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Integrating Low Cost Technologies into the Classroom

Although part of everyday life in American schools, the cost of integrating technology into classrooms is often prohibitive in the developing world. But recently, Indonesian physics teacher Berry Devanda found a way to include a less costly and lower maintenance technology solution in his classroom. He created a $100 interactive whiteboard as an alternative to the $3,000+ SmartBoard. With this adaptation of an existing resource, Devanda enhanced his students’ learning experiences and fostered an exciting and challenging environment in his classroom.

Although part of everyday life in American schools, the cost of integrating technology into classrooms is often prohibitive in the developing world. But recently, Indonesian physics teacher Berry Devanda found a way to include a less costly and lower maintenance technology solution in his classroom. He created a $100 interactive whiteboard as an alternative to the $3,000+ SmartBoard. With this adaptation of an existing resource, Devanda enhanced his students’ learning experiences and fostered an exciting and challenging environment in his classroom.

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Indonesian physics teacher Berry Devanda

A Regional Approach to Journalists' Safety

232 journalists imprisoned in 2012. 70 journalists killed. 456 journalists forced into exile since 2008. These journalists paid the price for simply seeking to practice their profession. Every day around the world, additional untold numbers of journalists are threatened and have their phones and computers hacked. These journalists and their colleagues live in a state of constant pressure and psychological stress. The field of media development has increasingly recognized that the physical and digital security of journalists must be addressed alongside reform of media laws, development of professional standards, and business sustainability.

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SAFE centers combine training in digital security, physical safety, and psychosocial care for journalists at risk in Central America, East Africa, and Eurasia.

Youth-Led Radio Bridges Ethnic Divide in Moldova

The hallways of Ion Creanga Theoretical High School in Micleuseni, Moldova are now filled with youth-focused news, public service announcements, and music for students, thanks to the “Radiolescenta” project implemented as part of the Youth Civic Engagement and Dialogue Program. Citing the lack of relevant and accurate information for their age, students created their own school-wide radio station to improve access to information for disadvantaged youth as well as to engage youth in resolving problems in their school and communities.

The hallways of Ion Creanga Theoretical High School in Micleuseni, Moldova are now filled with youth-focused news, public service announcements, and music for students, thanks to the “Radiolescenta” project implemented as part of the Youth Civic Engagement and Dialogue Program.

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For the youth participants, the radio station has been an opportunity to build tolerance and to serve a need they identified in their community.

Transforming Engineering Education in Iraq

Engineering students in the Kurdistan region of Iraq will soon benefit from new teaching methods, experiential learning in class, and courses that meet global standards. For these students, schoolwork usually has traditionally meant taking copious notes during lectures and memorizing textbooks to prepare for weeks of final exams. The graduates will become the engineers that Iraq relies on to rebuild infrastructure and create innovations after years of conflict and neglect; however, most of them will leave the university with little hands-on experience with real engineering projects. A partnership between IREX, the University of Duhok Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in Kurdistan, and Michigan State University (MSU) aims to change this through the Iraq University Linkages Program (ULP).

Engineering students in the Kurdistan region of Iraq will soon benefit from new teaching methods, experiential learning in class, and courses that meet global standards. For these students, schoolwork usually has traditionally meant taking copious notes during lectures and memorizing textbooks to prepare for weeks of final exams.

Young Leader Gains Workforce Skills for Tunisian Economy

“Being a female in the field of technology in Tunisia is quite challenging … in Tunisia we still have that idea that women are still incapable to achieve what men can do in the technology field.” Houda is a Thomas Jefferson Scholar developing her technical skills in information technology this year in the United States through the Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program (TCCSP).

Tunisian Female Loves Technology“Being a female in the field of technology in Tunisia is quite challenging … in Tunisia we still have that idea that women are still incapable to achieve what men can do in the technology field.” Houda is a Thomas Jefferson Scholar developing her technical skills in information technology this year in the United States through the

Houda is working on a professional certificate in Local Area Networks at a US community college.

Evaluation Shows Multifaith Dialogue Has Community Impact in Iraq

An independent evaluation recently found IREX’s Uniting Communities Through Multifaith Dialogue (UCTMD) program improved the abilities of Iraqi faith-based organizations to facilitate dialogue, mitigate conflict and advocate for religious tolerance through the media. “The Uniting Communities Through Multifaith Dialogue Project has resulted in a generation that do believe in peaceful coexistence,” said Program Director Ahmad Suleiman Jaff. It has helped them “understand that they are human beings before being different.”

An independent evaluation recently found IREX’s Uniting Communities Through Multifaith Dialogue (UCTMD) program improved the abilities of Iraqi faith-based organizations to facilitate dialogue, mitigate conflict and advocate for religious tolerance through the media.

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In Erbil, volunteers staged a play on multifaith tolerance.

Moldova Launches Electronic Payment Service at Library

The Moldovan government launched its new online payment service, M-pay, at the Orhei District Public Library in central Moldova. Through IREX’s Novateca project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in cooperation with USAID, contemporary public libraries like the one in Orhei support the expansion and promotion of new services like M-pay to community groups, while facilitating public internet access and e-governance tools, in addition to traditional library services.

The Moldovan government launched its new online payment service, M-pay, at the Orhei District Public Library in central Moldova.

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Prime Minister Leancă watches a library patron use the M-pay service

On the Air in Georgia: Promoting Development through Community Radio

In the town of Ninotsminda in Georgia’s Javakheti region, a community radio station is promoting civic engagement, increasing community development and improving communications for hundreds of Georgians. Radio NOR, the country’s first and only community radio station, is broadcast online with support from IREX through the USAID-funded G-MEDIA program. What makes this form of radio so compelling is its inclusion of community members: anyone who is interested can participate. Volunteers manage and prepare programs while having the opportunity to create an open public dialogue on topics that mainstream media often neglect. 

In the town of Ninotsminda in Georgia’s Javakheti region, a community radio station is promoting civic engagement, increasing community development and improving communications for hundreds of Georgians. Radio NOR, the country’s first and only community radio station, is broadcast online with support from IREX through the USAID-funded G-MEDIA program.

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Community Radio NOR Georgia

New Business Ideas Brew at Cafe in Romania

Trivia, karaoke and board games may not seem conducive to business development. But at Bankers Café and Hubb – a small business incubator that also serves up espresso coffee and virgin cocktails – the activities are part of a lively atmosphere designed to attract young entrepreneurs. Radu Oprea, who co-founded Bankers in Galati, Romania last year, says that combining a café and a business incubator under one roof might appear odd, but it works.  

Trivia, karaoke and board games may not seem conducive to business development. But at Bankers Café and Hubb – a small business incubator that also serves up espresso coffee and virgin cocktails – the activities are part of a lively atmosphere designed to attract young entrepreneurs. 

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Radu at the Bankers Cafe and Hubb in Romania

Multimedia Education Center Producing Tech Savvy Georgian Journalists

Tucked into a historic neighborhood of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is a place where young journalists can learn the new skills needed to meet the challenges of the future. The Multimedia Education Center (MEC) provides state of the art technical facilities and digital, multi-platform content production for Master’s level journalism education. Designed to encourage student productions and packed with modern digital equipment, the MEC was built by IREX through the USAID-funded G-MEDIA program.

Tucked into a historic neighborhood of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is a place where young journalists can learn the new skills needed to meet the challenges of the future. The Multimedia Education Center (MEC) provides state of the art technical facilities and digital, multi-platform content production for Master’s level journalism education. 

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Journalism lecturers at the MEC in Tbilisi
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