New Microsoft SharePoint Kits Enhance Microsoft Learning Gateway

SAN DIEGO — July 6, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the Microsoft® SharePoint® Learning Kit and the Microsoft SharePoint Community Kit, both designed to further extend Microsoft Learning Gateway and e-learning opportunities. The company is revealing these innovations at this week’s National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in San Diego.

With the Microsoft Learning Gateway, schools can readily build a standards-based education portal for administrators, educators and students to share information, collaborate on projects, and access rich learning resources from a single point of access. The new Microsoft SharePoint kits are built on SharePoint technology that enables Web sites to provide document and information sharing capabilities. These kits offer tools and source code to help educators, administrators and industry partners to customize their portals to be as unique as their school districts and deliver e-learning resources through the Microsoft Learning Gateway.

“Educators tell us that access to e-learning and use of digital content are critical to preparing students for the opportunities and challenges ahead,” said Craig Bartholomew, general manager of the Education Products Group at Microsoft. “We are committed to delivering technology solutions and services that help districts become prepared for e-learning and effectively deliver rich Web-based learning environments.”

Delivering E-Learning Resources the Easy Way

The Microsoft SharePoint Learning Kit is a standards-compliant e-learning tool that makes it easy for educators to deliver both basic and interactive resources through the Microsoft Learning Gateway. The kit is compliant with Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) 2004 and SCORM 1.2 and provides basic functions for any electronic resource in a SharePoint document library, including Microsoft Class Server resources.

“The new SharePoint Learning Kit offers a great integrated suite of tools,” said Christopher Mayer, practice manager for Education Solutions at SolutionsIQ. “The extensible platform and simplified design allows SolutionsIQ to tailor solutions for the specific needs of education, including curriculum management systems with the added functionality of not just evaluating but comparing item level results to standards — all in a fraction of the time!”

Early releases of the Microsoft SharePoint Learning Kit code and the specifications can be downloaded today. To enable partner and community extensions, the final kit will be available in early 2007 and will be released free of charge under a Community License agreement.

Adding a Custom Look to School Community Sites

The Microsoft SharePoint Community Kit helps schools easily create unique and targeted community sites for their clubs and organizations. The kit provides relevant content, links and source code so developers can quickly adapt their sites to the specific needs of groups such as teachers, sports teams, extracurricular clubs and parents’ organizations. The kit will also enable site developers to contribute and leverage features because it will be hosted as a Microsoft Shared Source Initiative community development project on the CodePlex Web site.

Starting today, templates that will be included within the Microsoft SharePoint Community Kit for use on the Microsoft Learning Gateway are available online. The full kit will be available for download in early 2007.

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