Helping students become computer literate?
January 4, 2012 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Help high school students learn computers and improve their resumes-I am looking for a basic microsoft office certification that my organization could buy and administer to students. Preferably it would have the training and test included. I was searching on the microsoft website and its very confusing. Any ideas?
posted by tessalations999 to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think it's as simple as that. To teach Microsoft certification courses, you have to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and your facility would have to become a certified training vendor. There's a special program for schools called Microsoft IT Academy. The specific training program for Office is called Microsoft Office Specialist.

Once you've done all that, you can buy and deliver courseware from any of the publishers listed here.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2012

I think it's also questionable whether "microsoft office certified" is something that the employers of high school students would care about.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2012

MS Certification stuff is largely a money-harvesting scam (not saying they don't teach useful things, but you have to invest a lot of time and money to be able to teach it). Finding a low-cost option will likely require you getting a donation. Contact the people who run Microsoft's educational discount and see what they can do for you.
posted by introp at 3:21 PM on January 4, 2012

Has your organization reviewed the current curriculum offerings at the local High Schools to see if there is already a similar program? Most high schools I know in Calif. offer a 'computer applications' class that covers the main MS office modules. There's no cert test included though. Perhaps your group could partner with an existing curriculum and fund the test.

(And I agree with TylerK- MS Office skills are considered a given for HS grads these days. To enhance their resumes, my district is offering HS student courses in A+, Net+, Windows Server Administration and CCNA prep.)
posted by TDIpod at 5:01 PM on January 4, 2012

Another idea is to contact a local junior college to see if they offer the test AND if they offer dual credit for an MS Office class taught at the high school. Then your students would have a few college credits under their belt, and possibly enough knowledge to pass the cert test without you having to jump through the hoops to be a test center.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:11 PM on January 4, 2012

Really good MS Office skills are assumed, but perhaps not with great reason. MS certification is expensive. I used to teach Office apps in Adult Ed. We used textbooks that are as much workbook as text, and students worked at their own pace. The textbook demo'ed many features of Office, and showed the multiple pathways to those features, menu, mouse, shortcuts, etc.

Our Adult Ed. program offered an Office Skills Certificate with several levels. All included word processing, spreadsheets, and database, and should now include presentations and email. I did demos and set challenge tasks. I often had students use an alternate program, like WordPerfect instead of Word. You could easily do that with Open Office or other programs. It really helps people learn better computing skills. I assigned tasks and did presentations on file management, basic computer/internet security, etc. Email with calendaring has become a critical skill, and while everybody can make a powerpoint show, few can make a really good one.

You could probably find IT professionals in your area who would help you design the program with the right content and set benchmarks. Then you offer your own certificate. Don't make it too easy, make it realistic.
posted by theora55 at 5:52 PM on January 4, 2012

If you don't need the official certificate, there is a free game from Office that is meant to help people figure out how to use some of the deeper functionality, this might be a good way to get them learning it. They can compete for high scores, even.
posted by jacalata at 12:09 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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