Microsoft Offers K-12 Teachers New Technology Skills and Free Classroom Resources

Redmond, Wash., August 24, 1998 — “I have a heightened level of confidence when it comes to working with computers and using technology in a real, relevant manner in my classroom.” This enthusiastic comment came from one of more than 2,000 K-12 teachers nationwide who spent their summer vacations learning new technology skills at summer institutes sponsored by Microsoft and other industry leaders.

Teachers who participated in the summer institutes completed hands-on, project-based workshops and learned how to use and integrate Microsoft software, such as Microsoft Office 97, Windows 95, FrontPage 98 and Internet Explorer 4.0, into class projects and learning activities. And the learning doesn’t stop there. The teachers will share their newly developed skills by training nearly 70,000 of their colleagues when they return to school this fall.

While the summer institutes profiled below each had a different approach and local objectives, they all focused on a common goal shared with Microsoft – to help teachers use technology to enhance teaching and learning for children.

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted a “Moveable Feast” featuring a menu of technology classes at three locations attended by nearly 200 teachers. Geared to technology novices, the educators left the “feast” with their own Web pages and lesson plans for bringing technology into their classrooms this fall. Dmitri Beres, a high school English teacher from Elmwood, Ill., summed up his experience, “I am now confident that I can delve into the mysteries of modern technology without being completely baffled. So, am I now a wizard? No. Do I want to be a wizard? No. Am I less intimidated by technology? Yes. Was the week valuable? You bet!”

  • Keeping statewide education standards in mind, more than 100 teachers at the University of Maryland workshops spent the summer developing technology-infused lesson plans for their colleagues throughout the state to share.

  • In collaboration with the Intel Foundation and Hewlett-Packard Company, Microsoft supported this summer’s Intel Applying Computers in Education (ACE) workshops. Through this program, more than 1,400 teachers in California, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, Washington and Arizona learned more about how to integrate technology into their existing curriculum.

  • Amid the scenic beauty of the University of Washington campus in Forks, Wash., 160 Western Washington teachers attended “Teach the Teachers” workshops where they learned about multimedia tools, the Web and integrating technology into science, math, and history lessons.

  • At the Florida Center for Instructional Technology’s Technology Academy for Leaders and Learners, more than 100 Florida teachers participated in four intensive activity-based technology workshops. Middle school teacher Annette Sapp said, “I went to the workshop as a beginner and left with great insight into the technology that is available to me and an incredible urgency to implement everything I learned.”

As part of its overall commitment to teacher training, Microsoft is also helping teachers go back-to-school with a wealth of free online resources to help them learn more about using technology to support instruction. “In and Out of the Classroom with Microsoft” guides help teachers and administrators learn and use software such as the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system, Microsoft Office 97 and FrontPage 98 for instruction. Microsoft’s “Productivity in the Classroom” curriculum-based workbooks with classroom-tested lessons help educators integrate software tools into specific subject areas. Teachers can use these online guides for “self-guided” professional development or in conjunction with teacher in-service workshops throughout the school year.

Through teacher.training@microsoft, Microsoft donates software and training resources to more than 1,000 teacher training sites at colleges of education and state departments of education. These sites serve an important need by offering pre- and in-service staff development training for teachers who are integrating technology into their classrooms. During the 1997-98 school year, more than 350,000 educators participated in training at teacher.training@microsoft sites.