DALLAS, Nov. 10, 1999 — At the National School Board Association’s Technology + Learning Conference, Microsoft Corp. today announced the launch of Microsoft® Lesson Connection, a new set of free tools designed to help teachers nationwide search for lesson plans matching their local and state curriculum standards (connect-time charges may apply). Microsoft Lesson Connection, created in collaboration with Tudor Publishing Company and Classroom Connect, provides teachers with powerful search tools to easily search through tens of thousands of online lesson plans to find lessons that satisfy their local or state curriculum standards.
According to a recent report from Education Week,
“Technology Counts ’99: Building the Digital Curriculum,”
many teachers don’t know where to go on the Web to find lesson plans that fit their curriculum needs, and no one has previously documented the correlation between state standards and lesson plans on the Internet. Now, for the first time, teachers and curriculum administrators can use their local or state curriculum standards documents to initiate a search of lesson plans on the Internet.
“Never before have so many educational resources been available on the Internet,”
said Jim Kuhr, product planner for the Microsoft Learning Business Unit.
“It’s essential that educators have a way to search easily through this information to find resources that support what they’re teaching in the classroom. If a seventh grade history teacher is looking for a lesson plan on the Civil War that matches local or state curriculum standards, a search using the Microsoft Lesson Connection will look through many available lesson plans and provide suggestions.”
Using the Microsoft Lesson Connection Wizard, educators can embed search criteria based on Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM) standard subjects and topic keywords in their own Web-based curriculum standard documents. When a teacher clicks on a hyperlink inserted in the document, Microsoft Site Server-based technology searches through lesson plans indexed from multiple sites on the Internet.
“This is a great set of tools,”
said Marshall Doris, coordinator of instructional technology for Clovis Unified School District near Fresno, Calif.
“We now have the final piece of the puzzle, allowing all our teachers to easily find high-quality lesson plans that align with our district curriculum standards.”
A Single Site for Accessing Lesson Plans Based on State Curriculum Standards
If a school district has not yet published its local curriculum standards documents on the Web, teachers can search for lesson plans from state standards on a new Web site, http://www.statestandards.com/ , created by Microsoft and Tudor Publishing. StateStandards.com contains search-enabled curriculum standards documents for 39 U.S. states and is available today.
“We are proud to partner with Microsoft on this exciting project,”
said Bill Tudor, CEO of Tudor Publishing.
“The StateStandards.com site coupled with the new search and tagging tools from Microsoft can help teachers find higher quality, standards-correlated lesson plans on the Internet in less time than most other search methodologies today.”
In addition to using standards documents as the starting point for searches, teachers can initiate a search directly from the Microsoft Lesson Connection using the same GEM subject and topic tags, along with their own keywords and grade levels. These tools provide teachers with a single, time-saving method for finding high-quality lesson plans that are mapped to local and state standards. In addition, Microsoft has created a new community on the MSN TM network of Internet services to promote the publishing of curriculum standards documents on the Web, making them more accessible and useful for teachers and parents. The Microsoft Lesson Connection and the MSN Curriculum Standards Online community may be accessed today at http://www.k12.MSN.com/ .
Best of the Best
Lesson Plans From Classroom Connect
Through a relationship with Classroom Connect, a leader in Internet-based curriculum and staff development for K-12 education, educators using the Microsoft Lesson Connection have free access to Classroom Connect lesson plans from key subject areas – math, science, language arts, social studies and American history (connect-time charges may apply).
“We’re delighted to make available 100 lesson plans from our popular Teaching with the Internet series to the Microsoft Lesson Connection,”
said Linda Charles, vice president of Product Development at Classroom Connect.
“Making the Internet make sense for teachers has always been a key part of our core philosophy. We really like the way these new tools help teachers easily pair the ‘best of the best’ Internet lessons and relevant Web sites with the curriculum topics they teach every day.”
About Tudor Publishing
Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Tudor Publishing is a leading developer of software tools for the educational community as well as for parents wanting to become more involved in their children’s education. Tudor’s product line includes Skills Connection, a diagnostics software program for communicating and measuring student progress; Curriculum Designer, a software tool designed to quickly and efficiently generate curriculums that meet district requirements; and Home2school.com, a premier parent-focused Internet site that provides parents and other interested adults with helpful education-related information, parental tutors and at-home lessons/activities designed specifically to support what their children are learning in school. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.tudorpub.com/ or call Ellen Hobart at (800) 998-4531.
About Classroom Connect
Classroom Connect, a leader in Internet-based curriculum and staff development for K-12 education, fosters interaction among teachers, students and families by providing compelling content, functionality and interactivity in a Web environment. With headquarters in Foster City, Calif., Classroom Connect offers online curriculum for K-12 students and teachers, adventure learning expeditions, online professional development to help educators learn how to use the Internet in their classrooms and resources for finding the best educational materials on the Web. For more information, please visit the Classroom Connect Web site at http://www.classroom.com/ or call (800) 638-1639.
Microsoft Lesson Connection is part of Microsoft’s continuing initiative to help build a global Connected Learning Community in which all students, educators and parents have access to technology and the tools and skills to use information effectively today and for a lifetime. Microsoft is committed to providing the high-quality software and services needed to make the best use of technology in education.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
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