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Rashmika Nawaratne

Rashmika Nawaratne
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Rashmika works at 99X Technology as a Software Engineer and further he is volunteering at SL2College as an Administrative Director. Passionate in technology and rarely contribute articles :-D More info: http://lk.linkedin.com/in/rashmikanawaratne

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Thinking about higher education?

Sri Lanka’s premier conference for after A/L and and current A/L students endorsed by the Ministry of Education. SL2College Voices 2014.

Entrance Free.

“Voices 2014” is a one-day undergraduate conference organized by Sl2college, a volunteer-driven non profit organization devoted to improving Sri Lanka‘s knowledge capital pool. The goal of this conference is to create a forum to share information on undergraduate education opportunities in Sri Lanka and abroad.

The distinguished speakers include Professor Mohan Munasinghe (Nobel Laureate and Founder and Chairman of the Munasighe Institute of Development), Dr. Nihal Somaratne (Senior Lecturer of Department of Civil Engineering – Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya) and recent graduates from several local universities.

Furthermore, representatives from educational institutes such as The Fulbright Program and Australian Trade Commission will also attend this conference.

Reserve your seats through www.sl2college.org/conference  or call Marlene 077 383 3804

SL2C Voices Banner

SL2C Voices Banner

Date: Sunday: 5th of October

Time: 8.15am to 4.00pm

Venue: New Arts Theatre, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka

 

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From Web data mining, Computer security, Stochastic Network to Advanced algorithms…..
From UC Berkeley, Washington State University to University of Utah…..
“SL2College Research Collaboration” now provides research partnerships between Sri Lankan undergraduates and scientists from foreign universities.
Pick your field and we will match a research mentor for you!

Visit http://www.sl2college.org/research-collab/ and fill out the application form.

 

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Tracking is big business, and with the availability of GPS technologies, there are literally thousands of suppliers and applications around the world that enable individuals or companies to track everything from cars to pets to people and watch where they move on a map.

But until recently, there’s been a gap in the market.

Not everyone has a GPS enabled phone. In Sri Lanka, smartphone penetration is estimated to be around 15%. So, what about the rest of the population who are still more than happy to use their feature phones – low cost phones for example, that enable them to make calls and send and receive SMSs?

Track-Them-All or TTA is a tool that can track the location of any mobile phone as long as it is turned on.  Here’s how it works.

If you want your location to be shared with others, you send a SMS to a short code and join the system. Once you have registered your mobile number with the TTA platform, you can join existing groups, or visit the platform via any web browser (from any device) and create your own group, and add the registered mobile number to the group. After that you can see the locations of mobiles that are part of the group on a map.

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TTA is perfect for tracking your friends, or finding the location of your preferred group of trishaw drivers or taxis.  If they are near your location, you can send them an SMS through the platform and organize a meetup, or have them come pick you up. The platform can also be used companies that want to track where their staff is. For example, a sales force might be travelling across the island conducting promotions and the platform can give a birds eye view as to where everyone is at any given time.

The platform is not as accurate as GPS tracking systems, because it relies on the mobile tower data to identify the location of the phones. However, for hundreds of cases, knowing the approximate location is more than enough. GPS can be accurate to a few meters, and our research suggests that TTA gives an accuracy of approximately 200 meters. While you may not be able to tell if someone is at your door step, you’ll be able to know if they are in close vicinity.

Right now, TTA is in beta and we would love to see you give it a try. It is operational and the tracking and mapping features fully work. The platform is compatible with any dialog mobile number, and in the near future, we will be forming relationships with the other telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka.

Go to www.track-them-all.com for more information. We would love your  feedback.

- by Sam Silva

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A seminar organized by SL2College was held on Friday, the 6th of December 2013 at Vidyaloka Maha Vidyalaya, Katana.

SL2College is a volunteer driven,non-profit organization founded in 2005 that assists Sri Lankan students with their higher education by providing free, accurate, in-depth and unbiased information regarding many aspects of higher education within Sri Lanka and overseas. SL2College provides a platform for students to share their own experiences, so that Sri Lankan students are made aware of the local and foreign choices and opportunities available to them.

