Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MOE Adopts Open Standard Internet Email and Collaboration Services for Over 30,000 Teachers

1The Ministry of Education (MOE), together with NCS Pte Ltd and Google, officially announced today that they are working together to make available the Google Apps (Education version) suite of online communications and collaboration tools to more than 30,000 teachers and staff in over 350 schools in Singapore by end 2009. This will make MOE the first Ministry in Singapore to adopt an open standard cloud computing platform and the first in Asia to provide Web 2.0 communication and collaboration tools to all teachers in the public school system.

2The move is part of MOE’s goals to adopt innovative technologies such as Web 2.0 within the education profession to drive next-generation learning and communications. This project will also lay the ground for future implementation of Web 2.0 based applications, which will enhance interactions within and outside the classrooms
3Mr Chan Tee Miang, Chief Information Officer, MOE, said, “This is a key project for MOE as it will facilitate collaborations and sharing among our teachers and help enhance their teaching practices. It supports our efforts to achieve excellence in education so as to nurture a highly-skilled knowledge workforce that will enhance Singapore’s global competitiveness.”
4Mr James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive, Government Chief Information Office at IDA, said, “I am pleased that MOE decided to adopt an open standard cloud computing platform after much market study and user requirement analysis, as it is able to cater for future growth and innovative adoption of emerging technologies that are gaining popularity among educators and students. This approach is also in line with the government’s key criteria of ‘fit for purpose, value for money’ in infocomm procurement for the public sector.”
5The Google Apps for Education will offer better and up-to-date email features with bigger email disk space size of 7GB1 to encourage greater usage and improve efficiency of the teachers. Such features include calendaring, flagging of emails for follow-up, email to-do list, etc. The system will also be continuously upgraded with new or improved features and increased disk space over time without additional cost to MOE. It is also bundled with collaboration tools such as Instant Messaging, Blogs and Wikis which provide collaboration within and across schools.
6The system is also built on a distributed cloud computing platform with higher scalability and redundancy. The contract provides the flexibility to scale up seamlessly to cater for unforeseen increases in usage and future system upgrades without the need to re-architect the entire system infrastructure.
7The transition from the current hosted email system to the cloud computing platform will be carried out in phases from November 2009.
8Delighted to be part of the project, Mr Lim Eng, Chief Executive Officer, NCS Pte Ltd, said, “The project will help transform the way educators teach, communicate and collaborate with peers and with students of the Y-Generation who are attuned to new web applications like social networking sites. We are committed to work with best-of-breed partners in using innovative technologies to enhance the education environment in Singapore. The collaboration with Google and MOE is yet another opportunity for us to contribute to the changing needs of next-generation teaching and learning.”
9Ms Bee-Loon Tan, Head of Enterprise, Google Southeast Asia, said, “Google has a strong commitment to supporting schools, universities and the education sector in Singapore and around the world. We are excited to be working with NCS and MOE in making Google Apps available to all public educators in Singapore. Clearly, MOE is taking a leadership position within the South-East Asian government and enterprise sector by embracing the full power of the Web. First, by significantly reducing its IT infrastructure costs by deploying a proven, reliable and secure cloud computing solution for the education sector. And more importantly, providing teachers with easy-to-use yet powerful online communications and collaboration tools to enhance the teaching and learning environment in schools all across the nation.”
  1. The current email system, MyEDUmail2, provides 110MB of email disk space
  2. MOE Adopts Open Standard Internet Email and Collaboration Services for Over 30,000 Teachers

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