Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Model in Vietnam: Technology Helps Pervade Knowledge

“Partners in Learning” (PiL) is an initiative of Microsoft through close cooperation with government leaders and educators by providing instruments and knowledge for schools and teachers to reach their full potentiality in transferring and sharing knowledge. With the global scale and local implementation, this programme has brought in innovative pedagogic methodology combined with IT to schools.

E-learning and Poor Students
E-learning is an advanced education method and is a huge storage of knowledge where everyone can acquire knowledge, meet and share their understanding and experience. Through the process of implementing the Microsoft E-learning in many nations and in Vietnam, although this is a new technology which attracts concerns of many social classes, including the teacher community, the programme encounters considerable challenges. Compared with many regional countries carrying out this programme, E-learning in Vietnam faces more difficulties which resulted from undeveloped infrastructure, unpopular internet coverage in rural and remote areas and low-quality transmission line. For the teacher community, the exploitation of internet resources is generally popular in urban zones and big cities, not elsewhere. Besides, several common difficulties in carrying out E-learning are the unpredictable possibility of reaching expected results of skill-based subjects which require frequent communications among participating members and guiding teachers.

Therefore, according to E-learning workgroup in Vietnam, to create high efficiency of the E-learning programme in such a poor country as Vietnam, the programme actually needs concrete strategies. For E-learning, the continuation and promotion of training course contents are very important. The successful strategy for carrying out E-learning is also the orientation to build contents for E-learning.

Attractive and qualified contents need money and effort. As a result, to have such contents, contributions from individuals and organisations are very important. Microsoft has certain advantages when it applies this programme. Teachers of different subjects accessed and worked with IT and innovative teaching methodologies through PiL training courses and they will be able to sketch up standardised lectures which will be added to E-learning data storage. Moreover, they are nucleus teachers and have worked with PiL from the first days. They tie to PiL and understand the importance of the continuation of E-learning activities. The very teacher community is the designer of suitable and quality contents for the E-learning knowledge store.

Selective localities for PiL

Additionally, to make E-learning successful, there must have strategic steps. Instead of carrying out in a large scale, the E-learning model is applied in selective localities by Microsoft Vietnam, with only most practical contents, before spreading it to other places. Basic contents and activities will be continued and developed by PiL – Microsoft.

Besides, the strong growth in infrastructure in Vietnam is increasing the success of E-learning and PiL. Especially, the military-run telecom firm, Viettel, has coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Training to grant free internet connections to 39,000 schools from the preschool level to high school level across Vietnam. According to experts, with the current growth, in the near future, internet will be familiar with the Vietnamese teacher community. This is an important step to bring E-learning to the entire Vietnamese teacher community.

To date, thousands of teachers are benefited from this programme. They will become the bridges to help their colleagues and students to know and access the rich knowledge source from E-learning and contribute and share their lectures and knowledge with other members. Microsoft has maintained and implemented the E-learning programme on a wider scale thanks to its training courses in many provinces and cities.

Speaking about the programme that she pursues and goes together with to most provinces and cities in Vietnam, Thanh Huong said “Every programme and project has the end point but Microsoft’s E-learning and PiL have made a marvel: the sharing and guiding – the soul of this project – which will be spilled from this place to another one and from this generation to the next, and forever.”

The PiL programme initiated by Microsoft has been carried out in Vietnam for four years with two major contents of “Basic computer science” and “Guiding and sharing with colleagues.” As of end 2008, some 20,000 teachers in many provinces and cities of Vietnam have taken part in this programme. E-learning together with the online system of PiL enables Vietnamese teachers to access invaluable store of knowledge and instruments like electronic lectures and reference materials.

H.Nam

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