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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 19, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Microsoft gives $15M to schools for games and cloud

Microsoft is giving $15 million to support game-based learning in schools and to build a cloud for education.

The company and the White House announced the donation on Monday. This comes on top of the $25 million Microsoft committed to create a college scholarship endowment in Washington state earlier this year.

Fred Humphries, senior vice president at Microsoft, met with Pres. Barack Obama in a Monday roundtable on education reform with other business leaders from State Farm, Intel, AT&T, Time Warner, Accenture and others. Here is the White House news release.

Some of the money will go toward game-based learning. “Around the world, every day, students are engaged in playing games. These digital exercises provide us insight into their motivations and passions. And yet, our classrooms and content take little advantage of this information,” Anthony Salcito, vice president for Microsoft Worldwide Education, wrote in a company blog post.

Other money will be used to build a digital learning archive, or where education meets the cloud to echo Steve Ballmer’s recent tag line for Office 365. “This will allow kids the ability to capture their learning artifacts, achievements, and various other types of data in a secure repository, allowing them to gather in one place their lifelong learning record, and share this information with those they choose,” Salcito wrote.

Microsoft will also use the money to train 150,000 teachers through a new program called Partners in Learning Network.

How Microsoft stacked up in Monday’s White House announcement: Bank of America committed $50 million and Nike committed $7 million to education.

Here is our earlier story on Microsoft’s $25 million donation to support state college scholarships.

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