Microsoft education initiative: 4 TN schools to use Windows tablets as learning aid

Bharani Vaitheesvaran Chennai | Updated on July 25, 2014

Microsoft India today announced that four schools in Tamil Nadu will use Windows tablet computers to teach, a step in the tech major’s drive to get on the technology-enabled learning wave and popularise its products.

Takshila School, which has 10 campuses across the country, will have the Microsoft product at its Ambur campus in the State. GT Aloha Vidya Mandir, Vidhya Sagar Global School, and SJT Surana Jain Vidyalaya & Junior College are also on the wagon.  

Pratik Mehta, Director-Education, Microsoft India, said education as a vertical was started in July last year, reflecting what finding young adopters can do to extend its brand reach. “Digital learning is the future, and we are also looking forward to the low-cost tablet computer the Government has in the works,” he said.

Microsoft is executing this project in partnership with Connoiseur Electronics, an Indian manufacturer offering its Connoi tablet at Rs 16,000. Content provider MBD Group, and Tata Teleservices for data connectivity are also on board.

Microsoft has also begun training programmes to help schools incorporate the tablet computer into their teaching modalities. Chennai-based technology company Harness has built an application that will help teachers keep tabs on what students are watching on the tablet computers. The Harness Handitouch enables a Master tablet — meant for the teacher — to remote control content accessed by students.

Besides the schools projects, Microsoft has tied up with seven State Governments to introduce diploma students at Industrial Training Institutes to the .NET framework to acquaint them with app development.

“We have taught 1,800 students so far. Diploma students are so hungry to learn… great traction in this scheme,” he said.

The tablet computers can accommodate the NCERT application for information on curricula and policy. Lessons taught in school can be saved on the Microsoft Azure cloud for reference. The plan is to take the schools scheme to 100 institutes this year. Schools have to pay a cost for this; Mehta refused to reveal the sum.

Anand Surana, Secretary of the Surana Group of Institutions, said the most-attractive part is that the tablets can run for 9 hours straight and can be fitted with a keyboard. “We are thrilled to offer Windows Tablet labs where there would be separate sessions to train students to use the tablet, and learn from them,” he said.

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Published on July 25, 2014
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