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Microsoft Classroom Curriculum Management Platform

New Microsoft Classroom Curriculum Management Platform Engages Students, Involves Parents and Increases Teacher Productivity Microsoft Encarta Class Server Integrates Daily Curriculum With the Digital Age

ORLANDO, Florida and AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Monday, January 15, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. and Microsoft New Zealand today announced the international introduction of the Microsoft® Encarta® Class Server, a new curriculum management platform for primary and secondary schools that combines high-quality educational content from leading publishers with anytime, any place access for teachers, students and parents. Unlike any other platform available to date, Encarta Class Server allows teachers to manage online five major teaching areas - curriculum standards, lesson plans, content, assignment and assessment. The product is scheduled for release simultaneously in New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia in April 2001.

Microsoft has worked with leading technology vendors and education content providers to create this curriculum management framework, based on the Windows® 2000 Server operating system, which can correlate with both the Ministry of Education and schools' curriculum standards. Compaq Computer Corp. is one vendor that is providing support for Encarta Class Server, developing a complete software, hardware and services solution for the platform.

"From working closely with educators around the world, we have come to understand that teachers don't have the resources they need to connect their daily curriculum with today's classroom technology," said Mark East. Worldwide General Manager of the Education Solutions Group at Microsoft.

"Encarta Class Server will improve how New Zealand teachers manage their curriculum and assignments and how students learn. Most importantly, it will get parents more involved in their children's learning so that every student can be more successful," said Ross Peat, National Marketing Manager for Microsoft New Zealand.

With Microsoft Encarta, educators can locate, manipulate and create core curriculum materials using the secure Web-based environment provided by Encarta Class Server. School assignments can be organized by class or due date, and students can complete and turn in their assignments online. At the discretion of the school, parents can become more involved in their children's education through access to their child's assignments page, which includes upcoming homework, graded projects and teachers' comments. Yet none of this creates more work for the teacher.

"With Encarta Class Server, students can complete assignments and parents can stay up to date and informed on their child's education wherever they have access to the Internet," said Ross Peat. "This is powerful technology that is part of the Microsoft Connected Learning Community vision to help schools build collaborative, content-rich and student-focused learning environments that are available any time and any place."

-ENDS-


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