With Windows MultiPoint, Youths in Developing-World Classrooms Learn 21st-Century Skills

The solution underscores Microsoft's commitment to innovating ways to help people in emerging markets - especially children - realize educational opportunities through technology. Picture this: In a classroom of 40 children with only four PCs among them, 10 students crowd around each machine. Within each group a dominant student - often the brightest, richest, or […]

The solution underscores Microsoft’s commitment to innovating ways to help people in emerging markets – especially children – realize educational opportunities through technology.

Picture this: In a classroom of 40 children with only four PCs among them, 10 students crowd around each machine. Within each group a dominant student – often the brightest, richest, or oldest child – takes center position and controls the mouse. While other students point, gesture and vie for control of the mouse, they ultimately have no direct control of the PC and often lose interest and shift their attention elsewhere. The child with the mouse is learning on his own, and the others are not learning at all.

According to conventional wisdom, the obvious solution is to buy more PCs, thereby boosting the PC-to-student ratio. Many schools in developing countries, however, simply can’t afford more PCs. And, even with more machines, traditional PC set-ups do not allow for collaborative learning and teamwork.

Students in India using MultiPoint technology to learn on their classroom Windows PC.
Students in India using MultiPoint technology to learn on their classroom Windows PC.
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But what if there was a more creative solution to the problem – one that would give multiple students access to a single PC and simultaneously provide them learning opportunities they would not get if each student had a PC to herself? Enter Windows MultiPoint — a simple, powerful technology enabling multiple users to share a single PC using multiple mice or other peripherals and to learn 21st-century skills in the process. The technology helps shift the student from passive to active learning, and the collaborative environment adds a whole new layer of value to the PC in the classroom.

“MultiPoint helps kids use PCs to learn together versus having an isolated computer experience where they’re each on their own PC. When they are accountable for finding the right answer and clicking on it, their learning goes up exponentially,