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EW Spotlight Feature

Microsoft-Intel-Pacsoft’s Unique Partners in Learning Initiative


I
n the new global economy fuelled
by information and powered by increasingly distributed workforces, education remains a prerequisite of personal and professional success. More than ever before, education influences individual employment advantage and earning power while playing a major role in economic development and societal stability. Moreover continuously evolving and upgraded technology can provide enterprising educators and communities with opportunities for improvement as never before in history.

The effective integration of technology with education is an exciting opportunity that requires thoughtful blending of infrastructure, access, knowledge, and empowerment of students, educators, schools, and communities. It requires a complex balance between the best of traditional education and new insights about how people learn. Intelligent use of technology can promote and enrich collaboration and communication and enable new levels of learning in the classroom and for life.

At the heart of this new way of learning is the Connected Learning Program, designed to bring students, teachers and parents together in a seamless interface.

In pursuit of this vision, front-rank technology companies Microsoft, Intel and Pacsoft, supported by Citibank, have combined forces to empower educational institutions and learning communities to acquire appropriate technology at affordable cost under the Connected Learning Program.

The Connected Learning Program Vision

The consortium of companies has developed a common agenda for revolutionising education under the banner of Lyceum.

• Empower institutions by making technology available atffordable cost

• Connect schools, campuses, examination bodies in a dynamic, collaborative environment

• Award Centre of Excellence status to institutions which deploy and utilise contemporary technology effectively and efficiently

• Impart training to principals and teachers in future technologies

• Develop the all-round performance and creative talents of students

• Sponsor extra-curricular programs

• Train parents, to make them aware of technology used in school/colleges and increase usage of technology in home environments

• Deliver learning systems to homes, to facilitate continuum learning or learning for life

Unique empowered partnership

The partnership formed to help Lyceum-enabled institutions harness its full potential brings to the table diverse domain expertise and skill sets. The Lyceum partners are:

• Pacsoft

• Microsoft

• Intel

Pacsoft

Pacsoft is the acronym for Panorama Across Creative Solutions On Futuristic Technology

The Bangalore (India)-based Pacsoft Solutions Ltd is a Microsoft® certified partner and a managed ISV in the enterprise space. It is also one of the largest AERs in India, and has worked actively with Microsoft to develop Lyceum. Also an Intel® partner in the education space, Pacsoft undertakes joint research with Intel on developing applications of hand held devices and has worked with the ISS team for sizing the Lyceum data centre.

Pacsoft had led the development of Lyceum and undertakes the planning and implementation of Lyceum’s go-to-market strategies.

Ali Sait
 Promoted with the objective of providing turnkey solutions to education organisations, institutions and individuals, Pacsoft believes in providing total solutions to clients at the lowest possible cost by working closely with clients. Pacsoft believes in a client-first philosophy and is committed to delivering compelling futuristic solutions customized to every client’s requirements.

 Within the education segment Pacsoft has partnered education institutions in developing connected learning solutions, setting up labs, intranet (connecting examination boards with education institutions) for e-governance, e-classrooms, establishing internet connectivity and has conceived innovative concepts for educational institutions such as Acadamus (cyber-classroom), Soft Mnemosyne (Memory bank) and multimedia based kiosks.

"The 21st century requires redefinition of education methodologies. Brick and mortar infrastructures of the past will give way to the technology-enriched infrastructures of the future. Learning will be from any place and on any device," — Ali Sait Director, Pacsoft.

Microsoft Inc

A household word and world’s premier software development company, the Seattle (USA) – based Microsoft Inc brings its immense software expertise and in-depth knowledge of technologies required by education institutions to fulfillment of the partnership.

Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates believes that technology has the potential to remove barriers for students and educators everywhere. Powerful software and the internet are changing our access to knowledge. Innovative ways to teach and learn are redefining the classroom experience.

Empowering Schools. Partners in Learning Initiative (PLI). Pacsoft – Microsoft – Intel’s goal is to empower schools to increase student learning through teacher development and leadership. Through PLI, Microsoft is partnering with experts in education and curriculum development to deliver high-quality learning and development experiences to educators, resources to support success in the classroom and opportunities to network with colleagues.

Karthik Padmanabhan
 Microsoft, believes that using information and communication technologies (ICT) in education can be a powerful catalyst to improving teaching and learning for all to changes lives, families, communities, and nations.

Partners in Learning: School Agreement. Microsoft’s School Agreement program provides academics its most popular learning tools and enables schools to better manage the technology resources they use for teaching and administration.

"At Microsoft we expect education as the next big computing revolution. We believe that our value offerings to the educational sector globally are expanding exponentially with every passing day. India is viewed as a key market by Microsoft and we are confident that this exciting consortium of diverse skill-sets and expertise will be able to realise Microsoft’s vision for the future of education," — Karthik Padmanabhan Business Group Leader, Microsoft.


The Value of School Agreements

Designed specifically to address the needs of primary and secondary schools, Microsoft’s School Agreement program offers:

Low administration costs. With subscription licensing, you don’t have to track licenses for individual School Agreement products on every computer. This is especially helpful for managing software assets in a decentralized environment.

Current technology. Subscription licensing programs enable users to run the most current versions of software products included in the agreement. Institutions automatically receive upgrades on products during the agreement term.

Simple budgeting and purchasing. You can manage software investments over time easily. Now one annual payment covers all School Agreement products you select for the year.

This version of the School Agreement program is part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Initiative and it also supports our goal to invest in local education priorities and make software accessible to everyone.

Intel Inc.

Intel is a global leader in futuristic technologies. When the stamp ‘Intel Inside’ is imprinted on a computer, it guarantees reliability and cutting edge technology. Intel has revolutionised computers through innovations like Centrino mobile technology, and wireless devices.

Intel also has special school programmes which help education institutions provide world-class computer education to students.

The PCs you buy with Lyceum are powered by Intel technology. Intel also conducts the Teachers’ Training Programmes to bring teachers up to date on the power of Lyceum’s vision.

Intel’s education initiatives include :

• Intel® Teach to the Future — a worldwide program created for teachers by teachers, to effectively integrate technology into the classroom to enhance student learning.

• Intel® Innovation in Education Website — useful content, tools, resources, and professional development opportunities for educators.

• Intel Science Competitions - recognises and rewards the achievements of young scientists.

• Intel® Innovation in Education initiative — a sustained collaboration with top universities worldwide to expand university curricula, engage in focused research, and encourage student participation in research throughout their education.

• Intel Computer Clubhouse — a community-based education program which provides youth in under-served communities access to high-tech equipment, mentoring, and instruction.

• Intel Design and Discovery — free curriculum which introduces youth (ages 11-14) to engineering through design.

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