ECDL Foundation Newsletter -
                                November 2013

Welcome to the latest edition of the ECDL Foundation Newsletter. All articles featured in this HTML version can be read in full in a downloadable PDF version of the newsletter.

ECDL / ICDL in Action Around
                                      the World

Development Organisations to Work Together to Bridge the Digital Divide in Developing Countries

ECDL Foundation and Computer Aid International have signed a landmark agreement to bring effective use of computer hardware and software within the reach of some of the poorest communities around the world.

Computer Aid International sends refurbished computers from the UK to more than 100 developing countries for use in village schools, universities and underdeveloped towns. ECDL Foundation will enable students to gain the globally recognised ICDL qualification, providing them with the skills to enter the employment market or to create their own micro-business. Read more.

ICDL Asia Signs a New MoU With Singapore Workforce Development Agency

ICDL Asia has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) for another five years. Both parties will continue implementing the ICDL programme together among the Singapore workforce, through the alignment of ICDL standards with Singapore’s Employability Skills Framework. Read more.

Indonesian Military Approves ICDL

The Indonesian military has approved ICDL training for military officers.

In the first week of December, ICDL Indonesia will formally introduce ICDL and will train fifty military officers ranking from Major to the Brigadier Generals, from across the three military academies. Upon successful completion of this, ICDL will then be implemented across the whole Indonesian military. Read more.

ECDL Netherlands and Prince Constantijn Launch New ECDL

On the 13 November, Prince Constantijn, Head of Cabinet to the Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes launched New ECDL in the Netherlands. The event took place in the World Trade Centre in the city of Rotterdam at the annual education fair. The fair was organised by ‘Kennisnet’ the public educational organisation which supports and inspires Dutch primary and secondary schools and vocational institutions in the effective use of ICT. Read more.

ICDL Promoted at the 43rd Roshd International Film Festival in Iran

ICDL Iran sponsored the 43rd Roshd International Film Festival which ran from October 25 to November 1 in Tehran. The festival is one of the most important scientific and educational events in Iran which shows and celebrates the films created in the fields of science, education and children’s training. This year, 1,532 films were sent by professional and amateur directors in Iran and forty eight other countries around the world.

ICDL was promoted by ICDL Iran at the beginning of every film at the festival as well as in all printed materials which supported the event. Read more.

ICDL Colombia to Certify Five Hundred Teachers

ICDL Colombia has signed an agreement with the Municipality of Medellin, through the La Escuela del Maestro and Vivero del Software community centre to certify teachers across the city of Medellin, in ICDL.

The process of certification will begin at the end of November and it will certify five hundred Information and Communication Technology teachers, from public primary and secondary schools, as part of a program called ‘ICT teaching laboratory’. Read more.

National Digital Coalition Established in Lithuania

At the ICT 2013: Create, Connect, Grow conference in Vilnius, a memorandum of cooperation regarding the creation of the National Digital Coalition in Lithuania was signed. The memorandum was also signed by Neelie Kroes, the Vice-President of the EC.

The National Digital Coalition was founded by ECDL Lithuania among ten other Lithuanian institutions to promote digital skills in Lithuania. Read more.

Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ) Summer School 2013 – ‘ICT – Creating Africa’s Quantum Leap’

ICDL National Operator, the Computer Society of Zimbabwe (CSZ), in conjunction with its ICT stakeholders held their annual summer school on 13-15 November 2013 in Victoria Falls. The theme of the event was ‘ICT – Creating Africa’s Quantum Leap’. The event focused on examining ways to maximise the impact of ICT on society and had a record attendance with 165 delegates present. The Ministry of ICT was represented by Mrs Beaullah Chirume. Read more.

ICDL Advanced Modules Launched in Sudan and Yemen

Advanced Quality Assurance Systems (AQAS), ICDL National Operator in Sudan and Yemen, has conducted two ICDL Advanced module workshops in Khartoum and Sana’a. Ten candidates have successfully completed all four Advanced modules in Sudan, and fifteen candidates have completed the four Advanced modules in Yemen earning candidates from both territories the ICDL Expert certificate. ICDL Advanced module workshops will continue in both countries over the coming months Read more.

