Microsoft IT Academy - Blog

Power their Future
  • This week I’m honored to be in Anaheim, California, at the Certiport MOS World Championship, now in its 13th year. As a representative of the Microsoft Learning Experiences team, I’m getting to meet and cheer on some of the youngest, brightest Office enthusiasts.

    This year’s event is bigger and more exciting than ever! Here it is, by the numbers:

    • 241 students and chaperones are attending. Of the 155 students attending, 133 are participating in the MOS competition.
    • 42 countries are represented.
    • 747,895 total exam deliveries were entered into the competition, compared to 652,211 exams entered last year.
    • 401,719 unique candidates entered the competition.
    • Exam deliveries by application:
      • 316,360 Word
      • 168,340 Excel
      • 263,195 PowerPoint

    Collectively, Microsoft speakers have laid the groundwork for further discussion around the value of certification. Here’s a partial rundown:

    Becoming a Larger Part of the Microsoft Learning Solution

    Microsoft Director of Academic Content Keith Loeber covered the diversity of teaching methods in today’s evolving classrooms. From flipped classrooms to blended learning, the latest innovative methods integrate technology to align to today’s needs. Keith also addressed the benefits of training and certification for teachers, to enable new technology curriculum—and how ITA is equipping both teachers and students with learning and certification paths to support their success.

    The Impact of Industry Certification on Education Outcomes - Changing the Lives of Students
    Margo Day, Vice President of U.S. Education, talked about global IT trends and how certification can lead to relevant employment. She addressed the global demand in IT as well as the lack of qualified professionals to fill the roles. She called ITA a gateway for schools to provide both educators and students the curriculum and certifications they need today.

    Stay tuned for further updates and a winner announcement!

    Related:

     As Senior Director of the Sales, Marketing & Programs team within Microsoft Learning, Carrie Francey oversees worldwide sales, marketing and programs for Microsoft’s Learning Experiences team, responsible for building Microsoft’s reach with learning partners & customers.

  •  This time of year is ideal for celebrating triumphs. With summer in full swing, here at IT Academy we’re counting programs around the world that are taking root or making exceptional progress. This year’s tally is especially strong:

    • In the U.S., statewide programs now cover 30 percent of the country.
    • Arizona and West Virginia have increased their number of statewide programs to 14.
    • Puerto Rico has doubled its ITA footprint to 800 schools.
    • Georgia has renewed all 441 ITAs and augmented its Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification program.
    • ITA programs have been renewed across Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Hawaii Libraries.
    • São Paolo, Brazil, is piloting ITA for potential rollout to 5,000 schools.
    • The State of Mexico is continuing its MOS certification drive with 85 programs.

    Here are some related news bits from around the world:

    Tunisia Commits to Certifying 25,000+ Students Yearly

    The Tunisian Ministries of Education and Employment & Vocational Training have embraced IT Academy and Microsoft certification in a big way:

    • 110 high schools will deliver IT Baccalaureate training.
    • 30 IT centers will certify 20,000 students in MOS, 5,000 students in Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), and 500 students in Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) yearly.

       

    With 220,000 unemployed graduates, including 10,000 in IT, per year, Tunisia is decidedly redefining its course with ITA.

    Kenya Claims Africa’s First Nationwide Library ITA   

    Kenya National Library Services and the Communication Authorities of Kenya are on a mission to empower 100,000 library users with Microsoft skills and certifications, signing up to deliver 30,000 MOS exams and 5,000 MTA exams via 60 IT Academies.

    Linked with the newly launched, Microsoft-sponsored TukoWorks employability portal, the libraries will help close the IT skills gap in Kenya.

    South Korea Adds 900 ITAs

    Already a MOS powerhouse, with 300,000 MOS exams taken in 2014, South Korea has added 900 IT Academies. Two programs that stand out in both size and impact are National Computer Academy Seoul Association (189 centers) and Gyeonggi Regional Office of Education (201 schools).

    ITA Now in Place at All of Arizona’s 265 High Schools

    Arizona is the fourth western U.S. state to adopt IT Academy statewide, with ITA benefits and certification now extended to all public high schools. With more than 6,000 jobs requiring or preferring Microsoft skills and certifications currently open in Arizona, opportunity looks promising for the newly certified.

     

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship Next Week!

    Who will be the next MOS World champion? The question looms large for six U.S. students who won the 2014 MOS U.S. National Championship last month and are preparing to compete in the World Championship, July 27-30, in Anaheim, CA.

    The winning students ranked highest among more than 300,000 entrants for their demonstrated level of proficiency in utilizing the world's foremost desktop computing applications. They are:

    • Microsoft Excel® 2010: Daniel Hill, Green Hope High School, Cary, NC ׀ interview
    • Microsoft Excel® 2007: Stormy Skyles, Caldwell Parish High School, Columbia, LA ׀ interview
    • Microsoft PowerPoint® 2010: Timothy Holdiness, Ouachita Parish High School, Monroe, LA ׀ interview
    • Microsoft PowerPoint® 2007: Tyler Millis, Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, FL ׀ interview
    • Microsoft Word® 2010: Kyle Forst, Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center, New Kent, Virginia ׀ interview
    • Microsoft Word® 2007: Dominique Howard, East Harlem Employment Service, New York, New York ׀ interview

    Dominique Howard had this to say about her win: "To me, it means I’m more proactive and efficient in everything I do, utilizing the programs. I do use them every day at work. Just to say I’m going to World, that says a lot. My marketability just shot up.”

    Congrats, regional champions, and good luck in the final draw!

    Imagine Cup around the Corner

    It’s a busy time of year for student technologists! The Imagine Cup World Championship is another popular event, taking place August 1-2. The Imagine Cup invites all qualifying students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of our competitions and challenges. See this year’s competitions.

    This year’s World Championship will include fun and competitions in Seattle for two days!

    Friday, August 1 at 8:30 A.M. PDT:

    • Top teams will compete live on stage at Microsoft in Redmond, in front of up to 5,000 technologists, to win the Imagine Cup and the opportunity to meet with Bill Gates.
    • The Championship will be broadcast live on the Imagine Cup home page.
    • Satya Nadella, Brad Smith, Steve Guggenheimer, and executives from Code.org and Reddit are scheduled to attend.

    Saturday, August 2:
    The Seattle Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and Microsoft will host Imagine Cup Day. The museum will open its doors to the public for free, and the Imagine Cup world finalists will showcase their projects.

    Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite Imagine Cup project, and the team with the winning project will receive the People’s Choice Award.

    Learn more about the Imagine Cup World Finals.

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Everyone with a Microsoft Office Specialist certification has a story to share that can motivate, inspire, and encourage others to succeed. Certiport and Microsoft asked students to share their stories to inspire others preparing for college and careers, as well as celebrate their success for becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Office Specialist Expert, or Microsoft Office Specialist Master. 

