For Release November 23, 2000
MONTREAL COMPANY POISED TO HELP RUSSIAN SCHOOLS
MONTREAL - Michael Quinn, President of Logo Computer Systems Inc. (LCSI) of Montreal, met today with Dr. Vladimir Filippov, Russia's Minister of Education, to discuss concrete ideas for working together to improve the use of technology in education in the Russian Federation.
LCSI, an award-winning publisher of software for K-12 schools, is active around the world in major technology projects that are transforming education. Mr. Quinn spoke with Dr. Filippov about how LCSI and its Russian partner, Institute of New Technologies (INT) of Moscow, can assist the Russian Ministry of Education in implementing a far-reaching technology plan in his country. Currently, Russia is in the initial phase of a five-year plan to modernize its educational system and recognizes the central role technology must play in this process.
Present at this meeting were Mr. Quinn, Dr. Alexei Seminov, Managing Director of INT, Susan Einhorn, Director of Educational Design of LCSI, and Dr. Filippov.
LCSI and INT will present a concrete plan within the next few weeks. They hope to begin implementing the earliest phases of this plan within the next few months.
With a population of 150 million people, The Russian Federation has over 100,000 schools, including approximately 60,000 rural schools. It is of particular importance to the Ministry of Education that these rural schools not only receive computers but, more importantly, understand how to use them to improve learning. Mr. Quinn's firsthand experience with major projects in both rural Latin American and Southeast Asia since the late 1980's will provide valuable insight into how to develop a program that will be successful in both urban and rural regions.
LCSI's flagship products, MicroWorlds and MicroWorlds Pro, have been adopted as tools to develop multimedia projects in many school systems around the world. Today, MicroWorlds and MicroWorlds Pro are being used in Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Japan, Brazil, Thailand, Australia, for example, as well as the United States and Canada. These products are available in numerous languages including English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Thai, and soon Greek.
The Russian Federation faces some unique challenges. In a country that spans nine time zones, schools may be separated by enormous distances. This makes organizing courses to teach the teachers how to integrate technology a logistical nightmare. And, because teachers in rural areas are so isolated, even asking questions of knowledgeable educators (who could act as mentors) can be extremely difficult.
LCSI, incorporated in 1980 and headquartered in Montreal, Canada, develops and markets a line of award winning constructivist educational products. The constructivist philosophy believes that students excel by building and constructing for themselves the specific knowledge they need, rather than having a teacher dictate numerous facts.
The successful nations of the 21st century will be the ones with an educated, flexible, creative workforce. Students must learn how to analyze problems that have no predetermined answer and come up with creative solutions. A spirit of inventiveness must be developed in the workers of tomorrow. Encouraging the development of these types of abilities will make the difference between being a country that is moderately successful and one that is a world leader. For all these reasons, truly stimulating, open-ended constructivist educational software will become a highly valued component of the best education systems of the future. For more information on LCSI, visit www.lcsi.ca.
About INT (Institute of New Technologies)
INT was formed in 1989 by a group of mathematicians, linguistics, physicists, biologists and others that were members of the Academy of Science of Russia. They saw their mission in the development and introduction of new ideas and methods related to using new technology in school education. Today INT is active in all areas connected with educational technology. Besides developing its own projects, INT delivers the best foreign educational technology to Russian schools, including products developed by both LCSI and LEGO® Dacta. INT localizes and adapts the software and provides full teacher training and support. For more information on INT, visit www.school.edu.ru/int.
MicroWorlds is a trademark of Logo Computer Systems Inc. Click here for ways to contact LCSI.