The average IT professional enjoys a nice summer break as much as the next working stiff, and the season for IT certification events and conferences is in full swing. Attending a conference or convention can be a pleasant way to break out of the often too-familiar routine of going to the office and sitting at a desk. Technology educators, on the other hand, have a rather different schedule than the average IT professional. Taking the time to attend a convention or conference in summer is rudely interrupting what, for most of them, is the only significant break in the calendar.
So it's doubtless a special breed of teacher who showed up in central Florida this morning to be present over the next three days for the inaugural CertifiED Educator Conference hosted by IT training and certification facilitator Certiport. As the official testing and training partner of Microsoft's Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, Certiport already spends a lot of time working with teachers. The MOS certs are especially popular in secondary school classrooms, both in North America and around the world. Via the MOS program alone, Certiport and educators help thousands of students get a leg up in the IT world each year.
CertifiED provides a chance for that partnership to bear fruit of a different flavor. With their students plugged into iPods on a blanket at the beach, or flipping burgers, or taking a road trip to a national park with Mom and Dad, the teachers at CertifiED are taking over the role of learner. The conference, billed by Certiport as being the "first of its kind," is an opportunity for educators to mingle with peers, share ideas, and embrace the full extent to which technology can revolutionize the classroom experience. It's widely believed that today's schoolchildren are better prepared to take advantage of IT certification than ever before. CertifiED is about helping teachers make it happen.
Actually, teachers themselves are perhaps the biggest reason that CertifiED came to be. In a statement to media earlier this year, Certiport executive Aaron Osmond said that teachers have been leading the charge. "Teachers and administrators have been asking us for years for a place to collaborate and learn more about successfully implementing certification in the classroom," Osmond said. "We are thrilled to launch the first CertifiED Educator Conference and invite educators to come and learn how to empower their students and their own career(s) with industry-recognized certification.
At Certification Magazine, we have our own keen interest in the future of IT certification, as well as in students of all ages who benefit from taking the plunge into IT. That's why our executive editor, Rocky Steele, will be in Florida this weekend to take part in the conference and help us learn more about the road ahead. Stay tuned to CertMag.com, and we'll let you know what we find out.