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Microsoft invests $235 mln in Learning Program

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a renewed commitment over the next five years to Partners in Learning, a program, that provides the education community with resources and training to help students reach their full potential.

Through Partners in Learning, Microsoft seeks to leverage the power of software to create innovative educational experiences. Partners in Learning is a key education initiative under Microsoft Unlimited Potential, the company’s commitment to creating sustained social and economic opportunity for everyone. Tuesday’s announcement represents a new, five-year, $235.5 million investment, and will bring the company’s total 10-year commitment in Partners in Learning to nearly $500 million. Since its launch in 2003, Partners in Learning has touched the lives of more than 90 million students, teachers and education policymakers in 101 countries. In the next five years, Microsoft is aiming to triple the impact of the project’s three core programs: Innovative Teachers, Innovative Students, and Innovative Schools.

“Microsoft has always believed that education is the cornerstone of opportunity, and that investing in education is the best way to help young people achieve their potential,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “Partners in Learning is one of the ways Microsoft works with governments and schools around the world to help teachers use technology in the classroom to make learning exciting and relevant for the 21st century. Actively integrating technology into the classroom takes more than just PCs; it requires the cooperation and input of those with expertise, vision and strong experience in all aspects of the educational process,” said Cristian-Mihai Adomnitei, minister of education, research and youth in Romania. “Microsoft’s continued partnership and guidance through Partners in Learning has been instrumental in the success of our programs to achieve better education through IT and in forming talents for a competitive economy.”

An important element of Partners in Learning is connecting the global teaching community, allowing educators to share their ideas with their peers around the world. This is brought to life through the Innovative Teachers program, which includes one of the world’s largest online collaboration portals for educators, and a series of worldwide conferences that bring them together to share ideas and reward exceptional teaching practices. In addition, the Innovative Students program provides affordable, reliable software to qualifying governments purchasing Windows-based PCs for primary and secondary students’ personal use at home. Microsoft also works with governments, educators and partners to deliver expert guidance in holistic school reform, plus a road map for technology integration to help schools meet their education objectives. (Tech2)