News

THE SOCIAL BENEFIT OF AFFORDABLE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET

Internet Network - Cape Digital FoundationThe Internet is an undisputed force for economic growth and positive social change, and conventional wisdom widely acknowledges the link between universal, affordable Internet access and the well-being of people.

In under-resourced environments, mobile phones are the most efficient way for disadvantaged communities to access the benefits of the Internet; and social development in South Africa would benefit greatly from widespread, affordable Internet connectivity.

95 percent of all information is digitised and the Internet fuels:  Individual growth and self learning, self expression, connections with internet-based communities, civic engagement, grassroots political activism, civic engagement, unprecedented information access, tolerance, social inclusion, environmental awareness, new forms of social organisation.

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DIGITAL DISRUPTION WORKSHOP

DisruptionAhead signboard - Cape Digital FoundationOn 11 July CDF Executive Director, Emma Kaye, attended a digital disruption workshop facilitated by Ian Merrington of Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) with Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) for the Western Cape Government. Emma had this to say,

“It was an honour to be invited to attend the workshop on digital disruption and how it will affect businesses and citizens of the Western Cape. Technology can no longer be seen as a vertical business sector but as a horizontal necessity across all areas of business. This is, and will continue to have, an accelerated economic, social and cultural impact on the Western Cape. It is inspiring to know that the Department of Economic Trade and Tourism are embracing the conversation to ensure that there is preparation and consideration for these inevitable changes.”

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DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS: THE EVOLUTION OF SCHOOLING

Digital EcoSystem - Cape Digital Foundation“We have been aware for some time it takes a digital village to educate the child in a socially networked world.” (Mal Lee, LinkedIn, 2015*)

Educational technology has the potential to be incredibly influential in young learners’ lives, both inside and beyond the classroom, but it cannot be effectual if teachers and learners struggle to integrate digital educational tools into their classrooms and teaching programmes.

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SNAPPLIFY BRINGS CONTENT AND TEACHER TRAINING TO THE POP-UP CLASSROOM AT FACTRETON PRIMARY SCHOOL

The CDF is about putting connections together.  And it is keenly interested in enabling working digital ecosystems. In the case of Factreton Primary School, the school had been donated a pop-up digital classroom, but this classroom had not since been utilized to its full potential.  In mid-2017, the CDF set about digging a little deeper with the help of Factreton Principal, Mr P.J. McEvoy, to understand why the pop-up classroom is not being utilised as it should.

“We have found that the main barrier to usage is the lack of relevant content,” says Emma Kaye, Executive Director of the CDF.  “The school needs to have access to the curriculum and to familiar books in a digital format, in an environment where learners are digitally enabled. To this end we have facilitated a partnership between Factreton Primary School and Snapplify to provide both relevant digital content and teacher training.”

Factreton PS Pop-Up classroom - Cape Digital Foundation Factreton PS interview - Cape Digital Foundation

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CAN CRYPTOCURRENCIES BE A MORE RELIABLE FORM OF CURRENCY IN EMERGING MARKETS?

Bitcoin - Cape Digital FoundationA study released last week by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which gathered data from more than 100 cryptocurrency companies, estimated that there are up to 5.8 million active users of cryptocurrencies in the world, of which Africa and the Middle East makes up less than 1% of market share, with cryptocurrency Bitcoin taking a 72 percent share of the market.

What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange such as the US dollar. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, appeared in January 2009.

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2U TO ACQUIRE CAPE TOWN-BASED START-UP GETSMARTER FOR US$103M – APPROX R1,4BN

Transformation - Cape Digital FoundationWho is GetSmarter?

GetSmarter is an online education company based in Cape Town and London that collaborates with leading universities to offer premium online short courses to working professionals. Its portfolio includes about 70 short courses offered with its university partners. It operates under a revenue-share model with its university clients. Nasdaq-listed technology education company 2U has announced it is acquiring Cape Town-based start-up GetSmarter for US$103m (about R1,4bn).

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IN THE NEWS: FAR-REACHING POLICY AND ESSENTIAL RESEARCH

Megaphone - Cape Digital FoundationDTPS AND TELECOMS INDUSTRY REACH COMPROMISE OVER NATIONAL INTEGRATED ICT WHITE PAPER

 The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), Siyabonga Cwele, has announced a compromise regarding the implementation of the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, published in the Government Gazette on 3 October 2016. The ICT White Paper, not only set aside all unassigned spectrum for a single national wholesale network, it contains wording that suggests the government wants to take back the spectrum networks are currently using.

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#DataMustFall

Data Must Fall - Cape Digital FoundationAccording to the A4AI 2017 Affordability Report, 2017 marks a globally significant annual milestone:

• 50% global internet penetration •

The Report says:  Though internet access has become a daily expectation for many, this will mark the first time that the scales have tipped toward more of the world being connected than not.  But for the half of the world that remains offline — mostly women in developing countries — this means being left even further behind as the digital revolution steams ahead. Though broadband prices are coming down, they simply aren’t falling fast enough, leaving low income earners and other marginalised populations unable to afford even a basic connection. 

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