Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/08/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:00:35 AM Start
08:01:36 AM Presentation: Microsoft Imagine Academy
08:57:56 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with House Education
+ Microsoft Imagine Academy TELECONFERENCED
Joel Lathrop, Microsoft
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 8, 2017                                                                                          
                           8:00 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Harriet Drummond, Chair                                                                                         
 Representative Justin Parish, Vice Chair                                                                                       
 Representative Zach Fansler                                                                                                    
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                   
 Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                               
 Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                      
 Representative David Talerico                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 Senator Shelley Hughes, Chair                                                                                                  
 Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                          
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
 Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Lora Reinbold, Alternate                                                                                        
 Representative Geran Tarr, Alternate                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION:  MICROSOFT IMAGINE ACADEMY                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOEL LATHROP, Strategic Alliance Manager                                                                                        
Microsoft US Education                                                                                                          
Austin, Texas                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented  an  overview  of the  Microsoft                                                             
Imagine Academy.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:00:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HARRIET DRUMMOND called the  joint meeting of the House and                                                             
Senate  Education  Standing  Committees  to order  at  8:00  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Drummond, Kopp,  Parish, Fansler,  Johnston, and                                                               
Talerico; and  Senators Giessel, Begich, and  Hughes were present                                                               
at  the call  to  order.   Representative  Spohnholz and  Senator                                                               
Coghill arrived  as the  meeting was in  progress.   Also present                                                               
was Representative Ortiz.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION:  Microsoft Imagine Academy                                                                                       
            PRESENTATION:  Microsoft Imagine Academy                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:01:36 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be a presentation from the Microsoft Imagine Academy.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:02:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOEL   LATHROP,   Strategic   Alliance  Manager,   Microsoft   US                                                               
Education, directed  attention to  the committee  handout titled,                                                               
"COMPUTER SCIENCE,  EMPLOYABILITY & THE STEM  AGENDA, 'SKILLS ARE                                                               
KEY  TO  THE  PROSPERITY  OF  NATIONS AND  TO  BETTER  LIVES  FOR                                                               
INDIVIDUALS  IN THE  21ST CENTURY;'  OECD GLOBAL  SKILLS REPORT,"                                                               
and began the  presentation with a brief video  to illustrate the                                                               
Imagine Academy and how it works, as modeled in West Virginia.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:12:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  said the program  strategy is to move  the education                                                               
of  science,  technology,   engineering  and  mathematics  (STEM)                                                               
forward  using the  Imagine Academy.    He said  representatives,                                                               
such as himself, are in very  state, on a weekly basis to present                                                               
the program.   The first key pillar focuses  on policy, advocacy,                                                               
access, and  diversity.      The second pillar  is to  initiate a                                                               
student's  journey   into  building  technical   skills,  gaining                                                               
knowledge  in  computer science  (CS),  and  establishing a  STEM                                                               
portfolio.    The third  pillar  is  to develop  great  educators                                                               
through  community and  professional development.   He  described                                                               
the  computer programs  that have  been designed  to fulfill  the                                                               
goals  of these  pillars,  which include:   DigiGirlz,  code.org,                                                               
YouthSpark,  MINECRAFT  Education   Edition,  Microsoft  Imagine,                                                               
Certified MIE, and Microsoft Certified Educator.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:14:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP explained  that,  in  the last  week,  a search  for                                                               
vendor-specific skills  and certification  jobs listed  in Alaska                                                               
showed that  employers are seeking  to hire 705  individuals with                                                               
experience  and  abilities related  to  Microsoft  products.   He                                                               
attributed the  high number  to the fact  that most  business use                                                               
Microsoft systems.  Directing attention  to the handout, page 10,                                                               
he reviewed the job demands for  CS in Alaska as gathered via the                                                               
not-for-profit  code.org site  in  March 2017,  which listed  the                                                               
following:    607  open  computing   jobs,  18  computer  science                                                               
graduates, 60  high school students having  completed the advance                                                               
placement (AP) CS  exam, and $82,758 as the  average salary being                                                               
paid for computing  jobs.  Twenty-two states  have contracts with                                                               
Microsoft  for the  Imagine Academy,  with each  taking a  unique                                                               
approach on the  application.  He said that some  states may only                                                               
offer it in  the high school setting, while others  provide it to                                                               
a  selected group  of  schools.   He  directed  attention to  the                                                               
handout, page  11, illustrating the  states that  hold agreements                                                               
with the Imagine Academy, and  said each has a customized program                                                               
to serve its populace.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:17:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked  about the fractional numbers  listed on the                                                               
map in conjunction with each state.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP offered to provide further information.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON surmised  from information  on the  page                                                               
that the first  number represents the certified  academies in the                                                               