    More than 100 students from across the globe submitted stories, with one lucky student--Roshan Bista from Nepal--selected randomly to receive a Microsoft Surface. We encourage you to browse and share the stories at mos.mycertiportstory.com--click the graphic below to get inspired!

  • Starting this week, more than 150 schools in Delhi, India are now Microsoft IT Academies, providing 21st century technology learning opportunities to more than 150,000 students and 7500 educators.  The program, a chartered by Rotary International District 3010 and Microsoft India, is one of the largest and most comprehensive technology skills enhancement programs for K-12 students and educators in India. 

    The launch of the IT Academy program is an important milestone to spread IT skills through Educational Institutions in Delhi NCR. This collaboration will help students and educators get access to World Class Curriculum and Certification from Microsoft to help them acquire relevant skills for work in the 21st Century. The program’s resources include online learning content, official Microsoft course materials, curricula, learning management system and instructor tools. Further, each school gets access to student and faculty certifications to train educators to use world-class curriculum in their classrooms. The curricula spans computer basics to high-level programming including Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio and other cutting-edge application development tools.

    “By collaborating with Microsoft, we are able to provide a roadmap to technology proficiency and industry-recognized Microsoft certification credentials that are not only well aligned to Rotary’s goal of 100% literacy by 2017 but go a step further to provide Digital Literacy skills. We hope to spread this initiative to the rest of the country, as well as globally, over a period of time,” said Rtn Sanjay Khanna, District Governor, Rotary International District 3010. 

    Read more: 

  • Certiport today announced the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Champions. The winners were named at the U.S. National Championship event in Atlanta, Georgia and will travel to Anaheim, California to compete in the MOS World Championship from July 27 – 30, 2014.

    The U.S. winners are as follows:

    • Microsoft Excel® 2010: Daniel Hill, Green Hope High School, Cary, NC
    • Microsoft Excel® 2007: Stormy Skyles, Caldwell Parish High School, Columbia, LA
    • Microsoft PowerPoint® 2010: Timothy Holdiness, Ouachita Parish High School, Monroe, LA
    • Microsoft PowerPoint® 2007: Tyler Millis, Dunbar High School, Fort Myers, FL
    • Microsoft Word® 2010: Kyle Forst, Bridging Communities Regional Career and Technical Center, New Kent, Virginia
    • Microsoft Word® 2007: Dominique Howard, East Harlem Employment Service, New York, New York

    From August 2013 to May 2014, more than 300,000 students in the United States entered the competition to demonstrate their level of proficiency in utilizing the world's foremost desktop computing applications. At the MOS U.S. National Championship, finalists participated in timed exams and interviews to demonstrate their expertise in Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. The champions in each program, along with a chaperone, have won an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the 2014 MOS World Championship in Anaheim, California.

    “By earning MOS certification, these students already have an accomplishment that prepares them for success in college and careers,” said Bob Whelan, president and chief executive officer for Pearson VUE. “They have proven their superior knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, the most popular productivity tools in the world, and we wish them the best as they compete at the World Championship.”

  • Educators face increasing pressure from parents, businesses, and governing agencies to instill in students the technology skills needed to navigate a volatile job market. As schools seek ways to boost students' competitive advantage, some educators are asking whether younger students can handle advanced technology training. Are they up for the challenge? Will it give them the upper hand? 

    For one technology instructor in Washington State, the answer is a demonstrative 'yes' and 'yes.' Katherine Schmit-- Business & Technology Instructor/FBLA Advisor at Kalama High School--shares her experience training and certifying incoming high school freshmen in advanced technology curriculum, and the enthusiasm and proficiency these digital natives are bringing to the classroom.

    I believe that students learn the technology that we expect them to learn. The higher the expectation, the higher the learning curve. Seven years ago, when I started teaching, Digitools was an elective. During that first year,  several teachers commented in staff meetings that they wished they could assign a PowerPoint, video, MLA paper or spreadsheet with charts to a class with at least the basic technical skills to complete the assignment, as they did not have time teach technology in a core class. At that time, I approached the administration with the recommendation that Digitools be a required course for all freshmen. This would ensure that they knew PowerPoint, Word, Excel, MovieMaker and other technology skills such as blogging to the proficient point of applying it in other curricular areas. They agreed and the rest is history.

    In 2010 I learned that the Microsoft IT Academy program offered free certification and we dove in head first. Since then we have been certifying freshmen every year in the three core programs, as well as Expert and even Master-level certifications. 

    This year has been a banner year for certification. Students are living up to the legacy set for them by their predecessors. Knowing that a perfect score is attainable, this is what they aim for rather than simply certifying. Each year we have had approximately a 5-10% increase in certification numbers, with approximately a 5% increase in the number of students certifying. This year was my highest by far, including all of my learning challenged students, because I have ALL freshmen with 57% of them holding at least 3 certifications compared to 48% last year. As high as 87% of all freshmen are certifying in OneNote, 79% in PowerPoint, 67% in Word and 49% in Excel! These numbers are more than a 10% increase over last year. Most student know how to use these programs proficiently, yet some have exam phobia and are not able to certify. Again, having students go to the competition and come back excited and sharing their experiences with assemblies and classes has really skyrocketed results. I certainly see this as an upward trend.

     Now why, you may ask, am I posting these numbers? Certainly not to brag…but I want any teacher out there to know that day one is overwhelming! The lingo is foreign, there are websites to become familiar with, processes to be done and programs installed, conversations with the tech department, curriculum department and all of that. But I want you to know that the results ARE WORTH THE EFFORT AND THERE IS HELP! We have businesses in Kalama that are using our success story in their presentations to other GLOBAL potential clients as incentive to do business here. These same companies are aware of the certifications and say that the credential will make all the difference on an applicant’s resume.

    As a result of the success with our freshmen, we are implementing a technology plan for K-12 that is much more rigorous than anyone here has previously attempted. Teaching typing in the early grades, MovieMaker, Word, PowerPoint and Excel basics in the elementary grades, certification level curriculum in the Middle School and, if the plan works, Master-level achievement, en masse, as freshmen, so that MTA resources can be deployed to freshmen and upper level technology thought patterns employed at a younger and younger age.

    The tech movement is not going anywhere. It is moving forward at light speed and we must either catch the wave, or be left behind. We are preparing these kids for a future and jobs that do not currently exist. We need to introduce them to these skills at a younger age, as they come in as native, digital learners, we must enhance that native skill instead of breaking them down to paper and pencil, just to retrain them later in technology.

    Katherine Schmit
    Business & Technology Instructor/FBLA Advisor, Kalama High School
    Microsoft Certified Trainer
    Microsoft Office 2010 Master Specialist


  • We’re thrilled to introduce the first post in a recurring series by Anneleen Vaandrager, Senior Director of Worldwide Sales for Microsoft Learning Experiences. Based in The Netherlands, Anneleen champions the advancements of the Microsoft IT Academy program, advocating for IT Academies across the globe in more than 133 countries. Anneleen was a DJ in her past life and is passionate about Indie Rock, New Wave, and eighties music.

