The Bi-Weekly ICT4D Retrospective: Important Links for February 1-14, 2012

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Made in Africa – Again! This time it's the Cardiopad, a touch-screen medical tablet that enables heart exams to be performed in remote, rural locations while the results can be transmitted wirelessly to specialists to interpret. In a part of the world where there is one cardiologist per 70,000 people, where many have great difficulty in traveling to urban centers to seek medical care, and where the cost of medical exams is prohibitive for most of the population, the Cardiopad is bound to save thousands of lives. Arthur Zang, the 24-year-old Cameroonian engineer who has researched and developed the product, is currently seeking funding to mass produce it, and, moreover, to start a company to improve the overall medical care system in Cameroon. Kudos to Mr. Zang and to African innovation!
ICT4E and Open Source: It's the age-old discussion – it's not about the technology itself but rather the content of the educational materials being delivered via that technology. Moreover, how can open educational resources (OER) be best applied in the developing world? These questions are discussed in the GBI Portal's latest post, neatly weaving together the U.S. Under Secretary of Education's keynote speech at the Center for American Progress and UNESCO's newly developed OER Wiki, giving the global educational community a forum to discuss issues that arise in developing countries, as well as OER Africa, which is developing digital materials to increase access to knowledge and learning across the continent. Good stuff. Read it.
Social Networks in Africa: Is Facebook helping to drive ICT adoption in Africa? Probably. (Back in the day, IRC chat rooms are what got me to go online for the first time.) Read this fascinating post on Afrinnovator about how social networks are allowing African end-users to skip the traditional entry points (Yahoo! and the like) and immerse themselves in up-to-the-minute virtual worlds.
Replace e- with m- and what do you get? The newest hype in the world of educational technology. Everyone's talking about making it mobile. And by everyone I mean USAID, UNESCO, the World Bank, IDB, ministries of education across the globe, ISTE, UNICEF, and many others. While hype is often hollow and superficial, there are some important discussions and initiatives taking place. This article provides an excellent summary with lots of useful links.
Solar Powered Internet: Samsung has carried out a number of pilot projects using solar power in rural areas in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya to run Internet learning centers. The company is now speaking with Tanzania about rolling out solar powered Internet schools throughout the country.
Kenyan Government Adopts Tablet: In both the health and education sectors, the Government of Kenya is about to launch a series of pilot projects "as public sector service delivery shifts to mobile Internet." The Government is also striving to take Internet connectivity to the furthest, most remote regions of the country so as to institute e-governance systems.
To get these links faster, follow me on Twitter: @SabinaBehague

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