I'm in Springfield, IL this week (up far too late)...preparing for both speaking at and attending the AeA 21st Century Learning Environment Symposium. I am excited to see the increased focus on 21st century skills and the heightened recognition for  need to prepare our students for the global workforce.  This is a deep passion of mine and lifting our students expectations and career aspirations is the reason I do what I do for Microsoft.

Certainly technology skills are an important component of the new workforce environment and preparing students with IT training and resources has long been a focus for Microsoft.  Navigating the many offerings and programs available has long been a challenge for students and education as well however...

That's why I'm excited to share a new online resource, Elevate America, that helps individuals understand what types of technical skills they need for the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities of today and tomorrow, and resources to help acquire these skills. The site provides access to several Microsoft online training programs, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a résumé, as well as more advanced programs on using specific Microsoft applications.

One of the things I'm most happy for is the increased exposure for Microsoft IT Academy.  I am constantly surprised by how many educators/students do not know Microsoft has had a program that provides Microsoft IT curriculum and tools for the classroom environment. All designed to connect to real world certifications and job opportunities.

More information on Elevate America is available at http://www.microsoft.com/ElevateAmerica.