Microsoft is announcing today that it’s partnering with library systems across Washington state to provide technology training online to the general public.
The program offers the Microsoft IT Academy curriculum and can result in certifications showing proficiency in certain fundamental technology skills.
The user would initially have to go to a library to get an access code to the program but can then use that code anywhere that she has online access. The courses themselves are self-paced and can be accessed anytime, according to Microsoft.
The Washington State Library Microsoft IT Academy, as this partnership is called, offers three levels of courses: basic digital literacy, Microsoft Office training and advanced skills for IT professionals.
The courses are free, while those who choose to pursue certification will need to pass tests at certification centers at their own expense.
Some 385 libraries across the state, including the Seattle Public Library and King County Library systems, trial libraries, and community and technical college libraries, are taking part in the program.
More than half of the libraries involved, including the ones in the Seattle and King County library systems, are ready to go with the program today, Microsoft said. Other libraries should be able to offer the training by January, if not sooner.