The Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Education (MOE) needed to cut the costs of computer implementations in schools, which were draining resources and using up limited budgets. With Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 and HP MultiSeat technology, a
single computer can support multiple users simultaneously without compromising the individual user’s experience. The MOE is deploying this solution to all 210 schools across the kingdom.
The MOE governs the country’s schooling system and is responsible for its education strategy. In Bahrain, information and communications technology (ICT) is considered an essential part of the school curriculum and is integrated into as many teaching and
learning processes as possible. The aim is to provide pupils with the skills to enhance their day-to-day lives, increase their employment potential, and, ultimately, support the kingdom’s economy.
Within the MOE, the Information Systems (IS) Directorate supervises the development and maintenance of information systems, with its primary objective being to improve these systems. The directorate has built a strong IT infrastructure within schools across
Ahmed Alhammadi, Director of Information Systems, Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Education, says: “The ministry has a limited number of technicians and they were struggling to support the large number of computers and devices across hundreds of schools.
The cost of replacing hardware was also putting a huge strain on our limited budget.”
The MOE strives to ensure that technology is delivered to schools efficiently, so the IS Directorate had to find a way to reduce the number of computers without compromising the needs of pupils and teachers. Alhammadi says: “We must provide pupils with state-of-the-art
technology to maintain our high standard of education. However, it was imperative that we cut the time and complexity of maintaining these systems, and the increasing costs of hardware maintenance and upgrades.”
While searching for an efficient solution, the MOE found Windows MultiPoint Server technology. With this solution, a single computer supports multiple users simultaneously, with each user working independently at his or her own monitor.
Windows MultiPoint Server works in conjunction with HP MultiSeat technology—a solution that extends the capacity of a single machine to work as a powerful host computer. This is the result of a strategic relationship between Microsoft and HP. Ziyad Alrayes,
Education Business Manager for the Middle East, HP, says: “The HP MultiSeat solution has been designed to work with Windows MultiPoint Server technology and ensures that each user has a good personal computing experience.”
Microsoft also shares the ministry’s vision for improving education through technology. Tareq Hijazi, Country Manager, Microsoft Bahrain and Oman, says: “Technology needs to work seamlessly and cost effectively in schools and Microsoft is committed to providing
dependable, secure, and flexible products that are affordable and easy to use. Our jobs as education and industry leaders are to equip students with the 21st-century skills needed to adapt to change in a globally competitive world.”
Working with Microsoft Partner Almoayyed Computers, the MOE will roll out HP Compaq MultiSeat T200 Desktops as host computers running Windows MultiPoint Server 2011. This software supports the HP Classroom Manager application, which gives teachers the tools
to manage the digital classroom and create an interactive learning environment. By September 2012, the MOE expects around 45,000 pupils and teachers across 70 schools to be benefiting from the solution.
When fully deployed, each host computer will support up to six students in classrooms. They will be able to use Microsoft Office applications, browse the Internet, and view or save multimedia files to private or shared folders. Meanwhile, teachers will be
able to monitor progress and mark pupils’ work without leaving their workstations.
The MOE can now give a greater number of pupils access to state-of-the-art technology at a fraction of the cost of acquiring and maintaining full-function machines. “By deploying Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 and HP MultiSeat technology, schools can help
pupils develop skills that will open up a broader range of opportunities in work and the community,” says Alhammadi. “Ultimately, we believe we can set the standard for technology in education worldwide.”
Solution eases management burden. With fewer computers and servers to support, the ministry’s technical department can spread its time across schools more easily. Meanwhile, teachers can add or remove user accounts and use simple controls
to administer security settings and monitor pupils, without requiring technical support.
Lower costs meet budget restrictions. The MOE can make one-to-one computing available to more pupils, yet remain within budget. “This solution relieves the burden on educational institutions that don’t want to exhaust their funding on replacements
for computers,” says Alrayes. “Instead, they can double their ICT penetration within schools on the same budget.”
Less energy is consumed or wasted. A host computer delivers the right amount of power to each of its multiple users. Alrayes says: “Pupils and teachers rarely need the type of power a server can provide—80 percent of a server-based platform
would probably remain unused. With this solution, you pay only for what you use, significantly reducing energy consumption.”
User experience isn’t compromised. Alhammadi says: “With the Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 and HP MultiSeat solution, each user will have the same experience as they would from an individual desktop. This was the most important requirement
for the MOE.”
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