ministry of Communications & Information Technology Government of India


Host Organisation Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, Malaysia The Ministry if the key policy formulator and service regular in Energy, Water and Communications sector 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 regulatory function of the Ministry is undertaken through its regulatory bodies, namely, the Energy Commission and the Communications and Multimedia Commission. With an objective to establish Malaysia as a global centre and hub for communications information content services; the Ministry has provided leadership in the provision of infrastructure and services for the effective roll-out of eGovernance and eLearning. www.ktak.gov.my

International Government Partners The Commission in Information and Communications Technology 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 Commission's aim is to develop the country as a world-class ICT services provider, provide government services to stakeholders online, provide affordable Internet access to all segments of the population, develop an ICT enabled workforce, and create an enabling legal and regulatory environment. www.cict.gov.ph

The National Computer Center (NCC) fundamental functions were to provide information bases for integrated planning and implementation of development programs and operational activities in the government. It was also tasked to provide computer service support, integrate electronic data processing (EDP) operations in government, and establish an EDP Educational Center. Today, NCC lends its full support to the administration's ICT thrust by forging strategic alliances with the private sector, coordinating ICT activities, developing human capital, promoting ICT utilization in all sectors of the society, and advocating Philippine ICTs services worldwide. www.ncc.gov.ph

Supporting Partners 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 ICT Program of The Foundations encompasses eGovernance, ICT in Economic Growth and eCivil Society for fostering education and training through eLearning. www.asiafoundation.org/ Bellanet promotes and facilitates effective collaboration within the international community, especially through the use of ICTs. Bellanet aims to support effective development practice by sharing its expertise in information and communication technologies as well as its skills in facilitating organisational learning and knowledge sharing. www.bellanet.org 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.To help address disparities in education and improve its delivery the Secreatraiat directs its efforts at improving enrolment and retention in primary education and gender disparities at the primary and secondary education levels. www.thecommonwealth.org Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland's international cooperation agency within the Swiss Foreign Ministry. Together with other federal offices, the SDC is responsible for overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as humanitarian aid. SDC's development cooperation activities in the Asian region aims at diminishing poverty, developing structures for a sustainable use of resources, supporting good governance, reducing social tensions, improving environmental conditions etc. www.sdc.admin.ch SEAMEO,The 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. The vision is to have a dynamic, self reliant, strategic, policy-driven and internationally recognized regional organization for strengthening regional understanding and cooperation in education, science and culture for a better quality of life. www.seameo.org Sarvodaya is dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of rural Sri Lankans. Sarvodaya are dedicated to the sustainable empowerment of people through self-help and collective support, to non-violence and peace. Sarvodaya's District Telecenters are the coordinating centers for all development activities of the organization in a particular district providing IT facilities for community development island-wide and coordinating between the Village Information Centers and each serves over 300 villages representing all the divisional secretariats within the district. www.sarvodaya.org telecentre.org is both a social investment program that supports grassroots telecentre networks and a loose family of organizations with a common commit-ment to helping the telecentre movement thrive. Telecentre.org aims to reinforce a global movement by finding ways that people, communities and networks can connect over common issues to make telecentres stronger and better, together. The telecentre.org strategy is to make investments to benefit the whole telecentre ecosystem. www.telecentre.org 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. USAID is also encouraging cutting edge alliances between U.S. and Indian organizations to quicken the pace of progress. USAID also promotes use of cutting-edge approaches in agriculture (biotechnology, improved production methods and marketing) and â&#x20AC;&#x153;e-governanceâ&#x20AC;? systems and promotes public-private partner- ships as the cornerstone of success of such initiatives. www.usaid.gov/in Warisan Global is a project management for knowledge initiatives and services outsource company based in Malaysia. Set up in 2000, the comapny helps out government and corporate enterprises to deliver specific and specialised initiatives in ICT development and training programmes, aimed towards reducing the digital divide. www.warisanglobal.com

Institutional Partner The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a multi-campus university of global standing, with distinctive strengths in education and research and an entrepreneurial dimension.The NUS mission comprises three mutually reinforcing thrusts: quality education, high impact research and service to country and society. NUS strives to provide a balanced, high quality education that nurtures the spirit of inquiry and initiative, and which allows students to realise their aspirations and potential. In recent years, NUS has carried out extensive researches in eGovernance and community development. www.nus.edu.sg


CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS programme to over 6,00,000, reaching out to over 31,000 schools nationally.

PROJECTS Now education malls in India

Paul Otellini, President and Chief Executive Officer, Intel, during his visit to India in May launched the World Ahead Program in India, supported by a global investment of USD1 billion (across emerging countries). The World Ahead Program has the charter to drive digital inclusion in emerging countries.

Taking forward the concept of dedicated malls, the GTM Group will set up 10-12 malls across India for the education sector in the next few years. To start with, the Delhi-based company is constructing a 10,000-sqm mall in Jaipur, at an investment of INR 60 crore. The mall will bring as many as 60 colleges and institutes under one roof. The company will provide pick-up and drop facility for students for up to five km radius. The property is slated to be ready by the end of 2009, when the company will look at setting up more such educational hubs in the country. It will be spread over 14 acres and will have 92 per cent of open land. It will have a total of 80 premium dwelling units to be priced at INR 1.15 crore each.

IBM project for girl students IBM India’s five-day camp called IBM EXITE (Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering), which began on September 29, is aimed at the need to have more women in science and technology. EXITE camps attempt to attract teenage girls into the world of technical education so that they would consider pursuing technical careers. As part of this year’s programme, 31 girls of class IX have been selected from two schools in Delhi. They will work in teams with IBM employee volunteers on innovation projects. The participants will get a chance to present their innovations to local IBM volunteers and executives, who will provide feedback.

MacArthur funds e-Learning The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is committing USD50 million to fund digital learning initiatives over five years to understand how young people are Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

Celtel donates computers, phones to schools in Malawi affected by digital media, such as games and virtual worlds, and how they can be educated by them. Beginning in 2007, the foundation plans to dedicate $2 million annually for competitive research, writing, and demonstration projects. One of the most interesting grants, for $240,000 will be going to Edward Castranova, an associate professor of telecommunications at Indiana University, who is developing a massively multiplayer online game called Arden: The World of Shakespeare, based on the works of William Shakespeare. MacArthur is also opening a web site that will serve as a hub for information on digital media and learning.

Intel World Ahead Programme Under its ‘World Ahead Program’ announced earlier this year, Intel has increased the number of teachers trained under the IntelTeach

Mobile phone service providers Celtel Malawi Limited donated six computers to three Community Day Secondary Schools in Mulanje West Constituency in Malawi as well as 12 Motorolla phones to community leaders to facilitate easy communication in the area. The donation was in response to the needs by pupils and teaching staff within the area to apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a vital medium and driver for education and social economic development. The gesture was in line with one of Celtel’s corporate social responsibility pillars, which is to support education in Malawi and other countries the company operates in on the African continent. In the education sector there is a long term programme known as ‘Build Our Nation’ under which companies assist needy schools with learning materials. This initiative will be coming to various community schools around Malawi very soon.

