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UNESCO launches teacher-training programme in Africa

UNESCO has launched a high-priority ‘Initiative on Teacher Training’ in sub-Saharan Africa. This initiative will assist the continent’s 46 sub-Saharan countries in restructuring national teacher policies and teacher education.

The main of the training programme is to improve the quality of teaching across the continent. In this initiative, 17 countries are participating, including Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia. TTISSA will link and create synergies from the other core Initiatives, the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) and the Global Initiative on Education and HIV and AIDS (EDUCAIDS).

British Council launches training programme in UAE schools

British Council has launched the project, which is aimed to introduce effective use of ICT in schools in UAE. British Council is to bring together teachers and GGC & UK policymakers to introduce ICT.

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The British Council has completed its first teacher-training programme for UAE national schools for vision impaired. British Council launched this training programme with the support of Ministries of Education.  British Council has collaborated with UK education consultants to provide training on ICT tools for education, including e-languages and Global Gateway. The British Council is also working on the ICT in Schools project in co-operation with all the Education Zones in the UAE.

The ICT training workshop is aimed to increase the skills of teachers in the use of ICT in the classroom and to develop the level of confidence in the use of online tools for international collaboration in education.

Australia makes easy e-learning for people

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR) of Australia is making e-Learning more impressive for staff members of Australia.

DITR is planning to implement e-learning this year for 300 staff in its e-business division. The system will include office, management and IT employees. DITR has asked the government for the supply, implementation and maintenance of an online training and education system, as well as an online reference library and help material. The e-learning system would be accessible at work and from home, and deliver reports on its usage.

e-Education Development gets a boost

Azure Technologies and the Department of Technical Education signed a contract agreement worth $2.4 million, marking a new milestone in e-education development in Brunei.

The agreement was inked for the supply, reengineering, analysis, design, delivery, installation, integration, testing, deployment; training, commissioning and maintenance of software and hardware for the implementation of an integrated Web-based technical and vocational education student information system for the Department of Technical Education at the Ministry of Education.

National Development Plans boosts ICT in Irish schools

Schools of Ireland will receive a technology boost under the National Development Plan 2007-2013. The new investment is designed to develop an e-learning culture in schools.

The Ministry of Education will follow this plan by implementing ICT skills into schools. The Government is planning to invest EUR25 million to buy hardware for teaching new and revised technology subjects. Under that plan approximately 500 schools will receive funding, which would be used to provide hardware such as PCs, laptops, printers, digital scanners and data projectors. The National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) has joined with the Union of Students in Ireland and the Combined Higher Education Software Trust in signing an agreement with Microsoft to offer specially-priced software to every primary, second and third level student in the country. The Software4Students programme will make discounts on all Microsoft software available to 917,000 students.

Patent Office to re-examine Blackboard learning patent

The United States patent office has ordered a re-examination of an “e-learning” patent owned by Blackboard Inc. The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) had asked for the review on behalf of three open source software projects Sakai, Moodle and Atutor.

The Patent Office said that prior art cited by the SFLC raised questions about the patent. It was reported earlier that Blackboard had taken legal action against Desire2Learn Inc. This firm has also asked the patent office to re-examine Blackboard’s patent. The re-examination will take two years.

e-Academy for companies from   MyKnowledgeMap MyKnowledgeMap (MKM), United Kingdom’s leading supplier of infrastructure systems for national skill academies has introduced a version of its e-Academy system enabling companies to manage staff skills and development needs ranging from day-to-day productivity to discovering and achieving relevant qualifications.

Company Academy supports the management of Internal courses. Designed to run over an Intranet, or provided as a hosted solution, it can be provided as an empty infrastructure, ready for an organisation to populate with its own material. Alternatively, it is available with various content packs and can be fully branded to complement the user organisation’s house style.

9.7 million dollar invested in tertiary education

The New Zealand government is investing $9.7 million in 11 projects fostering innovation in tertiary education. The new projects offered funding in the 2007-08 financial year are run by universities or institutes of technology and polytechnics. The projects include development of a Biomolecular Interaction Centre in Canterbury, implementation of e-learning guidelines across the tertiary sector, and establishment of a National Energy Research Institute. The new funding comes on top of the $30 million previously allocated to 34 projects through the TEC’s Innovation and Development Fund (IDF) over the past three years.

New software will help children design their own games and aid learning

Pioneering software that enables children to design their own computer games could significantly improve the teaching of literacy, design and ICT skills in schools. A new project at Heriot-Watt University in United Kingdom aims to produce “Adventure Author”The objective is to show thatcomputer games, as well as being fun, offer a great way of motivating pupils to learn. They can develop their  reativity, and in many cases, generate better results than conventional teaching methods. The 27-month research project “Supporting Creativity in Computer Game Authoring” is due to run untilSeptember 2008. Adventure Author will allow 10-14 year olds to design and build 3D, interactive fantasybased computer games, which will involve developing characters, writing dialogue, plot-structuring and visual design, as well as dealing with technical programming issues and testing/evaluating the games.

Cisco targets emerging communication markets
Cisco announced that it will present two Cisco TelePresence systems each  to the governments of five nations in the emerging markets as a means to  improve communications andcollaboration within and among those countries by harnessing the ultra-high quality, two-way video and audio  capabilities of the TelePresence solution. The participating countries are Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Cisco expects to have the  TelePresence systems in all five countries within six months. Cisco estimates that its total contribution will be approximately $6 million. This will include the TelePresence systems, their planning, design and installation and a year’s worth of support services costs.

Study finds open source key to European ICT competitiveness
A new study on the economic impact of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) on the European information and communication technologies  (ICT) sector has found that it could increase Europe’s competitiveness.  ’Given Europe’s historically lower ability to create new software  businesses compared to the US, due to restricted venture capital and risk tolerance, the high share of European  FLOSS developers provides a unique opportunity to create new software businesses and reach towards the Lisbon goals of making Europe the  most competitive knowledge economy by 2010,’ states the report, which was requested by the European Commission’s Enterprise DG

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