Microsoft Helps Teachers Start the New School Year With Skills and Tools to Improve Learning for Kids

Editor’s Note, July 16, 2003:
This program has been discontinued. For more information about current Microsoft education programs, please visit the
Microsoft Education Web site

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 24, 1999 — Microsoft Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold today announced the creation of the Microsoft® Classroom Teacher Network (CTN). This free, online professional development community for educators is scheduled to go live Oct. 1. As part of Microsoft Corp.’s increasing drive to help teachers in the classroom, Herbold also detailed the software company’s plan to commit $26.6 million in software and cash to teacher training programs in the next 12 months.

Herbold told reporters that, according to Quality Education Data in Denver, 99 percent of all U.S. public schools use computers and 89 percent of schools have access to the Internet. A recent U.S. Department of Education study, however, reveals that four out of five teachers do not feel prepared to use technology as part of daily classroom instruction.

“Microsoft believes that the single most important use of information technology is to improve education,”
Herbold said.
“We are committed to working with K-12 schools, colleges and universities, other corporations and government to ensure that teachers – our most valuable educational resource – have the opportunities and tools they need to make the best use of technology for teaching and learning.”

The Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network gives education professionals access to a wealth of free professional development tools and opportunities. Teachers can find software tutorials, share lesson plan ideas, participate in online seminars on key topics such as access to technology and Internet safety, find links to Web resources, and participate in hosted discussion forums. In the
“New Teachers’ Corner,”
first-year teachers can interact with others facing the same challenges and find mentors for e-mail exchanges. Educators can join CTN on Oct. 1, 1999, by signing up on the Microsoft Education Web site at (connect-time charges may apply).

“All the recent research on the effectiveness of technology in the classroom points to the fact that professional development is key to technology integration and to increased student learning,”
said Linda Roberts, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education.
“Teachers need access to technology and ongoing support while they learn. They need adequate time to acquire new skills to integrate technology into their schools’ existing programs and activities. And teachers learn best with, and from, their colleagues.”

In addition to online resources, Microsoft is supporting technology training institutes nationwide to ensure that teachers have direct, hands-on opportunities to learn how to best use technology in the classroom. After spending their summer breaks learning skills and strategies for integrating technology into the curriculum, more than 3,000 leading teachers in 11 states are returning to their schools to share what they learned with close to 100,000 of their peers. According to Herbold, a large component of the company’s teacher training efforts is a unique relationship among the Hewlett-Packard Foundation, the Intel Foundation and Microsoft. More than 2,000 teachers participated in the Intel Applying Computers in Education (ACE) Project, a two-week program supported by the three companies.

“It is exciting to see our industry work together. Collectively and individually, we have a great deal to offer,”
Herbold said.
“I hope that these types of collaborations will continue because by working together the private sector can make a difference quickly.”

The results of the summer institutes will be seen in classrooms across the country this year. Teachers who attended Microsoft’s Teach the Teachers summer institute in Forks, Wash., created classroom projects such as
“The Great Timber Debate,”
where students will use the Internet to research the impact of the timber industry in Washington state and then create an outline, chart and database with Microsoft Office productivity applications to support their positions in a classroom debate.

Another project,
“Celebrate Diversity,”
resulted in a Web site for students containing geographic, historic, linguistic and cultural information about various ethnic groups children are likely to encounter in the school. Through this site, students will be able to learn about the heritage and history of their classmates.

Gail Schalk and Nancy Kenagy, a fourth- and fifth-grade teaching team at Montlake Elementary in Seattle, created a Web-based
“salmon mystery,”
where children follow clues to find out facts about salmon from the Internet while they raise actual salmon in their classroom. Both teachers attended the Teach the Teachers summer institute in Forks, Wash., and are excited to bring their new skills into the classroom.
“I think our students will be over the moon!”
Schalk said.
“I feel that technology has enhanced my teaching philosophy – that I have become a more effective, sophisticated teacher. Programs like Teach the Teachers are utterly essential for educators, so they can learn how to use technology for real teaching and learning, not just using technology for technology’s sake.”

To date, Microsoft has supported the training of more than 1 million teachers worldwide through relationships with colleges and state departments of education, provision of tools and resources for educators, and grants in support of professional development initiatives.

Microsoft’s commitment to professional development for teachers is part of its continuing efforts to help create a Connected Learning Community, in which all students and educators have access to technology and information online to support learning today and for a lifetime. For more information about Microsoft’s education programs, visit the Microsoft Education Web site at .

About Microsoft

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.

K-12 Teacher Professional Development

Fact Sheet

August 1999

Using PCs, productivity tools, educational software applications and the vast resources of the Internet, today’s students and teachers are reaching places far beyond their classroom walls. Our nation’s schools today boast 6 million computers, and close to 90 percent of schools now have access to the Internet. However, a report from the Benton Foundation states that
“inadequate teacher training is perhaps the biggest bottleneck limiting effective use of computer networking in many of the nation’s classrooms.”
Many classrooms now have PCs and network connections, but teachers need training and opportunities to work with their colleagues to develop effective methods for using this technology.

State governments across the United States are addressing the challenge of teacher technology training by providing resources, creating legislation and devoting funds to professional development:

  • In Pennsylvania, teachers receive a free CD-ROM packed with tutorials, curriculum ideas and case studies through the
    initiative, which helps teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

  • Utah created the Flexibility With Technology Money Act to allow school districts to design and fund individual training programs with their portions of more than $70 million devoted to school technology in the state.

