Partners in Learning Program Helps Integrate Technology Into Teaching, Learning, Research

Phase 2 of a memorandum of understanding for Partners in Learning (PiL), a Microsoft Canada Co. initiative encouraging the integration of technology into schools, was announced today.

“The Partners in Learning program has given Manitoba an opportunity to show its global leadership in education innovation,” said Science, Technology, Energy and Mines Minister Jim Rondeau. “By bringing cutting-edge technology and best practices to teachers and children, we are ensuring that Manitoba’s youth are well positioned for careers in the 21st century economy.”

“Microsoft Canada and the Province of Manitoba share a strong commitment to increase access to technology, empower teachers, enrich instruction and enhance learning,” said Mike Tremblay, vice-president, public sector, Microsoft Canada. “I congratulate Manitoba for prioritizing education and learning, and expanding digital inclusion initiatives to enable as many people as possible to participate fully in a technology-driven economy.”

Partners in Learning is a global program of Microsoft Inc. In 2004, Premier Gary Doer signed a memorandum of understanding

(MOU) with Microsoft Canada for the development of Phase 1, making Manitoba the first jurisdiction in North America to become involved in the program.

The investment in Manitoba for Phase 1 was valued at over $2 million. This new memorandum expands the work by supporting new projects in each of Partners in Learning’s three pillars, with a particular focus on science and mathematics:

– Innovative Schools – Providing resources, training, expertise and technology blueprints to help schools better prepare students for life and work in the 21st century. In Manitoba, Microsoft Canada and Manitoba Science, Technology, Energy and Mines will work together to select an Innovative School of the Future.

– Innovative Teachers – Providing teachers with tools, forums and resources to integrate information and communication technologies into teaching and learning in a meaningful way.

This will include sharing of resources and curriculum for peer coaching, as well as leadership skills curriculum for principals.

– Innovative Students – Providing students with access to programs and curriculum to help integrate technology into learning at home and school. This will include providing special software to students that assists indigenous students in their ability to communicate in any language and helping students with special needs communicate.

“Investing in Manitoba’s young people and providing them the skills to excel in a knowledge-based economy is a major component of our 2009 provincial budget,” said Rondeau. “The MOU we signed today will provide access to training and expertise for students and teachers in schools across Manitoba. A new feature of Phase 2 of PiL will be the establishment of a Microsoft School of the Future in Manitoba. We’re very pleased to be continuing our partnership with Microsoft Canada on this important program.”