Muscogee County School District looking into Microsoft IT Academy

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 6, 2012 

The Muscogee County School District is investigating what role, if any, the Microsoft IT Academy will play here.

"It is all under review," Director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education Allyson Moyer said of the new online training program for high schools. "No decisions have been made yet. We are still evaluating."

The CTAE Department is working with the district's technology department to review the physical implementation of IT Academy here.

It was announced Wednesday the Georgia Department of Education and computer giant Microsoft had agreed to a partnership that would allow Georgia to offer the IT Academy, an online training program for high schools.

The Georgia DOE said in a news release that by working together with Microsoft, Georgia's high schools will have access to classroom lab licensing, learning content, lesson plans, teacher resources, professional development and class projects annually.

In addition, the 460,000 high school students in Georgia's public schools can earn industry-recognized certifications on Microsoft programs that will help them pursue careers in business, technology, engineering, science and beyond.

Georgia DOE spokesman Matt Cardoza said this is at no cost to Georgia schools.

"We are committed to giving Georgia students the skills they need to be ready for whatever they want to do after high school, whether it be college or a career," State School Superintendent John Barge said in a news release.

The IT Academy bridges the world of education and work.

It is a comprehensive program that supports ongoing technology education for students, teachers and other education professionals, spanning computer basics to high-level programming, along with information and communications technology management.

Georgia DOE says the IT Academy will be incorporated into several of the 17 career clusters under Georgia's Career Pathways initiative, which will launch in fall 2013.

Under the initiative, students will choose a career pathway in high school and will take classes tailored to what they want to do after graduation.

The Muscogee County School District's Director of Communications Valerie Fuller said that some business teachers have conveyed that they are interested and that one business teacher per high school is headed to training to learn more about the implementation and use of the product.

These teachers teach courses within the administrative information support pathway.

Early College and Academic Success business teachers are also included in the training.

School board member Pat Hugley Green said she is in favor of any additional training students can receive but that she does not want it to interfere with any training modules already in place in Muscogee County.

She said she will have to ask some questions of local IT personnel to get more information.

Green said students here are already familiar with Excel and Microsoft.

Board chairwoman Cathy Williams also said she would have to get more information on the IT Academy before giving an opinion.

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