Microsoft Releases Early-Learning Suite

My Personal Tutor: Preschool to First Grade

Grade: Pre -- K to 1

Platform: Windows 95

Microsoft Releases Early-Learning Suite

Microsoft is introducing an early-learning basic skills suite titled My Personal Tutor: Preschool to First Grade. It features TutorAssist, technology that recognizes when a child needs help with a concept and offers an interactive tutorial to assist understanding. These tutorials are designed with the same attention to detail as the software's main activities, making them a "bonus" for students.

This built-in assistance lets My Personal Tutor do "what a good tutor d'es -- identify concepts children have trouble with and give them targeted instruction where they need it most," said Lisa Brummel, kids product unit manager at Microsoft. "Kids don't get frustrated when they come to a concept they don't understand, because the multimedia tutorials help them work through it," she commented.

While employing the educational concept of "scaffolding" -- encouraging open-ended exploration while constructing a "scaffold" around the student that provides instructional support -- the software also complies with standards from the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the International Reading Association.

My Personal Tutor: Preschool to First Grade consists of four CDs: Preschool Workshop, Alphabet Playhouse, Reader Railway, and Mathopolis. It features reporting functions that track children's progress on all subjects and key learning objectives, and will cost around $55. Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, (800) 426-9400,

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This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.