Microsoft’s Fourth Annual Family Technology Nights School Workshops Introduce Parents to How The Internet And Computers Support Learning

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 27, 1996 — Some 130,000 parents and students nationwide will learn first-hand how technology can take the hassle out of homework this school year as Microsoft Corporation rolls out its fourth year of the popular Family Technology Nights program. These free in-school events demonstrate how using the Internet, creativity and reference software, and the latest computer technology can have a dramatic impact on learning at school and home, and help increase critical parental involvement in children’s education.

Teaming with Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL, a division of the American Library Association), magazine and CompUSA, Microsoft will present Family Technology Nights in 1300 schools across the U.S. (see attached list of states and regions) beginning in September. Participating schools will receive more than $300,000 in free Microsoft®
software and HP products. Offered through local school parent organizations, such as the Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization, Family Technology Nights have reached about 300,000 participants and donated more than $500,000 in software to participating schools in its first three years.

“At a Microsoft Family Technology Night, parents experience the fun and excitement of learning about technology alongside their children,”
said Joan Dykstra, president, National PTA.
“It’s a great way for local parents’ groups to promote parental involvement in education and to support their school’s use of technology.”

“Over the years, schools have told us that Family Technology Nights are invaluable to help parents and teachers understand the kinds of technology tools that enhance kids’ learning at home and at school,”
said Steve Schiro, vice president, End User Customer Unit, Microsoft.

“HP believes Family Technology Nights are a wonderful forum for giving families and other teachers first-hand experience surfing the Internet and using photos and other images to make everyday learning easier, more fun and exciting,”
said Webb McKinney, general manager of HP’s Home Products Division.
“As families learn about the HP Pavilion PC, the Windows® 95 operating system and Microsoft Internet Explorer, they’ll discover how powerful they are as learning tools.”

Microsoft Family Technology Nights help families discover the joy of learning with computers and answer families’ questions about the kinds of technology that best support their children’s education. The 90-minute Family Technology Night events include a full hour devoted to hands-on learning plus a presentation by a local technology expert on:

  • how the local school uses technology

  • how to use the Internet, e-mail, and reference and creativity software like Encarta®
    97 Encyclopedia and Creative Writer 2 for homework

  • how parents can use e-mail to discuss their children’s school work with teachers

  • how to select hardware and software

Mona Huggins, librarian for the Kansas School for the Deaf, Olathe, Kan., who participated in last year’s program, said,
“The presentation was perfect for us. Our Family Technology Night gave parents a chance to really understand how technology fits into the classroom and home learning environment. We definitely will have another one this year.”

To help parents, teachers and kids learn how to use the Internet to find information they need, AASL, the world’s largest association of school library media specialists, joins this year’s Family Technology Nights program to introduce families to KidsConnect. This free Internet question-answer service underwritten by Microsoft provides kids with expert on-line advice from school library media specialists on finding the best Internet resources (http://ericir.syr.edu/ICONN/ihome.html) .

At every Family Technology Night presentation, attendees can try out HP Pavilion Home multimedia PCs and HP DeskJet printers offering innovative multimedia imaging and printing capabilities. All attendees and participating schools will be entered into quarterly contests to win an HP Pavilion PC with collections of Microsoft software and an HP DeskJet printer. In addition to free Microsoft software, participating schools and a winning attendee at each school will receive free subscriptions to magazine. CompUSA is offering discounts on purchases of Microsoft software to Family Technology Night participants, which, in addition to HP purchases, also will earn credits towards free software for their respective schools.


At we get our best input regarding what computer hardware and software works for young students through our extensive network of Family Testers and educators,”
said Robin Raskin, editor-in-chief, .
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to take this knowledge and work with Microsoft during the Family Technology Nights to help families and schools choose the best software and hardware for them.”

“We want to make it easy for families to explore the full range of technology that can support their children’s learning at home,”
said Linda Edmundson, director of Education Sales, CompUSA Inc.
“And by helping schools earn additional software, we can give something back to the communities where we live and work.”

For more information or to schedule a Family Technology Night, parent group representatives, educators and all who are interested in increasing their school community’s understanding of technology can call 1-800-203-5520. More information also is available on the Microsoft Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.microsoft.com/AtHome/family.htm (as of Sept. 6). For information on the full line of HP products for the home, visit HP at Home at (http://www-dmo.external.hp.com/hpd/hp-at-home.html) or call 1-800-724-6631.

Family Technology Nights are part of Microsoft’s continuing efforts to help create a global
“Connected Learning Community”
in which all students and educators have access to technology and the tools and skills to use information effectively today and for a lifetime. Microsoft is committed to providing families, students and educators with the high-quality software and services needed to help them make the best use of technology.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows and Encarta are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Note to Editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft please check out the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. To receive Microsoft press releases by fax, please call 1-800-859-5915 within the U.S. or 201-333-0314 internationally.

1996-97 MICROSOFT FAMILY TECHNOLOGY NIGHTS WILL BE OFFERED

IN SELECTED REGIONS IN THE FOLLOWING STATES:

Arizona: Phoenix-Mesa

California: Los Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, Orange County, San Diego, San Jose, Riverside-San Bernardino, Sacramento, Ventura, San Francisco

Colorado: Denver

Connecticut: Hartford, New Haven-Bridgeport-Stamford-Danbury

Florida: Miami

Georgia: Atlanta

Illinois: Chicago

Indiana: Indianapolis

Kansas: Kansas City

Kentucky: Louisville

Maryland: Baltimore

Massachusetts: Boston-Worchester-

Lawrence-Lowell

Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul

Missouri: St. Louis

New Jersey: Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, Bergen-Passaic, Monmouth-Ocean, Newark

New York: New York City, Nassau-Suffolk

Ohio: Columbus, Cincinnati

Oregon: Portland-Vancouver (Wash.)

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia

Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth-Arlington, Houston

Utah: Salt Lake City-Ogden

Washington: Seattle-Bellevue-Everett

Washington, D.C.

Contact: Wendy Lienhart/wlienhart@MSN.com

Joelle McGinnis/joellem@MSN.com

Marcy Monyek and Associates

312-263-2135

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