Microsoft has partnered with the Houston Independent School District to support its PowerUp initiative to boost the learning and teaching experience of the district’s 14,000 students and 1,200 teachers through deployment of new education technology.
Microsoft Office 365 and HP Elitebook Folio 9470m Ultrabook laptops running Windows are available to faculty, staff and students, with features designed to provide data privacy and security and prevent data mining, Microsoft said Tuesday.
According to Lenny Schad, HISD’s chief information technology officer, community establishments and organizations have participated in the initiative by providing wireless infrastructures to enable mobile student access to the school network.
“Educating our kids is important, but having our parents and community understand digital awareness is imperative to their success,” Schad said.
The technology implementation was done in stages:
- Technology strategies were established through collaboration between curriculum leads, school leadership and professional development teams;
- Teachers familiarized themselves with the devices for the first semester;
- Students from HISD’s 11 schools received the laptops to use for the second semester.
After the adoption year, 65,000 high school students are expected to have access to HP laptops over the next three years of implementation.
HISD, the largest school district in Texas, is among other Houston school districts using Microsoft technology, the company said.