Kotak planning education foray Mumbai (in India)-based banker Uday Kotak is now eyeing a role for himself in the education sector with plans to set up a foundation for promoting education for under-privileged children. Talks are on with some NGOs for possible partnerships. While the size of the corpus is not known, it is believed to be over INR 100 million. Efforts are on to provide language training (notably in spoken English) to help under-privileged children so that they could be employed in sectors like ITeS. Kotak, an alumnus of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Sciences, is best known for his involvement in financial services sector having set up Kotak Mahindra Finance in 1986. 27


CORPORATE DIARY | NEWS PARTNERSHIPS InfoSource Learning and CyberLearning partner to help increase digital literacy globally InfoSource Learning, the United States based developer and solution provider in the education, corporate, and government training markets announced a strategic partnership with CyberLearning, a non-profit project of the National Education Foundation, aimed at providing effective and affordable digital education, globally. Two

CyberLearning projects that are set to launch this year will help increase digital literacy in India and in Mauritius, the island nation, between India and Africa in the Indian Ocean. InfoSource supports these projects by supplying its award-winning Digital Literacy courseware library and Learning Management System for this effort. CyberLearning will utilise InfoSourceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Digital Literacy online courseware, CD ROMs, and books to train at least one person in every village.

Hewitt Associates for curricula changes in Indian educational institutions Hewitt Associates, a global consulting firm for the outsourcing industry, will provide a road map to the State Governments in India for creating educational institutions that would match the requirement of the industry. The company will propose changes in the curriculum of educational institutes, for which it is in talks with 10 State Governments, including Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim 28

amongst others. It will also analyse the challenges that individual States face in the context of human resources for the BPO sector. At present, it is focusing on making college level graduates more employable.

PRODUCTS HP encourages e-learning with tailor-made notebooks

Microsoft in partnership in Gujarat Microsoft India and the Government of Gujarat have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at providing University students and faculty in the state easier access to Information Technology. This agreement will allow students in Gujarat develop skills on nextgeneration Microsoft tools and technologies, including .NET, thereby improving their career prospects. Under the partnership, Microsoft will provide training to students in the pre-final or final year of the Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science and IT stream) and MCA programs, leveraging the BISAG (Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applicatons and Geoinformatics) SATCOM (satellite communications) facility. The faculty in these institutions will also, thereby, get an opportunity to collaborate with experts from across the world, besides getting access to Microsoft s premium technology events.

VTU ties-up with Liqwid Krystal for online learning E-learning solutions provider Liqwid Krystal and Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), announced a collaboration, to offer gyanX, an online learning platform for employable skills to all students of VTU. According to the agreement, Liqwid Krystal will provide IT and soft skills to the students through a select catalog of online courseware, books and other content. Empowering students to learn interactively is one of the visible elements of this learning platform.

HP has provided Al Mawakeb with over 320 HP Compaq nc6320 notebooks with the latest Intel Duo Core that have tailor-made features helping to optimise the utility of the notebooks and enhancing the use of multimedia technologies in the learning process, improving the student skills on the subject matter. The new notebooks are also supported by a wireless network through HP servers to allow a stable and reliable solution to provide a full IT infrastructure for the students. The notebooks are designed for durability and performance fitted with an antiscratch, spill proof keyboard and come with HP Mobile HDD protection and biometric fingerprint sensors to protect the studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s information.

Oracle integrates two educational programmes Enterprise software company, Oracle has announced it will combine its two information technology education programmes - the Oracle Academy and the Oracle Academic Initiative - to offer a comprehensive course called the Oracle Academy. The new programme would benefit educators and students by giving them broader choice and increased flexibility in curricula and educational offerings. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


CORPORATE DIARY | ENTERPRISE e-LEARNING According to National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) estimates, although the corporate e-learning market in India is at present in a nascent stage, it is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25 per cent in the next four years. Emerging out of the experimentation stage, companies are now building their development strategies around e-learning. It is not just another delivery method but a paradigm shift and worldwide it is fast becoming a part of corporate business strategy.

FOOTHOLD 82% of companies are now involved in global training! Expertus, a provider of strategic training outsourcing services, headquartered in California and TrainingOutsourcing.com, a company that offers guidance and consulting to buyers and sellers of outsourcing services, jointly announced the results of the second of six surveys designed to provide market data on all aspects of today’s corporate training challenges. Corporate e-Learning solutions**

Within the enterprise eLearning space, electronic performace support systems are being developed that are helping employees to learn new tasks and finding information on a new structure or process. Enterprise eLearning is providing solutions to clear all bottlenecks of the enterprise that might be finding it difficult to adapt to technological change, policy change, change in job responsibilities, external factors like new laws and regulations. While the industry in more sectors is witnessing a metamorphosis with increasing competition, employee attrition, eLearning is emerging as the most effective methods of ‘talent retention’ and ‘growth from within’. Would you like to venture into Enterprise E-learning and leverage its advantage? If yes, read on every of our issues to know more about how corporates plan to tap that winning edge. Your await your valuable contributions and suggestions to this space.

The top challenges of corporate e-Learning are Budget constraint Content localisation Translation Effective learning delivery Maximisation of e-Learning 70% of companies deliver training within home countries 62% of companies manage global training through centralised learning organisation *95% of companies use english as the language for training 57% Companies where all employees have access to e-Learning 10

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%

* Almost 40% of companies translate training into Spanish, 30% into French, 25% into Chinese, and 25% into German. ** The above diagram is based on approximate figures from the survey by Expertuss

Take off Magna IT Services provided

Magna IT (www.magnait.com) is the e-learning division of Magna Infotech, a USA based Global IT solutions company established in 1995 and presently headquartered in Danbury, CT with development centers and offices in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and New Delhi in India. Magna IT as a mission statement is committed to designing customised e-learning solutions that help acquire competence and improve performance. It helps enterprises deliver improved business results by designing customised learning solutions to capitalise on emerging global opportunities. Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

Total customised solutions (offline and online CBTs, WBTs, Net-centred courses) built on user centric designs/ Customised LMS and LCMS/ Performance training solutions for staff, teachers and administrators, which provide client support and other professional development opportunities/ Localisation, including language translation to facilitate maximum implementation.

e-Learning solutions Every Organisation is unique and so is training need. Magna IT’s learning systems are built on an essential

balance between building great e-Learning (Design and Technology issues) and implementing it (Acceptance and Support issues).

Magna’s Expertise Magna has implemented creative training solutions for clients in various lines of business. The solutions cater to diverse enterprise training needs that are built to address business goals. Its strength lies in the ability to design tailored training courses for various industries that include education, financial and retail, which can be spread over on-the-job training, training sessions, seminars and workshops.

Bottomline: The market is still young, but it will continue to adopt the concept of e-learning in order to meet its communication needs and seize business opportunities.

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CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; SPEAK

Pursuing Better Access, Availability, and Affordability to Learning Sonjib Mukharjee, Chief Executive Officer, Metalearn Services, India Learning beyond one context- with this aim, objective and goal, Metalearn Services in Bangalore, India delivers need-based content on ICT platform to various learning communities. Apart from the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s branded IP products, it does a lot of work in developing critical applications in training management and knowledge management as solutions for the customers. Metalearn has developed and will be launching a latest generation platform for content development and management by the end of this year in the market, which is by far a better product than those currently available. It is again working on the mobile platform of learning and training and is doing two pilot projects in this area. The enterprise is venturing into learning through hand held domain with these projects. Sonjib Mukharjee, Chief Executive Officer, Metalearn gives an insight of the things at hand and on the horizon. What took learning to be named as Metalearn by you? Please tell us about how and from where did you start your journey towards Metalearn. Meta is a terminology that is analogous to the IT industry today. Meta means beyond in one context. The idea here is that learning will move beyond the usual practices into new domain and experiences for all users with technology as the great enabler. As dynamic learning environments emerge and demands from users evolve, IT and ICT will meet these new challenges continuously in the global context. Metalearn was founded in 2003 with the singular objective of taking the user experience in learning beyond the contemporary into the future. The axiom that we follow from day one is 30

On competitorsWe used to think in these terms before but not anymore. We have made a unique space for ourselves and we do not feel we pose competition to anyone. This is because we have been continuously moving up the value chain and have stayed away from the volume game. Whenever we demonstrate our products and work, the difference is very clear.

to create better access, availability and affordability of learning for all. What is the real focus of Metalearnacademic or enterprise e-learning? If both, then in terms of reaching the target who comes first? We do not essentially differentiate

between users in terms of pure experience of joy and usability between academic and enterprise learning. These are business sectors defined by user demands of different kind. At the end itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the user experience that counts and we have built our competence equally in both sectors. In terms of reaching the target, the need has been quite clearly defined by the enterprise learning users already in the market and our reach potential is the highest today in this sector. However, the fact remains that in the long run the volume and industry challenges are bound to be much greater in the academia and the scenario will dramatically change in the coming two to three years. How do you see the Global market of e-Learning? Which sector of the market (K-12, higher education, November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


CORPORATE DIARY | LEADERS’ SPEAK corporate learning etc) do you think will see the maximum growth in the next few years? The corporate e learning sector is seeing certain amount of standardisation and consolidation in terms of process and practices already and is growing faster than the education sector in terms of specificity and ROI. But the education sector on the whole has a much larger and wider potential in terms of growth and in sheer spend terms will be way ahead of the corporate sector by 2010 globally. Adventus seems to be the most viable product of your company. How flexible are your products in delivering content enterprise wide. We have two pure technology IP products in the stable, Adventus and Metatest. Both these products have been widely accepted by users worldwide and after a successful debut in the Indian market we now receive a high level of demand from the global market as well. These are leading brands in LMS and Test Engine today coming out of India in the world market. The products are capable of high level of robust and scalable deployments and can meet

think you have made a mark in this sector? How? Our biggest achievement has been to break the price barrier with global quality. In three years we work with leading companies of the world, and provide complex solutions to their learning needs, operate and lead with brands and believe that we have shown what it takes to be a global player despite being small and Indian.

Sonjib is the Founder CEO and Director of metalearn, India’s fastest growing e-learning technology company. He has been a journalist and then a successful advertising and marcom professional and has worked in various capacities in development sector. As a start up, in the last three years, he has built India’s first organised product company in e-learning with cutting edge technology developments. He is active at NASSCOM, CII, ESC, FICCI, BCIC, ITSMA, IACC, NHRD and is a member at TiE. He is 45 and in his spare time he is an avid trekker and photographer.

Vision and goal as the CEO There is no short cut to success. India has the capability to lead the world in the IT and I mean it. We need to do hardcore work and never lose sight of quality. Only if you know you have quality you can convince others about your quality. And quality needs continuous benchmarking.

complex solution architectures for delivering learning across thousands of users in diverse environments. Your products are better recognised as bridging the cost gap. Please justify. Does that mean you target primarily to small and medium enterprises? You are absolutely right. We offer a large cost advantage compared to other global brands and learning officers worldwide and university budget committees love our packages. Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

It was a conscious decision on our part to keep prices affordable in keeping with our view of access, availability and affordability. This of course means that large segments of the SME everywhere become our customers automatically. The potential of the SME cannot be undermined in the learning business today since in the global process of ancillarisation the SME sector is one the largest consumers of learning. What have been your organisation’s achievements in this line? Do you

We attribute this largely to the fact that we are an open organisation and our teams love the work they do. We follow standard benefit norms but have very low attrition. What has been the critical roadblock that Metalearn has crossed to be where it is now? Our major challenge has been to compete globally. And trust me, India is quite a global market. One who succeeds in India can succeed globally. It was a very tough route to take but we could crack it in two years. Today we enjoy references from our customer global MNCs in India to their headquarters back home. This is big for us. The response from the global market to our products and services is huge. We have just kicked off Metalearn US based in Florida USA. The critical roadblock was to match investments with global scaling. This could break our back but we are through all that. As the CEO, where do you see Metalearn five years from now? By 2010, we will be the most reputed e-learning company out of India globally with highest profitability. This India part is important to us because as an Indian company we have the potential to produce best quality work in learning technology and we will pursue this continuously to give better access, availability and affordability to learning. We will be more of a practice, more of a specialist and a knowledge house rather than a super large producer of elearning. 31


News ASIA Wireless Internet set to launch in remote Viet Nam Viet Nam’s first-ever trial WiMAX (World Interoperability For Microwave Access) equipment will be fully installed in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai to bring wireless Internet to previously offline areas soon. Users will include schools, health care centres, the Post Office, an internet cafe, a farm family, a hotel, a business project, and selected Lao Cai public and commune service locations. WiMAX is a new advanced wireless broadband technology that can provide high quality wireless broadband Internet to rural areas in radii between 2 to 10 kilometres per base station. The pilot project is being implemented by Intel in cooperation with the Viet Nam Datacommunications company (VDC), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Lao Cai People’s Committee leadership.

Regional centre helps develop distance education in Viet Nam

The Regional Open Learning Centre under the Organisation of Southeast Asian Ministers for Education is willing to provide professional expertise, consultancy and personnel training to Viet Nam for developing its distance education system. Since 2003, the centre had 32

implemented many programmes to assist the Ha Noi Open University. These programmes focused on personnel training, providing curriculums and school materials, and applying information technology in distance education. In recent years, Viet Nam has invested in developing open and distance education. The Government assigned the Ministry of Education and Training to implement a US$100 million project on distance education with the participation of the Ha Noi Open University. The university, with around 300 officials and lecturers, had so far trained around 45,000 students in different majors through distance education.

‘Internet-ready Access Centres’ in schools in Malaysia Internet-ready Access Centres costing more than RM70mil in total are being set up in 1,500 schools around Malaysia. Access Centres would be similar in concept to cybercafes, although its usage would focus on learning and to allow students to work on their

assignments. It is different from the existing computer labs, which are used to teach certain subjects. Under the first phase, 1,500 schools would be provided with 15,000 personal computers and 1,500 printers as well as the necessary furniture and infrastructure. Another 12,900 computers would be provided to 1,290 schools next year. With the Access Centres, the ratio of computers to students in schools would be decreased allowing students to be more exposed to information and communication technologies (ICT). To date 84 primary and secondary schools in the rural areas of Sabah and Johor have been equipped with Access Centres.

