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LU, Microsoft partnership to advance professional development announced

Lamar University and Microsoft Corporation are teaming up to advance technology literacy for educators worldwide by providing a pathway from professional development to post-graduate certificate programs or a graduate degree in digital learning and leading. The partnership was announced by Microsoft today at BETT Show 2015 in London, an annual trade show that showcases the use of information technology in education. 

The innovative partnership will provide educators with competencies needed to deliver a rich learning experience for students while acknowledging teachers’ professional learning with graduate course-credits. At a time when many schools are embedding technology within the classroom, Lamar University’s College of Education and Human Development and Microsoft are working together to make the transition to becoming a digital-age educator as rewarding as possible. 

“We are very pleased to partner with Microsoft in this venture,” said Lamar University President Kenneth Evans.  “Our position as a leader in online master’s level education programs makes LU a great fit for this program.” 

Beginning this year, educators who complete Microsoft’s Teaching with Technology professional development course (based on UNESCO ICT Frameworks) and pass the Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam will be eligible to receive three graduate credit hours from Lamar University. Three additional credit hours will be available with the demonstrated use of these technology skills in the classroom. Lamar University will recognize any teacher who earns six credit hours as a Certified Digital Educator in addition the professional Microsoft Certified Educator credential awarded by Microsoft. Both of these credit-granting opportunities are available online and designed with the flexibility required by busy professional educators. 

Teachers can earn an Advanced Certification in Digital Learning from Lamar University by completing an additional six credit hours of online courses. For educators who choose to further their learning, these 12 credit hours are accepted as prior-coursework toward a M.Ed. in Digital Learning and Leading or other possible graduate degrees at Lamar University. 

“This partnership is unique in higher education,” said William Holmes, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “It recognizes the rigor of Microsoft’s training and extends the investment individuals make in gaining expertise with pedagogy that enhances their ability to spark learning in the classrooms of tomorrow.” 

“This partnership presents an excellent opportunity for educators to leverage their learning and gain credentials in education,” Holmes said. “It will help teachers apply the capabilities of technology in the classroom, and, for many, will become stepping stones toward a master’s degree that brings together technical prowess with education and leadership acumen.” 

The partnership validates the technology literacy competency educators have received by building on the widely respected Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) certification in six content areas, each mapped to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, Technology Literacy: education policy, curriculum and assessment, pedagogy, ICT/technology tools, organization and administration, and professional development. 

The MCE exam assesses educators’ understanding of how to apply technology tools in the content domains, but not their proficiency in using these specific technology tools. Lamar University extends the teacher’s effective use of technology in the classroom by further connecting the UNESCO ICT Competency areas through advanced digital pedagogy and principles of educational change management. 

The master’s degree in Digital Learning and Leading is designed for education practitioners teaching in and leading digital learning programs, integrating digital instructional resources, and designing, developing, and researching digital learning environments. The degree is designed so students from different educational jurisdictions can customize the program for their unique needs while connecting their processional development activity to appropriate educational theory and best practice globally. 

Lamar University’s M.Ed. in Digital Learning and Leading will be available beginning February 18, Pending Texas State Board of Trustees approval. 

For further information:

About Microsoft 

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About Lamar University 

Lamar University is a doctoral research university and a member of the Texas State University System. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the university. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredits teacher preparation and education graduate programs in the College of Education and Human Development. Lamar is among the largest educators of teachers in the United States through its nationally recognized online Masters-level education programs.