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Joint Education Venture Pairs Riverdeep and Microsoft; Collaborative effort to help students succeed throughout school districts.

SAN FRANCISCO & ORLANDO, Fla. -- Improving academic achievement is the key objective behind a unique relationship between Riverdeep and Microsoft, Riverdeep announced today at the Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando.

The joint education venture integrates the Riverdeep Learning Village(R) instructional portal and outstanding Destination Success(R) content and curriculum with Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to give educators and students greater online access to educational resources that can help children succeed in school.

"Partnering with Microsoft to deliver Riverdeep Learning Village and Destination Success through SharePoint technologies leverages the significant investment that many school districts have already made in their technology infrastructure, and connects it to the learning experience," said Gail Elizabeth Pierson, Riverdeep's chief education officer. "Working together, we will deliver a world-class education solution that will have broad impact on districts nationwide."

The first project the two companies are working on together is a collaborative effort that allows selected school districts in Florida to leverage their current Microsoft technology infrastructure with the Riverdeep Learning Village portal. This collaboration sets the stage for transforming the process of delivering, using and managing Riverdeep's learning resources across all school districts and creates a stronger connection between content, curriculum and learners. Microsoft's SharePoint environment provides the communication and collaboration framework, Office integration, single sign-on capability and other core services enabling an "education-ready" platform for Riverdeep to quickly and efficiently deliver world-class learning resources to K-12 students and teachers.

Delivered through Microsoft's SharePoint platform, the Riverdeep Learning Village instructional solution, along with integrated Destination Success content, will reach every teacher, student, parent and administrator in the school system. Projects in pilot districts will be launched before the end of this school year.

"Districts understand the value of their existing technology investments as well as the need to deliver exceptional learning resources. Our partnership with Riverdeep provides school districts with the opportunity to maximize their existing technology and, at the same time, meet the most important needs of teachers and students," said Anthony Salcito, general manager Education, Microsoft.

"We expect this pilot project has the potential to fundamentally change the expectations school districts have about learning resources, accountability and assessment and the technology to deliver it," added Salcito.

The Riverdeep Learning Village/SharePoint pilot project in Florida represents the first of many mutual development opportunities between Riverdeep and Microsoft. Also under consideration are versions of Riverdeep's award-winning KidPix(R) and The PrintShop(R) products to take advantage of the next generation Microsoft operating system, Windows. Collaboration also is underway to deliver Riverdeep's touch-screen learning content on Microsoft's new Ultra-Mobile PC, formerly codenamed "Origami."

"We believe our partnership with Microsoft provides Riverdeep and our customers with new solutions today and in the future that will have a tremendous, positive impact on teaching and learning," said Pierson.

About Riverdeep Learning Village(R)

Riverdeep Learning Village is a web-based instructional portal for communication, collaboration, teaching and professional development. It features state-of-the-art assessment and management tools, outstanding content and curriculum, powerful professional development capabilities, and district-wide customization activities that enable teachers to perform more effectively, administrators to manage better, and parents to be more involved in their children's education.

About Destination Success(R)

Destination Success is a new approach to reading and math instruction that lets teachers effectively individualize instruction in a real-world classroom. The program combines standards based assessment, learning management, award-winning courseware and professional development to help schools raise test scores, even for at-risk students.

About Riverdeep

Riverdeep Inc., A Limited Liability Company, with offices in San Francisco, California, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dublin (Ireland) and Manchester (United Kingdom) is a leading publisher of interactive products focusing on education and personal productivity for the consumer and school markets. Riverdeep's rich portfolio of interactive award-winning products feature such well-known brands as the Destination Success(R) solution, which includes Destination Math(R) and Destination Reading(R); The Print Shop(R); Reader Rabbit(R) and Kid Pix(R). For more information, call toll free 888-242-6747 or visit www.riverdeep.net.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 23, 2006
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