SL2College has been helping students to achieve their educational goals since 2005 and the seminar conducted at the Vidyaloka Maha Vidyalaya was yet another step forward in doing so. This seminar is considered to be the pilot seminar, i.e. the initial step of the school seminar series that is to be conducted throughout the country in the near future in collaboration with the Ministry of Education & the US Embassy.

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The day’s proceedings started with an introductory speech by the principal of Vidyaloka Maha Vidyalaya, followed by the welcome speech by Navaka Navaratne, Project Manager of School Seminar Series. Getting on with the agenda at hand, Rasitha Wijesekara and Madhawa Perera; two members of SL2College had an interactive session with the students; getting to know them, their goals, desires and issues regarding higher education,and asking them random IQ questions and rewarding them with small gifts when they were answered correctly.

Meanwhile, the students were handed leaflets carrying necessary information on the courses/degrees local universities offer and the z score expected from students to quality for the relevant degree/course.The feedback from students during the above said interactive session made it clear that their main intention is to find an occupation right after A/Ls without pursuing higher education.

During the lecture that followed, which was conducted by a district official from NAITA, it was explained that without higher education it is next to impossible to get an occupation, while with higher education, the opportunities and choices before you are superabundant. She was quoted,”Put yourself on demand. Jobs will come looking for you.”

Next, Nuwan C. Perera; an undergraduate from the University of Sri Jayawardanepure, an AIESECer and a Rotaractor, took the stage. He started his session by asking the students to get on to their feet and getting them to demonstrate how we get energy from the three main sources; air, water and earth. It was crystal clear from the students’ faces, that they were loving each and every moment of it and it was with a very profound light-heartedness that the students took their seats again.

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He went on talking about his experiences as an undergraduate and about life at the university and it was evident from the way he spoke, that each and every word was entirely heartfelt and sincere. His session was remarkably awe-inspiring and motivating, it was apparent that by the time he gave the stage to Tilan Wijesooriya, Country Director – Educational Programs & Research at SL2College, the students were left “itching” to go to university.

While the refreshments were being handed out, in his session, Tilan emphasized the importance of education and hard work, basing it on some local and foreign key figures/great personalities who are known to have started from scratch like P.G.Martin, Prof.Ambetkar, Roy and Walt Disney,Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa , etc. making it clear that nothing is impossible if you work hard,further motivating the students to pursue higher education.

Following his session was an interactive activity conducted by Nuwan Perera in which, the students took part enthusiastically. As much fun as it was for the students, it also came with a very valuable moral; “hatred never ceases hatred”.

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Next, it was time for the last session of the day.This was conducted by Mrs.Dulani Dissanayake, a lecturer and a counselor from Suyana Vidya Peetaya. In her session, she gave a summary of the entire seminar and further emphasized the importance of education as explained by Mr. Tilan Wijesooriya. She was quoted saying “we never stop learning. Even after all this time, Even I’m still learning!”. She then went on asking students questions based on everything that was said during the seminar and students were given professional development books and gift vouchers when the correct answers were given.

Last, but not least, concluding the day’s proceedings,the vote of thanks was delivered by Rashmika Nawaratne, Team Member at SL2College. He went around talking to students and getting feedback about the day’s event from them. A student was quoted saying “Unlike before, now we feel like going to a university. Now we want to do well and go to a university”, making the entire SL2College team proud of their hard work.

The seminar was held successfully and beyond expectations and we are sure that the students gained a lot of insight and motive to pursue higher education. It was a great learning experience, not just for the students, but for the SL2College team involved as well.

The SL2College – Sri Lanka Education Forum Team comprised of Rashmika Nawaratne, Navaka Navaratne, Madhawa Perera, Dinu Wijayaweera, Muditha Perera, Hasith Dasanayake and Prarthana Seneviratne along with Rasitha Wijesekara of the SL2College Volunteer Building Team took part in this, taking a step forward in achieving the SL2College’s long term vision of helping Sri Lankan students pursue higher education.

