For the first time ever, the UN gave 376 children and young adults from 115 countries the opportunity to express their views to the UN General Assembly May 8. For three days prior to the session, children gathered in New York’s Manhattan Center at a UNICEF Children’s Forum to debate and formulate their initiatives into a distilled document called A World Fit for Children. The initiative was done using 20 iBooks with an iBook Wireless Mobile Lab, according to an
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Children and heads of state evaluated the successes and failures in meeting 27 goals set by the 1990 World Summit for Children. At the session, goals were also set for the next 15 years on issues ranging from health and education to AIDS. Of course, getting almost 400 kids speaking a multitude of languages to come up with a unified proposal in half a week was, to say the least, a challenge. That’s where Apple technology came in.
“We needed something that was mobile, and that kids from 115 different countries could use as a common tool to come up with their documents,” organizer Huge Locke told Apple.
U.S. delegate Resham Patel, 16, was one of the people who worked in a group focusing on child participation in decision making. She said that they worked on easel and flip charts to take notes, then put their notes into PowerPoint and made slides for their group.
“Using the iBooks to record your notes is fantastic, it’s a great asset,” Patel told Apple. “Not only do they look awesome — and they’re so much fun to play with — but we just created a 5-minute presentation that will become part of the final document. With the amount of languages represented here, we have translation in the working groups, and we can capture everything that’s important.”
An AirPort base station was implemented so that the kids could wirelessly print their documents. Locke also installed an ISDN line for wireless Internet access. Why did he choose Apple technology?
“I went to the Web sites of every major computer manufacturer,” Locke told Apple. “In the back of my mind I thought that there must be something that was geared to students, and Apple was the only one that had a simple explanation. I thought ‘Well, that makes sense.’ Going through other Web sites, you just couldn’t get to the bottom line.”