REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK — Sept. 27, 2011 — Today Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with Intel Corporation and the New York State Teachers Centers, launched the Tech4Teachers Program, which offers K–12 teachers in New York the ability to purchase deeply discounted technology products and provides tools and training to enhance their technical proficiency. The program aims to increase teachers’ personal sophistication with technology so that they can more easily incorporate it into the classroom to enhance student learning.
New York is the first state to launch an official program of this kind, developed through a public-private partnership, as a way to encourage technology adoption. The program includes the following components:
Professional development, technology training and free technology tools from Microsoft Partners in Learning and Intel Teach, made accessible through any of the more than 400 New York State Teachers Centers sites for more than 300,000 educators.
Teachers will be able to purchase discounted technology through an online store, available today, which offers a range of Microsoft software products and computing devices, including PCs, laptops, slates and tablets from a number of manufacturers.
The Tech4Teachers Program is accessible to any public, private or pre-service teacher who is or becomes a member of the New York State Teachers Centers.
The Teachers Centers will help subsidize the cost of required professional development and technology training for participating teachers to maintain their certification.
“Because a teacher’s job requires long hours preparing lessons, individualizing instruction and connecting with parents, having the technology tools they need to complete this work outside the classroom becomes essential,” said Sig Behrens, general manager for U.S. Education, Microsoft. “This partnership extends Microsoft’s commitment, through our Shape the Future program, to ignite digital access and education tools, not only to students, but also to those who teach them. Technology, brought to bear to support quality teaching and parent engagement, will help to drive positive outcomes for New York’s students.”
Microsoft and Intel are working to scale the Tech4Teachers program to other states across the country, as part of ongoing efforts by both companies to provide educators with impactful and relevant resources to improve 21st-century skills in the classroom.
“As technology dramatically changes our society, educators must master the skills and behaviors of professionals in the digital age,” said Eileen Lento, Ph.D., Intel Americas K–12 strategist. “Programs like these are essential because they empower teachers to drive change in our schools and in our classrooms. Today’s educators must be equipped to provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities.”
“Teachers are passionate about helping their students succeed and recognize the need to stay current with tools that can help them do that,” said Stan Silverman, co-chair of the Technology Committee of the New York State Teachers Centers. “What we need in the classroom are people who are going to push the boundaries to help students learn, and it is our belief that teachers who are comfortable with technology at home translate those experiences directly into the classroom.”
Today’s announcement is an extension of the Shape the Future program, unveiled last week at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. The program aims to provide 1 million students from low-income families in the United States with the benefits of software, hardware and broadband Internet service over the next three years. The commitment is focused on filling the gap in home access to technology, and it helps give students in digitally excluded homes the skills training they need to compete in the global market, to increase employment opportunities and to contribute to their communities’ economic recovery.
More information on Shape the Future is available at http://www.microsoft.com/publicsector/ww/programs/shape-the-future/Pages/index.aspx and http://www.facebook.com/#!/shapethefutureproject.
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