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Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

November 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Tech-skills training for students now available online to adults — for free

Need low-cost technology training but don’t know where to go? Try your local library — it’s free.

Starting today, more than 385 public libraries will begin offering a suite of online training programs through a partnership between Washington State Library and Microsoft’s IT Academy.

The program — which includes hundreds of training sessions in everything from basic digital literacy to Microsoft Office to advanced IT — is already available in public high schools. Since  2011, 16,000 students here have become technology-certified.

Similar trainings will now be available to adult library users.

“The economy is not all that stellar right now and those in the workforce need this training too,” said Alyse Aanestad, a spokeswoman.

Elsewhere, the program has been extremely popular. In three years, more than 100,000 certifications were granted to students and teachers in North Carolina.

Washington now becomes the first state to offer IT Academy at both high schools and libraries, as well as community and technical colleges.

Those interested must first get an access code from a librarian. After that, users can log on anywhere with an internet connection for training at their own pace.

Comments | More in News | Topics: adult education, IT Academy, Microsoft

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