Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to register each library branch/outlet individually even though we have a central administrator?
Yes, Microsoft requires that each branch/outlet be registered separately.
What is the cost of the Microsoft IT Academy for my library?
There is no cost to your library to sign up for the IT academy because the State Legislature has paid the fees to allow statewide access for two years (July 2013 through June 2015) and Microsoft has generously discounted the remaining cost of this program for participating libraries. The next two years are at no cost to libraries other than a commitment of staff time to help patrons get signed up, answer questions from patrons, and help people access the site.
What are the benefits of participating in the Microsoft IT Academy?
  • Help Washington citizens attain industry-recognized Microsoft skills and certifications to enable them to be competitive in the rapidly evolving 21st century workplace.
  • Help meet statewide economic development objectives, capitalize on job and workforce demands, and prepare the next generation Washington workforce for IT/STEM and IT-infused jobs across industry sectors.
  • Create a sustainable long-term learning framework for the libraries of Washington that benefits library patrons, librarians, library staff members, and the broader community while delivering measurable learning outcomes.
  • Support Washington leadership in innovative IT education reform.
  • Ensure equality of access for all Washington library branches regardless of location, size, or economic status.
  • Leverage existing Washington IT curriculum resources with an additional and enhanced IT education solution that is meaningful and relevant by mapping to industry-recognized Microsoft skills standards and certifications that align to the requirements of the workplace.
  • Promote a foundation for lifelong learning—the ability to adapt and upgrade individual skills in a rapidly changing world—by providing the building blocks of essential skills all students and citizens require to be active, lifelong learners in a technology intensive environment, and to compete and be at the forefront of the 21st-century global economic system.
What are the responsibilities of the ITA Program Administrator at my library?
  • Coordinate program implementation within the library;
  • Promote the program to staff and patrons;
  • Receive communications from the IT Academy Program;
  • Identify library staff to attend training(s) on the Microsoft IT Academy Program.
  • If you have additional staff involved in the project, the Program Administrator will be the link between the library, Washington State Library staff and Microsoft IT Academy staff.
Are there required curriculum and/or textbooks for use with the ITA?
Microsoft will provide access to the Microsoft Official Academic Curriculum (MOAC). It is a full digital textbook solution. In addition there are e-learning and lesson plans as well as a test bank. All of these are available but not required to be used. Microsoft will provide guidance in trainings on how others use the resources but it is up to each library if, and how, to use them.
Do I have enough bandwidth to implement the ITA at my library?
Microsoft and the Washington State Library will work with libraries to see if the existing equipment and broadband connection are sufficient to implement ITA. Technical information will be sent to participating libraries.
Will training be offered on how to implement ITA at my library.
Yes, Microsoft will provide both online and in-person training opportunities for participating libraries.
How will the training for library staff be done? Will it use a train-the-trainer approach?
Microsoft will be offering train-the-trainer workshops for library staff.
Who will provide help assistance for individuals taking courses?
Microsoft will not be training the public; however Microsoft will troubleshoot problems with public taking courses, and support is available. Contact them at mlxsupp@microsoft.com, call 24/5, 877-450-9875 or from the Contact us link at the bottom of any IT Academy page.
Can individuals sign up for classes online, that is, without coming into the library?
Most libraries offer access to their IT Academy from their website, although a valid library card may be needed. Some libraries may require you to visit the library in person. Washington residents living in an area where library service is not available may access the IT Academy through the Washintgon State Library's IT Academy registration page. Once registered, classes can be taken from any computer with internet access, including their home computer.
Is there a teen component?
It is already offered to teens through the high schools. However, nothing would prohibit teens from taking classes through the libraries.
If a person does not live in a library district or a municipality with a city library how can they take classes?
1) The individual may purchase a borrower's card from their local library, or 2) they can get connected from the Washintgon State Library's IT Academy registration page.
We have Microsoft Windows 7, will the ITA work on our computers? Does it work on Mac computers?
Information on specific technical requirements are listed for each course in the IT Academy, under System Requirements. In general, any version of Microsoft Windows is supported as long that version supports a more current browser. This includes Windows XP with Service Packs, Windows 7, and Windows 8. IT Academy courses will run on Mac computers running an internet browser that supports the Silverlight plug-in. More information on Silverlight-compatible operating systems and browsers is available from Microsoft's Silverlight site, under the System Requirements tab.
Do IT Academy courses work on Mac computers?
IT Academy courses will run on Mac computers running an internet browser that supports the Silverlight plug-in. More information on Silverlight-compatible operating systems and browsers is available from Microsoft's Silverlight site, under the System Requirements tab.
Will the IT Acacademy courses work on a tablet computer or smartphone?
The IT Academy online courses require a browser plug-in called Microsoft Silverlight, which is not compatable on tablets or smartphones
We already have a license for the ITA, can we still participate?
  • The proposed IT Academy licenses do not include MS Developer Academic Alliance licenses. This program is only for K12 or HED students who are studying STEM classes. Since the majority of Washington residents do not qualify for this program, it is not included in the current agreement.
  • For the colleges who have already purchased IT Academy, they can use the licenses purchased by the library. They will not need to renew their license next year. Due to internal reasons, some colleges might wdecide to continue their licenses.
For non-residents, can we charge patrons interested in the Microsoft IT Academy for computer use and/or printing if we regularly charge for these services?
Yes, local policy is still in place. We only ask that access to the courses themselves be free, charges for computer use (such as a community college lab for non-students) or printing is allowed if that is the local policy and applies to everyone.
Can we require ID before enrolling non-residents in the ITA?
Yes, you may require ID as proof of Washington residency if your standard policy for library card registration is to show ID.
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