REDMOND, Wash., May 30, 2001 — On June 4 at Washington, D.C.’s National Building Museum, the Computerworld Honors Program will announce the winners of its 21st Century Achievement Award, honoring organizations whose use of information technology has, in the words of Patrick J. McGovern, chairman of the Computerworld Honors Program Chairmen’s Committee, “been especially noteworthy for the originality of its conception, the breadth of its vision and the significance of its benefit to society.” Finalists include the Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network in the category of Education, and Microsoft-nominated organizations Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, and Delphi Packard Electric Systems in Manufacturing.
Established in 1988, the Computerworld Honors Program, according to its organizers, “seeks to document a revolution in progress: the global information technology revolution.” Each year, case studies, video tapes, biographies, publications, and other records are preserved, protected, and made available online and through donations to affiliated universities, libraries, and research institutions worldwide.
The 53 finalists from eight countries were selected by a panel of judges using the following criteria: benefit to society; importance of information technology; originality; success and difficulty.
“These 53 finalists should be considered first among 310 equals,” said Daniel Morrow, executive director of the Computerworld Honors Program. “They represent the very best of an extraordinary class of Laureates in the 2001 Collection.”
Bringing Technology to the Classroom
The Microsoft Classroom Teacher Network (MCTN), nominated by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, is one of five finalists in the category of Education. MCTN is a free online professional development community that provides educators with instructional resources, lesson plans and online seminars designed to help them use technology to improve student learning and stay current on a variety of educational issues.
Microsoft is committed to helping educators use technology to improve teaching and learning. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education revealed that four out of five classroom teachers do not feel prepared to use technology as part of daily instruction. MCTN was launched to provide educators with a wide variety of comprehensive professional development tools and resources to help them develop strategies and curricula for using technology to enhance teaching and learning.
Recognizing that finding time to participate in professional development courses is difficult given their busy schedules, MCTN provides educators and administrators with a wealth of regularly updated, original and practical content, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The content includes tips and advice for new teachers, original curriculum-based lesson plans and in-depth interviews with leading educators from around the country on a variety of hot topics. Working closely with the education community, MCTN Web designers developed a site accessible to all educators, regardless of Internet connection speed or the power of the PC they’re using. Currently, MCTN has more than 13,000 registered participants in 110 countries.
“Empowering teachers is one of the key elements of Microsoft’s Connected Learning Community vision,” said Susan Spezza, manager of Education at Microsoft. “Through MCTN, we are striving to make that vision a reality by empowering educators with content that is timely, relevant, practical, instructive and inspirational.”
Microsoft also provides a forum for educators to discuss key educational issues with national leaders. For example, during the 2000 U.S. presidential election, MCTN produced a special segment called “Campaign 2000: The Education Debate.” Ten teachers and technology specialists from across the country submitted a question directly to then-Vice President Al Gore and then-Governor George W. Bush regarding their educational policies. The candidates’ responses were posted on the site as a resource for educators when creating their lesson plans.
Relocation Made Easy
Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services is an integrated real-estate and relocation business that is the second largest provider of comprehensive global relocation services in the United States. The company’s Prudential Relocation Center platform is one of five finalists in the category of Finance, Insurance & Real Estate.
“Our commitment to delivering innovative solutions through cutting-edge technologies is driven by one thing: helping our clients get where they need to go with the most effective, efficient and convenient means possible,” said John Van Der Wall, chairman of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services. “Prudential Relocation Center is a way to unite families and companies around a singular platform that aggregates all of the relevant data necessary to make important decisions.”
Prudential Relocation Center is an Internet application that provides its key customers — corporate clients and their transferring employees and families — with valuable tools and information to minimize the stress and cost of relocation activities. The platform was designed to provide quick, easy, anytime access to information about a particular city, detailed policy information, and one-click access to a single point-of-contact relocation counselor.
See, Use and Act on Personalized Information
Delphi Packard Electric Systems, a division of Delphi Automotive Systems and a leading global manufacturer of connection systems, switches, electrical/electronic distribution systems and cockpits, was named a finalist in recognition of its precision injection molding center located in Cortland, Ohio. A “virtual manufacturing system” at the plant gives operators, managers, suppliers and customers real-time information regarding manufacturing input and output, helping to ensure that quality standards are being met on every order. Data is accessible from anywhere on the companys global network.
The system runs on Microsoft .NET for Manufacturing, a platform of software and services that allow manufacturers to coordinate their global operations through the Internet.
“We think that Microsoft .NET for Manufacturing is one of the most promising developments we’ve seen,” said Frank Ventura, manager of Manufacturing Information Systems at Delphi. “It offers us integration not just at the component level, but at the service level. In other words, instead of developing discrete components that must be implemented at each location, we can now distribute fully functional, Web-based services that are available to any user around the world.”
More than 800 industry leaders and professionals will attend the 2001 Computerworld Honors 21st Century Achievement Awards ceremony. Innovative applications of technology from 34 states and 24 countries have been archived in the Program’s Collection on Information Technology, available at http://www.cwheroes.org/ .