(Post courtesy Anil Malekani)
I recently had an opportunity to visit a prominent Engineering college, to meet with the faculties of Computer Science programs at various colleges in Bangalore. The talk I gave was a technical discussion on the application of mobile computing in Education. In attendance were about 80 professors from the Computer Science departments of different colleges.
The session started with discussion on how Mobile Computing can revolutionize the way education is delivered today. The legacy system that have been in use for quite some time are in need of an uplift. We have hundreds of devices and thousands of applications available to add mobility to information delivery mechanisms. The call of the time is to identify the right set of devices and applications based on your requirements.
Microsoft, an active contributor to Education has a number of offerings, which can ensure that every student regardless of his financial condition can use the technology, as well as learn and develop future solutions. All we need to do is spread awareness and as an educational institution take the right step forward to embrace the technology.
Here is how students are benefited by using Mobile Computing solutions.
Benefits to colleges/schools which are equally exciting.
Microsoft offers numerous applications to make information available anywhere, anytime and also to protect mobile devices. All of them (Except local version of Office 2010 Academic 2010) are available on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.
Microsoft Live@edu offers education institutions free, hosted, co-branded communication and collaboration services for students, faculty, and alumni.
- Provision cloud-based email.
- Provide enterprise-class tools.
- Enable online document sharing and storage.
- Help improve alumni communication.
Microsoft DreamSpark program is aimed to give students Microsoft professional tools at no charge. It's a simple process of registration and verification of student's identity, after which they can continue downloading software they need to work with.
Manage all student and faculty PCs with Windows Intune which is a cloud based PC management and endpoint protection solution. There is no need to invest on servers infrastructure and the management console is accessible from anywhere.
Schools and universities can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to improve efficiency and get the most from their existing resources. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can:
- Get a 360-degree view of your school, district, or campus with tools for educators and administrators that are easy to use and manage.
- Increase productivity and enhance collaboration.
- Quickly develop applications for learning, education, research, faculty, and student management with the xRM framework.
There are equally exciting set of Mobile devices to choose from. The Windows Phone 7 makes communication seamless with email, text and voice communication options. Apart from communication there are thousands of applications available in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace like Amazon Kindle, Voice Notes, Periodic Table Pro, scientific calculators etc.
There are more devices like Windows 7 based tablet devices, laptops and also Audience Response Systems (Mobile apps/ classroom devices) make life simpler for teachers and students.
The goal with providing devices to all students is to start implementing mobile computing solutions sooner rather than later. Much of the audience was concerned about upfront costs—but the benefits of this technology to both the schools and to the students, more than make up for the costs in increased efficiency and the reuse of digital information over a lifetime.
Microsoft Partners in the education sector may find the following resources helpful:
Microsoft Live@edu for Partners
Live@edu online readiness resources
More resources here