Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Microsoft Expand Digital Alliance with the City of Baltimore
Monday Mar 29th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, March 29, 2021) — Mayor Brandon M. Scott is announcing a Digital Alliance with Microsoft Corporation to provide digital skills courses to Baltimore residents and City employees through the Baltimore City Office of Information & Technology (BCIT).
These events and programs will provide participants the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with STEM industry professionals, connect local businesses with current digital solutions, and more. The Digital Alliance will support students, teachers and administrators, entrepreneurs, and other community members across the city.
“Digital skills are becoming increasingly important in our world, and expanding the resources available to our students, families, and employees to improve and build those skillsets is essential,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “COVID-19 has exacerbated the digital divide in our City. This partnership between Microsoft and Baltimore City Information & Technology is one way we can make a difference and build a more inclusive 21st century economy.”
“As the pandemic has shown us, digital skills are necessary to traverse the new norm. The resources supplied through the Microsoft partnership will help residents engage with a digital economy and positively impact their quality of life,” said Todd Carter, Baltimore’s Chief Information Officer.
BCIT will leverage this resource to develop partnerships with other city agencies, Baltimore City Public Schools, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, and local nonprofits.
The programs and courses offered through the Microsoft Digital Alliance are for anyone with basic reading skills who wants to learn the fundamentals of using digital technologies, including those with more experience who wish to improve their skills.
- DigiCamp will give students from underrepresented groups in Baltimore City the opportunity to learn about careers in tech while connecting with Microsoft employees. Students are introduced to IT careers while participating in virtual technology workshops, such as robotics, coding, hacking, STEM, and gaming.
The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks will host a DigiCamp event on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. during Spring Break. Young people and educators can register here.
- Hour of Code is a series of interactive workshops for students hosted virtually during the school day. Led by Microsoft employees and other technology partners, the leaders “take over” a virtual classroom and teach the students coding skills in just one hour. Each participant is instructed to use the MakeCode.com characters and will discover that they can complete coding exercises in as little as one hour.
- Digital Literacy helps residents learn essential skills to leverage computers with confidence, improve productivity at home and work, practice online safety, and use technology that complements their lifestyle and careers. The courses are provided in thirteen languages. Residents can access these courses through the City’s website.
Employees of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Baltimore City Health Department, and Housing Authority of Baltimore City will also be trained by Microsoft to provide digital literacy training to seniors and public housing residents. Sessions will air on CharmTV and stream on CharmTVBaltimore.com.
You can learn more about Baltimore City’s efforts to provide digital inclusion resources by visiting the BCIT’s website.