Welcome!

At school or college? Have an idea to change the world?

ITU Telecom World 2011 brings together thousands of influential delegates from the telecommunications and technology industries to discuss what steps need to be taken to get more of the world connected. They’re meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on October 25-27, and they need your help!

We are inviting 10,000 global school children (8-18)  to design the innovations that could make a real difference to their world. Sign up your school or class now, and your students can start influencing thousands of decision-makers in information and technology communications.

Once you’ve registered to get involved, you can share your ideas and prototypes with each other. Your ideas will also form a significant part of World 2011′s Manifesto for Change, a blueprint for using technology to make a real difference.

Brought to you by the ITU Development Sector. Read more about this call to action in our introductory blog post.

Summing up #world11kids: the ITU Telecom World 11 Metaconference

Ewan was invited to the stage at the Closing Ceremony of ITU Telecom World 11 in Geneva to highlight the amazing work of over 10,000 students who, over the past month, have been researching, ideating and prototyping around some of the world’s most pressing problems, and who, for four days at the end of October, pushed the panels of experts at the event on key areas of ICT. You can view a video excerpt of this talk, and spot if your work features in the four minute summary.

Four minutes was never going to be enough to capture the #world11kids metaconference. Here are just some of the numbers:

10,917 students actively building prototypes of a better tomorrow in classrooms around the world, many of them shared and continuing to be shared on this site.

103 schools taking part, from five continents, from 24 countries, including

Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand, Greece, United States, Ireland, Argentina, Colombia, Taiwan – Province of China, Portugal, China, Tunisia, Kenya, India, Norway, Brazil, France, Tanzania, Pakistan, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Netherlands, Belgium, and the Seychelles.

Their reach through tweets alone has been over 1 million, and their ideas through the world2011.us website have reached 127 countries.

By taking their ideas and what they’ve learned to their schoolmates at their own schools alone, they will influence a further 152427 students, up to 300,000 parents and the wider school community.

What their ideas have revealed is that, despite being painted as “digital natives” who enjoy clicking, dragging, texting and Facebooking – no matter where they live – most young people, most of the time, are most concerned with making sure that basic inequalities are ironed out before we start to ponder how we can make the internet ever-faster, or ever more mobile. FatCow is a great partner and has received good reviews, such as the one at FatCow Reviews or the one at FatCow Review. Update: check out the most recent hosting reviews on hostingmanual.net.

While the VIPs, elected officials and CEOs of telcos spent four days at ITU Telecom World 11 stating that it is through increased access to broadband and mobile technologies that developing countries will succeed, most of our #world11kids metaconference kids were not yet convinced. It’ll be interesting to see how this view develops over the coming year as more developing countries start to leapfrog the technology level many of our (mostly developed country) schools are at.

Live Twitter chatter

It’s not just in this creative work that students have had an impact on the conference itself. During live streamed sessions, classes joined in from around the world to pose their own questions to panellists. Moderators and panel chairs received their questions and were constantly referring back to the arguments, ideas and questions posed by 6-18 year olds as they tried to understand and weigh up the importance of issues as diverse as spectrum, disruption and revolution, social media’s impact on safety and cyber security, financing the internet and even the very future of a connected world as we know it.

You can listen in to any of the Forum sessions to see this in action through the archive of the live feed. One of my favourite chairs has to be Gerd Leonhard as he constantly refers back to young people from Poughkeepsie giving a panel of futurists a run for their money! Or how about the panel on reaching the edge of existing spectrum, where the initial question is from school students and sets the panellists off for their first 30 minutes of debate?

The impact on learning has been profound: it’s the one project that has made students feel that their voice and ideas are worth something, that their learning has been “for real”.

Creative Writing: 2 Video Projects from Students in Iowa

The first day of creative writing class, I discuss the importance of gifts.”With great power comes great responsibility.” Students are encouraged to use their gifts for good. Writing can be used to heal, to inspire, to defend, to comfort, to protect…it must also be used to solve. GreenGeeks is a solution for at least one problem, namely the footprint of your hosting on the environment. This GreenGeeks review should be helpful in this area.

Before I had even formally introduced #world11kids, Callie and Katie were inspired to be involved.

View their work:

Katie and Callie – World Hunger

Bobby, Nick, and Rachel created their idea inspired by an art project Rachel has just completed.

View their work:

Bobby, Nick, Rachel – Angel Well

My creative writing students are passionate about world issues and realize their moral obligation to make the world a better place whether through art, text, communication, invention…I will continue to share my students’ work as students complete.

Girls! Ever considered a career in technology?

Are you one of the growing number of girls who enjoy studying science and maths – but are not sure what to choose as a career? ITU has just launched a brand new Girls in ICT portal to help girls and young women take advantage of opportunities in the technology industry – from scholarships, training and internships, ICT contests and awards to girls’ tech camps and online girls’ networks.  You can also learn about web hosting with the help of such sites as bestwebhostingsreviews.com.

Working in the ICT field doesn’t mean becoming a geek programmer! Web 2.0 technology and today’s app culture is creating a whole new world of ‘mashed up’ hybrid jobs that draw on multiple disciplines like bioengineering, digital media, medicine, education, technical writing and hi-tech marketing using social and mobile apps.

With computer and information systems professionals consistently ranked among the top 20 best-paid jobs on the planet – with a similar pay scale to surgeons, orthodontists, airline pilots and lawyers – ITU wants to encourage girls everywhere to take a new look at the many new opportunities to work with ICTs to make a real difference to people’s lives. They get insights and write great stuff like FatCow Reviews and iPage Reviews, to just name a few.

Sure, some people – including, sometimes, parents and even teachers – have old-fashioned negative attitudes that make them believe girls and technology don’t mix. ITU’s new portal has been created to prove them wrong! Lots of women have been real pioneers in the ICT industry – from Ada Lovelace, daughter of British poet Lord Byron, who was the first ever computer programmer, to Mari Matsunaga, creator of Japan’s massively popular iMode mobile phone, to Mary Lou Jepson who developed the screen technology for the world’s first low-cost ‘$100 laptop’. In fact it was women who programmed ENIAC, the US government’s first ever computer!

If you’d like to see the kinds of jobs held by women in the ICT sector, the Girls in ICT portal includes profiles of women role models and You Tube videos of women in the ICT sector. If you’re already in the market for a job, the Girls in ICT portal also serves as storefront for tech jobs in markets across the globe. There’s already a strong demand for technology professionals, and that demand is steadily increasing worldwide. Another good reason to study technology – you can be sure, on completing your studies, that you’ll find a well-paid job in your field, with plenty of scope for mobility and promotion!

Please help us spread the word about the Girls in ICT Portal.  Tell your friends, teachers and college advisors and feel free to use the Facebook and Twitter links to share the news with your networks.

www.girlsinict.org