Jamaican teachers getting BlackBerry smartphones

Research In Motion has teamed up with the Ministry of Education to provide approximately 20,000 teachers in Jamaica with Blackberry smartphones for the new academic year. The Canadian High Commission is supporting the initiative, which is aimed at improving communication and increasing technology awareness.  

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.

The project is slated to last for a maximum of three years initially with new devices being issued after the first two years, and an option to extend it following review of the program at that time. They are also looking into using the smartphones to input grades and student attendance data into the Ministry's database management system. Kudos to everyone involved, this will be a great partnership. Thanks for the tip Lucky45!
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Source: Jamaica Information Service

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