    Her new column—ITA Triumphs – shares success stories from you—the educators, teachers, staff, and administrators who comprise the heart and soul of the Microsoft IT Academy program.

    As a global program, our goal is to highlight success in two ways: educators sharing achievements from the recent school term and others sharing certification objectives for the new year. In this column, Anneleen will share stories that bridge the world of academia and technical training across hemispheres, time zones, and cultures.

    Today’s featured success stories from U.S. schools concluding the 2013-14 school year, demonstrate how the academic community is engaging more deeply than ever in ITA as a stepping stone to higher education and the workplace. Students are discovering that earning MOS certification gives them an edge

    Here’s a glimpse of the triumphs:

    Fayette County High School girls max out ITA certifications, become school’s go-to techies

    In May, students Courtney Abrahims and Reagan Beavers from Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA, set two records: most Microsoft certifications at their school and youngest women ever to appear on The Dana Barrett Show on WAFS-AM radio in Atlanta. Notably, their school also became the first high school in Georgia to administer Microsoft certification exams on-site.

    “Jump in,” the girls advised incoming freshmen. “ITA takes up an elective spot, that’s it. The teachers teach you so well in school that if you get it then, that’s it, you’ve got it.”

    After approaching ITA as an elective, the girls went on to take all possible exams, to gain the maximum number of credentials.

    “Since we were taking all these tests…anything they were willing to let us take, we were ready to take,” they said.

    During the interview, Courtney and Reagan described the process and benefits of Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access. To them, certification meant securing a summer job at a local credit union, standing out on college applications, and assisting teachers with the certification process.

    Courtney and Reagan plan to attend college and pursue early childhood development and medicine. They thanked their teachers, Melissa Leonard and Jennifer Metcalfe, for supporting their achievements.

    Listen to the show

    A+ to Prince Edward County H.S. in Virginia, for 100-percent MOS certification

    Prince Edward County High School in Farmville, VA, recently congratulated 43 computer information students who earned at least one MOS certification, with 38 of those students having earned a second MOS certification—great work!

    “For 100 percent of my students to earn at least one certification is an amazing feeling and demonstrates that Virginia Career and Technical Education is helping students succeed in whatever their future path may be,” said CTE instructor Jessica Tibbs.

    Tibbs said ITA plays a vital role in the classroom, helping with both remediation and enrichment. Her students used Microsoft IT Academy, Certiprep and group OneNote assignments to prepare for the exams.

    Armuchee H.S. IT Academy earns 76 Microsoft certifications in debut year

    Armuchee High School in Rome, GA, has completed its debut year as an IT Academy with 76 MOS certificates earned by students and their instructors.

    A total of 25 Armuchee High students and instructors earned Word 2010 certification, 49 were successful on PowerPoint 2010, and two earned an Excel 2010 certificate. Nine Armuchee students along with one instructor earned industry certification in two areas.

    Read the story.

    Eight Holsten High School students earn 27 certifications!

    Holsten High School (Damascus, VA) students Austin Fleming, Nick Warbuton, Grayson Blackburn (back row);  Casey Hicks, Brandon Barr, Ashley Rector, and Danielle Barlow (front row) earned a combined 27 MOS certifications this school year.

    The students are sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in Computer Information Systems and/or Advanced Computer Information Systems classes, led by Joy Munsey. The earned certifications include MOS Word 2010 (all 8 students), MOS Excel 2010 (7), MOS PowerPoint 2010 (7), MOS Access 2010 (3), and MOS Word Expert 2010 (2). 

    Alabama ITA congratulates 30+ MOS-certified students

    More than 30 students at Dallas County High School in Plantersville, AL, were recently honored as recipients MOS certification.

    Business teacher Dorothy Moore, who leads the school’s IT Academy, said she’s confident that the material that the students learned through the class will fully prepare them for the challenges the post-high school world will bring, such as job interviews.Read the full story reported by the Selma Times Journal.

    Anneleen Vaandrager is Senior Director of Worldwide Sales for Microsoft Learning Experiences (Microsoft LeX), overseeing the growth of the Microsoft IT Academy program. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2007, Anneleen was the Vice President and General Manager of Pearson Plc. for Europe, Middle East and Africa where she led Pearson’s computer based testing division for Information Technology, Academic, Government and Professional Testing Programs.


    Anneleen has served on the Board of Directors for ACT Inc. and ASTD’s Certification Institute; has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Directors for Digital Alliance; and is a founding member of CEDMA (Computer Education Mngt Association); a founding member of eSCC e-skills Competences Consortium, and a founding member of ATP EMEA (Association of Test Publishers).

     

     

  • Latest from IT Academy

    It’s here! Check out the New IT Academy members-only site!

    We’re excited to announce the launch and redesign of our new IT Academy member site! Check it out.

    A year’s worth of feedback from our members, and several months of design work, went into this ground-up overhaul to better align the site to the IT Academy public site and, foremost, to meet members’ needs.

    If you’re an ITA member, you’ll want to check out the simplified navigation and easy access to program benefits. Streamlined content makes it easier than ever to find the information you’re looking for.

    Experience the new site for yourself!

    Want another way to easily access your program benefits? Download the new Microsoft IT Academy app for Windows 8.1

    Eight Holsten High School Students Earn 27 Certifications

    Congratulations to Holsten High School (Damascus, VA) students Austin Fleming, Nick Warbuton, Grayson Blackburn (back row);  Casey Hicks, Brandon Barr, Ashley Rector, and Danielle Barlow (front row) for a truly remarkable achievement: these eight students earned a combined 27 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications this school year!

    The ambitious students are sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in Computer Information Systems and/or Advanced Computer Information Systems classes, led by Joy Munsey. The earned certifications include MOS Word 2010 (all 8 students), MOS Excel 2010 (7), MOS PowerPoint 2010 (7), MOS Access 2010 (3), and MOS Word Expert 2010 (2).

    Great job, guys! Keep up the fantastic work!

    We want to hear about your students’ successes, too!

    By highlighting your IT Academy accomplishments on the IT Academy blog, you can help lead the way for other members and students around the world. Send a brief summary of your success and any accompanying images or videos—along with your contact information—to the IT Academy team. We look forward to hearing from you!

    In Other News...

    Revolutionizing the Classroom One Technology at a Time

    Erich-Gutenberg-Vocational School (Germany) has integrated technology into their work-based learning curriculum to bring students deeper skills which are necessary for future success in life and their careers. See how they are revolutionizing the classroom. 


    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Alabama Microsoft IT Academy Congratulates 30+ MOS-Certified Students

    More than 30 students at Dallas County High School in Plantersville, AL, were recently honored as recipients Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. 

    Business teacher Dorothy Moore, who leads the school’s IT Academy, said she’s confident that the material that the students learned through the class will fully prepare them for the challenges the post-high school world will bring, such as job interviews.

