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Microsoft Learning Gateway
A scalable learning platform
The Microsoft® Learning Gateway will offer a secure portal providing a framework for blending e-Learning solutions under one fully managed environment. It is designed to put the pupil at the centre of the schooling experience. A single, secure log-in to the Microsoft Learning Gateway home page gives an easy snapshot of all work assigned, and the portal’s centralised environment provides access to all school assignments and resources from any location.

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Benefits of the Learning Gateway
  • Customers have a single source as their e-learning solutions provider, and do not have to engage multiple service providers for a complete end-to-end portal and personalised learning solution. This ‘one-stop-shop’ advantage allows the delivery of a cohesive and integrated solution framework
  • Every associated teacher, student and family will be connected from their home or school to the Internet and each student will have their own secure e-mail address
  • A wider range of resources will be available for both teachers and pupils
  • Resources include digital materials from television broadcast sources as well as subscriptions to online libraries of curriculum content
  • Collaboration will now be possible through e-mail, text and video conferencing
  • Educators will be able to share best practices and monitor students' progress more easily, while students will be able to work on joint projects across schools and education authorities
  • Students will have easier access to learning resources inside and outside the school environment. It will also enable parents to support and become more involved in their children's learning experience
  • It will free teachers to spend less time on paperwork and more energy in the classroom, and do what they do best…teach

Solution Overview
  • The Microsoft Learning Gateway brings together a range of Microsoft server products to deliver a Web-based portal solution that is highly scalable, while supporting deployment in smaller school scenarios
  • Based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services platform, the Microsoft Learning Gateway delivers relevant information and services via user roles and school membership
  • As part of the Microsoft Learning Gateway solution, Microsoft has created a set of Web Parts and customisations, to deliver rich education-centric functionality on top of the standard SharePoint features
  • Microsoft Class Server is integrated within the portal to deliver an online learning management system (LMS) enabling teachers to create lesson plans, manage classes and perform curriculum assessment electronically online and offline
  • Web-based service means students can participate in lessons and complete assignment online via the portal, both from home or at school
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 is used to provide e-mail services and personal information management including calendaring, task lists and other communication tools
  • Access to Microsoft Exchange is supported via a Web browser through Outlook Web Access
  • Real-time collaboration using Instant Messaging is provided through Microsoft Live Communications Server
  • Part of the Microsoft Office System, Instant Messaging is an integrated component of the portal to provide presence information

Key design objectives of the Microsoft Learning Gateway Portal Solution
  • Deliver a scalable Learning platform.
  • Provide all services via a Web browser from anywhere on the Internet
  • Provide single sign in; meaning sign in once per session
  • Generate a role based portal experience
  • Ensure a standards-based technology
  • Use 'out of the box' Microsoft functionality
  • Provide a 'Plug and play' framework for other Microsoft components or third-party systems
  • Leverage the latest Microsoft server products and the investments already made
  • Provide integration with potential third party systems

Office 2003
  • Enables easy setup of Document Workspaces, a Windows SharePoint Services Web site, by sending Shared Attachments in Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003
  • Provides a Shared Workspace for communicating with SharePoint site members, and for viewing and adding updated information on the SharePoint site
  • Provides all the document authoring features, robust analysis tools, and multimedia presentation options available in previous versions of Microsoft Office

Windows Server 2003
  • Safeguards education assets and student records through encryption and role-based identity management
  • Enables integration with legacy applications through XML and other industry-standard Web services for lower total cost of ownership
  • Reduces complexity and costs through automated tasks and identity management features
  • Empowers students, teachers, and staff to be more productive and self-supporting through easy-to-use tools and services
  • Reduces downtime with reliable and scalable network infrastructure

Windows SharePoint Services
  • Enables easy deployment of Web sites for individual classrooms or learning communities where students, teachers, parents, and administrators can share documents and publicise important events, resources, and tasks
  • Includes management tools to help teachers and administrators secure site content and monitor site activity
  • Facilitates effective collaboration by providing document control capabilities such as document check-in/check-out and version control
  • Integrated with the Microsoft Office System, so students can access documents stored on a SharePoint site, determine the online status of other class members, and communicate easily with class members from the Shared TaskPane of the desktop tools they use everyday
  • Keeps students, teachers, and parents on top of changes to documents and to other site content through alerts
  • Audience-targeting features enable class updates, school news, and important files to be pushed to groups of students, teachers, or other users based on the role assigned to that user

Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
  • Extends the capabilities of Windows SharePoint Services by providing additional organisation and management tools for SharePoint sites
  • Enables portal users to personalise services by creating a home page with a customised layout and relevant, targeted content
  • Delivers enterprise search capabilities that help users find relevant information quickly

Microsoft SQL Server 2000
  • Uses clustering technology to ensure data availability, so critical educational services are not disrupted
  • Provides data transformation services for importing data from and exporting data to other sources
  • Ensures that applications are secure through role-based security, and file and network encryption

Class Server
  • Deliver lessons and assessments over the Web that are aligned to state or district curriculum standards
  • Collect and export accurate, real-time student performance results to create reports for a wide variety of student demographic categories (ethnicity, gender, special needs, and more) as required by the No Child Left Behind Act
  • Purchase standards-aligned content offerings and assessment packages from internationally respected publishers to speed deployment
  • Deploy less costly, more sustainable application architecture through compliance with open standards, such as the Instructional Management System (IMS)
  • Establish a single source for access to numerous and disparate data throughout the district, including student information systems, data warehouse systems, and content from multiple suppliers
Learning Gateway Diagram

The Microsoft Learning Gateway brings together numerous services to provide this rich portal experience. It is a solution framework, and is based on a wide range of products that are applicable to the education sector

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