Free info-enrichment in Bengali Wikipedia The project for Bangla online based encyclopaedia has taken off recently. But its entries have been expanding with almost binary pace. Bengali Wikipedia - http://bn.wikipe dia.org has a growth from 500 articles

Bringing impact to rural education in Malaysia The Education Ministry in Malaysia being aware of the education divide between the schools in the rural areas and towns is now embarking on high impact projects to bridge the divide. The ministry is giving priority to improve education outside towns under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) in a comprehensive manner from preschool to higher education. Under the 9MP, the ministry is hoping to supply higher voltage generator capable of supplying 30-35KVa and also the solar power equipment and set up mini dams to ensure the implementation of ICT initiatives. Plan is also to assist in implementing the pre-school education in rural areas by setting up 2,400 preschool classes complete with computer facilities that could benefit 61,000 children in the 5-6 years age group. Apart from that, the ministry would also enhance the rehabilitation classes in rural areas with the setting up of 5,000 classes to enhance the 3M capabilities, namely read, write and count. The ministry is also widening the vocational subjects in 480 schools in the rural areas to help the students who are not keen in the academic subjects. Through the high impact projects, the number of students who need rehabilitation that can be reduced from 7.7 percent to less than 5 percent and the need for the Tuition Voucher Scheme (SBT) can be reduced from 100 percent to 80 percent after the 9MP. The dropout rates in rural schools could be reduced from 1.2 percent to less than 1.0 percent at the primary level and from 16.7 percent to less than 1.0 percent at the secondary level. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


in March 2006 to 10,000 as of now. 20/ 25 active voluntary editors are involved in editing Bengali Wikipedia on a regular basis. About 220-250 million Bangla speaking people are supposed to read Bangla encyclopaedia more than English. Info bank of the seventh largest language is poor in many ways. So there is an actual expectation of Bangla info bank.

programme’s main aim is to fulfill children’s rights to basic education, especially for girls and low-caste children. In 2005, nearly 40 per cent of OSP graduates – more than half of them girls – made the successful transition into primary schools.

Non-formal schooling boosts access to basic education in Nepal

Singapore Education is looking at hosting an international student population of 1,50,000 by 2015, up from the current level of 70,000-plus.

Children who were out of school in 15 districts of Nepal now have the opportunity to learn how to read and write, thanks to the UNICEF-supported Out-of-School Programme (OSP). Designed to provide basic education through a non-formal approach, the new strategy has helped approximately 15,700 children complete a 10-month course. The

Singapore institutes to take in more Indian students

India is one of its key source markets along with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and China. The number of Indian students pursuing their education in Singapore has seen a 21% growth in 2005 over 2004. Students from India tend to go in for their MBAs as well as courses in engineering, IT, sciences and business. There’s also an emerging interest in hospitality and design.

Japan Agency gives computers to 12 high schools in Philippines The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sultan Kudarat Provincial Office, a lead agency tasked by the Philippines government

After BPO, it is the turn of ESO now For thousands of teachers here, tuitions have become a dollar spinner, thanks to the growing demand for online tutorials from USA, UK and Europe. According to an online tutorial site, nearly 100,000 teachers from India and Pakistan were expected to set up their own Internet businesses during September-October, the time when the new academic session begins in America, to teach students there. Though the main demand is from USA, newer markets of Netherlands and Europe too are fast opening up for Indian teachers. Low cost of tuitions and very good teaching skills of Indian teachers is what attracts American students and parents to them. The online tutorial interaction uses both voice and data. Exercises are done on electronic notebooks, which are available at both ends. A number of online sites have come up where teachers can register, stating their expertise in a particular subject. The sites sub-contract work from SES (Supplemental Education Services) in the US. Schools unable to improve student performance are falling back on tuitions for help. There are over 75 such tuition centres across the US. Called SES providers, they charge students up to $40 an hour to take classes. Wire the work to India over broadband links and it can be done for half the cost. Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

in promoting Information Communication Technology (ICT), had secured a grant from the Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA) under the Non-Project Grant Assistance Program. The grant shall fund projects for the promotion of ICT in the province. The program also aimed to make ICT access available to all students of selected public high schools in the province under the project “Personal Computers for Public Schools” Project – Phase 3 (PCPS -3).

New Web 2.0 Chinese distance learning site launched

Onsales Global Services Inc. launched China-8.com, a distance learning website that is based on emerging Web 2 technologies. The site uses Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) to deliver a new way for students of Chinese and China enthusiasts vising China for travel or business to study Chinese, communicate, and share their knowledge of Mandarin and of China. China-8.com aims to cater to the Chinese learning and community needs of the estimated 30 million people currently studying Chinese around the world with tools that encourage the learning process not hinder it. China-8.com’s lessons are based on the Hanyu Shuiping Koushi (HSK) curriculum – China’s international Chinese proficiency test currently being promoted by Confucius Institutes around the world, but with a difference. China8.com tracks students’ progress, giving them a snapshot of how they are progressing with the language. 33


Community@Learning

P Thamizoli [THAMIZOLI@MSSRF.RES.IN], K. Balasubramanian, S Bose, R Seenivasan and M Deveraj, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, India

Rural Literacy

Learner Specific, Family Supported and Technology Mediated

L

earning is a social process; It is important to develop a demand for learning among the individuals. Family and community act as the motivational factors for learning. Family helps to set the personal learning goals with learning inside and out side the classrooms. Learnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; previous knowledge and his/her environment are vital for developing materials for learning. Facilitation and discussion instead of instruction is essential as a teaching method. Technology facilitates access

The

rapid

progress

and meets the challenges of the learner-centered curriculum. Learner specific curriculum developed by the learner him/herself with the help of family ensures the relevance of learning to the learners.

Location and partners In Kannivadi region of Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu, India, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has been working for the last five years on

issues related to sustainable agriculture and is involved in developing multiple livelihood strategies to alleviate rural poverty. The mobilised farmers and landless people were facilitated to form SelfHelp Groups (SHGs). These SHGs are managing the project activities at hamlet level. Through a survey and analysis among the illiterate members in each village, 25 men and 25 women were selected for the first batch. While selecting the learners two criteriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s were applied such as

in

modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is seen as one of the potential tools for literacy and non-formal education. It can be effectively used for designing and developing locally

relevant

and

acceptable curriculum with sensitivity to individual learners options and interest. Although this ICT enabled learning curriculum needs to be placed in an appropriate socio-cultural context of the community to achieve the proposed objectives and development.The article attempts to focus on the process of intervention, approach and strategies adopted by M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in India where ICTs are being used to facilitate rural literacy programmes at village level through the Village Knowledge Centers.

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November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


As the main out put of the project the participant villagers have become functional literates. The learners started using the literacy skills in their every day life in places like ration shops, markets, bus stands, telephone booths, Self help group meetings, petty shops, etc. At the house hold level also women apply the new skill for efficient financial management, children’s education and play active role in the decision making process. individual’s enthusiasm and interest to learn and the family’s support to cooperate with the learner. Family is considered as the agency to facilitate the learning process and guarantee the learner to continue the course till he or she becomes a functional literate. The importance and approach of the project was shared with the family members and a request was made not only to ensure that the family would allow the person to complete the course, it should take the responsibility of acting as a learning center for the participant and finally it should help to assess the result at the end of the project.

