The students at KB-TK Islam Al Azhar 22 Semarang smile when the Windows 8 Pro-based tablets come out. This Indonesian kindergarten is using tablets and notebooks to learn in fun new ways. Teachers use the devices and Microsoft Office 365 to share
ideas and documents more efficiently. The school keeps data safer with documents in the cloud, and it has access to a world of free and low-cost educational apps in the Windows Store.
Indonesia has a national initiative to equip more of its primary and secondary schools with modern PCs and Internet connectivity, and KB-TK Islam Al Azhar 22 Semarang is leading the way. Al Azhar Islamic Kindergarten is a private Muslim school in Semarang,
Indonesia, that serves 200 students, aged two to six. Thanks to Nura Uma Annisa, a teacher at the school, these little ones are using the latest touch-screen tablets running the Windows 8 Pro operating system to learn more effectively.
Ten-Year-Old PCs of Little Help
Just one year ago, it was a different story. Al Azhar Islamic Kindergarten had 20 ancient PCs that ran 10-year-old software and had no Internet connectivity. Teachers sat the students in front of the computers but with no clear purpose. Annisa, the school’s
technology expert, developed some rudimentary educational games using Microsoft PowerPoint, but she yearned to do more.
“We wanted to use computers to enhance teaching and learning,” says Annisa, who is Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Manager and Faculty Member at Al Azhar Islamic Kindergarten. “Also, our students come from families that usually have the latest
technology at home. Our students—and their parents—wanted this same technology at school.”
Annisa also knew that modern PCs could simplify life for the busy staff. Teachers prepared lessons plans on the computers, printed them out, and handed them to the headmistress for review. She commented on paper, and teachers made the changes and reprinted
the plans. The process consumed lots of time and paper. Some teachers used their own computers, but this introduced security concerns as teachers loaded personal files on to the school network.
There were also concerns about physical computer safety. Once, a flood ruined several of the school’s computers, which were not backed up.
Tablets and Cloud-Based Services
||Our Windows 8 Pro devices have opened our minds as
to what is possible in education. Our students are using technology to learn in fun
new ways and get exposure to the big wide world beyond Indonesia.
| Nura Uma Annisa
and Faculty Member, KB-TK Islam
Al Azhar 22
In 2012, Annisa attended a conference and saw the latest touch-screen tablets and laptops running the Windows 8.1 operating system. She was captivated. “I was so excited to imagine what we could do with this technology,” she says.
Just a few months later, Annisa heard about a regional Microsoft “IT makeover” competition to encourage small businesses to upgrade from the Windows XP operating system to Windows 8. She submitted an application for Azhar Islamic Kindergarten, and the school
won, receiving 10 new Windows 8.1 Pro devices and subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 is a cloud service that provides the latest version of Microsoft Office plus cloud-based email messaging, audio and videoconferencing, and document sharing.
Al Azhar Islamic Kindergarten distributed the touch-enabled Lenovo tablets to Annisa, the headmistress, and two classrooms, where they are shared by students. Six Lenovo Ultrabooks are shared by students and teachers.
A World of Learning Resources
Students use Microsoft Paint, a simple graphics painting program, for art, and Annisa uses PowerPoint and Windows Movie Maker to create games that teach students about everything from history to geography. She also downloads free and inexpensive educational
apps from the Windows Store, including the Quran App, ABC123, and others.
The school also installed Internet connectivity, which has allowed teachers to bring a world of resources into their classrooms. Teachers now share their lesson plans with the headmistress in Microsoft SharePoint Online, the team document-sharing service
in Office 365, and use the Microsoft Lync Online conferencing service to meet with colleagues in sister schools across Indonesia. Annisa has plans to teach students, too, how to use Office 365 and to extend it to parents so that they can monitor their children’s
schoolwork and communicate more easily with teachers.
Better Teaching and Learning
The staff is using the Windows 8.1 Pro devices to gain access to a whole new universe of teaching ideas. “Our Windows 8 Pro devices have opened our minds as to what is possible in education,” Annisa says. “Our students are using technology to learn in fun new
ways and get exposure to the big wide world beyond Indonesia. With the new devices and learning methods and the Microsoft name, parents are proud of our school and have more trust in us.”
Increased Teacher, Administrator Productivity
Teachers are more efficient and productive. “It’s easier to create documents and share good ideas now,” Annisa says. Recently, when a teacher was not able to make it in to school, he uploaded his lesson plans to Office 365 so that another teacher could substitute
for him. The headmistress uses her tablet to take videos of the children and upload them to the school’s Facebook page and YouTube, to promote the school’s activities to parents and other schools.
With curriculum and lessons plans stored safely in the cloud, the staff has greater peace of mind. “Last year, a teacher left our school and started a competing school using our curriculum,” Annisa says. “But with all of our files in Office 365, we have better
password protection and can immediately remove former employees so that they cannot access our network.”
With so many free and low-cost educational apps available in the Windows Store, Al Azhar Islamic Kindergarten is able to give teachers and students access to the latest software without spending much. “Our teachers are more creative with these new tools and
are making student certificates, invitations, and school publications themselves rather than hiring expensive designers,” Annisa says.
The school also saves travel time and costs by using Lync Online for conferencing, and it has reduced its paper usage by about 30 percent by using Office 365 for document storage and sharing.
“Getting these Windows 8 Pro devices has been a dream come true,” Annisa says. “They have really brought our school into the twenty-first century.”
For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: