News Asia | digitalLEARNING Magazine
August 2006

News Asia

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Learn Buddhist philosophy and practice online
Gone are the days when the attendance at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives used to overflow up to the corridors, with students  sitting, standing or squatting on the floor to the stairs. Now, Buddhist  philosophy and practice can be learnt online.  The library offers two, hour-long classes, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in which  highly qualified lamas teach courses focused on Indian and Tibetan texts  or on specific topics of Buddhist
philosophy and practice, with instant English translation. The site also  Students with Visual Impairment Global Campaign was also launched.

e-Learning toolkits to improve transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services in Asia.
The toolkits – Citizen Report Card (CRC) and Continuous Improvement and Benchmarking (CIB) techniques – were designed and developed by the  Public Affairs Centre of Bangalore, India, and the Australian Continuous  Improvement Group in Melbourne,  Australia, with technical and grant support from ADB and the Tokyobased ADBI. The e-Learning toolkits will enable users to develop basic  skills using self-paced learning modules to understand the
conceptual, technical, managerial, and  features an archive of previous  recordings, along with books  published by the library. Now, in addition to about 100 foreigners  here who regularly attend the daily two classes on Buddhist philosophy  and practice, hundreds more can join online.

e-Science project by Chinese  Academy of Sciences
e-Science project, a large-scale computer project for data sharing is  under plan of the Chinese Academy of  Sciences. The e-Science project aims to tackle the problem of poor data sharing in the scientific community. The target is  to make sharing their data easier for  researchers at its 90 institutes. The project’s funding has not yet been  finalised, but could be up to 500 million yuan (USD62.5 million). The e- Science platform will be freely  accessible to scientists outside the academy, as well as the public.

Visually impaired students to access ICT in Malaysia
The Malaysia government will allocate RM3 million to help visually impaired students, mainly to provide access to Information Communication  and Technology (ICT) facilities. The RM3 million is for the ICT development of blind students in all schools. There are 823 blind students  studying in normal schools nationwide. The Education for All  operational details of CRC methodology and CIB techniques.
Master plan to develop Vietnam’s digital content industry
The Ministry of Post and Telematics (MPT) of Vietnam revealed a master plan at the Vietnam Information and Communication Technology Outlook 2006, to develop Vietnam’s Digital Content Industry (DCI) targets, to earn USD400 million revenues in 2010 and uphold an average annual growth rate of 50 percent. DCI is a design, production, publishing, storage, distribution and publication industry of digital content  products and related services like information lookup, digital  entertainment, online healthcare and  online learning. According to the Director General the MPT’s  Department of Information Technology Industry, Nguyen Anh Tuan, Vietnam is having 10,000 DCI experts and the number will triple by  2010. At present, Vietnam is
developing six DCI fields, such as e- Education, online games, Internet  content development, mobile network  services, digital film and e-Learning.

Chinese website to teach Chinese language
Eyeing at the growing interest of people to learn Chinese as a foreign language, China launched a website  offering free Chinese lessons and materials to promote the study and  use of the language abroad.  The Ministry of Education of China says that more than 30 million people  are now learning Chinese as a foreign language and more than 2,500 universities in 100 countries offer  Chinese courses. The site (www.linese.com) includes audiovisual presentations, interactive  exercises and advice for teachers of  Mandarin Chinese, with photographs and descriptions of cultural icons.  The website is only in Chinese and English, but versions in Japanese and Korean are being developed.

U-Learning in Palm of Hand 
Makers of the video-on-the-go  players are expanding partnerships with educational content providers as  they consider it critical to survive in the ever-intensifying battle with other  mobile gadgets such as mobile phone, compact PC and personal digital assistant (PDA). Such a move is in   ine with the South Korean government’s ubiquitous learning (ulearning) plan.  Digital Cube, leading PMP seller in  South Korea, which has a 65-percent share of the market started providing  high-quality broadcasting of EBS TV’s college entrance test preparation  programs. The PMP users can download the video files of the elearning  classes via Internet free of charge. It is the first time for the TV lectures to be transformed to other  platforms at high picture quality. The offering of the EBS package is likely   o be a big attraction for potential PMP buyers. The Ministry of  Education and Human Resources

97 public high schools in Phillipines
to get computers  Some 97 public high schools in Region  7 in Phillipines will be beneficiaries of the  Department of Trade and Industry’s  (DTI) PCs for Public Schools Project (PCPS).   Under the PCPS Phase 3 Project, around 1,200 public secondary schools nationwide will receive 12,000  computers.  Each beneficiary school in the region will receive 10 computers, including peripherals and local area network connections. Bohol will receive 27 units, Cebu will have 43, Oriental Negros will get 22 while Siquijor will get five units. With DTI’s PCPS 3 pro-ject, more schools will get ICT upgrade, “empowering” more students and teachers. 32,240 computers were given to 2,228 public high schools nationwide under the first two phases of the project. Development is basing the college entrance test on the EBS lectures and the TV company insists about 80 percent of last year’s test came from the EBS-covered contents. Before the introduction of the EBS lectures, there were various educational contents available on PMP, such as language  courses bought from offline content providers. Meanwhile, the ministry of  Education and human Resources  Development has launched its ulearning project by designating 18
elementary, middle and high schools in April for its pilot project.

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