REDMOND, Wash., July 16, 1997 — No mosquito bites, no homesickness. It sounds like a summer camp fantasy come true.
For 1,000 kids around the world starting today, it is. Those kids, ages 7 through 12, are the first to participate in Microsoft® Kid’s Web Camp ’97, the first Web-design summer camp in cyberspace. The camp is designed to teach kids how to use the Internet safely, how to build their own state-of-the-art Web pages and upload them to a server, and how to use the Internet for research and fun.
For the next four weeks, Microsoft Corp. and Electravision Inc., a San Francisco-based Web development company, will show cyber-campers how to build Web pages and use e-mail and chat rooms while maintaining their privacy and foiling unwanted communications from strangers. In addition, each participant will be eligible for prizes including a Micron Technologies personal computer and best-selling videos from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Other participating companies include Nintendo Company Ltd., NASA Classroom of the Future Program, National Geographic Society, Yahooligans!, Concentric Network Corp. and Fractal Design Corp.
“I’ve always wanted to make my own Web page, not just visit sites already on the Web,” said Justin McClure, an 11-year-old camper from Virginia. “It’s awesome. Now I’m making Web pages using the same stuff the professionals use. It’s so easy, even an adult can do it.”
“It’s exciting to see our children learn to take advantage of the latest computer technology,” said Jeanne Greenfield, whose daughter Morgan is in the camp. “Morgan is thrilled to learn new ways to express herself, and we’re confident that the skills she is learning in the Kid’s Web Camp are essential to her overall intellectual development.”
“As a leader in the industry, Microsoft has a responsibility to help make the Internet a safe and interesting place for both children and adults,” said Tod Nielsen, group manager of developer relations at Microsoft. “Providing leading-edge tools and technologies is one way to meet this responsibility. Teaching kids how to use the Internet safely is another. With Kid’s Web Camp ’97, we are targeting the next generation of Web surfers and developers. Of course, we also want to make the Web a fun place to spend time.”
Kid’s Web Camp ’97 co-sponsor Electravision – a key participant on the Microsoft Site Builder Network – created the camp curriculum. Seventy-two cyber-camp counselors will lead online, real-time chats, field trips and scavenger hunts in addition to the curriculum. Cyber-counselors will provide story-starter ideas and theme assignments to help kids focus their creativity. The cyber-counselors are always just an e-mail message away to respond to any special needs of their campers, and each camper is assigned to a specific pair of cyber-counselors – one woman and one man – for the duration of the program.
“We know that parents have legitimate concerns about having their kids on the Internet, but we also know that there are appropriate answers to each of those concerns,” said Lisa Lopuck, a partner at Electravision Inc. “We want parents to feel confident and comfortable that their children can get on the Internet, learn about the world and meet other kids, all in a safe environment. We also want kids to experience this new opportunity to express their creative selves.”
All cyber-campers will receive $200 in free software, including the following:
Kid’s Web Kit – Web creation software just for kids, from Peachpit Press. This CD-ROM and companion book also include Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02, a $22.95 value.
Flying Colors – A children’s paint program from Magic Mouse, the coolest and most powerful graphics program for kids, comes with hundreds of professionally designed, realistic stamps and backgrounds to give kids a creative leg-up. A $25.00 value.
97 – This Web site creation and management tool is the next step in Web development. Microsoft FrontPage makes creating professional-quality Web sites effortless. Powerful new functionality and support for the latest Web technologies give kids all the tools they need to create incredible Web sites. A $149.00 value.
Kid’s Web Camp ’97 is the latest program from the Microsoft Site Builder Network, which enables Web professionals to create interactive, revenue-generating, traffic-building and visually appealing Web sites. More than 600,000 independent Web professionals have become Site Builder Network members in the organization’s first year. About 40,000 of them visit the site each day to take advantage of free downloads from Microsoft of new Web technologies, an online magazine packed with valuable information, member newsgroups and discounts on training, books and related products. The Site Builder Network is on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/sitebuilder/ .
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