1. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    20,000 BlackBerry phones for Jamaican teachers

    Ministry examining further applications for handsets

    THE Ministry of Education has reached an agreement with Research In Motion (RIM) of Canada to supply approximately 20,000 of its BlackBerry smart phones to Jamaican teachers.

    In a statement this afternoon, the ministry listed a number of benefits including a closed user group (CUG) to facilitate free calls between the ministry and teachers.

    Meantime the possibility of teachers using the handsets to input information, such as grades and attendance data, into the Ministry’s database management system is also being examined.

    New devices will be issued at the end of the second year of the project, which is to last a maximum of three years.
    20,000 BlackBerry phones for Jamaican teachers - News - JamaicaObserver.com


    Ministry Partners with RIM to Provide Teachers with Smartphones

    KINGSTON — The Ministry of Education has partnered with Research In Motion (RIM), the technology company behind the Blackberry product line, to provide some 20,000 teachers throughout the island's school system with Blackberry Smartphones.

    The initiative is aimed at improving communication and increasing technology awareness and availability among educators. The Canadian High Commission is providing support in the undertaking, which should come into effect for the new academic year that starts September.

    Portfolio Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, speaking at a press conference at his National Heroes Circle offices on Thursday August 4, said the project promises significant benefits in terms of the transmission and sharing of information, but most importantly, will allow for the effective and increased use of technology among teachers.

    He argued that in the near future information that would normally be stored in textbooks will be made available via mobile phone or tablet device and it is therefore important that Jamaican educators are aware of and make use of the technology available.

    "If we are ever to close the development divide, technology will be one of the areas in which we will have to lead from, so Jamaica is making that investment early,” he stated.

    He noted that Government is seeking to consolidate its thrust for the integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education, and in the bid to rationalise all service provisions, the E-learning company has been moved under the Ministry’s jurisdiction. “That’s a fundamental and strategic move as already, under the E-learning (project), significant resources have been spent in training teachers in ICT,” he stated.

    Under the partnership with RIM, the company will be making two of its newest technologies available to teachers – the Blackberry Mobile Voice System, which will reduce costs by having one phone extension for multiple numbers; and the Blackberry Pushcast to enable distribution of content such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, or audio files.

    Users will benefit from closed user group (CUG) service, whereby calls between the teaching population and the Ministry will be free of cost; instant messaging with other smart phone users; and panic button for automatic calls to the police, fire department, and other emergency services.

    Director, Management Information Services (MIS) in the Ministry, Debon Panton informed that the Ministry is in the process of reviewing proposals from the three major cell phone carriers in Jamaica to provide the service.

    He said that project will last for two years initially and may be extended following a review of the programme. New devices will be issued at the end of the two years. He said that the possibility of teachers using the smartphones to input grades and attendance data into the Ministry’s database management system is being looked at.

    RIM’s Director for the Caribbean Region, Mariano Sanchez, said the partnership with the Ministry of Education should help to create an improved environment for mobile information access to groups of both teachers and administrators.

    He noted that the Ministry of Education is one of the first government entities to implement the complete set of Blackberry Enterprise technology available to create secure mobile data access, enabling unified communications and push content for educational purposes.

    Secretary General, Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), Dr. Adolph Cameron, said the organisation is pleased to endorse and participate in the programme, noting that teachers will be better able to share information and best practices.
    Ministry Partners with RIM to Provide Teachers with Smartphones



    It's nice to see that RIM is getting involved in more large scale roll outs, Next up PlayBook!
    08-07-11 01:29 AM
  2. Michelle Haag's Avatar
    I saw this news today, it's awesome.
    08-07-11 01:31 AM
  3. lnichols's Avatar
    I think once they get the Native PIM and e-mail on the Playbook, you'll see sales take off due to US Federal buy in. Unfortunately they missed the chance to get 2011 EOY funds as they missed the GSA cutoff to move money. As soon as they get this functionality in and tied into a management system I'm probably going to pilot some things at work with them. Would love to know what Kevin saw and heard in Waterloo about the native apps.
    08-07-11 08:00 AM
  4. bounce007's Avatar
    Very interesting...
    08-07-11 08:08 AM
  5. DannyAves's Avatar
    I am always amazed that third world countries can find better uses for mobile technology than we can.
    08-07-11 08:14 AM
  6. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    I am always amazed that third world countries can find better uses for mobile technology than we can.
    We have far more politics involved with every decision made. Especially in the public sector!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-07-11 09:39 AM
  7. Economist101's Avatar
    I think once they get the Native PIM and e-mail on the Playbook, you'll see sales take off due to US Federal buy in.
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    08-07-11 10:33 AM
  8. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    Not everything needs to be compared to the ipad. You also realize that Russia banned ipads in favor of the playbook. That's a pretty big country.
    08-07-11 10:44 AM
  9. southlander's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    I would take a win where ever I could get it. And in relative terms this would be good for RIM and the platform.
    Michelle Haag and Jake Storm like this.
    08-07-11 10:49 AM
  10. qbnkelt's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    Undeniably it won't catch up to the iPad.
    Also undeniably, the PB has something that the iPad hasn't got....approval to be used in sensitive or secure environments via FIPS certification. That is a big achievement that will serve RIM well in sensitive or secure communities. So certainly it will be the choice of tablets meant for government and secure corporations.
    southlander likes this.
    08-07-11 11:04 AM
  11. lnichols's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    A tablet doesn't need to sell as well as the iPad to be successful or for it to be a worthwhile endeavor for a manufacturer. I also don't expect every federal employee to get a tablet. Nor do I expect every Military, Paramilitary or government contractor to get them either.
    kstock likes this.
    08-07-11 12:33 PM
  12. _StephenBB81's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    With respect, but to "take off" does not mean to catch the competition,
    To "take off" would simply be to show a substantial growth over a time frame, if 500,000 sold in the first quarter, and 700,000 in the second quarter, and the 3rd quater was 1.5million that would be enough of a growth to call it a take off as on the graph it would be a huge spike line,

    Because of the difference in company focus, RIM products will NOT sell as well as Apple products, one is Enterprise first, the other is consumer first, both are valid ways of doing business, but consumer first will outsell business first, and if Apple didn't do direct to consumer sales they wouldn't be holding the same level of margin they are.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Michelle Haag, kstock and lnichols like this.
    08-07-11 12:47 PM
  13. togardergrosse's Avatar
    So what if PB can't ever catch up with iPad?
    So what if BB can't ever catch up with iPhone?
    The point is the thread is the news about BB integrated in Educational system, not only on corporate basis.
    It's nice to see that RIM is getting involved in more large scale roll outs, Next up PlayBook!
    What I want to hear is, as long BB and PB still used somewhere, and the sales is profitable for RIM, they will continue innovate, and improving.
    That's what competition is all about.
    08-07-11 01:58 PM
  14. Dapper37's Avatar
    Even if every single federal employee received a PlayBook (which won't happen in light of budget issues anyway), the number is less than 3 million units. Three million is no small number, but if we're saying sales are going to "take off" they need to compare with the iPad, and 3 million units aren't going to do it.
    This guy is just a post hijacker, we need to stop feeding trolls like him.. Rely lets just let his little thoughts and all the rest like his just go by.. OK thats not going to happen even if a wish it would.
    08-07-11 04:43 PM
  15. xzyled's Avatar
    As a Jamaican living in Jamaica and a senior member of this site, makes me really proud.....this is simply awsom!!!!!
    08-09-11 06:34 PM
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