Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wireless sensors in agriculture and food industry...

Just a link to a review paper I found useful in getting an overview of possible uses of sensors in agriculture.

Wireless sensors in agriculture and food industry—Recent development and future perspective. Ning Wanga, Naiqian Zhangb and Maohua Wangc.

Abstract: This paper presents an overview on recent development of wireless sensor technologies and standards for wireless communications as applied to wireless sensors. Examples of wireless sensors and sensor networks applied in agriculture and food production for environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, M2M-based machine and process control, building and facility automation and RFID-based traceability systems are given. The paper also discusses advantages of wireless sensors and obstacles that prevent their fast adoption. Finally, based on an analysis of market growth, the paper discusses future trend of wireless sensor technology development in agriculture and food industry.

Available from Computers & Electronics in Agriculture

Kambu Information

Kambu on fallingrain Topography, Population, Maps, Weather
Kambu on Google Text, Images

Baricho Information

Baricho on fallingrain Topography, Population, Maps, Weather
Baricho on Google Text, Images

School Linking & Lessons learnt & materials from ICT & Education projects linking UK & Ghana

Global Gateway helps link UK schools with schools around the world. Some funding is available to support linking activities. There are many schools in Kenya listed. The British Council in Kenya have more information.

Fiankoma "The Fiankoma Project has been working with teachers, schools and communities in Ghana and the UK using digital technologies to facilitate cultural exchange and discussion of development issues in both countries." Although not work done in Kenya this has potentially useful examples of educational materials, lessons learnt etc...

Project Understandings of Education in an African Village: the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies "a case study centred on one village and involving collaboration between researchers from Africa and Europe using participatory and ethnographic methods. It investigated students’, teachers’, parents’ and other community members’ understandings of schooling in a rural village in Ghana (‘Akurase’). " Also, not work done in Kenya.

Digital Education Enhancement Project & Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

These projects are interesting because of their experience with developing and using materials for in-service teacher training using handheld devices and laptops.

TESSA is a research and development programme creating 'open content' multimedia resources and course design guidance for teachers and teacher educators in Sub-Saharan Africa. Leading to a Toolkit for Educators and Planners : Designing Open and Distance Learning for Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. TESSA is led by The Open University (UK) and the African Virtual University (AVU) based in Nairobi, Kenya.

DEEP is a research and development programme investigating the use of new information and communications technology (ICT) for teaching and learning. It works in schools serving disadvantaged communities in different parts of the world.

Executive Summary for DEEP IMPACT: an investigation of the use of information and communication technologies for teacher education in the global south - Education Paper 58 is available here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gardens For Life

"Gardens for Life brings together students from across three continents in an exciting project to enable them to share their experiences of gardening. Not only is their curriculum enriched, but students are gaining a better understanding of global issues."

"The pilot schools in the UK, Kenya and India have all established gardens to grow food crops. In Kenya produce from the gardens is used to provide meals for school children, providing a vital component in their diet as sometimes this is the main meal that they get during the day. Food security is enhanced as these gardens are able to supply a regular supply of food. Any surplus provides profits for the school when it is sold to the local community where it is much appreciated. Students can see that viable businesses can be based on horticulture. Links with the local community are being strengthened as knowledge and experiences between the students and farmers is shared."

For more read about it on the EdenProject website or on Hands On or watch a video about it.

Other related links:
Global Dimension Trust which links 75 schools in Kenya, India and the UK using 'Gardens for Life' and the 'Share to Learn' programme. For information on Kenyan partners see here. School linking seems to be supported through the British Council Global Gateway.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mobile for Good

"Mobile for Good (M4G) is a social franchise project designed to use mobile phone technology to help alleviate poverty and improve the lives of people in the developing world. It delivers vital health, employment and community content via SMS on mobile phones in order to inform and empower disadvantaged individuals and help bridge the ‘digital divide’ – the widening technology gulf which exists between rich and poor countries.
The pilot project in Kenya has proved to be a great success since it began in September 2003. Originally funded by Vodafone Group Foundation, the project has successfully evolved into a self-sustainable Kenyan owned and managed venture. The project, initially known as OKN Mobile and part of the local content initiative Open Knowledge Network, is now the first franchise under Mobile for Good."

