Educators Awarded Software Licenses for Efforts to Introduce Students to New Skills And Career Options Through Information Technology Classes
REDMOND, Wash., June 27, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that 48 middle- and high school teachers nationwide will receive more than $1.3 million in software licenses as part of the Microsoft®
Curriculum Grant Program, an initiative designed to help educators create leading-edge information technology curricula and courses that will help prepare students for college and the technology-driven work force.
The program is part of overall efforts by Microsoft to help address the IT work force shortage, which according to the Information Technology Association of America, will reach more than 840,000 workers this year in the United States — meaning one out of every 12 IT jobs will be unfilled.
“For teachers, the IT worker shortage is adding additional demands to an already demanding job,”
said Janie Schwark, manager of academic programs for the Developer Group at Microsoft.
The technology skills students are expected to have upon graduation are ever-changing. As a result, educators must keep their own skills up to date while finding ways to keep software, equipment and other resources current.
“Microsoft is committed to working with educators to provide the programs, resources and products they need to empower students to build the technical skills and knowledge base they will need to pursue careers as computer engineers, programmers and analysts.”
Microsoft launched the Curriculum Grant Program in 1998 to reward faculty members at middle schools, high schools and vocational and technical schools for innovative uses of technology in computer science, programming, Web development and information systems curricula. The two-year competitive grants, which award from $10,380 to $41,575 in software licenses per school, include the latest technology tools used in the workplace, such as the Visual Basic Ò , Visual C++ Ò and Visual J++ Ò development systems, Office 2000 Developer Edition and the Visual InterDev Ò Web development system, as well as the Windows Ò 98 or Windows 2000 Workstation operating systems, if needed.
For many teachers, earning Curriculum Grant Program awards creates the opportunity to begin offering students advanced computer science, programming and Web development courses that otherwise might not have been possible. A lack of funding needed to obtain state-of-the-art software and difficulty in finding curriculum resources and materials often stand in the way of teachers’ efforts to develop technology education programs in their schools.
Tanya Baxter, a business and computer education teacher in West Chester, Pa., says her Curriculum Grant Program 2000 award will help East High School meet the expectations of local business and industry leaders, who are calling for graduates with solid backgrounds in current IT tools. West Chester’s community leaders have banded together to form a business advisory board with the high school, which is mapping out a plan to help address the area’s growing demands for IT workers at all levels. The solution developed by educators and business leaders calls for the high school to step up classroom technology and for the industry to reciprocate with internships and school-to-work programs.
With the Curriculum Grant Program award, all computers in the East High School computer lab will have Microsoft software installed, so all students in the lab will have a PC available, rather than having to share the 15 now available at any given time, Baxter said. Students will be able to graduate with training in Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual J++ and eventually Visual InterDev, and develop the skills needed to write code, create applications for the Windows environment and design Web pages, she said.
“Our business community expects us to graduate students with the technology skills and competencies needed to perform in this new technologically advanced economy,”
“Employers are telling us today that we need to step up our efforts and prepare students with the basics needed to pursue jobs as computer programmers, engineers and Web designers. Our Microsoft Curriculum Grant award will help make the advanced courses needed possible.”
As part of the award, faculty members agree to post current curricula and course materials on the MainFunction Web site ( http://www.mainfunction.com/ ), so other educators can share the resources. The MainFunction Web site features a quarterly newsletter and online resources for high school computer science, programming, information technology and Web development teachers. The MainFunction newsletter focuses on information technology trends and issues, while the Web site has been expanded to include a curriculum database, downloadable projects, bulletin board forums, quarterly chat sessions and more.
Through programs such as the Curriculum Grant Program, Microsoft’s Developer Group is committed to providing practical solutions to the complex challenges that computer science engineering and information systems departments in junior high and secondary schools, colleges and universities face in implementing and integrating technology.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technology 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, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual J++, Visual InterDev and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Microsoft Curriculum Grant Program 2000 Recipients
Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, Ala.
Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge, B.C.
Mount Douglas Senior Secondary, Victoria, B.C.
Palm Springs High School, Palm Springs, Calif.
Chaparral High School, Temecula, Calif.
Woodland High School, Woodland, Calif.
Boulder High School, Boulder, Colo.
Glenwood Springs Middle School, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
East Granby High School, East Granby, Conn.
Dunnellon High School, Dunnellon, Fla.
Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Bradenton, Fla.
Mosley High School, Lynn Haven, Fla.
Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, Fla.
Lisa J. Stamper,
Columbia Middle School, Grovetown, Ga.
Riverside Military Academy, Gainesville, Ga.
Savannah Country Day School, Savannah, Ga.
John Hope College Preparatory High School, Chicago, Ill.
North High School, Evansville, Ind.
Cardinal Ritter High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
South Tama County High School, Tama, Iowa
Garden Plain High School, Garden Plain, Kan.
Archbishop Shaw High School, Marrero, La.
Ursuline Academy, New Orleans, La.
Skowhegan Area High School, Skowhegan, Maine
Tantasqua Regional High School, Fiskdale, Mass.
Mount Everett Regional, Sheffield, Mass.
High School of Science and Technology, Springfield, Mass.
Berrien County Intermediate School District, Berrien Springs, Mich.
Kearsley High School, Flint, Mich.
Warren Mott High School, Warren, Mich.
Chadron High School, Chadron, Neb.
West Wendover Junior/Senior High School, West Wendover, Nev.
Governor Livingston High School, Berkeley Heights, N.J.
Immaculate Heart Academy, Washington Township, N.J.
Wayland-Cohocton, Wayland, N.Y.
Lutheran High School East, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Ft. Recovery Local School District, Ft. Recovery, Ohio
Locust Grove High School, Locust Grove, Okla.
McNary High School, Keizer, Ore.
Plum Senior High School, Pittsburgh, Pa.
East High School, West Chester, Pa.
Magnolia High School, Magnolia, Texas
Eatonville High School, Eatonville, Wash.
Quincy High School, Quincy, Wash.
Woodland Middle School, Woodland, Wash.
Academy of Careers and Technology, Beckley, W.Va.
Natalie Zimmerman, Keyser High School, Keyser, W.Va..
Lomira High School, Lomira, Wis.