Microsoft has today been confirmed as the Principal Partner in a new education devices programme aimed at addressing the continued challenges posed by the digital divide in England. The initiative, Devices for Education, has been created by Consenna which delivers sales effectiveness programmes for global IT companies.
The Covid-19 pandemic not only highlighted the importance of technology in the delivery of teaching and learning, but its legacy will accelerate the move towards greater hybrid learning. The need for every student to have a fit-for-purpose device has never been greater and whilst moves to address this have gained significant momentum, more is still needed.
“Increased attention on the vital role of technology in teaching and learning over the past year has shone a light on the mismatch of devices that students use and the challenges that this creates for IT leads and teachers. It has also highlighted that far too many students continue to have no access to a fit for purpose device at all.
“We wanted to do something positive to make a difference and address this imbalance but knew that any workable solution not only needed to be simple, affordable and sustainable, but that it also had the backing of the IT community. To have Microsoft as the initiative’s Principal Partner gives Devices for Education the energy and influence needed to make a real difference.”
The initiative’s mission is to help connect one million students with a fit-for-purpose device in the first 12 months, whether that’s via an outright ownership, leasing or parental contribution model. Simon continues:
“Whilst other 1-2-1 and leasing programmes exist, there are several key differences with Devices for Education. Not only is it equitable in ensuring that every student has access to a device of the same standard, but it is entirely transparent from a cost and device life-cycle management perspective.
“We don’t believe that schools in England will have been presented with such a straight forward approach to 1-2-1 procurement before now.”
In being named Principal Partner in the initiative, Microsoft has utilised its reach and influence to secure the support of some of the leading hardware partners and resellers in the market, with more anticipated to join the mission in the coming months. The hardware partners announced today in the initiative are HP, Tactus/GeoBook and MS Surface and, importantly, to turn a this into a real solution Beeso IT, System Active, Total Computers, Academia, Stone, TME, XMA, Computacenter and BT have all signed up from the reseller community.
Chris Rothwell, Director of Education, Microsoft UK, concludes:
“The important role technology plays in education has never been more visible nor critical, than it is now.
“Consenna has an unrivalled understanding and appreciation of how the IT channel can work effectively with the education community, so it came as no surprise that they took the bull by the horns to develop Devices for Education. Needless to say, we were delighted to step up as Principal Partner and look forward to working with the other confirmed partners to drive interest and take-up in this vital initiative.”
Further information can be found at: www.devicesforeducation.com