    Introduced in November 2012, Alabama’s Microsoft IT Academy helps train 5,000 students across the state.

    Learn more.

    In Other News...

    Microsoft to Provide Office 365 to Eight Million Students in Thailand

    Microsoft Thailand and the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) have signed an agreement to provide eight million students and 400,000 teachers across Thailand with free access to Microsoft Office 365 for education, comprising the biggest cloud service deployment for Microsoft in the education sector globally.

    Microsoft and OBEC have also extended their existing Partners in Learning (PIL) initiative, which has fostered innovative use of technology among more than 164,000 teachers and eight million students across 39,000 schools in Thailand, to date.

    Read the story.

    Seventeen Year-old Adora Svitak Urges Educators Forward

    Author of three books. Internationally acclaimed speaker. Advocate for literacy, youth empowerment and feminism. These are big titles for a teenager, and Adora Svitak wears them all.

    Hear Svitak talking with Anthony Salcito about the need to move forward with technology in education, on daily edventures.

    You can also watch Svitak’s 2010 speech, “What Adults Can Learn from Kids,” on TED.

     Have Students Building Windows Apps? Check Out This New Guide

    Every app developer should know the basics about performance when building Windows Store apps. This new book from Microsoft Press zeroes in on the essentials of planning for great performance and provides a solid starting point for building fast apps.

    Get more information.

    How Innovative Is Innovative? Meet Indian Learning Partner, Koenig

    New Delhi-based Koenig Solutions, a Microsoft Learning Partner, is doing more than delivering technology training. They’re embracing a uniquely innovative model that includes “edutourism” (offshore IT training including site-seeing), customized boot camp and “fly-me-a trainer” programs.

    This level of innovation owes in part to the leadership of Koenig CEO Rohit Aggarwal, who won the Microsoft Citizenship Partner of the year award in 2009. 

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Our final webinar of 2013-2014 hit the mark in providing rich coverage of a topic that has come to the fore for so many educators. Watch it now to get tips on 1-to-1 learning and the practice of BYOD (bring your own device). 

    In this session, Author Pamela Livingston shared information she gleaned while researching for her book, 1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work. And she answered common questions including:

    • Are we collectively into the “next phase” of 1-to-1, and should we stop calling it 1-to-1?
    • What if you’re just starting out: What should you watch for and expect?
    • If you’re in a mature program, what is the four-year slump, and could it be happening to your school?
    • What questions should teachers ask themselves when they’re designing units for their device-equipped students?

    Watch the webinar on YouTube: 

  • What a webinar year it’s been! After covering a full gambit of topics related to technology in education, and featuring a colorful cast of wise and helpful speakers, we’re excited to share the whole package with you. You can find all of the topics featured on Youtube:

     View the playlist

     

    Looking for specific topics? Skim below to find what you need.

    Training with Technology: Using technology to engage and motivate students

    Devices in the classroom are enabling instructors to bring real-world applications to students. Hear how academic leaders are driving change through new BYOD (“bring your own device”) policies and teacher professional development. Guest speaker Peter Sigmund, CIO for LaSalle High School in Pennsylvania, and his team share their story about their compelling vision for offering a Microsoft Surface to each incoming freshman; and Scott Thompson from Microsoft Education provides an in-depth review of training resources for educators teaching technology in the classroom.

     

    Watch the entire webinar ׀ Learn more 

     

    Guiding students down a path toward a successful career in technology

    Youth unemployment is rising. For educators, this begs the question: "How can I best equip students for a competitive hiring landscape?" Get a holistic view of the situation in this webinar. A panel of experts discusses worldwide trends in technology hiring; the value of training and certification; ways that educators can counsel students toward success.

     

    Watch the webinar ׀ Learn more

     

    Delivering cloud-based, immersive learning experiences

    See firsthand how Microsoft is creating a more immersive learning experience including cloud-based learning technologies, enabling students to learn and better engage with teachers and peers anytime, anywhere. This webinar features panel guests Vinay Balasubramaniam, Lead Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Learning and others.

     

    Watch the webinar

    Advancing your skill set through professional development

    Staying ahead of the technology curve is critical to delivering current and compelling lessons. Watch this webinar to see how some educators are tackling this. Featured guests Katherine Schmit, a high school business and technology instructor, and Justin Crompton, an IT instructor from North Carolina, share how their various Microsoft certifications have impacted their careers and interactions with peers and students. We also look at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam experience and Microsoft certification exam prep resources.

     Watch Katherine Schmit's session: A Teacher's Perspective on Professional Development

    Watch Justin Crompton's session: A Teacher's Perspective on Foundational Certifications

    Watch the entire webinar ׀ Learn more

    Microsoft IT Academy Virtual College and Career Readiness Event

    This special, six-part webinar showcases the latest best practices technology educators are adopting to effectively guide college- and career-minded students, and to foster a new generation of innovators in the IT and developer technology fields.

    • “The Global Skills Gap and Job Market Landscape,” featuring Carrie Francey, Sr. Director with Microsoft Learning Experiences, and ITA Director of Academic Content Keith Loeber: Watch the session
    • “Extending Today’s Technology Curriculum in the Classroom and Online,” with Keith Loeber: Watch the session
    • “Technology for Everyone: Validating Students’ Success in Microsoft Office,” featuring Kathy Schmidt, technology teacher at Kalama High School: Watch the session
    • “Entry-level Technology for College and Career-minded Students,” with guest speaker Zeshan Sattar, Head of Curriculum Development for Agilisys Arch Apprenticeships: Watch the session
    • “Technology Endorsements that Get Recognized,” featuring Shelby Grieve, Director of Content Product Management for Microsoft Learning Experiences: Watch the session
    • “Résumé Building and Interview Techniques,” with Jeff Johnson, Academic Solutions Specialist at Microsoft: Watch the session

    Beyond Search: The future of asking and answering questions

    Behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert talks about how Bing in the Classroom can provide a connective fabric and classroom aid for inspiration to students.

     

    Watch the entire webinar ׀ Learn more

    Making Learning Come Alive with Office 365 in the Classroom

    Office 365 is changing the way teachers work with students, through new ways of communicating, collaborating and creating. Mark Garcia, Cloud Architect for Microsoft US Education, walks through classroom-based scenarios, including co-authoring, lecture capture, storing and more. Find out how IT Academy is providing teachers the Microsoft Office curriculum, lesson plans and certification exams to teach and use Office 365, and the curriculum students can use to build their Office skills.

     

    Watch the entire webinar ׀ Learn more

    1-to-1 Learning and IT Academy: The Road Ahead

    Pick up tips on 1-to-1 learning and BYOD (bring your own device), and explore answers to common questions including:

    • What should we call it?
    • When starting out, what should an educator expect?
    • If you’re in a mature program, what is the four-year slump, and could it be happening to your school?
    • How can teachers design units for device-equipped students?

     

    Watch the entire webinar ׀ Learn more

  • Latest from IT Academy

    U.S. National MOS Competition Qualifiers Announced!

