Executing on a Global Education Vision: Microsoft Unveils Range of Products, Resources to Improve Learning Environments and Experiences

Posted by sumeethevans on June 26 2007, 6:17 PM. Posted in Student.

Students meet with Bill Gates; Microsoft announces Student with Encarta Premium 2008, Cool Conversations Traveling Tutor and the School of the Future Resource Kit.

On the heels of its announcement yesterday of a strategic alliance with Houghton Mifflin Learning Technology, a division of publishing leader Houghton Mifflin Co., Microsoft Corp. today announced at the National Educational Computing Conference the release of several education-focused products and resources, including Microsoft® Student with Encarta® Premium 2008, the Cool Conversations Traveling Tutor and the School of the Future Resource Kit.

Demonstrating the breadth of the company’s focus and commitment to education and to helping improve the quality of learning environments and experiences around the world, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Craig Mundie, the company’s chief research and strategy officer, today greeted 36 of the brightest student software designers from around the world for Imagine Cup 2007 at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to hear their ideas about how technology can transform education in the future.

“Microsoft’s focus on education stems from our core mission to use innovation and resources to improve organizations and the quality of life locally, nationally and globally,” said Anthony Salcito, general manager of U.S. education at Microsoft. “On a universal issue as complex as education we need to commit and act on several levels, from a clear global vision to industry collaboration to community-based initiatives to informed product development to inspiring student imagination. We’re executing at every level.”

Commitment to Quality Learning Environments, Experiences and Opportunities

Inspired Learning Opportunity: Imagine Cup 2007. Thirty-six students from Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, who are participating in Imagine Cup 2007, had the opportunity of a lifetime to show Gates and Mundie in person how they would use technology to improve education. The Imagine Cup is one of the world’s premier software design competitions designed to motivate students to explore technological and artistic interests outside the classroom and challenge them to imagine a better world enabled by their own genius, creativity and energy. In its first year, Imagine Cup attracted 1,000 students from 25 countries who vied in local, regional and national competitions for the title of software design champions. Five years later there are more than 100,000 students from 100 countries competing.

This year’s Imagine Cup theme is: “Imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all.” Entries include First Programme Language, designed to develop young children’s problem-solving skills through the teaching of simple programming concepts; The KnowTouch, a mobile device with electro-mechanic pins intended to aid in Braille reading; and the Learning Management Tool, a system that allows teachers to receive unspoken feedback from students that helps improve their ways of teaching. The winners will be determined at a final competition to be held in South Korea in August 2007.

“There is no single correct answer to solve all the challenges of education in every community,” Salcito said, “but educational technology plays an increasingly important role in creating environments in homes, schools and communities that are conducive to teaching and learning in a way that best prepares students for living and working successfully in the 21st century.” Full Story At Source