The New England Center for Children was awarded a large grant from Microsoft. The tech giant is donating software and services valued at $3.4 million dollars. The donation will assist the Southborough based autism institute with their “technology infrastructure.”
The funding comes out of the tech giant’s Microsoft Philanthropies division. NECC says the tech improvements will help with staff and student productivity.
These days, all schools care about improving their use of technology for teachers and students. But NECC’s announcement points out the special importance for their institute.
Beth Bellone, Director of Speech and Language Services at the New England Center for Children states:
A percentage of our student population is non-verbal, and with the use of technology, they can ask for what they need or communicate how they are feeling.
And their teachers rely on NECC’s Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia(ACE®) program. The interactive web-based toolkit contains assessment tools, lesson plans, teaching materials, and student performance reports for over 1,300 skills drawn from the curriculum used at NECC. ACE is used by more than 4,700 users in 24 states and nine foreign countries. Improvements will help streamline important data collection.
Here is NECC’s full announcement:
NEW ENGLAND CENTER FOR CHILDREN RECEIVES $3.4 MILLION TECHNOLOGY GRANT FROM MICROSOFT
Software and Tools Bolster Education and Research for Children with Autism
The New England Center for Children, a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today that Microsoft donated $3.4 million in software and services to update the Center’s technology infrastructure. The grant will provide improved communications, data storage and reliability that will enable the New England Center for Children (NECC) to continue its mission of providing best-in-class education, research and technology for children with autism.
“The New England Center for Children is honored to be a recipient of Microsoft’s generous philanthropic gift of industry-leading software,” said Vincent Strully, Jr., Founder and CEO of the New England Center for Children. “Microsoft products are a large component of both staff and student productivity at the New England Center. Microsoft’s donation allows us to maximize our resources and provide our students with the innovative programs, facilities, and materials they need to thrive.”
“The New England Center for Children performs a critically important role in educating children with autism and Microsoft is delighted to provide our technology to help in the Center’s mission,” said Robert Davy, General Manager, Microsoft. “Through Microsoft Philanthropies, we’re investing Microsoft’s strongest assets to drive greater inclusion and empowerment of people who may not have access to technology and the opportunities it offers and enables.”
The New England Center for Children built its core computing infrastructure on Windows technology in order to provide a dynamic and immersive technology experience for both staff and students. With the generous donation from Microsoft, the New England Center plans to upgrade to newer, more robust versions of Exchange, SQL, and Windows Server. These upgrades will provide a platform for improved communications, data storage and reliability. All staff and student computing devices will be upgraded to Windows 10, in an effort to provide a secure, flexible and unified end user experience.
Technology at the NECC
Technology is an integral part of NECC’s successful operation, and that includes every aspect of teaching, learning, and administration functions. Through enhanced computing architecture from Microsoft, NECC will be able to streamline data collection for its Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE®) program that all 800 teachers at NECC use while working one-on-one with their students. The ACE Application is a web-based toolkit which provides an interactive interface containing assessment tools, lesson plans, teaching materials, and student performance reports for over 1,300 skills drawn from the curriculum used at NECC. ACE is used by more than 4,700 users in 24 states and nine foreign countries.
“Many of our students use technology to learn, to interact with the world around them and even to simply communicate,” said Beth Bellone, Director of Speech and Language Services at the New England Center for Children. “A percentage of our student population is non-verbal, and with the use of technology, they can ask for what they need or communicate how they are feeling.”
NECC has made a major commitment to providing teaching staff with Surface tablets in order to facilitate teaching, administrative and data collection functions. Student technology will be upgraded to take advantage of the intuitive touch functions in Windows 10, as alternative methods of technology interaction is important to the success of the student population.
About The New England Center for Children
The New England Center for Children® (NECC) is a world leader in education, research and technology for children with autism. For more than 40 years, our community of teachers, researchers and clinicians have been transforming lives and offering hope to children with autism and their families. NECC’s award-winning services include home-based, day, and residential programs; public school partnerships and consulting; autism research programs, and the ACE® curriculum software used by 4,700 students in 24 states and nine countries. A 501c3 non-profit, NECC is based in Southborough, MA, and also operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. More information is available at http://www.necc.org.