Microsoft Rewards Innovative High-School Technology Education Programs
REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 10, 1998 — In 1995, Tony Olson, technology coordinator for the school district in the small central Wyoming town of Shoshoni, recognized the growing demand for workers with technology skills. So the district modified its curriculum based on Olson’s recommendations to start teaching high-school students how to design Web pages, write software programs, and set up and trouble-shoot problems on an intranet. With the Microsoft® Curriculum Grant Program award Olson recently received, the district now will take the lessons one step further and introduce a class designed to teach students the skills they’ll need to become certified information technology experts, giving them new options for technology careers or further education.
Microsoft Corp. announced today that Olson’s school is one of 44 high schools nationwide selected as winners in the 1998 Curriculum Grant Program, a new initiative in the company’s commitment to give students and teachers access to state-of-the art technology and address the growing nationwide demand for technology professionals. More than $1.5 million in software licenses was awarded to the grant recipients, who represent 20 states, from Florida to Washington.
A study released last month by Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., and the Information Technology Association of America, indicates that nearly 10 percent of the 3.4 million information technology jobs nationwide currently are vacant in three core information technology areas: programmers, systems analysts, and computer scientists and engineers.
“I don’t want to see our students locked into jobs with no growth potential. Technology skills give students options – to get great jobs as information technology professionals anywhere in the world, or to start their own online businesses here at home,” Olson said. “This grant from Microsoft will give us the software development tools necessary to teach our students work-force technology skills. Our kids are ready and eager – we just need the tools to teach them.”
“Computer science, programming, Internet and information systems teachers are key to helping fill the demand for information technology professionals,” said Janie Schwark, academic program manager in the developer tools division at Microsoft. “By giving schools access to the latest technology and the best learning materials, Microsoft is helping teachers create learning environments that motivate students to learn important skills for the workplace.”
Microsoft launched the Curriculum Grant Program this year to reward middle schools, high schools and secondary-level vocational and technical schools for innovative uses of technology in computer science, programming, Web development and information systems curricula. These two-year competitive grants – awarding $18,000 to $63,000 in software licenses per school – include Microsoft Visual Development Tools and operating systems. As part of the award, faculty members agree to post current curricula and materials on the Academic Cooperative Web site (http://academicoop.isu.edu/) .
The Academic Cooperative Web site is a rich curriculum resource, visited each week by thousands of educators from around the world. In the Curriculum Consortium section, lesson plans are organized in three categories: core skills and application development, programming, and Internet Web development. Curricula from the 1998 Curriculum Grant winners will be added to the site, including classes in computer languages and advanced placement in computer science from one grant recipient, Clinton High School in Clinton, Iowa.
“The future is in the hands of people who know how to use and control information, and that’s what we’re trying to prepare our students to do,” said Raymond Smith, director of Clinton High School’s computer department. “Students today need to have a good technology background to prepare themselves for the workplace. I can’t imagine any profession where students wouldn’t use technology in some way.”
Schools receiving grants from the Curriculum Grant Program are awarded their choice of software licenses, including the Visual Basic development system Professional Edition, the Visual C++ development system Professional Edition, Visual J++ development system for Java Professional Edition, the Visual InterDev
Web development system, Office 97 Developer Edition, and the Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation operating systems. The application process for the 1999 Curriculum Grant Program will begin Oct. 1, 1998. Online applications and information will be available at the Academic Cooperative Web site.
Microsoft is committed to providing practical solutions to the complex challenges that high-school, college and university computer science, engineering and information systems departments face in implementing and integrating 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, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J++, Visual InterDev, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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1998 Curriculum Grant Program Award Winners
Hoonah High School, Hoonah, Ala.
Van Nuys Mathematics/Science Magnet Program, Van Nuys, Calif.
Santa Rosa Christian School, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Center for Advanced Research & Technology, Clovis, Calif.
Mission High School, San Francisco, Calif.
Reedley High School, Reedley, Calif.
Ridgeview High School, Bakersfield, Calif.
West Valley Occupational Center/LAUSD, Woodland Hills, Calif.
George Stone Center, Pensacola, Fla.
Johnsburg High School, McHenry, Ill.
Mundelein Consolidated High School District 120, Mundelein, Ill.
Somonauk Community Unit School District 432, Somonauk, Ill.
Northridge High School, Middlebury, Ind.
Noblesville High School, Noblesville, Ind.
Silver Creek High School, Sellersburg, Ind.
Clinton High School, Clinton, Iowa
Lawrence Free State High School, Lawrence, Kan.
Apollo High School, Owensboro, Ky.
Archbishop Shaw High School, Marrero, La.
Slidell High School, Slidell, La.
Rochester High School, Rochester, Mich.
Rochester Adams High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Stockbridge High School, Stockbridge, Mich.
River Valley School District, Three Oaks, Mich.
Olympic High School, Charlotte, N.C.
South View High School, Hope Mills, N.C.
Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg, N.J.
Jackson Memorial High School, Jackson, N.J.
Teaneck High School, Teaneck, N.J.
Torah Academy of Bergen County, Teaneck, N.J.
Goshen High School, Goshen, N.Y.
Barnesville High School, Barnesville, Ohio
Seaside High School, Seaside, Ore.
Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Middletown High School, Middletown, R.I.
Allen High School, Allen, Texas
Eastwood High School, El Paso, Texas (two winners)
Goliad High School, Goliad, Texas
Sehome High School, Bellingham, Wash.
Central Heights ISD, Nacogdoches, Texas
Henderson Bay High School, Gig Harbor, Wash.
Fremont County School District 24, Shoshoni, Wyo.