April 5, 2010 – Software maker Microsoft has introduced a new technology for shared resource computing in education, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, during the regional e-learning conference in Nairobi.
By tapping into a single computer’s excess power to support a number of users at once, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 allows a teacher and a number of their students to each use their own screen, keyboard and mouse in the classroom.
For Kenyan schools that are limited by their access to expensive computers, modern educational tools or power supplies, this type of shared resource computing translates into significant savings based on lower hardware costs and ongoing operating expenses.
“Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 was designed as a simple, effective and affordable solution to technology access in education,” said Louis Otieno, general manager for Microsoft East and Southern Africa, at the conference.
“Instead of schools buying expensive laptops for every student or making students take turns using one computer in the classroom, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 brings 21st century technology and learning skills directly to Kenyan schools, at a fraction of the cost.”
Developed specifically for non-technical professionals to use, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is as easy to set up as it is to maintain. From the host computer, teachers can quickly create, modify and delete student accounts, while students can work from their stations on individual projects at their own pace, easily sharing Microsoft Office 2007 files with their classmates or browsing the Web safely with Internet Explorer 8.
To demonstrate how easy this type of shared resource computing is to use, the Kenya Institute of Education in Nairobi is currently displaying Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 on HP’s MultiSeat solution, as well as interactive educational applications based on Windows MultiPoint Mouse Software, that allows multiple students to use their own mouse on a single PC display.
“We see real promise for shared resource computing solutions like Windows MultiPoint to solve the challenges facing many in the Kenyan education community,” said Lydia Nzomo, Director, Kenya Institute of Education.
“This is one of the innovative ways of delivering curriculum in a cost effective way. Lack of funding for new computers, restricted technology maintenance budgets, limited integration and training opportunities for teachers and the urgent need for energy efficiency are the day-to-day realities for many schools in Kenya.”
As the discussion at the Conference on eLearning today proved, technology access may be the surest preparation for students’ success in the 21st century, but without more affordable options, like shared resource computing, too many Kenyan classrooms, school labs and libraries will fall short of technology’s promise.
“Students in Kenya are well aware that the world they will graduate in will be defined in large part by technology. The question is not whether but how we prepare them for the knowledge economy,” concluded Otieno.