Learning plan and learning resources Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs) come as the most effective means for MSSRF to take on this ICT and rural literacy drive. The VKCs are computer based knowledge centers with Internet connection provides need based static and dynamic information. A set of VKC’s operating in a region are connected with a ‘hub’ in the center and the ‘hub’ is the nodal point, which receives the generic information and adds value by converting it to locale specific information. The local community manages the VKCs; access is ensured Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

to all irrespective of caste, class, gender and age. Need based content creation is regularly done on the basis of the need assessment and feed back from the local women and men visit the VKC. The local village people are trained in the management of modern information and communication technologies like operating the computers and hardware maintenance. The participants were trained in using digital cameras, prepared the visual materials and the appropriate local wordings/phrases (curriculum) to develop a learner specific learning materials. The facilitators collaborated with each learner to prepare the material in power point mode and compiled it in a Compact Disc (CD). Self-learning material aroused and sustained the interests of the learners. Generating learner specific and hamlet specific resource materials reduced and discouraged the instructions and dependency on instructors/teacher. The computer based self-produced, self instructional materials eliminated the gap and strengthened the link between the learner and learning materials. Use of advanced technologies like digital cameras and computers with touch screens, an electronic tablet for writing practice accelerated the process of individual based curriculum development and

encouraged the active participation of the learners in the programme.

Learning as fun: The family’s support In the process of material preparation not only the individual learner but also the whole family were involved and converted the activity as fun. The other members in the family played the multiple roles of instructors, coworkers, collaborators and evaluators in the learning process of the participant. The family shared the responsibility of the entire process starting from designing the curriculum to evaluating the results at the end. Family gave the opportunity to the person who has relatively more free time to participate in the project. Functional need of literacy to the individual is also considered by the family for recommending the person to participate in the project.

Animators as mentors The animators facilitated the learning process through discussion and attending the specific needs of the individuals. Continued feedback and motivation from the facilitators help the participants for consistent improvement. Sensitivity to individuals learning styles helps each participant for a smooth sailing. The 35


informal approach adopted by the facilitators encourages the learner to express his/her doubts and opinions without hesitation, this also helps to promote peer teaching. Encouraging peer teaching and group work provides an environment for examination of each other’s experience and arriving a consensus on issues related to learning process.

Learning is a process The family and VKC share the responsibility of providing favorable learning environment for the learners. The process helped the learners to develop the right attitude for learning and inspire the learner to involve in the learning process. The whole process of the development of the learning materials, organising the structured classes, informal and formal meetings are in harmony with the available time and the daily routine of the individual learners. The reading and writing practices of the learners were supported by theme based power points slides. The local fortnightly published by the local community based organisation is also used as a reading material in the literacy centre. Training organised with the support of State Resource Centre for Adult education and communication and education experts helped to improve the capacity of the facilitators to develop the tools and a system for evaluating the learner.

The computer based selfproduced, self instructional materials eliminate the gap and strengthen the link between the learner and learning materials. Use of advanced technologies like digital cameras and computers with touch screens, an electronic tablet for writing practice accelerates the process of individual based curriculum

Learning outcomes The main out put of the project is that the participant villagers have become functional literates. The learners started using the literacy skills in their

development and encourages the active participation of the learners in the programme

every day life in places like ration shops, markets, bus stands, telephone booths, Self help group meetings, petty shops etc and also at the house hold level women apply the new skill for efficient financial management, children’s education and play active role in the decision making process. The literacy has also helped to upscale the business and to improve the quality in their semi skilled jobs and become effective local panchayat leaders etc. The interaction between the learner, family and community is very essential. Modern ICT can help in developing learner – centered, location – specific, dynamic learning materials. Community based facilitators can play a major role in ICT enabled literacy programme. Adult literacy is not merely a classroom activity; it has to be perceived in a holistic manner in the community’s development process.

P. Thamizoli (thamizoli@mssrf.res.in) has received his basic orientation in Anthropology, and his professional and research expertise is in the area cultural ecology; participatory research and knowledge management, rural development; gender and tribal development. K. Balasubramanian (kobala2004@yahoo.co.uk) is a sociologist, specialized in rural development, social forestry, participatory research and presently serving as a development consultant focusing on ICT enabled Development and Life Long Learning. R. Rengalakshmi (Rengalakshmi@mssrf.res.in) is a Agronomist and her focus areas are participatory approach in sustainable agriculture, rural development and multiple livelihoods, agro-biodiversity conservation, climate variability and adaptation. S. Bose (subhachandrabose@rediffmail.com) is rural sociologist, specialized in Self Help Group management, micro-credit and micro finance. M. Devaraj (maildevs@gmail.com) is oriented in computer education, served as a tutor in a software training center, currently engaged in ICT enabled functional literacy at M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation.

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Techno-Savvy DPSGVITES In today’s world where educational institutions have to play a pivotal role in shaping the goals of students, teachers and students at Delhi Public School, Vasundhara feel that the school runs hand-in-hand with the latest trends of technology thus empowering the teaching-learning process. Established in the year 1999 the school - a learning place past down the years is now known for its vision “a happy school with a blend of values, technology and

School Tra ck

quest for excellence”.

Powe r School The school is equipped with three well equipped technological labs comprising 120 computers along with other technological aids. Two servers are available to complete maintenance and running of the school computers. All labs, such as the Biotechnology lab, Biology lab, Physics lab, Chemistry lab, Math lab, Social science lab are furnished with on-line systems. Library has the facility of e-library and students can read certain books there. The school has upgraded (near completion) itself with the MIS systems and attendance, home works, daily diary entries by teachers are carried on-line. The entire administrative force keeps their data updated via on-line systems. This has helped the school to access any data / records at any point of time. All question papers for internal examinations, worksheets given to the students, independent practice worksheets, holiday assignments, monthly work plans, are all computerised. Report cards of the students are computerised. Students are also encouraged to use technology for their project submissions, exhibitions, PPT’s and are also acknowledged for their work by by conducting “Inter-house technocrat quiz”. This helps the students to be in line with the latest technological advances.

Technology and Teachers In-service training has been rendered to teachers by Intel-teach to the future program. Under this program nearly 40 teachers were certified at the first stage followed by a second batch of 25 teachers. Today almost 85% of the staffers are technologically updated.

Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

In the curriculum Computers as a subject has been added in the curriculum of the school right from the early ages of 4 and above. E-Z Vidya have developed a special curriculum for the school. Regular online exams too are conducted. In higher classes (XI/XII) students are allowed to choose for Informatics where-in software’s like VB, C++, MS Paint, MS Excel MS PowerPoint etc are taken up. The entire school is connected to smart-class. Every class has four monitors and Technologically aided classes are taken up in all subjects except Sanskrit, Hindi and French. The students of Biotechnology are exposed to on-line testing by their teacher and almost 65% of their syllabus based on genetical concepts is carried via Over Head Projectors, net, computers, and voice-overs in Power Point Presetations.

37


The photography club is fully equipped with the latest gizmos. The entire photography needed by the school during exhibitions, annual functions or class functions is taken over by the students. The entire development of the photographs, via the use of photoshop, scanner etc is completed by the students.

