Sunday, April 20, 2008

e-Islands (Connected Schools) - Greece where are you?

There have been already 3 months since the day i passed my CCIE lab in Brussels. During the same period that i was having my lab exam, a Networkers event was happening in Barcelona. Although i wanted too much to visit it, i had other things in my mind that period, so i gave up the idea in favor of the CCIE.

Together with the Networkers event, there was the Cisco Networkers Innovation Awards event (an event that runs since 2004). The awards recognise those businesses that are at the forefront of deploying and successfully implementing innovative technologies, and delivering real and tangible benefits as a result.

This year the judging panel looked for advanced technology initiatives that clearly demonstrate the benefits of well-managed deployment, that have delivered significant improvements and have introduced innovative services through the effective use of technology.

What was most interesting about this year's awards was the "2008 Most Society Impacting Network" which went to CARNet (Croatian Academic and Research Network) for its project "e-Islands" (Connected Schools).

CARNet's e-Islands project aims to deliver e-contents to schools on Croatian islands, as
well as the possibility of "live" participation in regional school courses in order for the
pupils on islands to have access to the same knowledge regardless of where they live.
CARNet network connected in the first stage of the project 21 regional schools on the
islands around Zadar, Šibenik, Trogir and Dubrovnik with the mainland schools. Before
this project, the children had to leave their homes in order to continue their schooling.

We are very proud that our project has been recognized as an exceptional achievement
in application of advanced technologies. We are particularly pleased because the project
has been oriented at the development of knowledge society in order for every child,
regardless of where he or she lives, to have access to the best education without having
to leave their homes. It is our wish to expand the project to all Croatian regions with a
similar problem, so that Croatia can fulfill all preconditions for becoming the knowledge
based society. Giving the award to the Croatian project in the international competition
is a great acknowledgment and incentive for further development, implementation and
application of IT-communication solutions in Croatia,
" said Mr. Zvonimir Stanić,

In the near future the plan is to expand the project and include local health care institutions in the network. As a result, this would, among other things, reduce the patient transportation requirements for medical examinations and check-ups outside the islands. It has also been planned to use identical model on land, for schools in hinterland and underdeveloped and geographically less accessible regions.

As you may already know Croatia is the country with the largest archipelago (698 islands, 389 islets and 78 reefs) in the Adriatic Sea, and second largest in the Mediterranean Sea (Greece has the greatest archipelago). So, why didn't Greece think of that?

Although there a also a Greek Research & Technology Network (grnet/EDET) which has deployed many interesting projects, i wish i could say the same about the Greek Government. But....You know there is always a but.

The last months there is a wind change coming here in Greece too, as there are many announcements from the Ministry of Transport and Communications about a FFTx "pilot" project for 2m citizens. Recently i attended (as Cisco's guest) a workshop about all this FTTx talking in Greece, where all the major local players expressed their ideas and their plans about it. There were many interesting views, but imho it might take a while until we see most of them in production. After all, you know very well how the greek system works. I also learned that there will be some pilot FTTx projects in small areas during the next months. Let's hope, Greece won't lose this chance too.

Btw, since i missed the European Networkers event this year, i decided to visit the American Florida (22-26 June 2008)!
Orlando here i come!!! At least i hope so, if i ever get my Visa...

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.