state, and the second represents the number of licenses issued.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP concurred.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND noted that Hawaii  is the one state where                                                               
the Imagination Academy is located in its libraries.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:19:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP said  that Imagine  Academy supplies  the curriculum                                                               
for the computer  science tracks, and certification  is issued by                                                               
a  contracted company,  Certiport,  which  provides schools  with                                                               
many  types  of   certifications  for  internet/computer  related                                                               
courses.  He directed attention to  the handout, page 12, and the                                                               
color-coded world map to illustrate  the Imagine Academy activity                                                               
on a  global basis, to wit:   8.5 million students  and educators                                                               
served  annually,  over  16,000 certified  educators,  2  million                                                               
academic  certification   exams  proctored  in   2015-16,  15,000                                                               
Microsoft  Imagine   Academy  member   schools  located   in  135                                                               
countries, and  over 1  million online learning  users.   He then                                                               
reviewed  the programs  and benefits  provided  in the  Microsoft                                                               
Imagine Academy contract, which  includes:  the official academic                                                               
courseware  (MOAC), online  learning access,  customizable lesson                                                               
plans, study guides, and no cost exam vouchers for educators.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:20:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP said the academy  provides all software and necessary                                                               
support  for the  program.   He reviewed  s list  of institutions                                                               
that are benefiting from licensure  of the Imagine Academy, which                                                               
include:    K-12  schools;   universities,  colleges  and  junior                                                               
colleges;   skills  centers;   military  academies;   vocational,                                                               
workforce   development,  and   trade   schools;  scientific   or                                                               
technical   schools;   and   libraries  and   health   academies.                                                               
Corporate companies may choose to  buy into the program, however,                                                               
it  has been  discounted  70  percent to  make  it accessible  to                                                               
educational facilities.   The intent is to for  students to study                                                               
and gain an understanding of  the CS field, achieve productivity,                                                               
hone  data science  and  IT infrastructure  skills,  and earn  an                                                               
industry-recognized  certification, which  will  result in  their                                                               
being employable, becoming involved  in economic development, and                                                               
possible lead  them to  entrepreneurship.   He elaborated  on the                                                               
industry certifications that  can be earned, which  are:  Digital                                                               
Literacy  Certificate (DLC),  Microsoft Office  Specialist (MOS),                                                               
Microsoft  Technology Associate  (MTA),  and Microsoft  Certified                                                               
Professional (MCP).                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP provided a second, brief video.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:26:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP directed  attention  to the  handout,  page 18,  and                                                               
stepped through  of the online  website choices, which  offer tab                                                               
selections  for  the  curriculum  overview,  an  online  learning                                                               
dashboard, accessing  additional resources, the  classroom setup,                                                               
and student recognition.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:27:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  asked if online learning  is required to                                                               
be done in real-time.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP answered  no,  the programs  can  be downloaded  and                                                               
completed  offline as  well.   Situations occur  where Wi-Fi  and                                                               
broadband  are  not  readily  available.    The  programs  aren't                                                               
available  on  CD, but  the  full  curriculum, exams,  and  other                                                               
information, can  be downloaded  at an  initial access  point and                                                               
completed offline.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:29:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked whether  the  curriculum  is delivered  in                                                               
schools  via   asynchronous  student   driven  means,  or   in  a                                                               
synchronous classroom format.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  answered that it  can be  presented in a  variety of                                                               
ways, as it's designed to be flexible.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:30:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP said  that, from the educator's  standpoint, which is                                                               
equally  as  important  as  the student's,  a  cadre  of  online,                                                               
community support is offered,  which include educational experts,                                                               
authorized  trainers,  specialists,  and  technology  associates.                                                               
The MCE  future teacher  is provided  with a  self-assessment and                                                               
individual learning plan  based on six core  focus courses, which                                                               
are:   curriculum  and assessment,  education policy,  technology                                                               
and   pedagogy,    ICT   classroom   tools,    organization   and                                                               
administration, and professional development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:31:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES noted  that credit  can be  earned through  Lamar                                                               
University, and asked whether that's included in the program.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  responded that colleges  as well as  K-12 facilities                                                               
can be licensed.  He directed  attention to the handout, page 23,                                                               
to note the list of  Microsoft Certification Pathway options that                                                               
can be  pursued, and said,  "It's endless."  The  curriculum used                                                               
in the schools are the same  as what is offered in adult training                                                               
centers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:34:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked about training  the teachers  to administer                                                               