Still to come… The school has plans to have Plasma boards in classes and also plans to start up on-line submissions of assignments in the near future. The plan of parents seeing the progress reports of their wards on the net at the school web site is still under way. Students have represented the school at various technologically oriented fairs/exhibitions and have won laurels for the school. Though the school encourages all types of technological advancements but the EQ element is strongly maintained. All the junior classes have class functions based on different themes. The entire technological presentation is done by the students under the guidance by the teachers. The overall experience of the school suggests that children learn by doing and this is only when students are able to comprehend. Visual learning is more appealing and ICT or the digitalised classroom techniques are the most powerful means for the societal, social and personal development of a child. Dr Lalit Modak is a Biotechnology teacher and has a flair for technology. She uses all tools of technology like OHPs, Computers, Voice-overs for her presentation in clsses. She has been very recently awarded “The best Integration of technology in schools-2005” award instituted by Intel. A highly resourceful worker with an aptitude for science and technology is her forte, she makes it a point to make her classes digitalised learning homes for her students. She has recieved a National award instituted by the Indian Science Congress for the “Best Young Scientist Award” also.

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Google for Educators Google has launched a new website, titled “Google for Educators (http:// www.google.com/educators/ index.html)”. Described as a “platform of teaching resources”, the site provides educators with an array of online tools, ranging from services for blogging and collaborative writing to geographical search tools and 3D modeling software. The website features 12 Google products that are useful in education, and provides basic information about each tool, examples of how educators are using them, and lesson ideas. For example, lesson plans and videos are provided by Discovery Education focusing on two teaching tools: Google Earth and Google SketchUp.

Google also welcomes contributions from educators to the website, and encourages teachers to share their ideas for using ICT to enhance learning. The website also offers a Teachers’ Newsletter which will provide updates on Google tools as well as tips and other information relevant to teachers. According to Google, the “Google for Educators” site was set up in recognition of the needs of teachers, acknowledging the central role that teachers play in breaking down the barriers between people and information, and in support of educators who work each day to empower their students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge.

Knowledge Bank

Indian ministry launches education portal Designed with the dual purpose of providing advanced education tools to students and helping parents keep tabs on their childrens performance, the Human Resource Development Ministry in India has launched a one-stop education portal. The website called Sakshat (http://portal.sakshat.gov.in) will initially have Class XI and Class XII NCERT textbooks with multimedia representation of graphics, pictures and historical characters. To make learning easier, each chapter will have tutorials, links to reference material, lectures from top education institutions such as MIT, rapid-fire questions and answers, and a programme to test a student’s learning ability. Unlike schools, where tests are periodic, the website will provide instant tests and results comparable with the previous attempts. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Learning Curves Video games have role in school Video games could have a serious role to play in the classroom, a survey of teachers and students suggests. The Teaching with Games report was commissioned by games giant Electronic Arts (EA) and carried out by FutureLab. Almost 1,000 teachers and more than 2,300 primary and secondary school students were surveyed in the UK. It found 59% of teachers would consider using off-the-shelf games in the classroom while 62% of students wanted to use games at school. The report, which was also backed by Microsoft, Take Two, as well as the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), found evidence of concern from both teachers and students about the impact of games on players. Some 55% of students thought videogames would make for more interesting lessons. The key objective with the report is to understand teachers’ and students’ use of computer games in the classroom.

Educomp brings Smart Class Programme in 200 Indian schools Educomp Solutions, Delhi based e-learning company is planning to bring 200 new schools across the India under the preview of its Smart Class programme. Presently, Smart Class programme is already developed in 126 private schools in the country as well as a few schools in US and Singapore. Smart class is a complete solution, which will allow teachers for instant access of instructor-led multimedia content and instruction materials mapped precisely to the curriculum guidelines. It will also allow teachers to access and evaluate the students learning achievements. According to Abhinav Dhar, senior vice-president (K-12), Educomp, there are about 35,000 thousand private schools in India and company has already spent Rs 700-800 crore to bring this technology in India. The company is talking with several state governments, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam and Delhi to implement this Smart Class programme in schools.

USE YOUR SPACE

FamilyEducation.com offers online reading tool for screening child FamilyEducation.com has made partnership with the National Center for Learning Disabilities to offer a new version of ‘Get Ready to Read (http:// school.familyeducation.com/school-readiness/early-learning/ 38422.html?detoured=1)’, a research based screening tool for testing children to enter in kindergarten in Boston. Once the 20 question tool is completed, it will score automatically and it will indicate the ability of child. Additionally, the tool will provide activities and resources to improve kindergarten reading skills. The new Version of tool is child-friendly, printable, family activities and parenting resources aimed for child reading skills. Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

This is your space, your space to watch, your space to use and your space to change too. We invite you to be a part of our ‘School Track’ section, which you can do by contributing your experience with ICTs as a schoolteacher, principal and administrator, or as someone in the school education process working in any capacity. We welcome your stories, research papers, opinion pieces, resources or any other such relevant information, news, and a new idea for this space that can help elevating the spirit of education in schools with integration of ICTs. We look forward to you using this space, by sending your words to info@digitalLEARNING.in

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News WORLD Libyan pupils ‘to have laptops’

materials that are visual by nature accessible to those who are partially sighted or blind. e-ISOTIS (Information Society Open To ImpairmentS), the non-profit making organisation founded in December 2002, working with People with Disabilities, Elderly, their spouses as well as members of the ICT (Information Communication Technology) community, worldwide, is the dissemination leader of this project.

TechnoFuture introduces Educators’ ICT Training

The government of Libya is reported to have agreed to provide its 1.2m school children with a cheap durable laptop computer by June 2008. According to One Laptop per Child sources, the laptops offer Internet access and are powered by a wind-up crank. They cost USD100 and manufacturing begins next year.

Audio Haptics for visually impaired information technology Audio Haptics, the project seeks to improve the inclusion of workers or trainees who are blind or visually impaired in vocational training programmes using visual materials, by delivering these in a non visual format, which is touch and sound. The project in European Union will design, produce and test pilot learning materials, as well as create an online training programme for teachers. By the innovative methodology, accessibility to visual graphics for the visually impaired can be improved. This project is about making learning 40

A “Train-the-Trainers” programme for teachers of primary and secondary schools, as well as lecturers of Colleges of Education has commenced in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The modular-based programme, known as TechnoTeacher is being promoted by an company TechnoFuture Nigeria, in collaboration with the Education Trust Fund (ETF). It would teach educators how to optimise their skills using the computer and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to maximise the learning experience. TechnoFuture was introduced in Canada in 1993 initially to teach learners from the age of four to 18 as a unique combination of technology and business skills, using theme-based projects.

Nigerian higher education has less than 5% ICT applications With less than 5% application of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in Nigerian institutions, according to published studies on institutional technology application, most of these institutions have little or no infrastructure for cyber centers, computer-equipped classrooms or high–speed internet and do not even have the fund to implement such infrastructure on their own.

Available statistics shows there are more than 181 institutions of higher learning in Nigeria but a sizeable number of these institutions have enrollments of more than 20,000 students, with computer ratio at 200 students to 1 computer, or worse for most state universities. These institutions lack the expertise on faculty to provide students with practical hands-on training in ICT, either for basic computer skills, or for more advanced capabilities.

