by Peter Galli on April 12, 2010 05:19am

As you may know, Microsoft announced last July the Live Services Plug-in for Moodle, a free download released under the General Public License v2 that integrates Microsoft's Live@Edu services such as email, calendar, instant messaging and search directly into the Moodle experience.

The move was very important for Microsoft in the educational space in Latin America, as adoption and usage are surging in the region for Live@Edu, Microsoft's free communication and collaboration solution that educational institutions can offer their students.

In fact, not only are adoption and usage surging in the region, but this is happening in unique and original ways with well known and socially relevant organizations that already understand how interoperability can work as a knowledge and collaboration enabler.

A good example of this is Instituto Ayrton Senna, which invests and works to create conditions and opportunities for every Brazilian child and adolescent so that they can realize their full potential as people, citizens and future professionals. The Moodle e-learning solutions used by the organization to qualified Brazilian citizens have been enhanced through its interoperability with Microsoft's Live@Edu services and technologies.

Another example is the IT Lab at Unesp (a public university in São Paulo State), which counts on Microsoft´s support to develop and research interoperability between different technologies. Along with Instituto Ayrton Senna, and using the Microsoft Plug-in, it has developed integration between Moodle e-learning solutions and Windows Live Services, including email, Messenger, calendar alerts, Bing, and others.

This integration allows users to access all these facilities through a unique sign-in, on the same screen and environment, with students able to log-in into Moodle using their Live ID.

"It is a good way of putting together, in one environment, the best of Windows Live - through Live@Edu - and Moodle," says Leandro Jekimim Goulart, Unesp IT Lab coordinator. "By integrating the services to the e-learning solution at Instituto Ayrton Senna, teachers are able to contact students through instant messaging, as well as organize online meetings," Goulart says.

Instituto Ayrton Senna has already supported over 11,64 million children and youth - the Institute counts on licensees, allies, partners, and contributors to support programs and actions - and some R$ 203 million has been invested since it was established in 2004.