News brief from the Times of India on Microsoft’s train-the-trainers program. Details on the $100 laptop referenced in the article, pictured at right, can be found here.
Microsoft’s India division has committed to train 20,000 teachers in India as part of the Partners-In-Learning program. The goal is to educate government teachers on how to use computers and technology so they can teach their students more effectively. Tech-savvy teachers create a learning environment with more possibilities. Everyone talks about the digital divide, and the problem is that not everyone has an equal chance at knowledge. To address this issue from the hardware side, many companies have teamed up to produce an inexpensive laptop that is hand-crank powered so even those in the remotest locations can experience the power of the PC for learning and entertainment. Having the hardware is only part of the solution. Kids can only do so much without a teacher’s help. The hardware and software are just tools. Thanks to Microsoft’s new program, these teachers get an "upgrade" which in turn helps the students upgrade themselves as well.