7/14/2009 Doha, Qatar

ictQATAR Knowledge Net is changing the way teachers teach and students learn

ITWorx, one of the Middle East’s leading software professional services firms, following its engagement by Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), has successfully rolled out Phase II of Qatar’s groundbreaking Knowledge Net portal – which provides teachers with smart IT tools and students with access to learning resources anytime, anywhere – to an additional 37 schools.

This follows the success of the first phase of the project for which ITWorx, the global experts on the Microsoft Learning Gateway for schools and higher education, developed and rolled out Knowledge Net to an initial 12 independent Qatari schools.

“Qatar is a benchmark for transforming an economy into an information-based society. Bringing computers into the classroom for all lessons, in every subject, is an essential part of adapting the education system to fit the needs of the 21st century,” said Hossam Badr, Regional Director – EMEA, ITWorx.

“e-Learning changes the way teachers teach and students learn. Students benefit from learning at a faster pace while teachers collaborate better with colleagues. Parents monitor the progress of their children, even if in different schools, and communicate directly with staff, giving the school a far more central role in family life.”

The Knowledge Net portal, which is based on the Microsoft Learning Gateway, allows students to receive and submit assignments, share information with each other, and research projects from anywhere with an Internet connection. Teachers can send and receive homework assignments, provide feedback to students and parents, upload study material, and prepare and grade exams online.

Students and teachers also benefit from vast electronic resources of Britannica encyclopaedia in preparing their assignments and learning resources. While Tawasol, a sub site of KNET, allows teachers from different schools to interact with each other and exchange their educational experience electronically.

“Building on the foundation laid by Phase I of Knowledge Net, we have rolled-out Phase II with new portal features to improve user experience and enhance technology’s support of student achievement,” explained Dr. Ghadah Omar Al-Fakieh, ictQATAR e-Education Manager. “Additional training has been provided to teachers to assist them in integrating Knowledge Net into their teaching practices to maximize the portal’s benefits and ensure students deepen their technology skills so they can realize their goals.

“KNET has proven to be beneficial for students, parents, and teachers alike,” added Dr. Ghadah.

Retaining the expertise of WSP Edunova UK, a specialist education consulting agency, ITWorx extended Qatar’s online learning environment and provided full training to teachers in this new phase.

ITWorx, a Microsoft Gold Partner since 1997, customised the Microsoft Learning Gateway in both English and Arabic to cater to the independent schools’ needs.

About ITWorx Education

As a development arm for the Microsoft Learning Gateway 2005 and MOSS 2007 Refresh, ITWorx regional references in education include ictQATAR and UAE Ministry of Education, and internationally, Durham County Council, Kent County Council, and the Sheffield Yewlands School (a BSF starting point).

Along with its MLG-based services – Consultancy, Development, Customisation, Localisation, Deployment, Integration, Training, and Support – ITWorx offers three education products – ITWorx Education Catalyst™, ExamExpert™, and AttendanceExpert™. To find out more, please visit www.itworx.com.

About ictQATAR Knowledge NET Phase II

Being a leader in Microsoft education solutions and in full understanding of ictQATAR goals (having been engaged in Phase I of Knowledge Net (KNET)), ITWorx helped fulfil the objectives of Phase II of the project. Based on Microsoft’s learning gateway, KNET is an online learning environment that promotes active and fun learning, provides students, teachers, and parents with easy access to information, and allows collaboration between all stakeholders.

Phase II involved an upgrade of the current KNET system to MLG 2007, plus the customisation, localisation, and deployment of MLG 2007 with enhanced navigation and design for 37 new schools, including Arabic language support. Student and teacher registration has been synchronized with school management systems such that user accounts are automatically generated and SMS changes are reflected in KNET on a daily basis.

As with Phase I, the solution included management and reporting tools to facilitate system and student performance monitoring, change management, and pedagogical training. Users are provided with their own personal space, with a single login, from which they can enjoy a unique user experience. ITWorx continues to provide comprehensive technical and end-user training to teachers and school administrators to help them maximize the benefits of KNET.