The Panamanian government has signed an agreement with Exo U Inc. a Montreal-based enterprise software company, to provide the universal application framework for a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program for some 100,000 students in the Latin American country.
Exo U builds mobile management solutions and application development platforms for the education sector and large enterprises.
Under the agreement, Exo U will provide the SENACYT with its application framework which works across multiple devices and platforms to enable students using disparate devices to access school digital content and applications. The Montreal-based company will also provide access to its cross-platform development environment to enable the schools to build, deploy and manage their own applications.
“A lot of schools, including those in developed countries, are still rely on antiquated educational methods,” said Matthew Barmash, vice-president of corporate development for Exo U. “This project will helps enrich the education of school children in Panama by opening up to them a whole new library of digital content and resources.”
“The BYOD component of the program is great because it doesn’t matter if students are using a laptop, tablet or phone, an Apple device, a Windows device or whatever, they can still tap into the system,” he said.
Technology has touched many facets of life in Panama but its benefits have not been fully realized in the education system, according to Ruben Berrocal, minister of science, technology and innovation in Panama.
“Distributing and managing digital assets with technology that gives all students a consistent experience and access to the best curriculum is imperative to brining economic development and positive change to our country,” he said in a statement. “By delivering our students anytime access to the latest computing technologies and digital content we are dramatically enhancing their learning experience.”
Exo U and SENACYT have worked together previously on another BYOD project involving the deployment of EXOdesks at the National University of Panama.
The EXOdesk is a table-top interactive touchscreen device. Students at the university use the device to access educational materials and applications which were built with Exo U’s app development platform and incorporated user-generated content as well and teacher and student feedback.