information accessibility

Facebook’s free internet limits poor users

Title: Facebook’s free internet limits poor users
Author: Lyndal Rowlands
Source: SciDev.Net
Date (published): 29/05/2015
Date (accessed): 03/06/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Internet.org initiative got 9 million people online in a year, Facebook says. But critics say Facebook’s own site is among a limited selection of free content. This could create a monopoly in access and limit free speech and net neutrality.

Key themes in national educational technology policies

Title: Key themes in national educational technology policies
Author: Michael Trucano
Source: The World Bank
Date (published): 15/05/2015
Date (accessed): 27/05/2015
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The World Bank is concluding an analysis of over 800 policy documents related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education from high, middle and low income countries around the world in order to gain insight into key themes of common interest to policymakers. This is work is part of the institution's multi-year efforts under its Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) initiative to provide policy-relevant guidance for education decision makers in a number of policy 'domains' (including areas such as workforce development; school finance; teachers; management information systems; equity and inclusion; and student assessment).

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

Title: Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406
Authors: Jenny C. Aker, Christopher Ksoll
Source: Center For Global Development
Date (published): 21/05/2015
Date (accessed): 27/05/2015
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program. Using a randomized control trial in 160 villages in Niger, we randomly assigned villages to a mobile phone monitoring component, whereby teachers, students and the village chief were called on a weekly basis. There was no incentive component to the program. The monitoring intervention dramatically affected student performance: During the first year of the program, reading and math test scores were .15-.30 s.d. higher in monitoring villages than in nonmonitoring villages, with relatively stronger effects in the region where monitoring was weakest and for teachers for whom the outside option was lowest. We provide more speculative evidence on the mechanisms behind these effects, namely, teacher and student effort and motivation.

How Technical Communities Are Helping Engineer Better Responses to Global Crises

Title: How Technical Communities Are Helping Engineer Better Responses to Global Crises
Author: Jennifer Chan
Source: Huffington Post
Date (published): 21/05/2015
Date (accessed): 27/05/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: One resource many humanitarian organizations turn to during a crisis is the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN), a group of digital volunteers who expand response capacity during humanitarian crises such as the recent Nepal earthquake and Ebola outbreak in West Africa. DHN has volunteers ready to assist at a moment's notice. The network offers a variety of skill sets for supporting the work of humanitarian organizations. A few include mapping, data visualization, translation, and emergency telecommunication. DHN brings people together to respond to crises and helps alleviate potential backlogs of resources by streamlining the overall process and increasing the speed of response.

Lens turns smartphone into a microscope: Costs only 3 cents

Title: Lens turns smartphone into a microscope: Costs only 3 cents
Source: ScienceDaily
Date (published): 04/05/2015
Date (accessed): 18/05/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Researchers have created an optical lens that can be placed on an inexpensive smartphone to magnify images by a magnitude of 120, all for just 3 cents a lens.

Mobile app helps teachers to support literacy efforts

Title: Mobile app helps teachers to support literacy efforts
Source: Development Innovations Cambodia
Date (accessed): 08/05/2015
Type of information: case study
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Each year Cambodian schools struggle to recruit enough teachers to meet the growing school-age population. The average student-teacher ratio is approximately 46 to one, with classrooms in some provinces exceeding 62 students per instructor. The shortage is particularly acute in primary schools. In order to mitigate the critical shortage of teachers and promote strong foundations for literacy in Grades 1 & 2, World Education’s Technology for Education Systems Transformation project (TEST) developed a mobile application that automates student reading assessments using mobile tablet computers.

Crowd-Sourced Flood Report App Allows Quick Evacuations in Jakarta

Title: Crowd-Sourced Flood Report App Allows Quick Evacuations in Jakarta
Source: Japan International Cooperation Agency - JICA
Date (published): 27/04/2015
Date (accessed): 08/05/2015
Type of information: application
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: A new Android smart phone app developed with Japan's help allows Jakarta residents to share real-time, map-based information on flooding in the metropolitan area.

ICT skills set to develop with new MOU in Kenya

Title: ICT skills set to develop with new MOU in Kenya
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 27/04/2015
Date (accessed): 02/05/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The ICT Authority and Microsoft have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will, among other things, see Microsoft offer support in providing a platform that will enable ICT skills training for up to 300 000 teachers.

Why a mobile-technology revolution needs teachers

Title: Why a mobile-technology revolution needs teachers
Author: Caroline Schmitt
Source: Deutsche Welle
Date (published): 02/04/2015
Date (accessed): 02/05/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Mobile tech is revolutionizing banking and farming in Africa. But when it comes to education, it's increasing the gap between rural and urban communities. The solution to this dilemma may surprise you.

How Facebook helped restore family links after the Nepal earthquake

Title: How Facebook helped restore family links after the Nepal earthquake
Author: Timo Luege
Source: Social Media for Good
Date (published): 26/04/2015
Date (accessed): 02/05/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Following earthquake in Nepal, Facebook activated “Safety Check“, a feature that helps friends and relatives quickly find out whether their loved ones are safe.

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