Microsoft Corp. and ePals Inc. have announced they have signed a strategic technical collaboration agreement to develop and deliver communications, collaboration, and digital learning technologies to the global education market. Under the agreement, ePals will offer Microsoft Live@edu email and calendaring platform and other capabilities to its users, expanding ePals' services with enterprise-grade collaboration tools. In the future, ePals and Microsoft will work together to incorporate Microsoft Office Web Apps, a web-based version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite, and features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Online, Microsoft's cloud-based collaboration solution.
ePals' K-12 learning network is a communications and collaboration platform linking 600,000 educators and reaching more than 25 million teachers, students, and parents in 200 countries and territories. ePals LearningSpace provides safe and secure virtual workspaces for schools, including email, blogs, wikis, shared portfolios, media galleries, and language translation in 35 languages, the announcement states.
Live@edu will bring additional capabilities to ePals' SchoolMail and other products, delivering communication and collaboration capabilities to the solution such as a familiar Outlook interface across the PC, phone and browser, accessibility features, cross-mailbox search, and dynamic distribution groups. From an IT perspective, the solution will allow schools to set up sophisticated policy-based controls that regulate which students and teachers can email and share information with each other for security purposes, and what level of filtering and monitoring is desired for sent and received email, including for inappropriate language. Rules also can be applied for instructional value as well, and help facilitate peer-based editing and feedback features.
Live@edu is a no-cost suite of online services, based on Microsoft technologies many people use today, that enable access to information anytime, anywhere, from any desktop, laptop, popular web browsers or mobile device. More than 10,000 schools in more than 130 countries have enrolled in Live@edu, serving tens of millions of students worldwide, according to Microsoft.
ePals has relationships with many large school districts worldwide and such organizations as the National Geographic Society, International Baccalaureate Organization, Cengage Learning, Inc., and Conservation International. International Baccalaureate is using ePals' global platform to set up a virtual learning community for more than 794,000 students, educators and alumni in 138 countries.
Source: ePals, www.epals.com