Welcome!

News Feed Item

Microsoft, partners answer President Obama's ConnectED Challenge with offer to bring affordable technology to all U.S. students at public schools nationwide

In partnership with Dell, Lenovo and others, Microsoft offer will drive more than $1 billion of savings to help implement Windows-based tablets, laptops and devices in the classroom.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowering the barrier for public school districts nationwide to make the digital transition to state-of-the-art technology, Microsoft Corp. Tuesday announced a new educational offer to increase access to — and lower the cost of — Windows-based devices for U.S. public school classrooms nationwide.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

By injecting more than $1 billion in savings into the system over the course of this year, the offer helps solve issues of access and affordability in education as most K–12 schools seek to transition to more technology-enabled, data-driven academic environments. Through this program, access to unique offerings that before were only available to financial need-based institutions will now be available for all U.S. public schools. This includes hardware, collaboration software and teacher training resources. The offer includes access to the latest Windows 8.1 devices and also includes essential software and services necessary to create immersive, personalized learning environments for today's classrooms.

"Education is the most important investment we can make for our collective future," said Judson Althoff, president of Microsoft North America. "With this new Microsoft education offer, we are responding to the president's challenge to ensure all students have access to the technology devices and services they need to succeed."

Microsoft's education offer will be available immediately to all U.S. K–12 public schools and available through Microsoft original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners Dell, Lenovo and others. The offer encompasses a variety of device offerings at significantly reduced pricing levels, as well as an array of popular software and services tailored for education, including Bing for Schools, Office 365 Education (making more than 12 million copies of Office available to students for free at qualifying institutions) and Microsoft's Partners in Learning teacher training resources. For the roughly 2,000 high-needs schools in the U.S., Microsoft will give away Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program and training, to provide the schools and their educators, students and staff with the digital curriculum and certifications to gain fundamental technology skills and be successful in today's best jobs. Microsoft will also donate $1 million to cover certification exams for students from these schools.

While Microsoft has provided more than $750 million in programs for education, this latest offer specifically supports President Obama's ConnectED goals of connecting U.S. schools to the digital age within five years by providing cost-efficient devices and services. Specifics of the offer include the following:

  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 Pro. One of the most powerful and flexible operating systems for education, Windows 8.1 Pro enables students and teachers to use education apps and Microsoft Office and to search for information across their devices and the Web, and it is optimized for touch and digital inking, critical keys to better learning outcomes.
  • Communication and collaboration: Office 365 Education. Microsoft provides the tools necessary to create college and career-ready students. U.S. K–12 schools can access Office 365 online for free. And now, with Student Advantage, Office 365 Education customers can access Office 365 ProPlus, receiving all the familiar, locally installed, full Office applications for students at no additional cost.
  • Teacher training and resources: Partners in Learning Network. The Partners in Learning Network provides teachers professional learning through a network of nearly 1 million educators from more than 130 countries. It offers them a forum where they can share ideas, find free lesson plans to inspire classroom learning and develop professionally. Its professional development resources span from individual trainings and demos to ensure that teachers have the skills to use their technology to pedagogically relevant training that helps teachers incorporate technology into their lessons.
  • Ad-free search: Bing for Schools. Bing for Schools is an ad-free digital literacy platform aimed at helping students learn important digital skills with a connected computing device, daily lesson plans, and a safer, more private search environment. Since launch, Bing for Schools has enabled more than 8,000 donations to schools from parents, teachers, and community members through Bing Rewards, with over 40,000 downloads of digital literacy lesson plans and more than 14 million ad-free, private search queries served to children in nearly 4,000 schools.
  • Student training and resources: Microsoft IT Academy. The program provides roughly 2,000 high-needs academic institutions and their educators, students and staff with digital curriculum and certification for fundamental technology skills.
  • Broadband as a critical component to connected learning. Microsoft's nonprofit partner EveryoneOn is offering home Internet service for as low as $10 to the 36 million low-income families and individuals in America. Home broadband Internet access allows students to complete Internet-based homework and stay connected with teachers and classmates after school. Because about a third of Americans lack broadband at home, Microsoft and EveryoneOn are helping to bridge that gap by providing low-income families with affordable options. To learn more about EveryoneOn, go to http://www.everyoneon.org.

"Education transformation is happening now, and technology is the tool that not only will enhance the work of our educators, but also will allow a more immersive, engaging experience for our students," said Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education, Microsoft Corp. "For more than a decade, Microsoft has helped educators and school leaders connect, collaborate and create so that students can realize their greatest potential. With this new offer, we can extend that experience to all of our U.S. schools and students."

Microsoft partners
The Microsoft Education offer will be coordinated and delivered through technology partners who serve K–12 schools. Hardware and device manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and others will now be able to make specially priced devices available to all U.S. public schools through this offer.

"At Dell, we are committed to providing students and teachers with comprehensive technology solutions that support their personalized learning environments and advance innovation in the classroom," said Bill Rodrigues, president, North America & Global Sales, Dell. "We share the goals of the education community and the president's ConnectED initiative and are proud to partner with Microsoft to maximize access to digital learning with affordable and efficient IT solutions."

"Lenovo's longstanding commitment to K–12 public education in the U.S. makes it an easy decision for us to join Microsoft as part of this initiative," said Jason Mooneyham, executive director, Public Sector, Lenovo. "If all of our kids are going to realize the promise of technology's contribution to their education, we have to do our part to work with their districts in choosing tools to help make access a reality."

School participation and eligibility
All U.S. public schools are eligible for this unique education offer and can contact their technology reseller or Microsoft for additional details or to access an official Letter of Eligibility. More information on the offer can also be found at http://www.microsoft.com/education/ConnectED.

About Microsoft in Education
At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to working with governments, communities, schools and educators to use the power of information technology to deliver technology, services and programs that provide anytime, anywhere learning for all. Since 2003, Microsoft has partnered with educators to impact more than 207 million students in 119 countries to date. Through TEACH.Org, Microsoft and other partners, candidates are provided free access to the online tools and resources necessary to pursue a career in teaching. For more information: http://www.microsoft.com/education.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...