Bangkok – 17 June 2014 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited continues its longstanding mission to drive the transformation of education in Thailand with the launch of the Smart Classroom Pilot Project today. The project, which is making its global launch in Thailand, has been in implementation phase since March 2014 with Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School in Nonthaburi province and HRH Princess Soamsawali School in Pathum Thani province – both operating under the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) – working closely with Microsoft on the development of model learning environments designed to power the development of important 21st-century skills among Thai students, paving the way to a knowledge-based creative economy.
Microsoft’s vision of the smart classroom encompasses four key pillars that address the entirety of the learning process – Teacher Readiness, Digital Content, Services, and Devices. The four pillars are based on the notion of 21st-century skills, which cover essential skills like creativity, critical thinking, communication, and ICT literacy. For this pilot program, all four elements are being implemented in Science, Mathematics, and English classes for Mathayom 1 students at both participating schools over a full semester (from May to September).
“Over the past three decades, Microsoft has been dedicated to helping drive meaningful change in education. We have invested $750 million in teacher training and professional development worldwide over the past 15 years alone. Globally, we have invested $10 billion in education throughout the last five years,” said Haresh Khoobchandani, Managing Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited.
Success in a 21st-century workplace requires attributes like creativity and critical thinking as well as communication and collaboration. Governments around the world – Thailand included – are looking to shape a thoughtful way forward by turning technology trends into real impact on teaching and learning.
Smart Classroom Pilot Project by Microsoft
June 16, 2014
Haresh Khoobchandani (5th left), Managing Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, Dr. Sunee Sorntrakul (4th left), Principal of Suankularb Wittayalai Nonthaburi School, and Paitoon Jarusan (4th right), Principal of H.R.H. Princess Soamsawali School, together revealed the Smart Classroom Pilot Project – an initiative to develop model classrooms that integrate technology into education under a holistic vision and equip Thai students with important 21st-Century Skills. They were joined by Anek Ratpiyapaporn (3rd right), Senior Advisor in Technology for Teaching and Learning, Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC).
“We believe that effective infusion of technology into the learning process requires a holistic vision that extends beyond just the use of smart devices in classrooms. Recently, we moved to empower 8 million students and 400,000 teachers across the nation with access to Office 365 for Education, an enterprise-grade cloud service that is highly safe and secure. Throughout our 20 years in Thailand, we have always been strongly committed to long-term sustainable development of this country. We have implemented a wide range of programs to help Thai educators and learners make the best use of technology under our vision to make 70 million lives better. For this pilot project, we are working closely with Thai educational bodies and leading partners, including content providers and device manufacturers, to make it the culmination of our expertise across all aspects of the learning experience,” Khoobchandani continued.
“The integration of technology into the classroom does not only lead to improved grades,” said Dr. Sunee Sorntrakul, Principal of Suankularbwittayalai Nonthaburi School. “By turning classes into digitally connected activities, we open up opportunities to practice new ways to think and work, and this makes our students better equipped for their future careers.”
Paitoon Jarusan, Principal of H.R.H. Princess Soamsawali School, said, “The pilot program has enabled us to experiment with the latest technologies in real-world situations. Our school was established as part of the policy to create educational opportunities for all, and we hope that the program’s findings will underline the universal benefits that technology can provide in different academic environments.”
In addition to educational and management features, the end-to-end suite of solutions implemented in the pilot program also gives high priority to students’ security and privacy.
Khoobchandani added: “A recent survey conducted by international non-profit organization SafeGov.org in Thailand found that 87% of Thai parents are concerned by the use of children’s personal data for commercial purposes. Microsoft shares this viewpoint on security and privacy, and our Smart Classroom platform keeps teachers and students in full control of their personal data.”
Smart Classroom Pilot Project by Microsoft
June 17, 2014
The Smart Classroom Pilot Project provides students and teachers with access to Microsoft’s cloud apps and services as well as academic content and tools developed by leading providers – including Intel – on Windows-based tablet devices from ASUSTeK Computer. Additionally, the project received support in planning and deployment from Intel.
A panel of experts across the public and private sectors – including representatives from OBEC, the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST), Kenan Institute Asia, and British Council Thailand – is providing guidance for the project in an advisory role. Microsoft and the two participating schools will perform a full evaluation of the pilot project upon its conclusion at the end of the current academic semester in September 2014 before providing OBEC with a full assessment report.
Prior to this pilot, Microsoft has worked successfully with public and private organizations worldwide to explore a myriad of possibilities in blending technology with education. Portugal’s Magellan project, for example, had a significant impact on the country’s academic landscape and led to large increases in top performers in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
For further information, (press) please contact:
Orawan Chuenwiratsakul or Wichayakorn Jarubundit
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 212, 105 or 081-303-1680, 087-325-0410