UAE Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center & ICDL GCC Foundation Distribute Pocket Guide On Cyber Safety to Students

The UAE Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center in cooperation with the ICDL GCC Foundation has distributed a free pocket guide to students across the UAE with the aim of educating students, parents and teachers about cyber safety. The handbook contains 101 tips on internet etiquette and the responsible use of various social media websites and smart technologies.

This pocket guide was prepared by the ICDL GCC Foundation and is endorsed by the Child Protection Center and the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC). Read more.

ICDL Asia Accreditation Partner in Thailand Participates in Ministry of Education Workshop on Developing Standards for Education Software

Plan-IT consultants, ICDL Asia accreditation partner in Thailand, participated at a workshop hosted by the Thai Minister of Education, Dr. Wichit Srisa-an and chaired by Dr. Kitti Limskul, vice minister of education. Plan-IT shared their experiences with delegates on the certification of IT standards, particularly in relation to the challenges of setting standards and certifying those standards.

Plan-IT has been asked to provide more details and to attend future committee meetings. Read more.

Europe’s Leaders Prioritise ICT Skills

Heads of State of the European Union (EU) discussed the digital economy and e-skills at the last EU Council on 24-25 October. In a dedicated thematic session, EU leaders proposed concrete steps to improve digital skills, such as using part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (2014-2020) for ICT education, support for retraining, and vocational education and training in ICT. They also discussed the need for a higher degree of integration of digital skills in education, from the earliest stages of school to higher education, and for tackling skills mismatches by using the newly developed classification of European Skills/Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO). Read more.

Join the Europe Code Week

Europe celebrated coding and programming during the Europe Code Week on 25-30 November. The objective was to connect individuals, groups, organisations, and companies, who are able to help more people experience the joy of coding. Europe Code Week is an initiative of the Young Advisors group which is working closely with Neelie Kroes, the European Commission’s Vice-President in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe. Read more.

For Discussion

Combating Cyber Security: How we developed the IT Security Module

Let’s start with a simple question: Which one of the following can not be hacked?

  • Airplane
  • Pacemaker
  • Gas Pipeline
  • Linkedin mobile app

You probably know the answer with grim inevitability. Yes, none of the above are safe from hacking.*

Cyber security is no longer something your nephew deals with on your PC every three months, or the sole territory of the IT guy in your office. Every second headline these days is a version of “New cyber security threat is greatly concerning governments/SMEs/universities/users”.

A recent hack on software juggernaut Adobe brings more bad news. Adobe develops such software as Abode Reader, Photoshop and InDesign, and a successful hack during the summer led to 38m encrypted user passwords being stolen. Now we’ve learnt that source code was also stolen, making it possible for criminals to hack users’ machines through vulnerabilities in the software, as The Financial Times reported in chilling detail. So how worried should we be? Read more to find out.

Research & Reports

European Labour Force Digital Skills Survey – Can They Better Match Employer Needs?

The publication last month of OECD’s first skills survey of adults aged 16-65 emphasised critical weaknesses in the European labour force in the areas of literacy, numeracy and digital skills. This Survey of Adult Skills was designed to provide insights into the availability of some of these key skills in society and how they are used at work and at home. It directly measures proficiency in several information-processing skills – namely literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

By developing knowledge and competences geared to the needs of the labour market and upgrading European citizens’ qualifications and skills, the EU aims to improve employment prospects. Read more.

Closing the Digital Divide Saves Lives

According to 2013 World Disasters Report, released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the number of deaths caused by natural disasters globally last year was 90 percent below the average for the decade—down to 9,656 deaths as compared to 297,730 in 2004.

Admittedly, part of the difference was that the number of natural disasters were down worldwide, however, due to fast growing access to mobile broadband it is now much easier than ever to warn people that a catastrophic event is coming, easier to call for help, and easier for that help to call for back-up and supplies. Read more.

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