News World
July 2006

News World

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Computer that reads mind
An “emotionally aware” computer being developed by British and American scientists will be able to read an individual’s thoughts by analysing a  ombination of facial movements that represent underlying feelings. It could also be useful in  online teaching to show whether someone understands what is being  explained and in improving road safety by determining if a driver is
confused, bored or tired.  The scientists, who are developing the technology in collaboration with  researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the  US, hope to get it to accept other inputs such as posture and gesture.
ICT training available for persons with disabilities
In this age of information technology  (IT), disabled persons in the country are not being left behind, as they too   re being afforded the opportunity to learn valuable computer skills. This is being facilitated through the Jamaica  government’s Information and  Communication Technology (ICT) Training for Persons with Disabilities  Programme, which is currently being   run by the National Youth Service  (NYS). Some 50 disabled persons are currently enrolled in the programme  across four sites – the Social Development Commission’s office  complex in Spanish Town, the Jamaica Society for the Blind in Kingston, the  Lister Mair Gilby Senior School for the Deaf, and the Waterford High School  in Portmore, St. Catherine. It is anticipated that training opportunitie  would include Microsoft as well as CompCIA computer certification, which is involved in over 250 countries around the world.

Department of Technology  in Education wins IT Education Award
The Department of Technology in Education (DTiE), Education Division within the Ministry of Education, Malta recently won the IT Education  Award for their ICT Automated

Testing System (SSr).
This award was part of the National  ICT Achievements Awards (NICTAA) organised by the Computer Society of  Malta. A team of ICT support teachers
for the Secondary Sector at the DTiE, Floriana, have over the past two years  eveloped a multi-user Automated  Testing System. This assessment method, called SSr, automatically presents questions to the candidates who answer them hands-on using the  computer. Veterinary education moves  into ‘virtual’ age
A groundbreaking initiative spearheaded by the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, in  partnership with seven sub-Saharan African universities will combat neglected animal diseases that affect poor farmers by providing advanced  training for vets using online learning. The African Universities Veterinary e-  Learning Consortium (AUVEC) will be launched soon to build up the African  animal health sector. AUVEC will offer new courses using a blend of  traditional teaching and e-learning for
undergraduate and post-graduate vet students.

Schools switch on to IT in Namibia
Namibia intends having 12 000 teachers trained in basic computer literacy and 350 000 learners using computers for half an hour a week by 2010, according to goals set down bythe Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) steering committee. Three hundred teachers received basic ICT training during a three-year  pilot project to introduce ICT as a teaching tool in schools  ndertaken at  13 rural primary and secondary schools. The Namibia Education
Technology Alliance (Neta) comprising the Ministry of Education,  the American Federation of Teachers, Discovery Channel, SchoolNet, World Teach, the United States Peace Corps and Microsoft, started the project in  2002 with support from the United States Agency for International

Development (USAID).
WEF, Intel, Nortel, MCIT bring  tech to classrooms in Egypt Intel, with support from Nortel, is teaming up with Ministry of  Communication and Technology and  the Ministry of Education in Egypt to bring technology to classrooms at every level. Intel Corporation recently announced  the launch of the META (Middle East, Turkey, and Africa) Higher Education Initiative in Egypt to focus on  bringing technology to the nation’s universities. Under its Technology Entrepreneurship Program, Intel  developed a curriculum for universities that covers topics  including setting up and running a company. Intel’s support of higher  education curricula and research already extends to more than 100 universities in over 30 countries.  Although the initiative focuses on technology and learning in a  university setting, the target is to have every student who com pletes K  through nine to be computer literate in a few years.

Students get a new reason to  avoid lectures!
Students at the University of Ulster, UK can now listen to their professors as well as pop on their ipods thanks to a new hi-tech web link. Students,  staff and alumni can now sign up for a free iTunes-enabled podcast service so they can listen to highlights from  the work of the university on their computers, iPods and mp3 players –  wherever and whenever they like. The first batch of five podcasts  includes interviews and presentations from the university’s arts, research  and business portfolios, as well as keynote addresses on topics of
national and international importance.

Teachers’ registration goes  online in Nigeria
Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) e-Registration initiative will allow all existing professional teachers, new teachers  requiring new  registration with TRCN to enter and update their records in  the TRCN database  from anywhere and at anytime.  The online TRCN eRegistration system makes it convenient for all teachers to know their registration  status, update status and make payments to TRCN using diverse  channels such as banks, cyber cafes,  e-Kisoks, GSM phones and other  Internet access points. ictQATAR announces the end of Knowledge Net project  IctQATAR has formally  announced the end of the first phase of its ‘Schools Knowledge Net  Project’ initiative. To mark the
occasion, it honoured independent school teachers, IT managers and  administrators who were part of the  five-month project. The project, envisaged as a platform  for designing an overall approach for integrating ICT  Information
Communication Technology) into education, was launched last  February. The Knowledge Net project focuses on promoting the  development of education content,  portals, application and knowledge bases. In the first phase of the
imitative, ictQATAR utilised  Microsoft Learning Gateway and Blackboard. These learning  management systems provided the essential tools for both students and  teachers to enhance communication, expand resources, and develop teaching. Certificates of appreciation  were awarded to the most active
teachers. The meeting was also marked by an interactive session by  teachers and experts.

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