The role of IEEE computer society in the Information Age
The Vilnius Declaration key to success is finding a practical, affordable way to promote education. The IEEE Computer Society pioneered the use of the ICT technology to deliver continuing education to its members at an affordable cost. Through the use of the internet, our members can learn at their leisure basic elements in many popular programming languages, operating systems, data base and network systems and project management, among others. Members have free access to 100 Web-based training courses and in 2004 will have free access to 100 online reference books through our new Online Books program. They can also take a course to study elements of software engineering to help them prepare for an examination that would certify them as a qualified software engineer. The digital library provides practicing engineers and researchers key developments in the entire computing field in the last 15 years. Based on the success in the last five years, the Computer Society plans to expand this service to cover even more ground. Long-term plans include additional certification programs, such as a credential for software project management, and additional tutorials to include more advanced topics. Perhaps even in partnership with universities to facilitate the earning of academic credentials by members. The same technology and data base is accessible worldwide and can be used to help engineers and scientists in the developing countries to acquire new knowledge. With the help and cooperation of organizations such as UNESCO and other similar professional societies, we believe the IEEE Computer Society can play an important role in bridging the digital divide.