Tag Archives: America

Empowering literacy for everyone with free Microsoft Stores workshops |

America has a literacy crisis.

Students, parents and teachers attended a recent literacy kick-off event at Microsoft to see how Learning Tools improve reading.

More than 36 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. And children whose parents have low literacy levels have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These kids are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out1.

In a majority of classrooms today, teachers have students reading at up to four different grade levels, trying to keep the same pace on curriculum2.

That’s why Microsoft Store and Microsoft Education are teaming up to offer free workshops this fall, using Microsoft Learning Tools to create dedicated curriculum for those with literacy challenges.

Workshops will be offered at different times throughout the year at all Microsoft Stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, so be sure to check out the local Store programming near you to find the right workshop for your needs. Workshops will be catered to students’ age range, including:

Empowering students affected by Dyslexia

Educators and parents/caregivers working with students of any age; and children in 8th grade or above who are accompanied by an adult, will get hands-on experience with Microsoft applications and tools – including Learning Tools, the Ease of Access menu and accessibility and productivity features of Office 365. Teachers will be empowered to create inclusive classrooms that support students of all abilities, while parents/caregivers will gain skills to support learners outside of the classroom.

The workshop covers why it’s important to create an inclusive classroom, tools to empower different learning styles and abilities, and tools to support students with disabilities.

Boost your reading confidence and literacy skills ages 8-12

This workshop introduces students, with foundational literacy skills, to the Immersive Reader in the OneNote app. Participants will build confidence and improve their reading comprehension through grade-level–appropriate activities with Immersive Reader features. Activities include demonstrations, playing “Mad-Lib” style games, and building and reading stories in pairs to gain hands-on experience using the tools.

Literacy skills for emerging readers ages 6-8

This workshop introduces emerging readers to Learning Tools for OneNote via age–appropriate activities with Immersive Reader features. Activities include discussions, demonstrations, and playing word and story games to gain hands-on experience using the tools. At the end, participants will share what they learned with their parent or caregiver. Throughout the workshop, participants will learn how to build confidence and improve their reading comprehension, and should leave prepared to continue using Learning Tools to further develop reading skills at home and at school.

Two students celebrate during the literacy kickoff event at Microsoft.

With free software like Microsoft Learning Tools and heroic educators like Merlyne Graves, we are encouraged by the progress that’s happening every day. More than 13 million teachers and students are already using Microsoft Learning Tools for free as part of Office 365 Education, including tools like Immersive Reader, Picture Dictionary and Dictation. These are proving to increase reading and writing skill successfully, as evidenced by the recent 3rd party study from RTI International, Leveling the Playing Field with Microsoft Learning Tools.

Through these workshops, we hope to give anyone who may have challenges with reading and writing skills the tools they need to feel empowered and to personalize their learning experience, especially those in underserved communities, or with learning differences like ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Autism.

Decoding Dyslexia, a parent-led movement to raise awareness around Dyslexia, is partnering with Microsoft on these workshops. “We need to get technology like Learning Tools into the hands of more students with Dyslexia and other learning differences before they fall behind,” said Rachel Berger, CEO of Decoding Dyslexia, “so I’m excited about the reach Microsoft Stores will have this fall. It’s truly empowering software that can make any classroom more inclusive.”

To kick off the program, Microsoft recently hosted more than 400 students, parents and teachers from across Washington and Oregon to be the first to try the new workshops. The event also included a keynote from former NFL cornerback Robert Tate, who shared his experience with dyslexia at a young age. “My friends didn’t know I had dyslexia,” Robert said. “I would hide within myself and make sure I wasn’t the one putting my hand up to ask questions or the one reading in class. You just have to keep moving forward and never go backwards.”

Ales Holecek, corporate vice president at Microsoft who helped spark discussions that led to Learning Tools, also spoke to the group, telling the audience of parents, teachers and students about his reading comprehension issues that started at a young age and continue today. “I take a long time to read anything and hate emails. I tell my team to send short emails; or better still, come speak to me in person,” said Holecek. For Ales, the turning point came in coding, which he felt operated on a simpler vocabulary.

To learn more and find the right workshop for you or your student, check out your local Store programming.

1 National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

2 https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED562664.pdf

Bank of America chooses the Microsoft Cloud to support digital transformation – News Center

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 2, 2017 — As part of its digital transformation, Bank of America is turning to the Microsoft Cloud to help deliver new business efficiencies, support digital culture change and better meet customer needs.

“Technology is increasingly providing a competitive advantage to financial services firms looking to thrive in the digital economy,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft Corp. “Bank of America is taking a very strategic approach to cloud, looking at technology as a means to drive change and open up new business opportunities. With Microsoft Office 365 and Azure, the firm will have access to the breadth and depth of our cloud capabilities, underscored by Microsoft’s investments in security, transparency and regulatory compliance.”

Bank of America will take advantage of the combined power of the Microsoft Cloud for business transformation. Microsoft Office 365 will provide modern, cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools to some of the bank’s 200,000 employees. The firm will also utilize Microsoft Azure, capitalizing on the scale, economics and intelligent capabilities of the platform and services.

“We are aggressively modernizing our technology infrastructure to enable current and future growth across all our lines of business,” said Howard Boville, chief technology officer at Bank of America. “Our agreement with Microsoft aligns to our target of delivering 80 percent of our technology workloads on virtual platforms within the next several years, further establishing Bank of America as a digital leader in financial services.”

Microsoft’s Financial Services Compliance program — a unique program that allows firms and regulators to deeply examine Microsoft cloud systems, services and processes — provides transparency into Microsoft cloud operations. This helps ensure Microsoft has taken the proper steps to secure data and mitigate risk. In addition, Microsoft’s industry-leading compliance portfolio assists financial institutions move to the cloud while meeting current compliance requirements, as well as plan for future regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation.

Microsoft continues to see strong cloud adoption from the financial services industry, with more than 80 percent of the world’s largest banks and more than 75 percent of the global systemically important financial institutions using Azure. This represents the highest bar for legal, compliance, security and acquisitions teams.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,600 retail financial centers, approximately 15,900 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users and more than 22 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @Microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft Media Relations or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

Microsoft YouthSpark at We Day

The WE movement has empowered millions of young people across North America to improve their communities and the world. To inspire even more, WE Day will be broadcast on CBS – with a star-studded cast including Selena Gomez, Alicia Keys, Alessia Cara and more – to celebrate the positive impact of young people.

In 2013, Microsoft brought WE Day to the United States for the first time. We saw how WE Day and the year-long WE Schools program inspired youth to create opportunities for themselves and others through service learning. Since then, we’ve helped bring the movement to hundreds of thousands of students in the US and Canada.

This year, Microsoft is proud to partner with WE to bring the WE movement to more students, educators and schools than ever before. For the first time, the WE Schools Kit will be available as a Microsoft OneNote digital download. Now, teachers and students can get involved regardless of their location.

Together, Microsoft and WE are empowering a generation of young people with the skills, resources, and inspiration they need to create a more inclusive world.

Sign up for WE Schools >

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