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Microsoft Initiative Helps Train Teachers

Technology will soon invade Costa Rican classrooms through Entre Pares (Peer Coaching), a Microsoft initiative designed to train teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum by teaching each other.

Entre Pares, carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Education, trains teachers to use tools such as Web lessons and to implement technology inside the classroom, and then help train their colleagues.

The program, which exists in 101 countries, was officially launched here by Microsoft Costa Rica Feb. 24 during a press conference at Villa Tournón Hotel in downtown San José, in the presence of the program’s first graduates and the Vice-Minister of Public Education,William Cordero.

For Cordero, Entre Pares represents a chance for “improvement, to reach those children, so they can feel that affection, that love (for the teaching profession),” he said at the conference.

The eight public elementary school teachers were instructed by representatives of the Omar Dengo Foundation, a Costa Rican nonprofit organization dedicated to improving education, and Microsoft, during 40 hours of training last week, when four of them were trained as peer coaches and four as program advisors.

The four peer coaches have started training teachers this week at their respective schools in the province of Heredia.

The next training is scheduled for public high-school teachers from three schools in Heredia and one in the province of Alajuela, April 3-7.

During its first year, costs for the program will amount to $40,000, and 150 teachers will receive training, according to a statement from Microsoft.



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