Students and teachers in Washington state will be among the first to reap the benefits of a multimillion-dollar nationwide initiative sponsored by software giant Microsoft Corp. The project will develop curricula and build a collection of best practices intended to help educators better prepare today's students for success in an increasingly digital future.

Microsoft plans to spend more than $35 million over the next five years to add a U.S. component to its overseas Partners in Learning program, which has endeavored to train teachers and students in technology. The goal stateside is to create


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