    Certiport has announced the qualifiers for the U.S. National Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Competition leading to the 2014 MOS World Championship, July 27-30, in Anaheim, California. Sixty-five students have been invited to compete. We are thrilled to share that 34 of those students are from Microsoft IT Academies across the U.S. 

    Congratulations to IT Academies in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Washington with students now competing nationally. Your commitment to providing fantastic opportunities for students to learn new technical skills and earn Microsoft industry-recognized credentials is paying off.

    To qualify to participate in the MOS U.S. National Championship, a U.S. student (age 13-22) had to rank among the top five passing scores on one of the following exams:

    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2010 Exam

    Top students from around the world will be invited to represent their country and compete in the World Championship in Anaheim, California, July 27-30.

    Learn more about the MOS World Championship.

    Inspire Summer Learning with the Microsoft Certification Challenge

    Building toward a successful career in technology requires clear goals, a plan, and the very best tools and resources available—including training and certification. Here’s a new way to help students on their way while complementing your current curriculum: encourage them to join the Microsoft Certification Challenge.              

    Now through July 2014, we're providing access to all the tools, resources, and expert advice students need to ramp up and earn a Microsoft Certification in 180 days or less. Becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) is a great way for students to build and enhance a résumé with an industry-recognized certification. 

    Encourage your students to join the challenge, and point them to the “Student Special” banner (in the Test section) to get academic pricing and a Second Shot for each exam they take. (Note: The Second Shot offer is good until June 30, 2014.)

    Learn more.

    Stay Up to Date on Your ITA Benefits with the New Windows 8 App

    Available for download at the Windows Store, the new Microsoft IT Academy app for Windows 8.1 is an easy-to-use tool that informs about the value of Microsoft IT Academy and its benefits. The app is also a great way for current members to access benefits and how to use them. 

    Features:

    • General information about the value and benefits of Microsoft IT Academy
    • How to become a Microsoft IT Academy member
    • Microsoft IT Academy member sign-in to access benefits and deployment
    • More improvements coming soon

    Download the app now!

    Learn more.

    In Other News...

    New Windows Server 2012 R2 Training Guide from Microsoft Press

     Get hands-on training in deploying and managing core infrastructure services in Windows Server 2012 R2, with Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2. The new book covers a foundation of skills which, along with on-the-job experience, can be measured by Microsoft Certification exams such as 70-410.

    Get more details.

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • In November 2013, Washington State Library launched the nation’s second statewide IT Academy, in partnership with Microsoft.

    The newly minted IT Academy is now going full-throttle, providing Washington residents free access to more than 400 English-language online courses and learning resources, and thousands more courses in 20 languages. It’s administered by the State Library and funded by the State legislature.

    “We truly live in a digital age,” says Elizabeth Laukea, Project Manager for Washington State Library Microsoft IT Academy. “There’s no job or profession out there that isn’t touched in some way by technology.”

    “That might not have been true 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, but it’s absolutely true now,” Laukea explains. “Having access to technology skills and training, especially free access, is incredibly important to our communities. It’s important to everybody involved in our workforce today, and especially people involved in our workforce of tomorrow.”

    Hear more about the State Library ITA in this video from the Washington Office of the Secretary of State:

    “Technology is everywhere.”

    “Technology is everywhere,” wrote Carrie Francey, Senior Director for Microsoft Learning Experience, on the Microsoft IT Academy blog at the time of the State Library ITA launch. “One out of two jobs today requires some degree of technology skills. In less than 10 years, this number will increase to three out of every four jobs requiring IT skills. Meanwhile, among 18- to 34-year-olds who are employed, less than half say they have the education and training necessary to get ahead in their job or career, according to Pew Research Center.”         

    Washington State began offering IT Academy in Washington public schools across the state in September 2011. Since that time, more than 16,000 certifications have been earned by Washington public school students and teachers.

    Learn More:

  • Because we want to help IT Academy members get the most out of their membership, we’ve been working diligently to redesign the ITA member site from the ground up.

    The new site is set to launch next month. If you’re a member, you’ll see the following key improvements, which are based on user feedback and recommendations:

    Simplified navigation

    Finding what you need will be easier than ever. All of your benefits will be just two clicks away.

    Streamlined access to your benefits

    All of your digital curriculum benefits will be consolidated into product-specific pages. Looking for student eBooks, lesson plans and test prep materials for a specific Microsoft product? You will be able to find them all on a single page.

    Updated experience

    Streamlined content makes pages easier to read—letting you focus on getting the information you need as quickly as possible. The new member site includes functionality to exceed all web accessibility standards.

    Stay tuned for the launch announcement!

    Want another way to easily access your program benefits? Download the new Microsoft IT Academy app for Windows 8.1.

    Learn more.

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Explore Your IT Academy Benefits with Ease with the New Microsoft IT Academy App!

    We are thrilled to announce that the Microsoft IT Academy app for Windows 8.1 is available for download at the Windows Store!

    Designed for members and non-members alike, the app helps IT Academy members stay up to date on their benefits and how best to leverage them, while keeping the broader academic community equipped with information about the IT Academy program in an easy-to-use tool.

    Features

    • General information about the value and benefits of Microsoft IT Academy
    • How to become a Microsoft IT Academy member
    • Microsoft IT Academy member sign-in to access benefits and deployment
    • More improvements coming soon

    Download the app now!

    IT Academy members will want to sign in to the Member Hub using their IT Academy member credentials to access complete, up-to-date information about program benefits.

    Watch for updates, including access to Microsoft training and IT Academy courses through Microsoft Learning Experiences—coming soon.

    In Other News...

    Meet Office Mix—the New Tool That Lets You Turn PowerPoint Slides into Interactive Lessons

    If you find creating online lessons difficult and costly, or sometimes seriously technical (for example, complex video editing and timeline creation), here’s good news.

     Now you can create online lessons and presentations with something you already know how to use: PowerPoint. We call these online, interactive presentations “mixes”—and the tool for building them is Office Mix. 

    Office Mix adds functionality to PowerPoint 2013 that allows you to record audio or video of yourself presenting, write on your slides as you speak to them, insert quizzes, polls, online videos, and more. In fact, you can even do full screen capture and record anything on your PC. Once your presentation is ready, just click “Upload,” and PowerPoint transforms your presentation into a mix. You choose when and with whom to share it.

    Read more.

    Get Office Mix.

    Happy (Belated) Teacher Appreciation Week!

    Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9) gave us a great opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions of educators, and reminded us to celebrate teachers every day. Read a tribute to all educators, on Anthony Salcito’s daily edventures blog.

    And watch this “Letter to Me on My First Day of Teaching” video by SoulPancake and Edutopia for extra inspiration (Kleenex alert!):

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • By Keith Loeber, Director of Academic Content, Microsoft Corporation (originally published on the Microsoft in Education blog)

    If you haven't heard of it, BYOD (bring your own device), is the organizational practice of allowingeven invitingnetworked users to use their own devices for work and school.

