Ministry of Education, Universities and Research and Telecom Italia: memorandum of understanding for implementation of digital schools plan support initiatives

10/28/2010 - 04:00 PM

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Partnership involves new activities as part of the Navigare Sicuri (www.navigaresicuri.org) project to raise awareness among children and parents about using the web responsibly

The Italian Minister of Education, Universities and Research Mariastella Gelmini and the Chairman of Telecom Italia Gabriele Galateri di Genola today signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the implementation of joint activities to support the Ministry’s National Digital Schools Plan. The three-year agreement will begin with the start-up of new activities as part of the Navigare Sicuri project (http://www.navigaresicuri.org/) to raise awareness among children, teenagers and parents about using the web responsibly and in a self-aware manner. As part of the Ministry’s Cl@ssi 2.0 initiative, during the school year a number of further education institutes will undertake trials of electronic textbooks that can be adapted to meet specific student and teacher needs using an interactive Telecom Italia-built platform.

The Ministry of Education, Universities and Research’s National Digital Schools Plan was conceived to start-up and support a wide-ranging process of innovating and modernizing Italy’s school system by leveraging the internet and digital technologies. Telecom Italia has long been committed to raising awareness and take-up of new technologies among increasingly large swathes of the populace. The Ministry and Telecom Italia have now teamed up to jointly develop trial and pilot projects that bring new technologies into schools, and educate people in better and more self-aware use of new technologies and the internet.

The first venture under a specific agreement between the two parties is to raise awareness about safe surfing among families, teachers and students at primary and lower secondary schools. The schools selected in partnership with the Ministry will receive demonstrations of the opportunities opened up by the internet, and what steps to take to protect young people during their initial exposure to the web. Telecom Italia will be deploying its Navigare Sicuri, a project initially launched in October 2009 in partnership with the Fondazione Movimento Bambino and Save the Children. A Navigare Sicuri bus is setting off from on November 3 on a roadshow that will take in schools and main squares in ten different regions and twenty cities across , where it will be distributing materials and holding events for students between 5 and 15 years of age, teachers and parents.

Minister for Education, Universities and Research Mariastella Gelmini said: “Today’s agreement is another step towards the computerization of teaching and fostering innovation in schools by putting new technologies in our classrooms. As well as consolidating the partnership between two key sectors like education and technological innovation, the memorandum of understanding will help schools become more in touch with the language and habits of young people, who after all are the biggest users of new technologies and web-based tools.”

Chairman of Telecom Italia Gabriele Galateri di Genola declared: “This memorandum builds on the active partnership between Telecom Italia and the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research to modernize schools by leveraging digital technologies. Together with the Ministry, we will be working with individual schools on trials of new non-invasive solutions for equipping classrooms with high-speed links, new tools and methods for using and creating digital content, and raising awareness – particularly among younger pupils – about appropriate conduct for safe and sound websurfing. Investing in schools and young people means investing in the future. Telecom Italia is a strong believer in this and is keen to play its part.”

Rome, 28 October 2010