As an integral part of its efforts to drive increased quality in educational systems around the world, Microsoft announced the largest deployment of its Live@edu email services worldwide, under the “London Mail” brand. Via the London Grid for Learning (LgfL), in excess of 1 million London students will be able to take advantage of the Live@edu email service. Microsoft emphasized that the network put together by the consortium of all London’s local authorities especially for schools was the largest of its scale, and applauded LgfL for its position at the avant-garde of the 21st-century collaborative education strategy.
“Part of our responsibility within education is to bridge that gap between school and the world of work; London Mail gives students an e-mail experience in line with what they will use when they graduate,” Brian Durrant, CEO of London Grid for Learning, explained.
“Amongst the 25,000 students we have been piloting the system with, we have enabled an increase in teamwork across schools, which is extremely positive. And, practically speaking, using this service has helped schools make significant savings. We estimate the average secondary school could save around £18,000 a year using London Mail, so across the 2,500 schools in London, it’s a multi-million-pound reduction in costs.”
“London Mail” has been made possible through a collaborative effort involving 33 local authorities, and will be made available in no less than 2,500 schools. The software giant indicated that, in addition to email, users would also be able to tap additional services including Office Live Workspace, Windows Live Skydrive, and Windows Live Spaces. Ray Fleming, education marketing manager at Microsoft, revealed that the Redmond company was attempting to keep up the pace with students and their needs to communicate, access and share information via technology.
“The rollout of Live@edu services across London is already enhancing education, by allowing students to learn from one another and teachers to share best practices. Working with LGfL allows us to reach as many students as possible, and truly embed ICT into schools – which will give students the advanced IT skills they need to be successful in the workplace.” Already, 25,000 users are registered to use Live@edu in London, and this is estimated to double to 50,000 by April 2009,” Fleming added.