    In the early days, BYOD was regarded mainly as a technical, security and managerial quagmire, but positive results in worker satisfaction and productivity have changed minds. Not only businesses but nonprofits and public-sector organizations have embraced it as an opportunity to save costs in hardware upkeep and, in the case of schools, to lend efficiency and support 21st century learning methods.

    Meet LaSalle College High School, BYOD-in-Education Believer

    Located just outside of Philadelphia, in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, La Salle College High School, a flagship Microsoft IT Academy, runs a rigorous technology program; including student tech-lab and web manager programs, a media center, and a computer club. This year, the all-boys' prep school has decidedly taken on BYOD by equipping its freshman class of 300 with Microsoft Surface RT devices running Windows 8 to call their own.

    Results have exceeded administrators' expectations. Following an October 2013 interview with Microsoft IT Academy, La Salle Principal Michael O'Toole, technology teacher Kurt Schollin and others have provided the following accounts of the Surface program.

    Microsoft Surface Devices Produce a Visible, Quietly Persistent Change in College Prep Instruction at La Salle

    students using Microsoft Surface in class Instruction has already become more efficient: student assessment, whether via brief quizzes or more extended writing assignments, are more easily administered and evaluated. Students readily use their tablet devices to access La Salle portal resources, both in and out of class. This all adds up to even greater time for personal interaction with course materials and greater mastery of required course materials.

    Students take readily to the use of the Surface as a personal research resource. Trips to the bookshelf, the library and even the computer labs are less frequent, resulting in more teacher-student interactive time.

    Principal Michael A. O'Toole at La Salle explains: "Instruction has already become more efficient," and adds, "Students are assembling via their Surface tablets a robust personal portfolio of their learning, a digital portfolio that gains added power from the depth and variety of personal materials, from assigned digital texts to student research to student writing."

    With the Microsoft Surface RT device and a wireless network, students and teachers at La Salle are no longer limited by the boundaries of the classroom walls or school hours. For LaSalle, the Microsoft Surface become an integral part of the freshmen experience, and transformed the way teachers deliver information and the way students organize their daily lives. On any given day, as you walk through the school, you will see students working with their Microsoft Surface device to complete assignments, study for tests, and collaborate with classmates.

    "The Surface has... transformed the way that teachers deliver information and students organize their daily lives.” – Kurt Schollin

    The La Salle College High School Portal serves as a central hub through which all teachers disseminate course materials and manage their classes. With the Surface, students log in to the Portal on a daily basis to access resources, submit assignments to Dropbox, participate in online discussion boards, take quizzes, and more.

    Office 2013 is one of the main focuses of the Information Literacy course here at La Salle, and students use the Surface to complete assignments from the IT Academy curriculum to better understand Office and become competent, at minimum, with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

    Activities are posted on the portal, and students pull them down onto their Surface to be completed in class or at home. Students also have access to the IT Academy E-Learning modules, which provide self-paced, interactive lessons related to Microsoft Office.

    "The Surface has become an integral part of the freshmen experience, and has transformed the way that teachers deliver information and students organize their daily lives," explains Kurt Schollin, Technology and Learning Specialist and Surface program supervisor.

    At the start of the school year, students were introduced to Microsoft OneNote and the many ways that it could support their school work. It now serves as a digital binder for many students, where they have the ability to organize their classes, take notes, annotate on top of teacher PowerPoints (with the file printout option), and even import pictures taken with the Surface during class activities and/or experiments.

    "In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, collaborative projects have pushed students to Office.com, which allows students to work together on documents, spreadsheets and presentations in real time. All of this is then synced to the cloud using OneDrive, which allows students to access their work from anywhere and at any time, whether it be on campus, at home, or on the go," explains Kurt Schollin, technology and learning specialist and program supervisor.

    Teachers Note Several Pleasant Surprises to Classroom Routines, including Less Wasted Class Time

    No need to write out the homework on a whiteboard, because it's already posted on a calendar on our internal online portal. No need to take time to distribute photocopies, if a resource can be uploaded to our portal or a link to it can be posted.

    Communication between students and their teachers has increased significantly. The communication is mostly driven through our internal portal. Emails are still used, but discussion boards, chats and blogs are increasingly popular. Assignments are exchanged digitally too.

    Communication and collaboration among students are enhanced as well. Students rave about working collaboratively on PowerPoint projects in Microsoft Office 365. According to Nicholas Coggins, Director of Curriculum and Assessment at La Salle, "Communication between students and their teachers has increased significantly."

    Classroom at La SalleNicholas Coggins, Director of Curriculum and Assessment shares specifics of engagement and productivity:

    • Our Advanced Placement Human Geography class requires students to be able to identify icons from world religions. In a short amount of time in class, the students were able to search for images online, choose one, post it and blog about it on the portal. The students left class that day with 35 different icons and their peers' reflections on them.

    • In a Spanish 1 class, students record their oral responses to real-life interviews, are able to replay their audio files for self-critique, and submit them for assessment.

    • In a social studies class, the students learned about formulas economists used to predict population growth in the 19th century. In groups, they researched online current data on population growth and compared that data to the outdated formulas. That exercise led to many thought-provoking questions and valuable connections.

    • OneNote is really becoming popular for organization… [Students are] sharing the pages with one another when a peer is absent and even sharing their pages with their teachers.

    What's Next for La Salle

    According to CIO Peter Sigmund, La Salle is planning to extend the successful Surface program next year by issuing Windows 8 devices to incoming freshmen and increasing staff professional development.

    Additionally, the school will augment its Microsoft IT Academy networking certification classes by using cloud-based, hosted virtual servers using Windows Azure, allowing students to work with real-time virtual machines on their Surface tablets.

    "This experiential learning has always been a hallmark of our IT Academy classes," Sigmund says. "The [Microsoft Surface] tablets will allow us to teach them more efficiently in a non-lab setting."

    Read more at:

  • How well do you understand 1:1 learning? Find out tomorrow during our final webinar for 2013-2014!

    This webinar season has been a whirlwind of tips and insights from seasoned technology educators and career experts, covering a broad array of topics. We're thrilled with the participation and positive feedback we've received. Thank you to all who have attended thus far.

    It's not over!

    This Thursday, May 8th (8 A.M. Pacific Time), we'll broadcast our final webinar: “1-to-1 Learning and Microsoft IT Academy Program Road Ahead." Register today to pick up tips on this growing trend and BYOD (bring your own device), and join the conversation.

    We’ll explore answers to common questions including:

    • Are we collectively into the “next phase” of 1-to-1, and should we stop calling it 1-to-1?
    • What if you’re just starting out: What should you watch for and expect?
    • If you’re in a mature program, what is the four-year slump, and could it be happening to your school?
    • What questions should teachers ask themselves when they’re designing units for their device-equipped students?

