Volume 17, Issue 5 | December 2018

Welcome to the December edition of the Microsoft Imagine Academy (MSIA) Newsletter!

We are excited to share some exciting curriculum, certification, and college credit information with you this month:

• Microsoft MakeCode for Minecraft Curriculum Now Live!
• Role-based Certifications are the New Approach
• MOS Certifications earn students’ college credit!
What we are Reading: What’s New with EDU: Updates to help students with dyslexia thrive.

Read on for more on these stories!

Remember to share your student success stories with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Microsoft MakeCode for Minecraft: Computer Science Just Became Even More Engaging!

Even if you’ve never taught computer science before, the Introduction to Computer Science with MakeCode for Minecraft will engage and keep your students curious and excited about information technology. This semester-long course targets middle school grades 6-8 as an introduction to Computer Science. During this course, students will explore concepts in computer science through Microsoft MakeCode and Minecraft.

To access the course go to the Microsoft Imagine Academy member site for curriculum downloads:

  • Select Classroom, and then under Curriculum Overview, select Curriculum downloads.
  • On the Curriculum Downloads page, search for the course title: MakeCode for Minecraft

Role-Based Certifications are the New Approach

Microsoft Certifications are evolving to meet demands from today’s current employment opportunities. These days, IT teams are looking to fill roles with professionals who have the skills to work across multiple platforms with rapidly changing tools and technology. Microsoft’s new role-based certifications focus on skilling people up to fill those roles, whether you want to become an engineer, developer, architect, or administrator.

This all began with Azure, the fastest globally growing, cloud-computing platform. New exams are available now, updated to match new technology and the newest requirements. Furthermore, existing Azure professionals who have passed certain Azure Exams can take a discounted transition exam to ensure their skills remain sharp.

GMetrix Practice Tests for Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications

Performance-based assessment and test preparation tools help individuals achieve IT certification credentials. Test your Microsoft Office knowledge with GMetrix Practice Tests. GMetrix is the official practice test provider for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. GMetrix Practice Tests replicate a “live application” testing environment, build familiarity with the testing environment, increase confidence toward certification exams, and better prepare students to pass certification exams.

If you are interested in learning more about or purchasing the Microsoft Office Specialist GMetrix Practice Tests, please visit https://certiport.pearsonvue.com/Buy/School/North-America to be connected with your Territory Manager. For more information on Microsoft Office Specialist certification and the full pathway approach (Learn, Practice, Certify), visit www.certiport.com/mos.

ACE Accreditation for Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Technology Associate Certifications

ACE Credit connects workplace learning with colleges and universities by helping students gain access to academic credit for formal courses and examinations. ACE Credit has assessed and ultimately recommended college credit for the following Microsoft exams:

Certification Exam

Credit hours for lower division (100-200 level) in Information Technology

77-725: Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2016


77-727: Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2016


77-729: Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2016


98-388: Introduction to Programming Using Java



Introduction to Programming Using JavaScript


98-381: Introduction to Programming Using Python



Introduction to Programming Using HTML and CSS


Certification Exam Credit hours for lower division (100-200 level) in Information Technology Students will be able to earn college credit by taking and passing the Microsoft Office Specialist 2016 or Introduction to Programming certification exams mentioned above. Learn more at Certiport's educator resource website.

What we are Reading: What’s New with EDU: Updates to help students with dyslexia thrive.

It is estimated that one in five students has dyslexia, yet there are likely far more who have not yet been diagnosed in today’s classrooms. Their teachers and parents don’t often have the resources or training to help, however passionate they may be.

That is why today, Microsoft is honored to be the first company to sign the Made by Dyslexia pledge: to give the 700 million people with dyslexia around the world access to technology that empowers them to excel in their academic journey, and in life.

Learn more about how Microsoft is helping students with dyslexia excel with technology at: What’s New with EDU: Updates to help students with dyslexia thrive.

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