George Mason Hosts Microsoft Mentor Program

Posted: July 31, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Becky Bishop

Beginning today, George Mason hosts the two-day Microsoft Mentor Program, a nationwide program developed by Microsoft to support faculty and training professionals in developing and enhancing their computer skills. Rather than focusing on teaching the features of the software applications, the program teaches professionals how to use the applications to solve educational problems. The university was chosen by the Microsoft Corporation to be a host institution.

Twenty-two individuals, representing nine institutions in four states, are participating in the development workshops for faculty and training professionals in this region. In addition to Virginia, participants come from Maryland, North Carolina, and Connecticut.

All of the participants in the program have been nominated by their respective institutions and selected by Microsoft to take part in the program. After receiving Microsoft training during the two-day faculty development workshop, the representatives will serve for one year as Microsoft mentors. They will be responsible for providing training to peers in their region, reporting their training activities using the Microsoft Mentor Community website, and taking part in online conversations with fellow Microsoft mentors. In return, they will be provided with Microsoft-developed training materials, MS Office 2000 Professional and MS FrontPage 2000 software, a training license enabling them to use up to 30 copies of each in a training lab, a training binder with step-by-step workshop instructions and CDs, and access to the Microsoft Mentor Community website. Microsoft Corporation will also hold periodic “Train the Trainer” sessions during which mentors may receive additional training skills to assist them in holding their own mentor training workshops in their regions.

As a host institution for the program, George Mason provides the meeting space, a computer lab for the hands-on training being offered during the workshop, and a server specifically designated for the Microsoft Mentor Program. In return, the university receives software and licenses for use during the workshop, as well as for use in supporting its faculty and professional development activities throughout the two-year term as a host institution. George Mason also receives self-paced training kits from Microsoft Press, an opportunity to nominate up to four university individuals for the Microsoft Mentor Program, and a Microsoft-Certified Professional to provide training during the two-day workshop.

According to Anne Agee, director of the Department of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies and one of the individuals responsible for George Mason’s involvement in the program, serving as a host institution for the program will establish George Mason as a leader among its peers in using computer technologies to enhance teaching and learning.

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