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Composed by Prarthana Seneviratne

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SL2C Meetup

Sl2college, one of Sri Lanka’s premier volunteer-driven organization with the vision of  becoming “An information hub for Sri Lankan students seeking to pursue higher education”. SL2College helps Sri Lankan students with their higher education goals by providing free, accurate, in-depth and unbiased information about many aspects of higher education within Sri Lanka and overseas. Run by a global community of past and present Sri Lankan graduate students, faculty members and entrepreneurs residing in many countries, SL2College is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

The quarterly meet up of the organization happened on 22nd of October 2013 at WS02 premises Colombo-03. This meetup is a platform for its team members to meet each other and get to know more about the great work that is being done while showing different ways in which new volunteers can get involved. Indicating the success of having meetups, participation of new enthusiastic volunteers doubled when compared with the previous meetup. They all were willing to contribute their time and effort towards ongoing projects of SL2College.

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The event was started by Nayana Samaranayake, the founding member of SL2College, introducing the organization and its achievements. Then Kethika Kulleperuma, representing marketing team, explained about the activities of the marketing team. She pointed that Social Media is ever evolving and is highly dynamic which provides many opportunities to any organization to bring their name upfront. Furthermore, she invited new volunteers to join marketing team.

Next, Tilan Wijesooriya representing SL2College editorial team, focused on the importance of reaching rural areas in Sri Lanka with their local media, namely Sinhala and Tamil. He further stated about regular articles presented by SL2College for Vidusara and Navaliya magazines.

Audience SL2C
Then, Rasitha Wijesekara and Charith Sooriyaarachchi introduced Volunteer and Team building activities of SL2College. SL2College organizes mentoring sessions for its team members in order to build their personal and professional skills, where high profiled and successful personnel will be mentoring the volunteers. In the past sessions, Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarna (CEO of WSO2), Mr. Rohan Jayaweera (Country Consultant at Google) and many industry professionals have shared their knowledge and ideas with SL2College members. Pasindu Perara and Thushan Ganegedara then spoke on SL2College web team and Asia student mentor network respectively.

Rashmika Nawaratne concluded the speeches explaining school seminar series conducted by Sl2College, in collaboration with Ministry of Education and US Embassy. Under the school seminar series SL2College has done a successful seminar at Richmond College, Galle and planning to conduct several school seminars in Gampaha and Jaffna in the coming months. Rashmika invited speakers to talk about higher education in both Sinhala and Tamil mediums.

SL2C Meetup Audenice
The speeches were to get newcomers up to speed on knowledge about SL2College and the current events happening. Then an interesting quiz session was conducted by Rasitha, which most the participants got thrilled and won chocolates.

The meetup concluded with refreshments and a networking session where the new volunteers met the SL2College core team members and showed their interested on various projects conducted by SL2College.

If you are interested in volunteering with us send your CV to info@sl2college.org

Website: http://www.sl2college.org/

For further updates on SL2College: https://www.facebook.com/sl2college

Article by: Mohammed Aasir

SL2C Members

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Not sure of your plans beyond A/Ls?

Interested in undergraduate studies but confused by the many options?

Attend SL2College VOICES 2013, an undergraduate conference organized by SL2College (a volunteer driven nonprofit organization that provides unbiased advice and guidance to Sri Lankan students to pursue their higher education, www.sl2college.org) to address all your doubts and questions related to higher educational opportunities.

Date: Sunday, 25th of August 2013 (9.00 am – 5.00 pm)
Where: Professor V. K. Samaranayake Auditorium, University of Colombo, School of Computing conference hall
How to participate: Register today at www.sl2college.org/conference (a registration fee of Rs. 200 from students and Rs. 400 from other attendees will be charged; registration fee will include lunch).

