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Communication and Information Sector's news service

UNESCO's Virtual Laboratory Toolkit Released

27-11-2002 ()
The first edition of the UNESCO "Virtual Laboratory Toolkit" has just been released on the World Wide Web and within UNESCO's Public@ series of representative "open access" CD-ROMs that are giving access to information in the public domain or to information provided on a benevolent basis by rights holders.
The Toolkit provides an extensive set of free person-to-person (P2P) communication tools (audio and video conference, scientific text chat, whiteboard, collaborative authorship, portal and mailing list management, etc.), and also basic advice on person-to-equipment (P2E) tools.

It was developed for UNESCO by a team of specialists working with the Institute for Informatics of the Technical University of Freiberg (Technical Coordinator, Germany), the COPINE Centre of the Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile Ife, Nigeria) and the Shanghai Research Centre for Applied Physics (China).

The Toolkit is available for testing and application by scientists and other researchers, particularly in developing countries, who are interested in creating or participating in virtual laboratories. As a first step, it is already being tested by an informatics support group within the UNESCO "cross-cutting" project Virtual Laboratories for Drying Lakes (Lake Chad, the Dead Sea, the Aral Sea). It is hoped that, based on the experiences and suggestions of the users, a second version can be developed by a UNESCO-sponsored virtual laboratory of virtual laboratory specialists in 2003.
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