Every Child Achieves Act will improve access to K-12 STEM learning nationwide

The U.S. Senate this week completed work on a major education overhaul that will increase access to STEM learning nationwide. We applaud the leadership of HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for ushering through legislation on a strong, bipartisan basis that advances some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy. Specifically, the Every Child Achieves Act includes: A provision offered by Sen. Al Read more »

Delivering low-cost, solar-powered Internet access to rural Kenya

TV white spaces, Internet access

Recently, I returned to Nanyuki, Kenya to check on the progress of a unique project Microsoft launched with Mawingu Networks, Jamii Telecom Limited and the Kenyan Ministry of ICT to deliver low-cost, solar-powered Internet access and device charging to rural Kenya. The project, launched two years ago, utilizes ‘white spaces’ – TV frequencies assigned to broadcasters but not used locally – that could be used to provide wireless, broadband access Read more »

Students flock to Computer Science Fair in Redmond to explore exciting futures

TEALS, education, youths, computer science

Last week, more than 1,600 Washington state high school students and teachers traveled to Microsoft to explore the awesome educational and career opportunities offered by computer science. Students who attended are part of TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools), a volunteer movement supported by Microsoft YouthSpark to bring computer science (CS) education to every high school. The program partners technology industry professionals with classroom teachers to “team teach” computer Read more »

Microsoft protects student privacy, while encouraging innovation

Cloud-based tools help create rich, personalized instruction in schools, but pose tough challenges for student and family privacy, writes Cameron Evans, chief technology officer for Microsoft Education. “In order for personalized learning to be more than a hollow promise, technology must be used to gather personal information from students,” Evans writes Tuesday in the Microsoft in Education Blog. “But how that data is handled matters.” He says Microsoft is committed Read more »

Why we need to pass House Bill 1813 in Washington state

Hour of Code, education, computer science

Over the past two years, Microsoft and our allies worked to broaden access to computer science in high school. Half the states now allow computer science courses to count toward high school graduation. Yet every student should be able to learn this subject. It’s time for Washington state to make computer science really count by passing House Bill 1813. That’s why I joined leaders from education, non-profits, and business in Read more »

Testimony to Congress details importance of student privacy, necessity of federal reform

education, privacy

Today I had the privilege of testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education during a hearing, “How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy.” This hearing was both timely and significant. As technology plays an increasing role in education, parents and students are thinking about the data collected by schools and the extent to which it is being gathered and protected. My testimony detailed the commitment Read more »

White House endorses student privacy pledge in call for comprehensive privacy reform

Today, I had the privilege of listening to the president’s speech at the Federal Trade Commission on privacy protections for consumers. While the president touched on many important issues during this speech, he specifically discussed how these protections extend to K-12 students, including the expanded role and benefits of technology in the classroom and the accompanying need for greater privacy protections for student data. Currently, federal law provides inadequate protection Read more »

Educational leaders discuss student privacy in higher education at D.C. symposium

education, privacy, Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center

In early December, higher-education policy professionals and academics gathered at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. for a half-day symposium on challenges raised by new approaches and emerging data-driven platforms in higher education. The discussion, “Building Privacy into Data-Driven Education,” was part of the @Microsoft series and was held in partnership with the Information Law Institute at NYU. Microsoft’s Senior Policy Counsel Greg McCurdy and NYU Information Law Read more »

Online assessments in the United States

Almost everyone remembers taking an exam on paper, filling in your multiple-choice answer selection in the oval bubbles with a No. 2 pencil. Ah, the good old days. Before the widespread availability of personal technology we did most of our learning (and teaching) with the most advanced technologies available – paper and pencil. While definitely tried and true, paper and pencil don’t enable the level of adaptation to the learning Read more »

Our pledge to safeguard student privacy

Usually when I hear the words “student” and “pledge” used in the same sentence, I’m transported back to a classroom in Brooklyn, New York, where my classmates and I would start each day by reciting, “I pledge allegiance, to the flag….” Today, though, I’d like to tell you about an entirely different pledge, one that I’m proud Microsoft is taking to protect student privacy. This morning, the Future of Privacy Read more »