Maryland yesterday announced that no matter where students attend school or what their economic situation may be, all now have free access at school and at home to Microsoft Office 365 for collaborating and creating. Also, the state’s Department of Education announced 25 new IT Academy programs for schools across the state “that will bring industry recognized technology certifications and skills to the students of Maryland,” Lowery says.
Near the end of 2014, we held a statewide conversation about the need to take computer science education to scale and give every student an opportunity to pursue these cutting-edge careers. The Microsoft Office 365 tools and IT Academy programs provide Maryland students with new opportunities to learn marketable skills and acquire an edge as they prepare to compete for careers in a global marketplace. We chose Microsoft tools because their programs enable every student access to the tools for learning, collaboration and creativity in school and also at home.
One area especially important to us, is that every child have access to a world-class education regardless of their economic background or where they live. Digital inclusion is a priority for us, no matter if students live in high-poverty inner city areas or rural communities, we believe they can have the same opportunities to succeed as anyone else if given appropriate support. Initiatives like ConnectED and the Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Benefit help to level the playing field by putting the tools for learning in the hands of teachers, students and their families to use at school and at home. In today’s cutting-edge career and technical education (CTE), the 25 Microsoft IT Academies generously provided to Maryland public schools will help to expand computer science education to all corners of our state. We have some excellent programs in CTE throughout the state, but we are committed to expanding CTE and computer science. We want every student to have the opportunity to graduate high school with in-demand career skills that lead to jobs or postsecondary education. Our students should be prepared to succeed on whichever path they choose.
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