     Author Pamela Livingston will share information she gleaned while researching for her book, 1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work. Since publishing the book, Pamela has written new editions and shared insights via social channels, blogging and visiting schools around the world.

    Register now!

     

  • Whether you’re a Microsoft IT Academy or any other academic institution, you know that keeping your students on track to a successful career in technology requires clear goals, a plan, and the very best tools and resources available—including training and certification. To complement current curriculum or as a summer project, encourage your students to join the Microsoft Certification Challenge.

    From now through July 2014, we're providing access to all the tools, resources, and expert advice they need to ramp up and earn a Microsoft Certification in 180 days or less. It's a great way for students to quickly become a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and gain access to all of the benefits provided through the Microsoft Certification Program and the private MCP member site.

     Students who join the program will find everything they need in one place:

    • Study guides
    • Books
    • Videos
    • 60-day, 90-day and 180-day checklists to stay on track
    • Plus...a special offer for students: a free Second Shot at an exam*

    Along the way, students can get expert advice from certified professionals and get answers and tips from peers on the Born to Learn forums. 

    The challenge is simple: earn a certification in 180 days or less, and students can celebrate their success on the Microsoft website. With free resources, a special offer on an exam, and the opportunity for a worldwide, professional debut on our site, now is the time to help your students get on the fast track to certification. 

    Encourage your students to join the challenge. Click on the “Student Special” banner (in the Test section) so your students get special academic pricing and a Second Shot for each exam they take.

    * The Second Shot special offer expires June 30, 2014. Encourage your students to join the Certification Challenge right away.

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Learn About Trends in 1:1 Learning in Next Week’s Webinar —Sign Up Today!

     The last webinar of this season’s popular series—“1-to-1 Learning and Microsoft IT Academy Program Road Ahead”—will take place Thursday, May 8. Register today to pick up tips on this growing trend and BYOD (bring your own device), and join the conversation!

    Author Pamela Livingston will share information she gleaned while researching for her book, 1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work. Since publishing the book, Pamela has written new editions and shared insights via social channels, blogging and visiting schools around the world.

    Register now!

    Get in the Know About Office 365 Education: Watch the April Webinar

    Thanks to everyone who attended the April webinar. For those who missed it, you won’t want to miss this engaging discussion with Mark Garcia, Cloud Architect for Office 365 Education, about how to integrate Office 365 Education into your school program. Watch it now!

    Office 365 Education provides free email, sites, online document editing and storage, instant messaging and web conferencing for staff, faculty and students. It’s ideal for schools that want to modernize their communications and productivity infrastructure on their terms.

    In this presentation, Mark walks you through the components of this special academic Office 365 plan and scenarios for using Office 365 Education in the classroom.

    More information:

     

    In Other News...

    Microsoft Partners with President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative

    Microsoft and hardware partners are providing a range of devices at special prices to help U.S. public school districts integrate technology. The devices are lightweight enough to conduct research and take assessments, while at the same time robust enough to create rich media, develop code and build complex applications.

    The investment is part of Microsoft’s global YouthSpark initiative to empower youth through technology and is in partnership with President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to advance technology and learning in the classroom.

    Microsoft exam delivery provider Certiport Inc. is also providing certification exams worth more than $5 million following students’ completion of Microsoft IT Academy training—part of Microsoft’s $1 million ConnectED investment in reaching the 2,000 highest needs schools in the U.S.

     

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Latest from Microsoft IT Academy

    Don't miss the 2013-14 ITA Webinar Series Finale: “1 to 1 Learning and Microsoft IT Academy Program Road Ahead.”

    The last webinar of the season is Thursday, May 8th, with “1 to 1 Learning and IT Academy Program Road Ahead.” Register today to take advantage of these exclusive insights from our popular virtual event series.

    In this program, author Pamela Livingston will share information she gained from research she did while writing a book.  Her expertise continues through two editions of her book “1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work.”  Pamela actively shares her insights through in social channels, blogging and visiting schools around the world. Join in a conversation on 1-to-1, “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), and more.

    Don’t miss out—take a moment to register!

    Rally Your Students to Compete in the 2014 MOS World Championship!

    All students have a chance to show off their Microsoft Office skills at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) National and World Championships, this June and July.

     To qualify to participate in the MOS U.S. National Championship, a U.S. student (age 13-22) must pass one of the following exams before May 2, 2014:

    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2010 Exam

    The top five students in each of these exam tracks (based on exam score/time) will be invited to compete in the MOS U.S. National Championship in Atlanta, GA, June 20-22.

    Top students from around the world will be invited to represent their country and compete in the World Championship in Anaheim, California, July 27-30. 

    Learn more!

    MOS Test Fests Now Available!

     Did you know that all of the resources needed to prepare and host a MOS Test Fest are now available? Not sure what a Test Fest is or how to host one? The MOS Test Fest website includes videos about the MOS program, how to host a Test Fest, and how to host an exam prep session. Customizable templates to promote an event are also available on the site. Take advantage of these resources to generate demand for MOS Test Fests in your region! 

     

     

     

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Jump on the 2013-2014 Webinar Circuit! Attend Our May 8th "1:1 Learning" Season Finale!

    This year’s webinar season is winding to a close, Thursday, May 8th, with “1 to 1 Learning and IT Academy Program Road Ahead.” Register today to take advantage of these final, exclusive insights from the technology teaching trenches.

    In this program, we’ll explore answers to these common questions:

    • Are we collectively into the “next phase” of 1-to-1, and should we stop calling it 1-to-1?
    • What if you’re just starting out: What should you watch for and expect?
    • If you’re in a mature program, what is the four-year slump, and could it be happening to your school?
    • What questions should teachers ask themselves when they’re designing units for their device-equipped students?

    Author Pamela Livingston started researching 1-to-1 in 2004, when she was running a laptop program and researching a book. She’s kept up with developments through two editions of her book “1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work,” plus writing, blogging, tweeting and visiting many schools in the U.S. and internationally. Join in a conversation on 1-to-1, “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), and more.

    Don’t miss out—take a moment to register!

    Bravo, Model High School MOS Graduates!

    Model High School in Rome, Georgia is celebrating the success of 51 IT Academy students (and their instructor, William Hosmer) who recently earned Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certificates. Ninety-six percent of those who tested passed.

    “I am glad that the program could add some substantial bullets to our students’ academic and career résumés,” said Hosmer. “These industry-recognized credentials will help these students stand out in today’s highly competitive job market.”

    Read the story.

    Sanya Qiongzhou University Launches IT Academy

    A new IT Academy at Sanya Qiongzhou University in Hainan, China is aiming to foster innovation and “high quality graduates,” particularly in support of the region’s international tourism industry. Read more.

    In Other News...

    Microsoft in Education Global Forum (and Why One Teacher Can’t Get Enough of It)

     Middle School STEM Coordinator and Microsoft Expert Educator Todd LaVogue makes no secret of the thrill he felt in representing the U.S. at the Global Forum in Barcelona in early April. Read his account of the international delegation he sat on, tackling poverty as a project-based learning activity, on the daily edventures blog.

