Windows 2000: An Ideal Platform for Teaching and Learning

REDMOND, Wash., March 8, 2000 — At the Blue Springs School District in Missouri, using technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning isn’t a new idea. For seven years, technology has been an integral part of the learning experience for students in 20 Blue Springs schools linked by 4,000 networked student workstations. But Blue Springs, like most schools and universities, is constantly seeking better and more cost-effective solutions to meet the ever-increasing demands for more efficient administration, management, and security.

For Blue Springs School District, Windows 2000 was the answer. The district was part of the Windows 2000 Rapid Deployment Program last summer, and Blue Springs’ Director of Technology Don Keeler didn’t have any reservations about being one of Windows 2000’s earliest adopters.

“To be quite honest, until Windows 2000 came around, we couldn’t find a product that could completely meet our needs,”
Keeler said.
“Our students can log on from any computer and see their personalized desktop features immediately, and our IT staff can perform network administration tasks from any terminal now. At Blue Springs, we really push our technology resources. Windows 2000 allows us to do everything we need to do, plus leaves us room to grow.”

Don Keeler isn’t the only educator who is reaping the benefits of this powerful technology. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, an institution serving more than 30,000 students, faculty and staff, IT Director Dennis Maloney readily admitted that the campus network had grown unmanageable, supporting UNIX, Novell, Windows NT 4.0 and AppleTalk networks. Windows 2000 was the first step in getting a handle on what was becoming an increasingly complex environment.

“We see Windows 2000 as an opportunity to proactively build an infrastructure for the campus that everyone can use,”
Maloney said.
“With everyone working on the same system, we can do things we never could have imagined before.”

Other educators agree. On March 8, more than 3,000 educators from all over the country are meeting with school technology leaders and Microsoft education managers via satellite for
“The Connected Learning Community Powered by Windows 2000,”
a free Microsoft Education Solutions Briefing. At this live, interactive learning session, broadcast to nearly 60 locations across the United States, educators will learn how to use Windows 2000 technology to make learning increasingly relevant, individualized and personalized, and to create and expand a Connected Learning Community in their schools or districts.

For Don Keeler, the ability to streamline administration and reduce the total cost of ownership at Blue Springs is just part of the equation. Keeler is working to fully integrate Windows 2000’s powerful features into the learning process. He’s focusing on how to give teachers access to online professional development and offline resources when they are not at school. He is looking to Windows 2000 to help him make it possible for students to gain access to resources when they can’t make it to school or are homebound because of illness.

“I’m always aware of how much teachers have to do and how limited their time is,”
Keeler said.
“Everything we do in the IT department is focused on ways to give teachers more time. Windows 2000 is one of the ways we can do that very quickly. They no longer have to worry about technical problems, and they can focus on what they need to do and what they do best — educating our children.”

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