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Friday, April 24, 2009

Microsoft IT Academy - Very Good Deal for Training Your Staff & Students

This year I decided to go a different route than our previous online training opportunity for our department staff. We had previously used the service offered by The Training Consortium, but this year, that was a little bit more expensive than we could afford, and needed something that could be used by more of the technical staff throughout the department. We luckily stumbled upon Microsoft's Training opportunities through a contact at our local ESD, and so far have been happy we did.

The Microsoft IT Academy is much more than just training, although there is a lot of that, and our experience so far, has been a pretty high quality. When you purchase a subscription, (which provides access to all staff in your entire district) you also get access to MSDN, Microsoft Press, and TechNet Plus. For the fairly small cost with the educational discounts, this is well worth the money spent. They do also align the courses up with their certifications such as MCSE, and MCSA, and others, so if you have staff that are interested into these certifications, this is a great way to provide that opportunity to them.

They also do offer this for use with students, but the way they license it is you must license each of your schools seperately, and for this year our schools already have a solution in place.

I would fully recommend that you take a look at this if you are in the market for online training for your IT staff. Of course it is Microsoft only technologies, but if you are like us and are supporting a primarily Windows infrastructure, it is well worth it.

iPhone Application Development - Thanks Apple & Stanford

In case you haven't already seen this in multiple places and you are interested in getting started in writing applications for the iPhone, take a look at the course that is being offered right now at Stanford and also offered to the world for no credit through iTunes U.

I have watched a couple of the lectures so far, and am trying to keep up, but it just takes a bit more time than I currently have with everything else on my plate. I have quite a few good ideas that I hope I can one day produce, but it all comes down to whether or not I will ever have time. This is an actual college course though, so it does take you from the basics of learning Objective-C all the way to creating much more advanced applications.

If you would like more information, search for Stanford within iTunes, or you can find the actual class website with all lecture slides, assignments, a direct iTunes link, and other information at the following link: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs193p/cgi-bin/index.php

Really back this time...

Ok, so I know I said I was back and going to start blogging again back in December, but I guess that kind of fell apart. This time I have actually made a list of things I want to write about, and it is currently at about 14, so I will try and write a couple of things up tonight, and over the next week or two, I will try to get to all of them. The topics are a real mix 'n match of different topics that touch on what it is like to manage an IT department in a K-12 setting where you never will have the resources that a private enterprise will.