TAMPA, Florida -- The start of the new school year is coming up fast.
On Saturday, 500 Hillsborough County teachers traded in their place at the head of the classroom fora deskduring a one-day training session with Microsoft's Partners in Learning.
The lesson? How to incorporate technology into their lesson plans.
The goal is to better prepare their students for life after high school.
"The jobs today and in the future will require technology skills. We have to be in a position to teach our students so they know how to use technology to do the tasks they need to do everyday," explained Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.
From tips and tricks on how to use Office in the classroom to a technology their students know quite well --the Xbox 360'sKinect --the teachers are raising the bar of learning for their classrooms.
"We know a lot of teachers are doing it well, but some teachers need examples, they want to have some time to sit down and figure it out and build it into their lesson plans," said Kelly Green, an instructor with Microsoft's Partners in Learning.
Microsoft's partnership with the school district goes beyond the one-day training session. It will be in the classroom for several years to come. "Microsoft is partnering with the school district in 57 Microsoft IT academies that will be implemented in all of our high schools, 27 high schools, 27 middle schools, and three of our career centers," said Elia.
"Some students are going to be able to complete industry certifications for IT in which they'll be prepared and workforce ready. They may leave high school after graduating and take a job," explained Green.
Elia said there's another benefit that actually helps the students parents; students enrolled in the academies will be able to invite their parents to learn the technologies as well.
Microsoft's Partners in Learning has helped nearly 8 million educators in 114 countries since 2007. In that time, the effort has helped more than 190 million students.