Indian school chain to encourage students to use laptops

June 21st, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, June 21 (IANS) Students of a chain of schools run by a Dubai-based Indian educationist will soon be able to use laptops to learn their lessons and do assignments and projects. The Gems group of schools, which has centres in India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Britain, run by Sunny Varkey will encourage its pupils to use laptops in schools and homes and will also set up an e-gateway for this purpose, the Khaleej Times reported Saturday.

To be called ‘Gems Learning Gateway’ or GLG, the gateway will help students access their lessons, teaching materials and also send in their assignments.

Teachers can also upload the grades of students through this gateway.

“Children are at ease with digital technology, be it iPods, laptops or mobiles,” Mukund Patel, chief officer for education infrastructure, was quoted as saying.

“Children are accessing information all the time. That is why we want to bring in something where education can continue anywhere and at any time,” he said.

Gems has already signed an agreement with Microsoft to set up the e-gateway across its schools in India, UAE and Britain.

“We will have to do a major training exercise for our teachers. In fact, Microsoft will be training 15 teachers from each school, who would in turn become mentors for the rest of the school,” Patel, who had earlier worked in Britain’s ministry of education for 11 years, said.

He also said the group’s schools in the UAE will have Wi-Fi by December this year so that students and teachers can access the Internet from anywhere inside the school premises.

Students have the options of either bringing their own laptops or use the computer labs to access the gateway.

The gateway, which will be used by students from first grade onwards, would have animated home pages and educational games for primary children to make learning more fun and interactive, the report said.

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