Science GCSE with online exams

British school pupils can now take a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE - the name of a set of British qualifications, taken by secondary school students) entirely online - including doing the coursework and exams electronically. The new environmental and landbased science course is said to be the first totally non-paper GCSE. It is being offered by the OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA {Royal Society of Arts}) exam board and is aimed at those considering careers such as horticulture, farming, waste management and conservation. OCR said candidates would sit computerbased tests under normal controlled examination conditions and submit their coursework electronically - so they could incorporate video, photographs, presentations and written reports.

Work on UNESCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers enters final phase A groundbreaking international November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Ghana Limited, one of the latest financial institutions in the country, to provide Internet connectivity to basic and secondary schools in Ghana. The package under the brand name, “The e-Educational Package” is an initiative designed to facilitate the creation of computer laboratories in educational institutions to provide Internet access and connectivity.

standard for integrating ICTs in teaching, will soon be available as the extensive work on the “ICT Competency Standards for Teachers” that UNESCO is preparing together with several partners from academia and the private sector including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco, enters its final phase. The new standard is designed to contribute to the professional development of teachers, mainly on primary and secondary levels. The standard combines methods for improving ICT skills with emergent views in pedagogy, curriculum and school organisation. The overall objective of the project is to improve teacher practice to contribute to a higher quality education system that can, in turn, produce a better informed citizenry and higher quality workforce that can, advance a country’s economic and social development. More specifically, the “Competency Standards” will constitute a common core syllabus defining various ICT competency skills for teachers that professional development providers can use to prepare learning materials, which can be shared at a global level. The project also includes a mechanism for reviewing and approving the curricula and course offerings of these providers.

E-education package begins in Ghana Accelon Ghana, a broadband via satellite service provider in Africa, is partnering with Standard Trust Bank Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

This would be made possible through a flexible loan scheme for interested basic and secondary schools, provided by Standard Trust Bank and complemented by the technical and infrastructure support of Accelon Ghana for broadband Internet connectivity. Interested schools would benefit from free web design and hosting, free domain name registration, free e-mail account and cost effective broadband Internet access via VSAT anywhere in Ghana.

instructional communications, and is currently recruiting students to join their four-year business programme at http://www.educationfree.org. The Institute aims to provide university education to less fortunate individuals living in developed countries at reduced or no cost. Courses are delivered to students over the Internet using an e-learning software package called “Moodle”. Presently, all textbooks selected are free as the instructors make every effort to find affordable textbooks to lessen the financial burden placed on the students.

World Bank to back content companies

Free online University for students in developing countries

Encouraged by the transformative impact that telecommunications, particularly cellular networks, have had on developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm plans to expand the scope of its investments to include content providers.

NewStart Institute, a charitable organisation based in Ottawa, announced the opening of its fall 2006 university level programs, using the Internet for all venues of study and

The move to invest in content companies comes as part of a shift to invest more broadly in technologies and applications that help spur economic and social development.

Google launches literacy portal Search engine Google has launched a portal to connect literacy organisations around the world. The Literacy Project enables teachers, organisations, and those interested in literacy to use the Internet to search for and share literacy information. Users can search for information in digitised books and academic articles, and share information through blogs, videos and groups. The tool also allows people to find literacy organisations around the world using a searchable and zoomable map. It has been created in collaboration with the Frankfurt Book Fair literacy campaign (Litcam) and Unesco’s Institute for Lifelong Learning. Users can now use it to search through an archive of digitised books to uncover the literature that contains their words of phrases of choice. Publishers, such as Penguin and HarperCollins, and libraries, including Oxford University’s, have allowed Google to scan their books. 41


In October, DANTE, the UK’s research networking organisation announced a new high-speed communication link between Europe and India, marking a major step towards a truly global research community. The link, which is co-

colleagues at the TIFR, the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Mumbai. These experiments will generate huge amounts of data that can be quickly transferred between the two continents.

noted that this is a positive step for India’s integration with the wider research and education community, helping to prevent the migration of scientists and students from India. Dai Davies, General Manager, DANTE, commented that the new network is a

ordinated in Europe by DANTE and ERNET, India’s National Education and Research Network, enables universities, academic and research institutes in India to collaborate on a global scale via GÉANT2, the world’s

The expansion of the GÉANT map represents a major milestone in interconnecting the world’s best scientists and researchers for collaboration and mutual benefits.

hugely important development for DANTE, GÉANT2 and for scientific research in general. Dai Davies remarked that India’s affiliation with GÉANT2 will not only integrate India into the Global Information Society,

Co-funded by the European

According to Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, the GÉANT2 network, which started in Europe, will bring together the world’s best minds, for their mutual

Commission and the Government of India, the link operates at a speed of 45 Mbps link and is facilitated by Telecom Italia from Europe in Milan and VSNL from India in Mumbai. The link will also be used for

benefit and the common good. Dr Gulshan Rai, Executive Director, ERNET, also welcomed the new link, and views GÉANT2’s partnership with ERNET as an invaluable step towards the advancement of India’s

collaborative research with CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, connecting researchers based in Europe to

information society, enabling India to communicate and share expertise with researchers in Europe and beyond at such high speed. Dr Rai

most advanced international research and education network, now connecting all major continents.

but will also have wider implications, complementing, as it does, existing GÉANT2 connectivity from Europe and North America, Asia-Pacific, South Africa and the Middle East. In this context, the BELIEF 1st international conference on eInfrastructures, which takes place 1415 December 2006, in New Delhi, comes at an exciting and opportune time for both Indians and Europeans. BELIEF stands for ‘Bringing Europe’s electronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers’, and reaches out

The BELIEF International Conference on eInfrastructures spotlights the first ever research and education link to India with ERNET network 42

November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


to existing and new users of eInfrastructures in Europe, India and Latin America. The new eInfrastructures and Grid technologies provide more powerful and allinclusive resources, thus opening up new horizons that were unthinkable just a few years ago. As the GĂ&#x2030;ANT2 network demonstrates, these technologies are a major vehicle in interconnecting research organisations on a Pan-European and global level. In addition, gridempowered infrastructures have the potential to dramatically change the way people do business by accelerating advances in technology vital for driving forward competitiveness and economic growth. The BELIEF conference will highlight the potential benefits and challenges that lie ahead, as well as demonstrate that successful collaboration between research and industry is paramount to realising world-class connectivity, generating innovation and economic growth, and creating safer, more prosperous societies.

Conference highlights The various components of the Conference â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Plenary, Parallel, Training and Information, and Getin-Touch-Sessions - will illustrate and evaluate current achievements and evaluate future trends and visions for developing and making the best possible use of these eInfrastructures for the mutual benefit of both regions. High-level experts in their respective fields will reach out to business and research communities, providing invaluable insight into current and future developments in areas such as e-Health, e-Infrastructures for businesses, e-Learning, Government Delivered Services, Mobile Grid and e-Infrastructure Convergence, and Scientific Repositories, in addition to sessions dedicated to reducing the digital divide in emerging economies and connectivity and sustainability: outreach to new user communities.