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Don't miss this Thursday's ITA webinar: Making Learning Come Alive with Office 365 in the Classroom - Register today!

    With just two webinars remaining in the 2013-14 series, we've lined up two fantastic speakers you won't want to miss....

    Thursday, April 10: Making Learning Come Alive with Office 365 in the Classroom

     Discover how Office 365 is changing the way teachers work with students through new ways to communicate, collaborate and create.  Mark Garcia, Cloud Architect for Microsoft US Education, will step us through classroom based scenarios including co-authoring, lecture capture, storing and more, demoing Office 365 along the way.  Find out how IT Academy is providing teachers the Microsoft Office curriculum, lesson plans, and certification exams to teach and use Office 365 as well as the curriculum students can use to build their Office skills. 

    Thursday, May 8: 1 to 1 Learning and IT Academy Program Road Ahead
     Are we into the next phase of 1-to-1 yet? Should we stop calling it 1-to-1? What if you’re just starting out – what should you watch for and expect? If you’re in a mature program, what is the 4 year slump and could it be happening to your school? What questions should teachers ask themselves when they’re designing units for their device-equipped students? Author Pamela Livingston started researching 1-to-1 in 2004 when she was running a laptop program and researching a book. She’s kept up with developments through two editions of her book “1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work” plus writing, blogging, tweeting and visiting many schools in the U.S. and internationally. Join in a conversation on 1-to-1, “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and more. In addition get a sneak peek into the IT Academy program’s road ahead.

    Don’t miss out—take a moment to register for both live virtual events today!

    MOAC Print Books—Did You Know?

     Did you know ITA members can purchase print versions of MOAC student ebooks? Print books are durable, efficient student aids in the lab, and all texts available in digital format with your membership also are available at a 50% discount. MOS 2010 and 2013 titles also are bundled with the WileyPLUS online teaching and learning environment and practice tests. See “Additional resources from Wiley” on the MOAC tab for product and ordering information.

     Purchase 25 or more MOS 2010 or 2013 print books for your lab and receive Wiley OfficeGrader at no additional charge. The OfficeGrader program automatically grades your students’ Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access projects. It scores them, marks them up, and reports the results. Video demos are available in “Additional resources from Wiley” on the MOAC tab. To order, use the promotion code on the order form on the MOAC tab.

    In Other News...

    New Digital Literacy course teaches coding basics with TouchDevelop

     “Build Your First App” – a free two-hour eCourse – has launched on the Digital Literacy website as the newest addition to the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum. Students start on a path to learning computer science and are inspired to use Microsoft tools and platforms as they build their first apps.

    • Learn the layout and elements of the TouchDevelop programming environment, and create your own account.
    • Learn programming principles that apply across all target devices – including lines of code, loops, variables, and conditional statements.
    • Create physics-based games that include sprites, touch input, and use of a device’s accelerometer.

    Rally Your Students to Compete in the 2014 MOS World Championship!

    All students have a chance to show off their Microsoft Office skills at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) National and World Championships, this June and July. To qualify to participate in the MOS U.S. National Championship, a U.S. student (age 13-22) must pass one of the following exams before May 2, 2014:

    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2007 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2010 Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2010 Exam

    The top five students in each of these exam tracks (based on exam score/time) will be invited to compete in the MOS U.S. National Championship in Atlanta, GA, June 20-22. Top students from around the world will be invited to represent their country and compete in the World Championship in Anaheim, California, July 27-30. 

    Learn more!

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • Latest from IT Academy

    Watch the March “Bing for Schools” Webinar—and Get Inspired!

    Did you miss our March webinar, “The Future of Asking and Answering Questions”? In this valuable discussion, Bing Behavioral Scientist Matt Wallaert explored how educators can use Bing for Schools as a teaching tool to add context and inspiration to everyday inquiry. Watch it now!

    A search visionary of sorts, Wallaert claims that “freeing people up from having to memorize rote information has created increased space for solving problems of increasing size and complexity."

    "The better we can organize and retrieve that information, and transform it into a useable form, the more interesting the social problems we can solve," he says.

    Read more about Wallaert’s ideas and Bing for Schools on Anthony Salcito’s daily edventures blog.

    Final Two Webinars Coming Up: Register Today!

    This year’s program of webinars is winding down, with just two virtual events left to take advantage of, to enrich your technology education perspectives:

    • April: Making Learning Come Alive with Office 365 in the Classroom: Discover how Office 365 is changing the way teachers work with students through new ways to communicate, collaborate and create; and how ITA is providing teachers the Microsoft Office curriculum, lesson plans, and certification exams. Featured guests will include Mark Garcia, Cloud Architect for Microsoft US Education.
    • May: Setting a Successful Path to 1:1 Learning: Explore how 1:1 learning experiences can enhance and personalize your IT Academy and general curriculum. 

    Don’t miss out—take a moment to register!

    Set Up a Test Fest on Certiport

    Want to promote Microsoft technology courses and certifications at your institution, drive awareness and registration for classes, and draw new students? Host a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Test Fest. Visit Certiport to get tools and resources, including a Test Fest Starter Kit and templates for participant registration and tracking, event promotions and more.

    In Other News...

    Announcing the Relaunch of YouthSpark Hub!

    Based on user feedback, Microsoft has created a new YouthSpark Hub as the single point for finding Microsoft programs and offerings for youth. New functionality guides users to the programs that align to their interests and goals; and the site calls out resources that teachers can take advantage of to support their students. Check out the new Hub!

    Microsoft’s “Big Dream Movement” Inspires Girls to Pursue STEM

    A new program, called the Big Dream Movement, aims to help motivate girls worldwide to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

    Anchored by Big Dream, a documentary film that follows seven young women as they break barriers and overcome personal challenges to follow their passions in STEM fields, the program connects girls with organizations, academia, and resources. BigDreamMovement.com will go live next summer to serve as an information hub.

    Learn more and watch the program trailer on daily edventures.

    Stay Informed & Join the Discussion

    Follow Us

    Keep up with the latest updates from IT Academy:

      Subscribe to our RSS feed |    Follow us on Twitter and   Facebook |   Subscribe to our YouTube channel

  • The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification is a tried-and-true career springboard, according to Zeshan Sattar. As Head of Curriculum Development for U.K.-based Agilisys Arch Apprenticeships, Zeshan has seen the MTA certification help lead students to careers as technicians, IT admins and tech-savvy chefs.

    Hear Zeshan’s tips and case studies in this clip from February’s “College and Career Readiness” virtual event, and get a clear understanding of how your IT Academy can leverage the MTA as a foundation for growth.

    Zeshan’s top five tips:

    1. Use your ITA benefit to implement an MTA-focused curriculum.
    2. Get your instructors certified.
    3. Provide fundamental classes for non-IT students.
    4. Host MTA “test fests.”