The panel of presenting speakers will consist of distinguished academics, highly accomplished individuals, and educational organizations representing different countries/regions around the world. These speakers will share their success stories, provide information about lesser-known alternative higher education strategies both within Sri Lanka and abroad, and educate the audience on how to acquire preparatory skills that are common and essential for all academic fields. There will also be a Q&A session, where attendees will be able to interact with the panel of distinguished speakers.

Speakers at SL2College VOICES 2013: Arun Dias Bandaranayke (professional broadcaster and TV presenter), Dian Gomes (Group Director at MAS Holdings), Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarna(Chairman and CEO of WSO2, Software developer), Arj Wignaraja (Business strategist), Dr.Sujata Gamage (Scientist in knowledge management), Charita Ratwatte (Chief Manager – Sustainability at Dialog Axiata PLC), Asanga Abeygoonasekara (Advisor to the Minister of External Affairs), Nayana Samaranayake (software engineer Google.Inc), The U.S.-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission, British Council, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service).

Come, get inspired and learn the path toward a rewarding academic success!

By Surangi Perera

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Speaker Panel

SL2College, one of Sri Lanka’s premier volunteer-driven organization held its July meet up at WSO2 in Colombo, on 11th July 2013. Marking the success of the event, 30 new volunteers joined the team to contribute their time and effort towards ongoing projects at SL2College.

SL2College is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization devoted to provide unbiased advice and guidance to Sri lankan students to pursue their higher education. Since its inception in 2005, SL2College has largely been an online based organization with over 400 advisers from at least 30 countries, and might well be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

The evening was lightened and inspired by colloquial speeches by Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarna, Nayana Samaranayake, Sasanka Jayadasa, Rashmika Nawaratne and Kanchana Ambagahawita.

Nayana Samaranayake, a founding member of SL2College, explained its vision to the participants. He further explained the purpose of the meetup, mentioning that it is important for people to meet physically, network and share thoughts and ideas, since SL2College is more of a virtual organization. Nayana believes that dedication and passion to work in the organization can be developed by such meetups.

Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarna, the Chairman of the Director board of SL2College, shared his volunteer experiences. He explained that though volunteering may not have short term benefits, it gives a person unseen benefits in the long run including great professional networking skills and development that can be put into use in one’s own career.

Interested Volunteers

Rashmika Nawaratne, Project Manager of the Sri Lanka Education Forum (SLEF) project under SL2College, spoke about SLEF to participants. He mentioned that the main focus of SLEF is to guide Sri Lankan students and provide information on higher education opportunities available within Sri Lanka. He invited everyone who would like to work for the cause to join the SLEF Team.

WorkInSriLanka, a vital project that has a timely value in Sri Lanka was initiated by SL2College recently. The project’s main objective is to advocate Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for highly skilled individuals and high calibre businesses. Kanchana Ambagahawita, the project manager of Work In Sri Lanka, introduced the project and its value to the Sri Lankan community.

Finally, Sasanka Jayadasa, Administrative Director at SL2College, spoke of the value of volunteers and how SL2College targets on building professionalism and soft-skills. He invited anyone who is willing to develop their professional skills and help Sri Lankan students in pursuing their higher education to join with SL2College.

Interested Volunteers

Given that SL2College is largely run virtually, this meetup gave team members and volunteers an opportunity to meet and get to know about the great work that is being done, and showed different ways in which new volunteers can get involved. SL2College has a number of ongoing projects that are in need of volunteers. These include,

1. The online Forum
2. Editorial work
3. Mentor Program
4. Seminars (Local and Webinars)
5. University Clubs
6. Work In Sri Lanka

Volunteers Networking

If you are passionate about volunteering and would like to make a change, SL2College is the place to be. SL2College is looking for professionals, students or individuals from a wide spectrum of expertise. You can get involved in Mentoring, Writing, PR, Fundraising, Marketing, Research, HR, Education Policy, Project Management, and Event Planning. It is not only about volunteering; it is about bringing yourself up to make a greater Sri Lanka.

For more information, visit www.sl2college.org or contact us at info@sl2college.org.

