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Sun 15 Apr 2001 04:00 AM

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IBM ventures into the Arctic

A group of young explorers may be heading off on an Arctic expedition, but thanks to IBM, Saudi Business Machines (SBM) and UK-based educational charity BSES Expeditions they won’t be completely out in the cold.

A group of young explorers may be heading off on an Arctic expedition, but thanks to IBM, Saudi Business Machines (SBM) and UK-based educational charity BSES Expeditions they won’t be completely out in the cold. IBM has helped the group develop a web site, which will track the progress of the year long expedition, and provide schools and colleges throughout the world with scientific reports and personal diaries from the explorers.

The Arctic Village web site is aimed at establishing an online learning community enabling students to log on and learn about a variety of topics, including weather and ecology in the Arctic, and tying into the national curriculum.

The partnership between IBM and BSES was originally established through SBM, which have provided both technological and financial support for previous Arctic expeditions led by Mark Evans, the expedition leader and a geography teacher in Riyadh.

The explorers will use two IBM ThinkPads powered by wind generators to write and post their entries to the web site when the project begins in August 2001. IBM is also providing the Learning Village software, which provides instructional tools and a communications environment for schools around the world.

“This Arctic Village web site is a fine example of the potential role technology can play in education,” said Piero Corsini, IBM public sector EMEA. “From SMB’s original involvement IBM has created a complete IT solution, tailored to the requirements of the project, demonstrating our ability to develop online learning applications for use in the UK’s schools.”

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