the academies courses.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP answered that the  instructors have a specific set of                                                               
courses  to become  certified, which  are independently  accessed                                                               
online.   He  explained that  when  a school  contracts with  the                                                               
Imagine  Academy information/training  is provided  for teachers,                                                               
parents, and students.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:35:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  described how North  Carolina initiated  its program                                                               
and successfully expanded  it over a five-year  period.  Examples                                                               
of how the  program has been implemented in  Florida and Kentucky                                                               
were also offered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:38:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked whether any  schools in Alaska are using the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  replied yes,  independent of  the state  agency, and                                                               
recalled  that one  is located  in  the Matanuska-Susitna  school                                                               
district.  He offered to provide further details.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:39:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP provided a third, another brief video.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:42:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    JOHNSTON   queried    whether   the    OneDrive                                                               
[demonstrated in  the video] is  a basic package provided  in the                                                               
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP responded  yes, OneDrive  is included,  and students                                                               
save their work in the cloud.   To a follow-up question regarding                                                               
capacity, he offered to provide further information.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:43:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked if  Chromebook devices are compatible                                                               
with the Imagine Academy programing.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP replied  yes, the  program has  been designed  to be                                                               
compatible every available device.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked who was involved  in the development                                                               
of the curriculum.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP  answered  that  educators  from  around  the  world                                                               
contributed.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:46:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP provided a fourth, brief video.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:49:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP reviewed  a  number of  free  applications that  are                                                               
available to augment  Office 365 [described in  the video], which                                                               
include:  OneNote, School Data Sync, and Docs.com.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:50:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DRUMMOND   asked  if  contact  has   been  through  direct                                                               
communication  with  school districts  or  if  there has  been  a                                                               
connection  made  with the  Alaska  Department  of Education  and                                                               
Early Development (EED).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP answered that EED has not been contacted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:51:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  questioned  whether there  has  been  noticeable                                                               
change in the  areas where the academy has  been implemented over                                                               
a period  of time; has  the technology  sector been drawn  to the                                                               
area, and are students obtaining local CS related jobs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP answered  that the  states implementing  the program                                                               
advertise its  use to effectively  attract industry based  on the                                                               
workforce that's being created.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:52:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  what the  price tag  for the  state                                                               
would be to contract for the program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP   estimated  an  annual  cost   of  about  $400,000,                                                               
depending  on the  actual number  of students  and teachers  that                                                               
would be served.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH said  it would  be good  to know  how that                                                               
compares  with  what is  being  spent  on the  existing,  similar                                                               
educational approaches.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  noted  how  there could  be  a  range  of                                                               
outcomes  for the  different  schools  implementing the  program.                                                               
Some may  have been more successful  than others and it  would be                                                               
interesting to hear the reports from the less successful ones.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LATHROP acknowledged  that  the academy  is most  successful                                                               
when there is a local who understands and champions the program.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:55:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  referred to  the  committee  packet and  a  page                                                               
labeled TEALS  [(Technology Education  and Literacy  in Schools)]                                                               
to inquire about the program.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP  answered that  it is a  grassroots group,  formed to                                                               
help high  schools throughout the  US build and  grow sustainable                                                               
computer science programs and act as mentors for the teachers.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:56:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DRUMMOND pondered  where  the  Imagine Academy  curriculum                                                               
could be fit into an already busy school schedule.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LATHROP explained that many  schools build it into their STEM                                                               
programs  and existing  computer  science  periods, while  others                                                               
offer it as an afterschool lab.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:57:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DRUMMOND thanked the presenter.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES   announced  the  next  meeting   of  the  Senate                                                               
Education Standing Committee                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DRUMMOND announced  the next  meeting  of House  Education                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:57:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committees, the joint                                                                
meeting of the House Education Standing Committee and Senate                                                                    
Education Standing Committee was adjourned at 8:58 a.m.                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Microsoft Imagine Academy Certification for Alaska.pdf SEDC 3/8/2017 8:00:00 AM
TEALS Program Description 2017-18.pdf SEDC 3/8/2017 8:00:00 AM
Government Eligibility Definition - March 2015.pdf SEDC 3/8/2017 8:00:00 AM