Microsoft’s New and Improved Encarta Online Offers Exciting Resources for Teachers and Students

Microsoft’s New and Improved Encarta Online Offers Exciting Resources for Teachers and Students

REDMOND, Wash., May 11, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled its new and improved Microsoft® Encarta® Online multimedia encyclopedia, . The new online site combines the authority of the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia with the currency of the Internet, and it features new educational tools for K-12 teachers to create an exciting and educational classroom learning environment.

“Encarta Online is a gateway to the Internet that allows people to find more, learn more and do more with information,”
said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of the learning business unit at Microsoft.
“Now more than ever, teachers, parents and students are looking to Encarta Online for help with homework and classroom projects. More than 50 percent of our visitors told us in a recent survey that they visited our site to obtain information for school-related projects, while an additional 23 percent checked out Encarta Online to ‘satisfy a curiosity.'”

Visited by nearly 1 million people in the past month alone, Encarta Online now offers teachers, students and parents access to a number of exciting new features. Those features include the U.S. Postal Service’s new, free Celebrate the Century Education Series, one of the largest cross-curricula history programs ever, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and 10 of the nation’s leading K-12 education associations. Other new features include more than 13,000 Web Links to third-party Web sites chosen by the Encarta editorial team for their exceptional content. Also new to Encarta Online are hot links, which allow schools and libraries to initiate an Encarta Concise Encyclopedia search right from their home page.

Encarta Online Now Better Than Ever

One special feature is the Postal Service’s Celebrate the Century Education Series ( ), now available via Encarta Online. This exciting and interactive curriculum covers the most significant people, events and trends of the 20th century and makes history come alive. Designed primarily for students in grades 3-6, the series gives teachers the tools they need to integrate history and technology with subjects such as art, geography, language arts, math, science and social studies. Students then get the chance for the first time to vote for stamps they think best represent the time period, either online via the Microsoft Network at or by mail-in ballots available at any post office. The Postal Service will feature the top 15 vote-getters on each decade’s stamp sheet, which will be made available to the public over the next two years.

“Since we were voting on stamps representing the 1950s, we talked about what it means to be an educated voter, and I encouraged all of my students to find out as much as they could about each stamp subject,”
said Deborah K. Foster, a fourth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Findlay, Ohio, who recently introduced Encarta Online and the Celebrate the Century program in her classroom.
“They explored Encarta Online and the Internet, talked to their families, and then made their decisions. They can’t wait to learn about the 1960s!”

The new 1960s curriculum is now available for teachers to download for the May 1-31, 1998, voting period. Other curriculum kits are scheduled to be available via Encarta Online on the following dates:

Other new, free Encarta Online features include the following (connect-time charges may apply):

  • Encarta Online

    Web Links. Encarta Concise Online Encyclopedia now includes more than 13,000 Web Links to sites chosen by Encarta editors to extend and complement the coverage of Encarta Concise Encyclopedia by providing access to a wealth of outside sources. These Web Links also are carefully chosen by editors to ensure that they do not include material that is inappropriate for children. Featured sites include news, pictures and maps, audio and video clips, the full text of historical documents and literary works, and a variety of interactive tools.

  • Hot links. Microsoft invites all K-12 school webmasters to add Encarta Concise Encyclopedia search capability to their school’s Web site, which gives visitors fast access to the breadth of the information in the encyclopedia. Follow the instructions at

  • Microsoft Encarta Concise Encyclopedia. This free, online abridged version of Encarta Encyclopedia provides access to more than 16,000 encyclopedia articles and more than 2,200 photos, illustrations, charts, tables, maps and new Web Links. Teachers and students can check it out at .

  • The Encarta Lesson Collection. For new and exciting ideas on how to integrate technology into the classroom and how to teach everything from physical education to physics, educators are invited to visit the Encarta Lesson Collection (ELC), now featuring more than 400 award-winning lesson plans created by K-12 teachers.

Expected to include more than 500 lesson plans by the end of summer, the ELC showcases teachers’ best practices and provides a forum to share teaching plans with other creative educators around the world. The ELC can be found at .

  • Microsoft Encarta Online Library. This premium-pay collection of more than
    1 million articles from hundreds of magazines, newspapers and additional primary resources is now available for $6.95 per month.

  • Microsoft Encarta Yearbook updates. Now teachers and students can download Encarta Yearbook article updates directly from Encarta Online.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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 and Encarta 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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