Click here to close now.

Welcome!

.NET Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jaynesh Shah, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

Microsoft Makes US$75 Million Commitment to Unite With Global NGOs and Tackle Education Inequalities

- Recipients of 2012 Global Forum Educator Awards announced.

PRAGUE, Dec. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today marked the close of its Partners in Learning Global Forum 2012 by announcing an investment of up to US$75 million to bring digital access to youth and educators in developing nations. The commitment was sealed by signing memorandums of understanding with six global humanitarian organizations. Along with the US$250 million, five-year renewal of the flagship Microsoft Partners in Learning program, the company has further strengthened its commitment to bring holistic transformation of education systems around the world through digital access to youth and capacity building for educators.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )

The initiative is led by strategic alliances with World Vision Inc., the British Council, SOS Children's Villages International, Catholic Relief Services, Plan Ltd. and the International Rescue Committee. It is aimed at helping ensure that teachers get the digital training they need and students gain critical skills vital to finding employment, starting their own businesses and contributing to their local communities' economies.

These commitments are part of Microsoft YouthSpark, a companywide initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth around the world, helping transform education and expand digital inclusion to empower youth to change their world.

"Today's young people face an opportunity divide — a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not," said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education for Microsoft. "We firmly believe in the power of technology to help close this gap. But we can only achieve our ambitions with the help of these kinds of partnerships. Together, we can help bring digital access to youth and support to educators in developing countries worldwide."

Reaching Underprivileged Youth in Africa

An example of this initiative — Spark a Child's Digital Future http://www.worldvision.org/bethespark — will begin in Kenya, scaling across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond during the next five years.

Spark a Child's Digital Future, which launches today, is a collaborative effort that unites World Vision, the British Council, Microsoft and Intel, and it links African youth with more than 1 million potential donors in the United States alone. World Vision, the world's largest nongovernmental organization, will generate donations through its child sponsors. Microsoft will donate software and apply the experience it has gained through Partners in Learning. Together, Microsoft and Intel will offer information and communications technology expertise and training, while the British Council and World Vision bring on-the-ground expertise in education program execution and content development for teacher and school leader professional development, as well as measurement and evaluation.

"We recognize that once a child's basic needs are met, digital skills development can be vital in securing economic growth," said Rich Stearns, president, World Vision U.S. "This program is essential in helping children in developing countries succeed in a global world."

2012 Global Forum Educator Awards

The announcement was made ahead of an award ceremony at the Global Forum in Prague, bringing together more than 500 of the most innovative teachers, school leaders, education leaders and government officials from 80 countries. Teachers who attend the Global Forum are regional finalists selected from more than 250,000 teachers registered across national and regional forums throughout the year.

Teacher projects were awarded across six categories:

Collaboration 

  • Winner: Pauline Roberts and Rick Joseph (United States), "Doing Business in Birmingham." A Sciracy project promoting scientific literacy. Students developed informational brochures to educate business owners on sustainability.
  • First Runner-Up: Chen Siyun (Singapore), "Impactful Online Service Learning." The project led a group of Singapore and Indonesian students through a journey of collaboration to solve the issue of the lack of clean water.
  • Second Runner-Up: Holger Frohlich (Germany), "Creating Fairytale-Radioplays." Using digital media, the students created a fairytale-radioplay building an audio visual experience.

Knowledge Building

  • Winner: David Allan Young (Northern Ireland), "Infinity Architecture." Students from the local primary school developed an architecture project to serve students with special needs. The project is now in early stages of full-scale modeling.
  • First Runner-Up: Zamimah Binti Azaman (Malaysia), "The Journalist." The students developed a simulator to assess content and skills learned in the classroom.
  • Second Runner-Up: Youssr Chediac (Lebanon), "The Warak Warak Method." This project is a teaching methodology that builds and enhances students' subject knowledge and skills, increases engagement and keeps the momentum going beyond the classroom.

Beyond the Classroom

  • Winner: Ghadeer Obiedat and Rania Obiedat (Jordan), "Glimmer of Hope." These teachers aimed to equip students with the skills needed to innovate and be productive in life, with a project focusing on the early detection and screening of breast cancer.
  • First Runner-Up: Devon Caldwell and Leah Obach (Canada), "Little Hands Big World." This collaborative project links two classrooms of learners to form one community of change agents. These young learners from ages 4 to 7 are identifying, investigating and developing solutions to important issues affecting the planet.
  • Second Runner-Up (joint): Margarida Telles da Cruz (Brazil), "Ecoweb." This project challenges special needs students to develop sustainability activities. Using different technology, students collaborated with neighboring schools to focus on the reuse of different materials and how residents should take care of their local area.
  • Second Runner-Up (joint): Katie Boothman (United Kingdom), "The H.I.T. Squad." Students embraced new technologies to connect and engage communities and learners across generations. Primary schools and local residents have benefited from learning resources created by the Squad in their ongoing mission to share the past with the future.

Cutting-Edge Use of IT

  • Winner: Nicki Maddams (United Kingdom), "Kodu in The Klassroom." This project takes Kodu Game Lab and uses it to enhance learning. From aiding literacy for primary school children to focusing on programming with game design in secondary schools, the versatile and engaging software has been used to teach, learn and inspire.
  • First Runner-Up: Robin Lowell and Sherry Hah (United States), "'LYNC'ing Distance Learning Math Classes to Blind and Visually Impaired Students." Using the audio/videoconferencing functionality in Microsoft Lync, the team created an unprecedented distance learning mathematics program tailored to the unique needs of blind and visually impaired students.
  • Second Runner-Up: Alice Leung (Australia), "Playing. Designing. Learning. Using Games and Project-Based Learning to Develop Creative, Innovative and Independent Learners." Combining commercial video games and games design with in-depth class projects, students form their own investigations to develop skills in higher order thinking, collaboration, problem solving and self-regulation.

Teaching a Change Agent

  • Winner: Munazza Riaz Butt (Pakistan), "Aqua Crunch." Teaching students to address water problems through technology.
  • First Runner-Up: Ayodele Odeogbola (Nigeria), "Rescue Mission." This project used a mixture of hardware and software to help tackle the challenges (such as examination malpractice, vandalism, bullying, drug abuse and truancy) currently being faced in Nigeria and other countries of the world.
  • Second Runner-Up: Maria Loizou Raouna (Cyprus), "Online and Community-Based Research on Recycling Practices." Using a wide range of technology, including Windows Internet Explorer and Skype, students collaborated on online research around waste minimization to inform new recycling programs in their own community and the development of shared "green" multimedia.

Educator's Choice

  • Winner: Joao Carlos Ramalheiro (Portugal), "Oratio Classroom." This software concept for a future educational app was created by students for teachers, responding to the child's creative mind and offering teachers the opportunity to improve music lessons, using a dynamic, content-rich and attractive application.
  • First Runner-Up: Darko Taleski and Sofija Grabulovska (Macedonia), "Fun, Education, Stop-Motion Animation." This project makes stop-motion animations for all school subjects in primary education, proving that stop-motion animation is adaptive to all school subjects, age and levels.
  • Second Runner-Up: Todd LaVogue (United States), "What's Up Egypt." By combining what students like (television and music) with their curriculum, this project created a television news show and music video to help improve understanding of life in ancient Egypt.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.