Let me enlighten those of you that are interested in the high school .NET initiative.
Over the past year I have really been trying to think of ways that our community could drive .NET into the high schools. Microsoft has really started trying to drive this initiative by offering a one week .NET training for high school faculty this summer. I really think this is a good move on their part, but who is to say the students will benefit from any of this. First the training is taking place way to late to even think about incorporating any of this into next year’s curriculum and secondly many of the high schools don’t have the budgets nor the labs to support VS.NET currently.
So why stop there? Well we really aren’t. I feel that if we want to get .NET into the high schools we should really begin with the students. My #1 goal isn’t to get .NET taught in the high schools right now at the moment, but yet to drive awareness in the student population. Two of the major things that I am planning to execute during the next school year are:
- A high school .NET programming contest
- High school .NET user groups
The details of the programming contest cannot be disclosed at this moment as they are still being discussed. I will state that the contest will most likely last a few weeks, with a big grand finale competition and will be launched in early fall. Based on how the pilot competition (held in Michigan, yet open to anyone willing to travel for the finals), we are hoping to launch a much larger competition in the spring if not next fall for sure. Those that compete in the pilot competition will be more then welcome to compete the spring competition if there is one.
The high school .NET user group will not be called a “user group”, but yet another name is currently in the works. We are hoping to align this initiative very closely with The Spoke and I am currently working on creating a kit for all interested schools. The vision I have is to create an organization within the school similar to a chess club, science club, or French club. This organization will be designed for students, by students and run by students. Our goal is to align these organizations very closely with their local community champions such as the MVPs, Student Ambassadors, user group leaders and other folks from Microsoft.
I am working very closely with folks from Microsoft on both of these endeavors right now and will continue to keep everyone posted.
I am also in the process of planning a dinner to chat with local high school students and other influentials in Michigan. The dinner will be location in West Michigan (Grand Rapids – Holland area) though will be open to any individuals. Space will be limited so if you are interested send respond to this post or send me an email so I can tack you onto the email that will be going out with the dinner details.
Well I feel quite bad becuase I haven't blogged in a while so one of my goals for this summer is to begin really blogging again about all the cool and/or random stuff that's going on in my world. Some of the random things I might begin blogging about this summer are:
- The high school .NET initiative
- Planning for the high school .NET programming contest
- Volunteer IT
- MCSD study groups
- The student ambassador program
- INETA academic news
- User group information