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Libraries offer Microsoft IT Academy resources

Sequim Gazette staff

 

Technology evolves at a dizzying pace, but that doesn’t mean you have to get left behind. With online resources through the North Olympic Library System, learn skills to help excel in the classroom at work and in everyday life.

Local libraries allow free access to the hundreds of online courses and resources available through the Microsoft IT Academy Program. Learn at your own pace and own time from any computer with an Internet connection.

The IT Academy offers introductory classes covering everything from sending and receiving e-mails to navigating the web. Popular courses cover the basics of Office 2010 and 2013, Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

These digital literacy courses help students learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online and take advantage of new career opportunities.

For more practiced users and IT professionals, the academy offers courses tackling advanced subjects such as SQL Server, ASP.NET, Visual Studio and Microsoft Dynamics.

To get started, visit www.nols.org and click on “Free online IT training.” Once enrolled, explore the catalog of courses and continue the self-paced coursework on any computer at the library, or at home from a personal computer.

All IT Academy courses are conducted in one-on-one virtual sessions and are free of charge with your library card. Free certificates of completion can be downloaded at the conclusion of each course, and official Microsoft Certification and testing also is available (fees apply).

Access to the IT Academy is made possible through an ongoing public-private partnership among Microsoft, the Washington State Library, the Office of Secretary of State and the Washington State Legislature, which provided $1.5 million over the biennium for the State Library to purchase online access to the academy.

If Washington libraries had to purchase access on an individual basis, the cost would be about $22 million per year or $44 million for the biennium.

Due to Microsoft’s support and the funding provided by the Legislature, the IT Academy’s training program is being offered free of charge to all Washingtonians.

 

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