ITE students to benefit from Microsoft partnership

ITE students to benefit from Microsoft partnership
ITE students use Surface touchscreen devices provided by Microsoft Singapore at a Life Skills design class in the iLAB at ITE College Central. More than 20,000 students may be given their own device.

SINGAPORE - More than 20,000 students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) may get their own Windows touchscreen device, thanks to a new partnership between ITE and software company Microsoft Singapore.

Microsoft and ITE yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, of which one goal is giving each student his own Windows learning device to use in and out of the classroom.

The partnership will also give students more access to cloud-based software and digital educational resources.

More than 1,000 students across four courses will take part in a pilot programme early next year.

It is not confirmed yet when the programme will be fully implemented.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has set up an iLAB, a technology-enabled classroom, at ITE College Central, and also provided 42 Surface touchscreen devices to be used by students in class.

ITE student Nur Khairina, 17, said of the Surface device she has been using for four weeks in a Life Skills design class: "It's pretty awesome. It allows me to focus more in class."

She added: "When I work on a PC, it's much slower. I'm very comfortable with this device."

Microsoft Singapore's senior public sector director, Ms Stephanie Hung, said more than 1,500 ITE teachers will also gain access to the Microsoft Educator Network, allowing them to share teaching approaches with more than 12 million educators worldwide.

Teachers will benefit as well from IT skills training, and be able to use tools such as the interactive e-learning platform HeuXin their classes.

Students will also get more internship opportunities with Microsoft and its partners, including Acer and AsiaPac Distribution, said Ms Hung.

This article was first published on November 11, 2014.
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