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SIVECO Romania

Şcolile româneşti beneficiază de laboratoare IT, instalate în doar o zi

The Ministry of Education, Research and Youth in Romania is responsible for the regulation of education in a country with 256,000 teachers, and more than 3.5 million students enrolled in primary and secondary schools. The ministry faces a huge workload in preparing students to face the challenges posed by globalisation, educational modernisation, and the needs of the labour market. Remus Pricopie, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, says: "Probably the greatest challenge is modernisation, the correlation between the educational system and the labour market, the infrastructure, the quality of teaching, not only the quality of the teachers, but also the quality of schools and of the facilities that pupils have."

The previous IT infrastructure for schools had several weaknesses:

A change in the management process is addressing these problems together with the deployment of new learning tools using a common operating system. Pricopie says: "In the past few years, we have more than 3,000 schools, with all kinds of laboratories, including IT laboratories. If we were to speak about our cooperation with Microsoft, I honestly think that the fairest answer is that I don't even remember. We started so long ago that we have always felt we were partners. I was working in the Ministry of Education when Microsoft translated into Romanian the software and applications it uses. I was impressed—I never thought this would happen. I thought I would always use English to work with computer applications."

The IT transformation programme for schools is now accelerating, with schools gaining greater Internet access. Schools will also open their doors to parents, carers, and other members of society. "This is how I'd like to see the Romanian school in the future, a school without boundaries because, through technology, the school practically opens its gates widely to society" says Pricopie.

Solution

The Ministry of Education decided to work with software integrator eLearning and Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner SIVECO Romania, to implement the IT labs programme. It is equipping the ministry with the Windows Vista® Business operating system, the Windows Server® 2003 Standard Edition operating system, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and SIVECO AeL eLearning solutions. Microsoft Services is helping SIVECO Romania to roll out these technologies by:

The solution for the ministry had several key elements, including using imaging techniques for installing Windows Vista and multiple applications with Windows Imaging Format (WIM), which is hardware-agnostic—meaning technicians only need one image to address many different hardware configurations.

Florin Ilia, Commercial Vice President of SIVECO Romania, which supplies schools with its AeL Learning Content Management System (LCMS), says: "Security was one of the main reasons for which the ministry chose Microsoft technology. Windows Vista is secured from the beginning, so the computers are already secure when installed."

Benefits

The ministry is succeeding in its mission to give schools, teachers, and students a complete school eLearning solution, composed of the latest technologies on the market—Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and AeL eLearning solutions. Students have reacted positively to the new technologies because many who previously considered learning as work, now think of it as a game. More teachers now use computers, and through technology the ministry is opening up its schools to parents, carers, and the wider community.

Ministry Achieves Goal of Advancing Knowledge Society

The ministry is now making rapid progress with its vision of a connected generation of young people ready for the challenge of a knowledge economy. Teachers are also benefiting from new tools for delivering high educational attainment among students who are now better prepared for the world of work.

Cristian Adomniţei, Minister of Education, Research and Youth, says: "I am convinced that by having Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007, in Romanian, on computers in schools, student and teacher access to technology will match the natural requirements for personal development specific to the 21st century. We now have advanced security features, which allow teachers of any subject to easily include eLearning resources in education. The education delivered through computers is more secure, which helps teachers, no matter their specialty, to use IT easily in the classroom or in projects developed together with students."

Silviu Hotăran, General Manager for Microsoft Romania, adds: "Today at Microsoft we talk about the virtuous circle that starts with education—education then facilitates innovation, and innovation, through capitalisation, generates economic growth."

Teachers Introduce Students to New Learning Experiences

The experience of one particular head teacher illustrates the transformation. Geta Alexandru, School Principal and Mathematics Teacher, School No 2, Dragomireşti-Deal, Ilfov County, says: "Our school was facing several technology challenges with few prospects of purchasing new systems and only a small number of teachers who could work with them. For the equipment of our IT lab, our school received 20 computers plus a server, and all the computers have Windows Vista, Office 2007 and AeL eLearning applications. These technologies are now helping us transform lessons into attractive interesting sessions for students."

User-Friendly Advanced IT Tools Aid Collaboration

Schools are finding that the 2007 Office system is giving students the opportunity to collaborate more easily on learning projects in a familiar environment with a user-friendly interface. Geta Alexandru says: "My colleagues, professors, teachers, but also our students are delighted with Windows Vista. They can easily view several documents and search a user-friendly and attractive interface. They can also customise their desktops with pictures. Students have already created portfolios, drafted essays, and have access to Web sites. They have even used Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 slides in presentations."

Imaging Techniques Cut Deployment Time to Just One Day

By using imaging techniques, SIVECO Romania and Microsoft Services have minimised the time needed to deploy Windows Vista and Office 2007 with the AeL LCMS. They used a single set of imaging tools and processes with maximum automation for reference image creation and management. The solution sets defaults and customises the Office 2007 environment, so it conforms to ministry standards.

Adrian Balmeş, Senior Consultant at Microsoft Services, says: "We managed to achieve the tough targets set by the ministry with a business request that a lab be installed and functioning in one working day. Using the technology that Windows Vista makes available, we have further reduced this time."

Security for Computers in Schools

Security was a major factor in the choice of interoperable Microsoft technology and a common operating system for IT labs. Ilia adds: "Security is a vital aspect of Windows Vista. This is very important in educational institutions, which are open environments where many users come to operate the computers in their own way."

Windows Vista

Windows Vista can help your organisation use IT to gain a competitive advantage in today's new world of work. Your people will be able to find and use information more effectively. You will be able to support your mobile work force with better access to shared data and collaboration tools. And your IT staff will have better tools and technologies to enhance corporate IT security, data protection, and more efficient deployment and management.

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