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Mon 13 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Jordan learns on Linux

IBM and Integrated Technology Group (ITG), a Jordanian software vendor have ported ITG’s EduWave e-learning platform to run on the Linux operating system. The new system will offer e-learning services to 1.2 million students, 50,000 teachers and 5,000 administrators across Jordan.

IBM and Integrated Technology Group (ITG), a Jordanian software vendor have completed a major project where they have ported ITG’s EduWave e-learning platform to run on the Linux operating system.

As a result of this joint effort, IBM will support EduWave as part of its open source e-learning solution platform for Middle East markets. EduWave, the comprehensive K-12 e-learning platform in Jordanian schools, has been deployed in over 3,000 schools in Jordan and has also been deployed in a number of school districts in the US state of New Jersey.

“EduWave is a great product that has the potential to revolutionise learning and learning management in the Middle East and beyond and. As part of IBM’s e-learning offering in the Middle East, we will be able to offer the system to the regional governments who are now demanding a Linux based alternative,” says Bashar Kilani, manager of IBM Software Group Middle East and North Africa.

The new version of EduWave will enable Middle East-based educational authorities to specify and deploy open standards-based national e-learning initiatives, using the Linux operating system rather than being ‘locked in’ to proprietary software environments says ITG. For instance, the government of Bahrain adopted Linux as the core operating system of its national e-government initiative last year.

“We believe that the availability of EduWave on Linux is critical to Government education authorities in the Middle East and beyond as many are now evaluating, and in many cases adopting, open source platforms as they build national e-government and e-education initiatives,” says Walid Tahabsem, chief executive officer of ITG.

The two vendors announced their initiative last October. Following extensive product evaluation by IBM’s architects, the project was supported by teams of developers and consultants from Big Blue’s Technical Development Centre in Cairo.

After joint development effort over the past 12 months, ITG and IBM have ported the e-learning applications on to Linux running on IBM’s WebSphere middleware. The Linux version of EduWave also uses IBM’s DB2 relational database.

EduWave is a learning management, instructional management, schools management, and content management system that provides a single, integrated resource for ‘e-learning’. The system integrates financial and management information capabilities for schools management with curricular and classroom management.

It also allows teachers to access curricular material and monitor student performance and attainment and gives online access to curricular content, school related information and academic progress to parents.

The system is available in two editions; EduWave (K-12) and EduWave (Higher-Ed), and has been deployed to serve over 3,000 schools in Jordan, some 1.2 million students, over 50,000 teachers and some 5,000 administrators.

Furthermore, EduWave is being evaluated by ministries of education in several Middle East and European countries according to ITG.

“It is the only comprehensive system being used ‘live’ today on a countrywide level in the region, supporting multiple integrated features and languages. We have also developed a vast range of curricular content from K-12, designed specifically for the educational needs of this region,” adds Tahabsem.

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