REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 20, 2000 — Last summer, Jan Coleman-Knight, a seventh grade teacher from Thornton Junior High in Fremont, Calif., realized that her students knew more about technology than she did.
“I simply didn’t know how to use technology, and I can’t be asked to teach something that I don’t know,”
So she turned to a free training program, sponsored by Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.
“Once I learned how to use tools like Microsoft PowerPoint® and Publisher and ways to use them in my teaching, the possibilities became endless,”
Unfortunately, according to a recent U.S. Department of Education study, for every teacher like Jan Coleman-Knight, there are four others who say they don’t feel prepared to use technology in the classroom. To help more teachers develop skills and strategies to use technology in the classroom, Microsoft today announced a $344 million (estimated retail value) software donation — the largest in the company’s history — in support of Intel’s Teach to the Future program, a worldwide initiative to provide technology training to more than 400,000 classroom teachers.
“This donation couldn’t be going to a better cause — helping teachers and helping young people,”
said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft president and CEO.
“Microsoft is proud to partner with Intel to dramatically expand the opportunities teachers have to learn how to best use technology to improve student learning.”
Arizona, Northern California, Oregon and Texas, followed by New Mexico and Washington, are the regions that will participate in the program during the first year. Over the next three years, the program will expand to a total of 20 regions, training a total of 100,000 teachers in the United States. Intel Teach to the Future is also being introduced in 20 countries worldwide, reaching an additional 300,000 teachers.
Every classroom teacher participating will receive a free copy of Microsoft Office 2000 Professional and Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000 so that they can put their new instructional skills to use on a day-to-day basis. Microsoft is also donating software and licenses for each of the regional training sites and providing “master teachers” in the United States with a lab kit containing software and licenses for their districts.
“I am pleased to see how the technology industry is collaborating with the education community to help our nation’s teachers be prepared to use technology to help students achieve at their highest levels,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. “It is important that we use the most modern and effective learning tools to help our young people reach the highest levels of academic achievement, which will pave the way for future success.”
Microsoft’s support of teacher training grows out of its “Connected Learning Community” vision for the use of technology in education. To date, Microsoft has supported the training of more than 1 million teachers worldwide through a variety of programs and initiatives. Since 1992, Microsoft has worked with colleges of education and state departments of education to support pre-service and in-service training for teachers. This school year, more than 450,000 teachers are receiving training at 800 sites.
Microsoft also supports professional development grants and provides free instructional resources through its new online community, the Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network, which reaches teachers in more than 80 countries worldwide. In addition to teacher training, Microsoft is committed to helping schools increase access to technology for every student and teacher and build strong technology infrastructures that support student learning and school administration.
Although the teachers benefit greatly from these programs, the students are the ultimate winners. The students in school today are the first generation to grow up with PCs and the Internet as an integral part of their lives. Students, more than their teachers, understand how to use the power of technology to find and use information, build relationships and connect with the world.
Coleman-Knight is seeing her students connect with technology.
“My students use tools like PowerPoint and Word for research, problem-solving, critical thinking, creating new ideas, editing work and communicating. These software tools are important to everything that happens in the classroom.”