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With the aim of bringing all the South East Asian Google Communities together, South East Asia Outreach Summit (SEARCH Summit) with Google was held in Hyatt regency Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The conference spanned from 19th to 22nd of June. The South East Asian Google Communities: Google Business Groups (GBGs), Google Developer Groups (GDGs), the Map Makers and the Google Student Ambassadors (GSAs) participated the conference to understand and learn from each other.

More than 200 participants from different South East Asian countries presented at the conference. For the Google Student Ambassador conference, 138 Google Student Ambassadors from countries around the region, including first time participants from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam attended the SEARCH Summit. Other countries to attend included Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

934923_10152978376485445_2072740073_n1017237_10151577402987669_914920195_nFrom Sri Lanka, there were fourteen participants. Ten Google Student Ambassadors: Hasini Abeywickrama (University of Moratuwa), Chaamini Mangaleswaran (University of Moratuwa), Rashmika Nawaratne(University of Moratuwa), Shafraz Rahim (National School of Business Management), Pasindu De Silva (National School of Business Management), Laksheta Naresh Moorjani (Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology), Irma Shennon (Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology), Hasangi Kollure (University of Colombo School of Computing), Anaz Ashraff (American Education Centre) and Shamika Dharmasiri (University Of Peradeniya), two Map Makers: Dihan Perera and Tharaka Devinda, Keshan Sanjaya Sodimana from Google Developer Group and Indulekha Nanayakkara from Google Business Group participated the SEARCH summit 2013.

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MTG_Jogja_220130622_144041The Summit for GSAs kicked off with an ice breaking session to connect students of different countries together. These students introduced themselves and then interacted with each other with a fun activity. The conference was coordinated by Aileen Apolo (Outreach Program Manager – SEA), NeeKhern and Hadi.

Further on the first day, sessions on Google culture and the role of being a Google Student Ambassador were presented. The session on Google Culture was fascinating to listen. We were interested in the way Google employees spend their working hours, how they are treated and how they are allowed to use 20% of work time to work on their own innovative ideas.

IMG_8919On the second day, GSAs were educated on how to use Google Apps for Education. GSAs were given in-depth knowledge on using Google Drive to collaborate among peers, collecting information using Google Forms, using YouTube for educational purposes and how Google Apps could help students in their everyday lives.

During the afternoon of the second day, a group photo of all the participants was taken in their national costumes.

Then the success stories of former GSAs, members of GDG, GBG communities and Map Makers on their contribution for the past year were presented. The stories inspired us and showed us how this experience could be used to bring the best for our country. Furthermore, we learnt what were the failures encountered and how to overcome them.

On the third day, there were a number of sessions on technical aspects of how Google works. Google Search and MapsAPI were discussed in-depth. In the evening, a panel discussion was held with the participation of Googlers from Mountain View head office.

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The cultural exchange program was held during the dinner on the second day. Participants from all countries performed with their cultural shows and made a very entertaining night. From Sri Lanka, Shafraz Rahim presented a speech on Sri Lankan culture and the entire GSA team did a performance on Sri Lankans’ common behavior like how we talk and dance.

On the final day, numerous programs were held to develop the communication and presentation skills of the GSAs. One of the exercises saw GSAs form groups to come up with creative ideas to show how Google Apps could facilitate the progress in the education sector.

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Finally, the SEARCH Summit 2013 with Google was concluded with the graduation ceremony.

The knowledge we acquired is important to us Sri Lankans, because we are still in the process of incorporating technology into our university culture. Thus with the knowledge we gained, we will be able to contribute in full capacity to upgrade the learning culture in our universities.

934938_10151694836589452_1593165737_nThe SEARCH Summit 2013 with Google was an epic event. The knowledge and cultural exposure we received was once in a lifetime experience. I would like to thank everybody who took the time and effort to organize this wonderful event. Special gratitude goes to Mr. Rohan Jayaweera, Country Consultant at Google for supporting us from the beginning to participate this event.