June 2008

Corporate News

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Educomp launches 'MagiKeys'

Educomp, India's largest Education company, launched a unique software application that will allow millions of government school students to communicate on the web, email, chat and write documents in their mother tongue.

'MagiKeys' has been developed by Israel based software company FTK Technologies Ltd and will be introduced to government schools in the country in collaboration with Educomp. This initiative is being supported by Intel's World Ahead Education Programme. In India, Intel and Educomp are involved in a number of initiatives aimed at bringing the benefits of technology to students and teachers. MagiKeys was launched by Goa Minister for Information Technology Dayanand Narvekar at the inaugural session of Goa IT Conclave held at the Marriot Hotel in Panjim.

Based on a technology developed by FTK Technologies, Educomp MagiKeys provides a user-friendly, Indian language Online Word Processor, with virtual keyboard. The dynamic virtual keyboard provides the first comprehensive Indian languages data entry tool. It includes features like a Web Based Editor, quick e-mail creator, over 3000 different letters and combinations in 11 Indian languages (Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu, Bengali and Konkani), making Educomp MagiKeys a holistic solution for the educational needs of children in India.

SMART unveils a low cost interactive whiteboard

SMART Technologies have announced the SMART Board V280 interactive whiteboard, priced approximately 30% lower than other SMART Board interactive whiteboards.

Designed to enhance the learning of students in regions challenged to provide a quality ICT-enabled education, the SMART Board V280 interactive whiteboard aims to accelerate adoption of 21st-century education technology in countries with significant budget constraints.

Like all SMART Board interactive whiteboards, the V280 is a whole-class teaching and learning tool that allows educators and students to access and control any computer or multimedia application, including the Internet. They can also write notes in digital ink and save their work to share later.

The V280 features a hard, laminated 77″ (195.6 cm) surface large
enough for classrooms with many students and ideal for whole-class interaction.Users write on and control the V280 with an ergonomic pen that has a natural grip for effortless writing. The V280 also comes with award-winning Notebook collaborative learning software, which is setting the global standard for creating, delivering and managing interactive lessons within a single application. With the V280 and Notebook software, fewer steps are required to perform tasks, making the V280 easier to use than other pen-driven interactive whiteboard brands. Notebook software supports 41 languages, including Arabic.

Info Edge launches education portal `Shiksha'

Info Edge (India) plans to launch a portal exclusively focussed on education. The company plans to invest USD 5-10 million in the project over a period of three years. Info Edge already has portals like naukri.com, jeevansathi.com and 99acres.com.

Shiksha would offer information about educational institutes in the country as well as overseas. The portal will have the entire gamut of information on education, ranging from the name of a college, the courses offered, course content to the fee structure.

New education website Bloust goes into the classroom


A Florida-based mother of three has launched an education-based Internet business that enables teachers  to create free personalised websites.

BLOUST.COM, brainchild of Debbie Popkin, is a social network developed to bridge the gap between home and school by allowing teachers, students and parents to share information and create an interactive environment to promote student success.

Nawras wins 'Best ICT Portal' award

Nawras was awarded the 'Best Strategic ICT Portal' at the Pan Arab Web Awards  (PAWA) announced at Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

The awards committee, in association with Microsoft, MSN Mena and BSA, presented the 2008 PAWA to recognise excellence in web design and development skills, showcasing creativity and the best website in the Pan Arab region.

This is the second time in the company's history that the Nawras website has picked up an award at this prestigious event, which this year attracted over 480 entries from the region. 

Intel to expand its Teach programme in Arab

Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett used his fourth visit to the UAE to release his programme of  education and training and work with the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation to expand Intel's Teach programme across other Arab countries, and to bring in a volunteer programme with INJAZ al-Arab to help educate Arab youth.

Working with local governments and Ministries of Education, Sheikh Muhammed's foundation and Intel plan to train more than 2 million Arab teachers by 2011.Training will occur throughout Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. The programme aims at developing Arab talent and improving education in the region.

Intel rolls into Palestine

Intel Corporate Vice President Will Swope unveiled a number of educational initiatives meant to help Palestine set itself on the right technological track.

Swope talked about how the company was working within the US Palestinian Partnership (UPP) to ensure speedy ICT development in Palestine through education.

Working with USAID and the Palestinian Information and Communication Technology Incubator (PICTI), Intel also said it would be launching a competition for youth to come up with the best business plan, an exercise the company hopes will stimulate student interest in entrepreneurship.

Laith Kassis, General Manager, PICTI reckoned the organisation's partnership with Intel and USAID would “allow us to further nurture the diverse Arab talents and enhances the growth of dynamic businesses in Palestine. We are indeed proud of this partnership and look forward to building on the successes we have achieved so far.”


Arena Animation launches Academy Specialist Programme

Global in animation and multimedia training provider, Arena Animation has announced the launch of the new version of its comprehensive 2.5 year high-end animation-training course, the Arena Animation Academy Specialist Programme 2008 (AAASP 2008), designed as a complete 3D Animation Career Programme.

This specialist programme is aimed at training students in the latest industry relevant technology so that they enter the world of animation as trained professional animators. Through project-based work in conjunction with theoretical and practical experience, students would get an opportunity to explore different ways to put ideas into practice for developing their portfolios.

Educomp forms joint ventures with Raffles

Delhi-based Educomp Solutions has formed two 50:50 joint ventures (JVs) with Raffles Education, a private education group in the Asia-Pacific region.

While the India joint venture is for professional education, the China JV is for K-12 business initiatives.

Raffles Education Corp (Group) had a market capitalisation of US$2.78 billion.

The JV in India is expected to bring in the entire suite of the group's professional development programmes and courses to the country, providing Educomp's large student population with meaningful alternatives when they graduate from high school.

Educomp currently works with six million school students and aims to widen its reach to 10 million students by 2010. Under the terms of the JV, the existing Raffles Design Institute in Mumbai will be merged with the JV operations.

The 50:50 partnership will be rolled out over the next two to three years. In China, the two companies will partner with each other to bring to China the entire suite of Educomp's extensive programmes and products for K-12 students.

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