OCOEE, Fla., Aug. 22, 2003 — Students at Ocoee Middle School in Florida will be among the nation’s first to experience the benefits of round-the-clock fingertip access to their learning resources via a joint project involving Microsoft Corp.; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; and HP. The first-of-its-kind educational project, announced today from Ocoee Middle School in Orange County Florida, will gauge how well students learn using a Tablet PC and a Web-based curriculum, while measuring their success with one-to-one computing and full-time Internet access.
“Thanks to Microsoft, Holt and HP, this project will place Florida on the cutting edge of educational technology,”
said Education Commissioner Jim Horne.
“The seventh-graders at Ocoee Middle School will make history while gaining skills that are sure to prepare them for today’s fast-paced world.”
Starting in fall 2003, seventh-grade Ocoee Middle School students will be equipped with Compaq TC1000 Tablet PCs running Microsoft® Windows®
XP Tablet PC Edition software, plus additional learning software to engage students with an entire suite of Holt Online Learning programs and instructional materials covering science, social studies and language arts. Accessible in class or at home through Microsoft Class Server 3.0, these standards-based, highly interactive online books include tutors, maps, timelines, video and audio programs, and many other interactive features to enhance student understanding and get them excited about the topic at hand.
“I am pleased and excited that Ocoee Middle School was chosen to participate in this project with Microsoft, HP and Holt,”
said Katherine Clark, principal of Ocoee Middle School.
“I believe that e-learning will be the key to unlock the potential of every student. The innovative Tablet PC technology and software, combined with the extensive Holt online curriculum, will have a tremendous impact on the teaching and learning process. I look forward to our involvement in this innovative educational initiative.”
Using the wireless Tablet PCs, students will have practically-anywhere access to their Holt Online Learning curriculum and a host of Microsoft tools, including Producer for PowerPoint® , Movie Maker 2, Windows Media® Series 9 and Encarta®
Reference Library 2004. Students will be able to take handwritten notes, make and share journal entries, and electronically complete exercises, homework assignments and tests on a single device.
“Today’s schools are facing a myriad of challenges, and Microsoft is pleased to participate in this project to help make the anywhere, anytime learning environment a reality, and we hope to see other schools follow the groundbreaking leadership of Ocoee,”
said Wanda Miles, executive director for Learning Technologies at Microsoft.
“By combining Microsoft software, Holt curriculum and the Tablet PC, students and teachers can demonstrate a transformation in learning experiences.”
“The Tablet PC is a compelling new platform for education,”
said Judy Fowler, president of Holt.
“It widens the possibilities for technology-based interactive learning, enabling student access to an entire curriculum from a single, light, portable device. Holt Online Learning products delivered through the Tablet PC and Microsoft’s Class Server 3.0 learning management platform, provide students with enhanced learning opportunities and the ability to interact with instructional materials in ways that previous platforms have not allowed.”
Teachers will use the technology solution to evaluate their students’ work and assess the project’s effectiveness in raising academic achievement. SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework, open industry standard for school administration systems) enabled applications will be used to automatically record each student’s progress in Ocoee’s grade book and student information systems. This will help the school more easily meet its requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to measure and report on student progress.
“The district has always been aggressive in seeking out opportunities for our students to work with the most up-to-date technology possible,”
said Ronald Blocker, superintendent of Orange County Public Schools.
“We recognize that technology is an extremely valuable tool for boosting student achievement, and it prepares students for the high-tech world in which they will be living and working.”
Ocoee Middle School combines up-to-date multimedia technology, high-speed and wireless communications, and innovative special programs in a traditional environment of group discussion, individual reading and concentration, or one-on-one teacher time with students. The use of technology provides more time for study and research, and for teachers to contact parents or respond to students.
“This is one of the most important projects we’ve seen in a long time, and we are happy to be partnering with Microsoft, Holt and Ocoee Middle School to improve the educational process,”
said George Warren, director of the K–12 line of business at HP.
“The Tablet PC is an exciting new product, and we look forward to seeing how schools use this technology in innovative ways.”
At the end of the yearlong pilot study, results will be evaluated on a number of fronts, including improvements in learning, teachers’ impressions of the impact on their teaching, students’ level of engagement, and the nuts and bolts of successfully integrating the technology into the school’s infrastructure with a minimal need for ongoing maintenance and support.
About Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Holt, Rinehart and Winston is a leading publisher of textbooks and educational materials for grades six through 12 and is part of Harcourt Education, a global education provider serving students and teachers in Pre K through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages. The Harcourt companies are Harcourt School Publishers; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; Harcourt Supplemental Publishers (including the Rigby and Steck-Vaughn imprints); Harcourt Educational Measurement; The Psychological Corporation; Classroom Connect; Harcourt Canada; Harcourt Religion Publishers; and Harcourt Trade Publishers. For further information, please call (800) 992-1627 or visit http://www.hrw.com/ or http://www.harcourt.com/ .
Harcourt Education is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc.
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its merger transaction involving Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com/ .
About Ocoee Middle School
Through actions of the Legislature, Ocoee Middle School was chosen to be the site of the demonstration school for the State of Florida. This important project was assigned to the SMART Schools Clearinghouse to develop a
“break-the-mold technology based”
school. Planning began with extensive discussions on how children of this age group learn and how technology could enhance learning. Technologically, the school provides for the latest use of computers, audio enhancement in all teaching areas, and the integration of video through LCD projectors in lieu of television monitors. Ocoee is one of the first four showcase sites for the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) in the nation. A student ID card is used for a keyless entry system as well as library checkout and cafeteria purchases. Students logon to the wide area network and immediately access their desktop from anywhere in the school. Technology is integrated throughout the school into the teaching and learning process.
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, Windows, PowerPoint, Windows Media 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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