Microsoft Brings Together Education and Technology Leaders To Improve Student Learning and Build Smarter Schools

SEATTLE, Feb. 26, 2001 — More than 500 leaders from top U.S. and Canadian school districts joined technology industry leaders and nationally recognized educators today to begin an in-depth discussion on how the use of technology increases the quality of education for K-12 students. During the three-day Connected Learning Community Technology Summit, superintendents, curriculum and technology specialists, principals and teachers will share their successes and learn more about how to improve student learning, create smarter and more agile schools, and increase parent and community involvement.

Renowned educators Dr. Arthur Levine, president of the College of Education at Columbia University, and Dr. Rudy Crew, executive director of the Institute for K-12 Leadership at the University of Washington, will deliver opening addresses on the first and second day of the summit, respectively. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., will close the conference on Wednesday with an address on his vision for how technology will change the way students learn and give educators tools to improve their schools.

“Technology is the most powerful tool we have to transform our schools,”
said Mark East, worldwide general manager of the Microsoft Education Solutions Group.
“The in-depth conversations and learnings at the summit will inform the national discussion on education and move us forward.”

Organized by Microsoft and sponsored by Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.’s Computer Systems Group, the summit is a result of Microsoft’s Connected Learning Community vision to help schools build content-rich and student-focused educational environments where students can learn any time and any place. Teams of educators from more than 250 school districts will lead and participate in sessions on teaching and learning, technology management and planning, and school leadership.

“Working with my district leadership team and discussing ideas and solutions that will affect our schools at all levels is exciting,”
stated Daryl Ann Borel, assistant superintendent, Houston Independent School District.
“And exchanging information not only with colleagues, but also with industry leaders, is a very effective way to affect change for our students, teachers and schools.”

At the summit, educators will evaluate new hardware devices and software solutions for education built on the Microsoft® .NET technology platform. More than 20 technology companies will demonstrate innovative strategies including new ways to deliver classroom instruction, Web-based learning resources and decision-support tools.

Teachers will be introduced to Encarta® Class Server, a new curriculum management platform that, unlike any other platform available, enables teachers to manage online five major teaching areas: curriculum standards, lesson plans, content, assignment and assessment. Sneak previews of the recently announced Office XP will let educators see first-hand how these smarter tools for learning can simplify work, increase productivity and improve team effectiveness.

According to East,
“The Connected Learning Community vision cannot be realized without the empowerment of teachers. OfficeXP builds on what teachers already know and helps them find more-effective ways of working with students and collaborating with colleagues.”

At the summit, sessions on school leadership and management will introduce educators to groundbreaking industrywide initiatives like the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), a standard that ensures compatibility among school software applications to support accountability, better decision-making and efficient management. Technology directors can participate in sessions on infrastructure and technology, which are the building blocks for constructing real-life Connected Learning Communities.

More information on the Connected Learning Community Technology Summit is available at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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