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Tech certification program comes to BHS

Burnsville High School students will have a new opportunity to gain hands-on, real-world technology skills next year as the school partners with the Minnesota Department of Education and Best Buy to offer the Mouse Squad Certification Badge Program.

The program, which will be embedded in the school’s IT Exploration class, gives students the opportunity to learn tech skills including operating a help desk service, managing hardware, developing applications, programming, networking and web developments. Students will even work side-by-side with Best Buy Geek Squad members.

“By leveraging students’ savvy and interest in new technologies, we can help cultivate an ‘expert’ identity in students, where they are motivated to seek new skills, contribute ideas and find unique pathways toward success,” said Cindy Drahos, computer technology teacher and coordinator of the Mouse Squad program at BHS.

Eventually, the program will allows students to set up and run their own Mouse Squad help desk in the school, providing tech support to students and staff and giving them real experience applying their skills, providing a service and building their resumes.

When students successfully complete the curriculum, they can earn digital badges as a type of certification indicating their skills and knowledge. Those badges can be presented to employers, such as Best Buy, IBM and Google, who recognize them as certification of broad-based information technology skills.

Learn more about Mouse Squad online at www.mousesquad.org.