Philly schools get Microsoft brotherly love

Microsoft is teaming with the School District of Philadelphia to design and build a new high school wired with the latest in educational computing tools.

The District and Microsoft announced plans on Friday to construct a high school that ties technology into nearly every aspect of the institution's operations. The estimated $46 million project is being funded by a school district capital program, with Microsoft reporting that it will donate software, professional services and support staff for the school. "To ensure that our children are receiving the best education possible, we must continually ask ourselves how we can do this better," James E. Nevels, school reform chair for the District said in a statement. "By working with an innovator such as Microsoft and bringing in its expertise to manage this project, we intend to make real our shared vision for the school of the future."

Planned to open in September 2006, the school will serve roughly 700 students, the District said. The two parties said the school would aim to deliver a "holistic view" of what a learning environment can be when outfitted with contemporary technologies. The school's curriculum will be designed to facilitate "any time, anywhere learning," the two groups said, and will feature systems designed to help teachers administer lessons and evaluate student performance. Technology will be also be used to streamline school administrative functions such as attendance, ordering lunches and school supplies, teacher training, and tracking student progress.

News source: C|Net

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