The Hawaii State Public Library System, in partnership with the Microsoft Corporation, will become the first public library system in the world to provide Digital Literacy and Microsoft IT Academy Programs for technology training and preparation for certifications for all Hawaii's library patrons. The Microsoft IT Academy program is the first training program to launch under the HSPLS HI Tech Academy initiative and is expected to reach nearly one million people across the state of Hawaii.
"The program's digital literacy resources will equip Hawaii's library patrons with the technical skills needed to become more employable and successful in the 21st century workplace," said Microsoft Chief Officer for Research and Strategy Craig Mundie.
The Microsoft IT Academy provides access to e-learning, certification preparation, and official Microsoft course materials, which will help users to qualify for and acquire industry-recognized Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional certifications.
"IT certifications are increasingly recognized as valuable credentials that give young people expanded career opportunities," said Donald Horner, chairman of the Hawaii State Board of Education. "The Microsoft IT Academy ensures patrons equal access to IT training and certification through all libraries across the state regardless of location or economic status."
To access the Microsoft IT Academy, a list of the certification sites, and course curriculum, visit the library system's Web site. Library patrons with valid library cards can access the courses of their choice at any time in all public libraries, remotely and via mobile devices with authentication.
St. Francis and Hongwanji Mission School were among several schools nationwide to receive a 2011 Capstone Assisting Remarkable Educators grant. The grants are a part of a program by Capstone Digital, developer of personalized literacy environments for students, to help improve literacy in schools. More than 30 schools from 20 school districts across the country have been awarded matching grants, funding dollar for dollar their purchase of myON reader, an online personalized literacy environment developed by Capstone that matches students' interests and reading levels to a recommended booklist of more than 1,300 enhanced digital books.
"We're thrilled to help offset the federal funding many educators were counting on and offer these remarkable schools access to the resources and tools that will provide unlimited reading and learning opportunities for their students," said Todd Brekhus, president of Capstone Digital.