  • In Florida, a state that has devoted 30 percent of education technology funds to professional development, educators can attend technology-training courses through the state’s many education training centers.

  • Kentucky encourages teachers to take technology training by providing professional development courses by satellite and interactive videoconferencing and paying half the cost of home Internet accounts for educators.

While progress has been made, many teachers are still looking for the training opportunities and resources that will help them develop skills to make technology an integral learning tool in their classrooms. A 1999 U.S. Department of Education study revealed that only one in five teachers feel prepared to teach in a modern classroom with technology.

Microsoft Corp. believes that great teachers are key to the successful use of technology in the classroom. The company is committed to providing educators with professional development tools and resources to help them develop strategies and curricula for using technology to enhance teaching and learning. To date, Microsoft has supported the training of more than 1 million teachers worldwide, through programs and resources such as the following:

  • Microsoft
    Classroom Teacher Network. Announced in August 1999, the Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network (CTN) is a free (connect-time charges may apply), online professional development community for educators offering resources, tutorials, peer-to-peer contact and monthly online seminars to help teaching professionals effectively integrate technology into classroom learning. Educators can join CTN on Oct. 1, 1999, by signing up on the Microsoft Web site at .

  • Summer Technology Institutes for Teachers. Microsoft supports summer technology institutes to help K-12 teachers develop strategies for integrating technology into teaching and learning. During the summer of 1999, nearly 3,000 K-12 teachers nationwide participated in summer institutes and will return to their schools to share what they learned with more than 100,000 of their colleagues.

  • Intel Applying Computers in Education Project (ACE). In collaboration with the Intel Foundation and the Hewlett-Packard Foundation, Microsoft supports summer ACE workshops. Through this program, 2,150 teachers in nine states used their 1999 summer vacations to learn more about how to effectively integrate information technology into their existing curriculum. The Conference Board recognized ACE with a
    “Best in Class”
    award for its innovation in improving primary and secondary education and leadership.

  • Moveable Feast.
    More than 420 Illinois teachers participated in a technology training event co-sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Geared toward technology novices, teachers attending this Moveable Feast sampled a menu of technology classes, where they learned to create their own Web pages and lesson plans. In 1999, Moveable Feast won a Conferences and Programs Exemplary Program Award from the University Continuing Education Association, a consortium of 56 universities dedicated to professional development.

  • Teach the Teachers.
    More than 200 western Washington educators attended
    “Teach the Teachers”
    workshops at the University of Washington campus in Forks, Wash., to learn about multimedia tools, the Web, and integrating technology into science, math and history lessons. Along with Microsoft, sponsors include Quality Food Centers Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Seattle School District, KOMO-TV and the Alliance for Education.

  • Since 1992, Microsoft has worked with colleges of education and state departments of education to support pre- and in-service staff development training for teachers who are integrating technology into their classrooms. During the 1999-2000 school year, Microsoft plans to donate software and training resources to 800 sites that will train more than 450,000 teachers. For more information, visit .

  • U.S. Department of Education technology training grant programs. In a strong public-private collaboration, Microsoft supports the U.S. Department of Education’s technology training grant programs. Most recently, Microsoft donated $1.2 million in software and training resources to the Navajo Education Technology Consortium (NETC) to help match a $7.6 million Technology Innovation Challenge Grant to ensure that Navajo teachers in four training centers and 50 schools have access to the latest technology. Microsoft is also donating $10,000 in software and training tools to each of 35 national or regional educational consortia that have received Department of Education grants to implement large-scale innovative improvements for developing or certifying technology-proficient educators.

  • Professional Development for Learning with Laptops. As part of its Anytime, Anywhere Learning laptop program, Microsoft will help support yearlong training programs for up to 50 U.S. school districts beginning in June 1999. Teachers will learn how to best integrate technology into their classrooms through Intouch With Learning ( ), a professional development program developed by one of the world’s leading experts in using laptops for learning.

  • Online Teacher Resources. Microsoft provides a wide range of free (connect-time charges may apply), easy-to-use training resources to help K-12 educators develop strategies for integrating technology into teaching and learning. These materials are designed to match a variety of learning styles and training needs and include self-paced, online tutorials, information-packed software training workbooks, and curriculum-planning materials.

  • In and Out of the Classroom. Self-guided lessons on using Microsoft software in the curriculum and as management tools. More information is available at .

  • Productivity in the Classroom. Curriculum-based workbooks with lesson plans for integrating everyday productivity applications into classrooms. More information is available at .

  • Online tutorials. Self-paced tutorials for learning Microsoft Outlook® Express, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 browser software, the Microsoft FrontPage® Web site creation and management tool and the Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation graphics program. This past July alone, more than 20,000 people accessed Microsoft’s online tutorials for Office 2000 and FrontPage 2000. More information is available at .

  • Microsoft K-12 lesson plan database. More than 100 teacher-tested lesson plans for using Microsoft products in instruction are searchable by curriculum area. More information is available at .

  • Training database. An online resource for identifying local K-12 technology training providers. More information is available at

  • Encarta
    Schoolhouse. Engaging interactive learning experiences based on the rich content of the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia. Teachers can access more than 1,000 lesson plans and activities from the Encarta Lesson Collection. More information is available at .

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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