Microsoft Introduces Newest Addition to My Personal Tutor Line of Children’s Software

Redmond, Wash., August 11, 1998 — Just in time for the start of school, Microsoft today announced My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade, the newest addition to Microsoft’s line of educational skills software. My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade features three CD-ROMs that assist children ages 6-8 with first- and second-grade learning concepts, including essential math, reading and thinking skills.

My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade builds upon the innovative TutorAssist learning technology originally used in My Personal Tutor Preschool-1st Grade. TutorAssist recognizes when a child needs help with a concept, and then offers a multimedia tutorial to help the child understand. Each title features the charismatic and clever Professor P.T. Presto, who acts as a personal tutor, guiding children through difficult concepts with entertaining animated tips specifically targeted to address areas in which each child needs help.

“Kids always can count on Professor Presto to help them through the rough spots,” said Dr. Denise Neapolitan, an expert in instructional technology design and cognitive development and product planner in the kids group at Microsoft. “When they get stuck in a certain learning game or activity, Professor Presto is on hand to give kids the help and encouragement they need to learn and succeed.”

In this latest addition to the My Personal Tutor series, TutorAssist technology has been enhanced to provide seamless integration between activities and tutorials. Professor Presto is always available in his colorful new Communicator box to provide a multimedia tutorial as needed. The tutorials have been fine-tuned to provide a more specific level of support, from a simple suggestion to a quick demonstration of how to get the right answer, depending on the type of difficulty the child is experiencing. The number of tutorials has been expanded to more than 1,000. “My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade builds upon Microsoft’s vision to harness the power of technology to help children learn and succeed,” said Lisa Brummel, kids general manager in the interactive media group at Microsoft. “TutorAssist is the only learning technology available for home PCs that truly offers personalized instruction to address a child’s specific learning needs.”

Each title in the My Personal Tutor series is designed and endorsed by educators. Each uses the respected “scaffolding” approach, providing support when the child has difficulty with a particular concept and a leg up when the student is ready for the next level, and all support standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the International Reading Association.

My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade, which includes three CD-ROMs, contains hundreds of activities, games, animations, tutorials, songs, storybooks and characters designed to encourage confidence, curiosity, exploration and learning.

Sam’s Hide & Seek Adventures

Sam’s Hide & Seek Adventures helps kids learn reading comprehension skills, phonics, vocabulary building, parts of speech and spelling while they play hide-and-seek with Sam the Monkey and his friends in a museum filled with adventure.

Sky’s Space Station Voyage

In Sky’s Space Station Voyage, kids can learn about addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, comparing numbers (greater than, less than and equal to), place value and money as they help Sky find the mischievous stowaway aboard the space station.

Turru’s Daring Sea Quest

With Turru’s Daring Sea Quest, kids learn about telling time, sorting and classifying, patterns, logical thinking, and geography as they assist Turru the Pelican and his friends on a daring mission to rescue captured sea creatures and guide them home.

“My Personal Tutor 1st & 2nd Grade addresses children’s widely varying learning styles and needs, and that’s what makes this suite such a valuable learning tool,” said Dee Dickinson, CEO and founder of New Horizons for Learning, a Seattle-based education network. “Because TutorAssist can address the unique needs of every learner, the suite makes learning fun and ensures that students get appropriate assistance with concepts they don’t understand.”

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