Bill Gates Speaks of Opportunities and Challenges Facing “Generation I”

NEW YORK, Oct. 28, 1999 — In an address today to New York educators, students, faculty and friends of New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), Microsoft Corp. Chairman and CEO Bill Gates outlined the opportunities and challenges facing
“Generation I,”
the first generation of American kids to grow up with the Internet. Gates said Microsoft is helping to lead the way in preparing the nation’s parents and educators to take advantage of the Internet, and he used the opportunity to call for comprehensive technology training in education to empower teachers to meet the needs of this new generation.

In his speech, Gates said that technology alone will not improve the quality of education – it is the unique partnership among teachers, parents and students that will always be the key ingredient. But Gates predicted that the Internet – a critical tool for empowering parents, teachers and kids – will revolutionize education as profoundly as printed books had and dramatically change the way this new generation learns, communicates, shops and is entertained.

“Parents, teachers, students and community organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs and public libraries make up a connected learning community that with the help of technology can more effectively collaborate to improve education,”
Gates said.

Gates Honored for Microsoft’s Contributions to Education

Recognizing Microsoft’s efforts, NYIT President Matthew Schure presented Gates with the institute’s prestigious President’s Medal.
“Bill Gates’ commitment to education and technology is precisely why we are awarding him this medal,”
Schure said.
“Giving classroom teachers not only the latest technological tools but also the knowledge of how best to use them is central to the success of the next generation of students. This is a philosophy we at NYIT share with Mr. Gates.”

Teacher Training and Support Fundamental for Meeting the Needs of Generation I

Gates outlined several key statistics regarding the youth comprising Generation I. He noted that there are more than 16 million kids online, and that number is expected to triple in the next two years. This generation is more racially diverse: One in three is not Caucasian. One in four lives in a single-parent household. Three in four have working mothers. While baby boomers are still trying to master the Internet, their kids are using computers in nursery school.

In identifying the promise and challenges facing Generation I, Gates discussed the importance of supporting educators to integrate technology into their curriculum, and of providing the training and tools to empower them inside and outside the classroom.

“This is the first generation to grow up with the Internet as an integral part of their lives,”
Gates said.
“The Web will change Generation I’s world as much as television transformed our world after World War II. That is why it is so critical to ensure that new teachers understand how to incorporate technology into their instruction and that existing teachers have the technology training they want and need. We cannot afford to have any teacher locked out of the greatest library on earth – the Internet.”

Gates emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to providing educators with technology tools, training and resources to help them develop strategies and curricula for using technology to enhance teaching and learning. He noted that today, 42 out of 50 states require technology training for new teachers. Gates applauded this as a positive step.


Initiative Focuses on Content, Access and Safety for Kids

Gates then laid out the company’s plan to work with educators and community organizations on a number of programs to integrate technology into the classroom. Collectively, Microsoft refers to this initiative as CLASS: Content and Learning, Access, Safety and Security.

The first goal is to make online learning tools and educational content widely available. Toward this goal, Microsoft is implementing three new tools to support teachers in their endeavor to incorporate technology into their teaching efforts.

  • Microsoft
    Africana 2000. This new version of the acclaimed CD-ROM encyclopedia brings to life the culture, history and impact of Africa and people of African descent around the world through audio, video and the written word. Encarta Africana 2000, the most current, comprehensive black history reference available, was co-authored by Harvard Profs. Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of Afro-American Studies, and Kwame Anthony Appiah.

  • Microsoft Lesson Connection. Created by Microsoft in collaboration with Tudor Publishing and Classroom Connect, this online set of tools will allow teachers and curriculum administrators to search tens of thousands of lesson plans on the Internet and find those that match specific local or state curriculum standards.

  • Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network. Launched earlier this month, this new online professional development community offers K-12 teachers, staff development personnel, instructional coordinators and administrators access to a wealth of free professional development tools and opportunities. Teachers can find software tutorials and lesson plan ideas, participate in online seminars on key topics such as access to technology and Internet safety, find links to Web resources, and join in hosted discussion forums with leading educators and technology experts.

These new initiatives augment Microsoft’s more than 20 other educational programs, such as Summer Technology Institute for Teachers, and the U.S. Department of Education technology training grant programs. These and other programs are described in more detail on Microsoft’s education Web site, .

Access is also a key factor in the effort to assist in the success of Generation I. As a technology leader, Microsoft has established various corporate support programs to help make technology and the Internet accessible for all children and youth. Microsoft has contributed more than $23 million in cash and software over the past year to community programs aimed at supporting youth and education. These programs include the Gates Library Initiative, Connected Learning Community grants and support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For more information on these and other programs, please visit Microsoft’s Community Affairs Web site at .

The last segment of Microsoft’s initiative focuses on safety and security. With millions of kids online, ensuring online safety is paramount. Microsoft, in tandem with other industry organizations, is working to make the Internet a safe and secure place for people of all ages. One way to do this is to provide parents with the tools they need to make informed decisions and stay involved in their child’s Internet experience. Programs such as Stay Safe Online, Content Advisor, Safe Kids and Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) give parents the guidelines and assistance they need to help create and maintain a safe and secure environment on the Internet.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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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