Many students are bored and are not engaged in their education, because schools largely are not adapting to their students’ digital lifestyles, Microsoft executive Martin Bean told a group of educators gathered Dec. 2 for Microsoft’s School of the Future World Summit in Seattle. "Our end users [students] feel that the actual system in which they are forced to live is so disconnected from the world that they live in," he said, citing a U.S. Department of Education study showing that while most students believe education is important, few think it meets their needs. Blanket policies, such as bans on cell phones or locking up computer rooms, do not help, Bean said during his keynote address and later during an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. To change that, Bean loosely outlined a slew of projects Microsoft has in the works. For instance, he said, Microsoft’s Live@edu initiative, which principally manages eMail for educational institutions, would expand its offerings. He also said Microsoft is working on a set of "content-creation tools" that teachers will be able to use to assemble digital content for students. And Microsoft will add specific tools designed for use in educational settings to Office and SharePoint, its collaboration technology…

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