Microsoft Aligns With Top Teacher Education Association to Develop New Training Program With $50 Million in Software Grants

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 11, 2002 — Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., today announced an alliance with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) that helps address two pressing needs in the national education community: the training and retaining of K12 teachers, and educators ability to translate their districts technology investments into learning benefits for their students. As a leader in technology solutions in education, Microsoft, working with AACTE, has developed the comprehensive Innovative Teachers grants program to address these growing challenges. The new initiative will contribute significantly to overall success in educators professional development by allocating $50 million in software grants and developing online learning communities in which teachers can share best practices.

During his speech to more than 350 of the nations top K12 educators at Microsofts Connected Learning Community Technology Summit, Ballmer showcased a number of education solutions built on Microsoft® .NET technologies that connect teachers, students and parents in a collaborative learning environment for greater student achievement. Additional sponsors of the summit include Compaq Computer Corp. and Toshiba America Information System Inc.s Computer Systems Group.

“We are very excited about the new Innovative Teachers grants program, which will enable teachers and other educators around the world to share best practices through online learning communities,”
said Ballmer.
“For over a decade, Microsoft has worked with educators to advance teaching and learning skills through technology. Empowering students and teachers to reach their full potential is a top priority for Microsoft.”

Created in alliance with AACTE, the program will allocate $50 million in software grants for schools of education, colleges of education, departments of education and regional training centers. Beginning in April 2002, the program will establish local online learning communities for educators. Grant funding will bridge the divide between pre- and in-service teachers to assist them in using technology in their classrooms with the goal of developing high-quality teachers now and in the future. This will be done around the country through small online teaching communities, giving local teachers access to more specific information based on their individual areas of expertise or need.

Dr. David Imig, president and CEO of AACTE and a leader in the education field, attended the summit to help launch the new program.
“The key to the successful achievement of the No Child Left Behind Act is the quality of the teachers. Enhancing the quality of those teachers is what the initiative is about. AACTE is proud to work with Microsoft on the Innovative Teachers grants program,”
he said.
“AACTE is able to help bring this program to fruition through its nationwide network of schools of education and local partners and professional development schools.”

Microsoft .NET solutions for education will help schools build a technology infrastructure to connect teachers, students and parents for improved learning. Summit attendees will learn about powering these Connected Learning Communities with solutions such as Microsoft Class Server, a curriculum management platform that, unlike any other platform available, enables teachers to manage five major teaching areas online: curriculum standards, lesson plans, content, assignments and assessment.

“The next 10 years will be the most exciting time to be using technology, especially in the classroom,”
Ballmer said.
“Our .NET Platform is the platform of the future, and it powers and will continue to power all our programs, products and services and will help improve the learning experience for students, educators and parents.”

On the final two days of the three-day summit, Dr. Willard Daggett, president of the International Center for Leadership in Education, will speak on the management of change, and Dan Ling, vice president of Microsoft Research, will share details about the companys expanded research efforts.

Hands-on labs and breakout sessions during the summit will focus on integrating the Web with teaching and learning methods and creating a robust infrastructure for teachers, students, parents and the community. Districts were invited to attend the summit as a team to take advantage of the three content tracks: school leadership and management, technology planning and management, and teaching and learning.

Also at the event, more than 20 technology companies will demonstrate innovative strategies, including new ways to deliver classroom instruction, e-learning solutions and decision-support tools. Sessions on school leadership and management will demonstrate industrywide initiatives to educators such as the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), a standard that ensures compatibility among school software applications to support greater accountability, better decision-making and more efficient management. Technology directors will be able to participate in sessions on infrastructure and technology, which are the building blocks for constructing real-life Connected Learning Communities.

“During the past decade, I have had the opportunity to attend many technology in-services,”
said Leslie Lederman, a third grade teacher at Discovery Elementary School in Sammamish, Wash.
“Most were informative, but only one offered training, support and product, rather than just training. This invaluable combination changed my teaching forever. It was the only technology training that I have participated in that understood we need all three components in order to successfully infuse technology into our teaching.”

The Connected Learning Community Technology Summit and Microsoft education programs are part of Microsofts continuing commitment to helping every school build a Connected Learning Community where students have access to learning any time and any place. More information on Microsoft education initiatives as well as the Connected Learning Community Technology Summit is available at and .

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.

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