Short videos about Open Knowledge Network here


A few sites with vaccination recommendations

US Gov. Centre for Disease Control & Prevention
NHS Fit for Travel

Kenyan Visas, Permits, etc

For more info follow the links:

Visa applications from the UK

Application to conduct research

List of Kenya's Embassies

Using SMS to Support In-service Teacher Training in Sub Saharan Africa

Yesterday, I heard someone say how SMS text messaging was being used in Kenya for in-service Teacher Training. Sounds interesting so I 'Googled' to find out a bit more. So far:

Anyone know more about this?

National ICT Strategy for Education and Training

"The Ministry of Education has developed a National ICT Strategy for Education and Training. This Strategy is a comprehensive roadmap has been developed through a stakeholder mobilization from the public sector, private sector, civil society and development partners and spearheaded by the Kenya ICT Trust Fund to guide the Education sector in the adoption and use of appropriate ICT technologies."

See The National ICT Strategy for Education and Training or The Strategy.pdf

Related links:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kenya Development Gateway

"Kenya has many home grown initiatives that take advantage of the Internet and which help to eliminate space and time in accessing information. The purpose of the Kenya Development Gateway is to empower stakeholders to use Internet as an accessible and cost effective tool for productive purposes through e-government, e-commerce, e-education, knowledge sharing, virtual communities, and so on. To achieve this, there is need to: identify, mobilize, organize and complement existing efforts; create development and business related content and services from local and other sources; and to encourage the formation of new off-line partnerships."

Kenya Development Gateway

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kenya pilots handheld education

From BBC Report: "... a trial project using handheld computers could help reduce the costs of education in poor communities... Mbita Point, on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria, hosts a small rural community. A few minutes walk from the main town lies the local primary school, housed on the campus of a renowned research institute.

As the only school in the area with access to electricity, Mbita Primary enjoys a relatively privileged location. This aside, it suffers from the same problems encountered by other public schools. Classrooms are crowded, and the all-too-familiar scenario of children sharing outdated textbooks is still very much in evidence.

However, in Class Five, things are just a little bit different. Fifty-four 11-year-old students are willing guinea pigs in an extraordinary experiment aimed at using technology to deliver education across the continent. In the Eduvision pilot project, textbooks are out, customised Pocket PCs, referred to as e-slates, are very much in.

They are wi-fi enabled and run on licence-free open source software to keep costs down. "The e-slates contain all the sorts of information you'd find in a textbook and a lot more," said Eduvision co-founder Maciej Sudra.

- BBC Report
- Eduvision

Friday, October 06, 2006

Maragwa - Sharing knowledge to strengthen food security

"Farmer Jane Kirambia knows that there is a strong link between food security and seed security. Maragwa, in Tharaka district, seems the most unlikely place to meet someone who shares titbits of information on the role of conservation of indigenous crop varieties and uses ..." Read more at Practical Action Case Study - Farmer's Report

Maragwa Schools

On graduates Schools and Graduates

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Possible Sites - Questions

Is there any communications infrastructure in the site, details?
What is the size of the site including any farms, where are the communications access points?
Is the site flat, hilly etc, details?

What are the current literacy and numeracy levels in the population?
How many teachers work in the area and how recently and to what level are they trained?
Do teachers/trainers have ICT experience and/or training?
Is there any existing ICT? If so, what type?

Please add more questions...

And if you have answers for any site add comments to the posts for that site.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kenya Travel Links

The Kenyan High Commision UK website

The Fairview Hotel Nairobi

Magical Kenya "The Official Kenya Destination Website"
Tourism Kenya

Possible Sites

  1. Kibirigwi or Kagio (Kirinyaga) **
    • ** 150 km
    • Tomatoes for local market French beans for export
    • 3 years in exploiting new varieties of French beans

  2. Gutheria or Ruthagati or Mbiriri (Kieni East)
    • 200 km
    • Snow peas for export
    • 3 years in exploiting new varieties of snow peas and agronomic management

  3. Naromoro (2 sites)
    • 230 km
    • Snow peas for export
    • 5 years in exploiting new varieties of snow peas and agronomic management

  4. Maragwa
    • 60 km
    • Sweet bananas for local and export markets
    • 4-5 years in exploiting tissue culture banana varieties

  5. Kibwezi (Makueni) **
    • 240 km
    • Range of horticultural products
    • 2-3 years advising on agronomic management

  6. Butula, Teso, Bukura (Western)
    • 350 km
    • Indigenous vegetables
    • 3-4 years advising on varieties and agronomic management

  7. Ndaragua **
    • 250 km
    • Local vegetables
    • Advising on control of nematodes using Methyl Bromide