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Project Spotlight on JEDI - They are teaching Java in the Philippines!

Posted by turbogeek on August 10, 2005 at 1:44 AM PDT

Sometimes you are surprised when you find someone in the world has the same passions as you. This time it is in the Philippines. One of our newest projects in the GELC is JEDI. JEDI is short for Java Education & Development Initiative. Quite a mouth full, so JEDI is a much better name. But what is JEDI all about?

The initiative is a partnership between the University of the Philippines Java Research and Development Center (UP JRDC) and Sun Microsystems in the Philippines. With the aid of the government and a slew of volunteers, teachers, and administrators, the goal of the project is to make Java a core part of the computer science curriculum in that country. The project is creating and supporting teaching materials and collecting tools for teaching Java in the Philippine university system and its high schools.

JEDI equips teachers with the knowledge, skills and resources for success. To do that, they needed to come up with a set of items, rather than just teaching materials. Here is a list of the primary things that the project provides:

• Free access to courseware and resources such as teaching slides, teacher

and student manuals, sample exercises and exams and various reference materials.

• Training on the courses themselves as well as how to teach the courses.

• Free software such as NetBeans, J2SE and various development tools and platforms that are used

for illustration and actual hands-on exercises, lab work and research work.

• Online community collaborating on JEDI through the Java.Net tools.

• Access to a JEDI Help Desk to help the teachers in using the course material.

• Participation in various JEDI events for students and faculty such as competitions, symposia and others

JEDI was launched in the Philippines on February 2005 and has already racked up some great statistics:

• 3 courses rolled-out

• 3 new courses being developed

• 29 JEDI member schools

• 63 teachers trained

• over 13,500 students to benefit

• Coordinating with 7 countries for implementation

As you can see, this is a lot more than just their project at java.net. They are in fact organizing a lot of people to create this operation. Java.net in this context is the hub where a lot of the information is manages and the community interacts. This is a truly different model than many open source projects.

The model used by JEDI is catching on. The GELC and Sun are working hard to add other projects like this in the general education area in Australia, Canada, and Korea. Also, the JEDI project is reaching out to other countries that can share the same materials and infrastructure.

There is a lot going on in this project. Take a look at it. You might want to help spread the word that there are some great resources for teaching Java.

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