The Promotional Zone in the foyer of the Grand New Delhi Hotel will showcase an array of current initiatives, projects and business models using e-Infrastructures and Grid technologies. This key international conference provides the perfect backdrop for participants from European and Indian research, industrial and public sector communities to discuss future perspectives and collaboration, paving the way for technological co-operation across frontiers and accelerating global advancements in the domain of e-Infrastructures knowledge and use. Participation is free but subject to on-line registration at: http://www. beliefproject.org/intconf001 To find out more about the BELIEF Project and become a Community Member, please visit the BELIEF website, http:// www.beliefproject.org/.

The BELIEF International Conference on eInfrastructures spotlights the first ever research and education link to India with ERNET network Digital Learning | Vol 2 Issue 11 November 2006

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On the web

Sakshat:The One-Stop Solution in Education Powered by experts of a number of Indian educational institutions, the October 2006 launch of the government of India has initiated to make the new portal Sakshat (http://sakshat.ac.in) a one-stop solution for all education needs, be it an educational material, loan, scholarships or admission in any institution anywhere. ‘Sakshat’ is aimed at tapping India’s talent and would address all Education and learning related needs of students, scholars, teachers and lifelong learners. With content developed by University Grants Commission (UGC), AICTE, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Kendriya Vidyalay Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) and IISc, Sakshat’ will provide links to vast knowledge resources, educational news, examination alerts, sample papers and other useful links available on the web. It has an in-built repository of educational resources and online testing facility. The portal has five functional modules. One, educational resources consisting of e-books, ejournals, digital repository and digital library. Two, scholarship which is specially meant for scholarship holders at national and state levels to keep track of their progress and keep them informed about other scholarship opportunities. Three, testing to enable learners to test and upgrade their skills and knowledge 44

through online exams. Four, superachiever for those aspiring for excellence. Links to various Olympiads would be provided. Five, interaction. This would help students to interact with their teachers or mentors in real time through e-mail, weblogging, webcasting, online chat and discussion forum. Apart from all these, the portal will also have an in-built virtual class

System. The portal also bears an interesting feature with an in-built free dictionary. This allows browsers to get the meaning of every word used in the portal by double-clicking on the particular word. The website will initially have NCERT textbooks of Class XI and Class XII with multimedia representation of graphics, pictures and historical characters. To make learning easier, each chapter will have tutorials, links to reference material, lectures from top education institutions such as MIT, rapid-fire questions and answers, and

a programme to test a student’s learning ability. ‘Sakshat’ has provided links to vast knowledge resources, and other useful links available on the web including National Network of Education (NNE) at the top. NNE is an Indian educational network providing information about the education at all levels - school education, higher education, continuing education or

distance education within India or abroad. ‘Sakshat’ has provided links to vast knowledge sections available in the NNE portal realising its importance. The Government has welcomed subject experts in respective fields to contribute their knowledge and expertise for the success of this ICT revolution through the new portal. Other than the present content providers, many other renowned educational organisations are also joining the group. November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


Bringing Europe's eLectronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers 14 - 15 December 2006 The Grand New Delhi Hotel - New Delhi - India Announcing the BELIEF 1st International eInfrastructures Conference

BELIEF - The first ever research and education link to India with National Education and Research Network (ERNET), co-ordinated in Europe by DANTE, UK's research networking organisation

BELIEF Conference Sessions

Media Partners

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A1: Government delivered services driving eInfrastructures

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B1: Connectivity and sustainability: outreach to new user communities

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Get in touch: Projects Networking session 1

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A2: e-health

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B2: Scientific repositories and the future knowledge infrastructure

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Get in touch: Projects Networking session 2

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A3: eInfrastructures Reducing the digital divide in emerging economies

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B3: eInfrastructures for Enabling Business

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EU-India Grid Project information session

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A4: eInfrastructures for Distance and eLearning

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B4: Mobile Grid and the eInfrastructures convergence

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Get in touch: Projects Networking session 4

Participation is free but subject to on-line registration at: http://www.beliefproject.org/intconf001 To find out more about the BELIEF Project, please visit the BELIEF website, http://www.beliefproject.org/.


Mark Your Calendar november International Congress on ICT 16-18 November, 2006 Cebu City Philippines http://www.ict-congress.com/

Online Educa 2006 29 November-1 December, 2006 Berlin Germany

Belief 14-15 December, 2006 New Delhi, India http://www.beliefproject.org/intconf001

e-Learning International Conference 2006 14 - 17 December 2006 Bangkok, Thailand

http://www.formatex.org/micte2006/

Developing a Business Continuity Plan for Distance Education Web Conference 29 November, 2006 Online United States http://www.academicimpressions.com/

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is currently inviting proposals for its Poverty Reduction Outcomes Through Education Innovations and Networks (PROTEIN) programme (COL-PROTEIN). Innovative proposals are sought in the following five areas:

http://ru.ac.th/elearning_conference/

Food and Nutritional Security;

Environmental Protection;

Rural and Peri-urban Development;

Functional Literacy for Livelihoods; and

http://www.bettshow.com/bett/show_ home1.asp

Micro-Enterprise.

linux.conf.au 15 - 19 Jan 2007 Sydney, Australia

Activities that will be considered for support include:

http://lca2007.linux.org.au/

Innovative models that use ODL and ICT.

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

Self-learning materials and their piloting.

Detailed content design that can be ICT-enabled and would benefit the rural poor.

january

http://www.online-educa.com/

m-ICTE2006 22 - 25 November, 2006 Seville Spain

COL Call for Proposals in the Use of ICTMediated Learning

BETT 2007 10 - 13 January, 2007 Olympia, London

http://ilearn2007.eife-l.org/

web_conferences/1106-business-continuity.php

december International Conference on Digital Library 2006 5-8 December New Delhi, India

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

Successful applicants will receive: •

Expertise from COL in the area of open and distance learning (in the form of shared knowledge, resources and materials; knowledge management; consultancy and advice; advocacy; cost effective programming; and/or capacity building).

http://www.digitallearning.in/dlasia/

Limited financial support (up to Canadian $20,000).

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

Four proposals will be funded in 20062007.

http://tk07.astd.org/

february

http://static.teriin.org/events/icdl/

10th APEID International Conference: Learning Together for Tomorrow 5-8 December, 2006 Hanoi Vietnam http://www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id =3811

Mobile Learning in Higher Education Conference 11 - 13 December 2006 Charlotte, NC United States http://www.academicimpressions.com/conferences/ 1206-mobile-learning.php

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6 - 8 February, 2007 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

http://www.itcnetwork.org/elearning2007.htm

Training 2007 Conference & Expo 26 – 28 February, 2007 Orlando, Florida http://www.trainingconference.com/learninggroup/ training/index.jsp

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2007. Further information available at http:// www.col.org/colweb/site/pid/3082

November 2006 | www.digitalLEARNING.in


We build

We explore

Documentation We search

We capture We cooperate We advocate

Discussion

We converse We inform

We collaborate

We share

Dissemination

We interact We deliver

We propagate We serve

We reach out to communities

We bring change for progress www.digitalLEARNING.in


Learning Never Too Late - Asia gearing up to transform communities : November 2006 Issue