Microsoft’s Digital Literacy Curriculum

Whether you are new to computing or have some experience, the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum will help you develop a fundamental understanding of computers. The courses help you learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online, use technology to complement your lifestyle, and consider careers where you can put your skills to work. The Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum has three levels. The Basic curriculum features a course called A First Course Toward Digital Literacy. This course teaches the value of computers in society and introduces you to using a mouse and the keyboard. The Standard curriculum features five courses that cover computer basics; using the internet and productivity programs; security and privacy; and digital lifestyles. The Advanced curriculum features four courses that cover creating an e-mail account, creating a great resume, searching for content on the World Wide Web and social networking. These five courses are available in three versions that use examples and screenshots from different versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Version 3 uses examples and simulations from Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, version 2 uses examples and simulations from Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, and version 1 uses examples and simulations from Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003. All courses are free of charge.

Explore the courses at:

http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/citizenship/giving/programs/up/digitalliteracy/default.mspx

Public-Private Partnerships to Bridge Africa’s Digital Divide

Innovative partnerships involving governments, software giants and telcoms will accelerate connectivity and bridge Africa’s gaping digital divide.

Experts who met at a just concluded third edition of the Africa Public-Private Partnership Conference in Nairobi hailed the potential of structured collaboration between the public and private sectors to transform Africa into an ICT hub. Zaki Khoury, the Regional Manager, Global Strategic Accounts, Middle East, North, West, and Central Africa as well as Pakistan and Turkey at Microsoft, underscored the potential of public-private partnerships to promote universal access to ICT services in Africa.

Khoury noted that Africa is a frontier market that has attracted investments in ICT sector as the GDP of many countries expand. “We have ICT hubs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. This calls for a revaluation of our business model to engage more with governments and private companies and leverage these partnerships to accelerate connectivity,” says Khoury.

He continued “Microsoft adopts public-private partnerships to maximize on the resources, leverage our technology and scale up our execution together with governments and other companies.” Khoury stressed that structured public private partnerships are critical in addressing social challenges such as provision of quality education and health services.

“These partnerships have boosted quality and competitiveness of the education system. They have increased collaboration among students alongside connectivity with teachers to create greater knowledge forums”, remarked Khoury.  Mainstreaming ICT in the education sector in Africa will boost skills and competitiveness of the youth in the job market.

Khoury vouched for digital learning in schools to prepare students for a knowledge based economy. Microsoft has partnered with Kenya’s Ministry of education under a “Partnership in Learning” project to develop digital curriculum for schools.

“We will in the next three years help Kenya progress towards digital literacy,” says Khoury. He cited the “Microsoft Digital Literacy” initiative that has helped streamline technology enhanced learning in schools.

Read more: http://www.africasciencenews.org/en/index.php/technology/45-hitech/245-public-private-partnerships-to-bridge-africas-digital-divide-says-microsoft

Google Internet Bus Exposes Offline Population in India to Internet

Google is taking the Internet on the road with its Internet Bus Project in India.

The Internet Bus Project is an attempt to educate people about what the Internet is, and how it may be beneficial to their lives, by taking the Internet experience to them through a customized Internet-enabled bus, which will travel to several towns and cities across India. You can see pictures of its travels here.

This unique project has great potential for starting the spread of Digital Literacy in the cities and towns that it travels to by educating people about the internet who may otherwise have no way to access it.

For more information and pictures, please visit:

http://www.labnol.org/internet/google-internet-bus-in-india/7015/

http://www.google.co.in/intl/en/landing/internetbus/