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  • This is awesome.. thanks for this post..

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  • This sounds really interesting.   Mebbe....?

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  • Very cool.  Would have loved to seen something like this when I was in High School (1990's, so not sure how popular that would have been).  I wold also like to see this develop past CS.  There is more to IT than just writing code.

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  • Sounds too advanced for the schools around me, most of the people I see coming out of high school around here do good to just turn on a computer. Ah the joys of living in East Texas... 

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  • James404d wrote:

    Very cool.  Would have loved to seen something like this when I was in High School (1990's, so not sure how popular that would have been).  I wold also like to see this develop past CS.  There is more to IT than just clicking OK.

    FTFY.

    I think it's important to understand how computers work.  Too often - especially of late - people get sucked into the romanticism of "Computers can do anything" idea, and the fact that we can play such realistic games and have Alexa, Iris, Cortana, and Siri as our personal assistants makes it easy to forget that computers can only add, make a comparison, and follow a set of very simple instructions.  That has not changed, despite the advances in languages and applications, the underlying technological capabilities have, basically, remained the same.

    Not understanding the "science" of computers makes bad code a requirement.  A program like this that has the potential to fix that.

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  • BernardL wrote:

    Sounds too advanced for the schools around me, most of the people I see coming out of high school around here do good to just turn on a computer. Ah the joys of living in East Texas... 

    NYC, too.

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  • Really great to see this kind of thing going on.  I hope more schools look into programs like these, and more pros take the time to help.

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  • Whenever  I am mentoring newbies, I always stress the importance of RTFM...


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  • BernardL wrote:

    Sounds too advanced for the schools around me, most of the people I see coming out of high school around here do good to just turn on a computer. Ah the joys of living in East Texas... 

    That sounds rather like the point of the program! :P

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  • Sal8273 wrote:

    James404d wrote:

    Very cool.  Would have loved to seen something like this when I was in High School (1990's, so not sure how popular that would have been).  I wold also like to see this develop past CS.  There is more to IT than just clicking OK.

    FTFY.

    I think it's important to understand how computers work.  Too often - especially of late - people get sucked into the romanticism of "Computers can do anything" idea, and the fact that we can play such realistic games and have Alexa, Iris, Cortana, and Siri as our personal assistants makes it easy to forget that computers can only add, make a comparison, and follow a set of very simple instructions.  That has not changed, despite the advances in languages and applications, the underlying technological capabilities have, basically, remained the same.

    Not understanding the "science" of computers makes bad code a requirement.  A program like this that has the potential to fix that.

    Don't get me wrong a basic understanding of how things work is fundamental.  My BASIC, C, and Assembly Language classes in high school / college have been nearly useless in my career, beyond the basics.  I'm not picking on CS people at all, you do what you do very well.  Too many education environments tell students that CS is the only answer, which is not true.  My response did not need fixing.

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  • This is really awesome! I haven't ever come across volunteer opportunities like this before, but it's such a great idea! 

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  • Ok One short Loud word... Yahoooo......ooo  Sign me up Today ... I love the kids...

    Doughhhoooo .. I love those beautiful kids.... please sign me up

    attach_file Attachment Yeaa_ooooo_.jpg 14.7 KB
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  • Hello all - thanks for stopping by to read this and thanks again to Mason for such a great conversation. I am going to be popping in for the next few days to see if there are any questions.

    Couple quick comments - I saw some comments about the importance of CS outside of coding. Could not agree more! The AP CS P course we work with really focuses on exploring the field of CS as a whole and while there are units on programming, it also explores physical, internet of things, algorithms, networking, cyber security, critical thinking, and more. This course has been great for getting more programming light technical professionals involved.

    Our courses really vary in difficulty. Our intro course is specifically designed to work with students with no prior exposure. We have worked successfully with school where students are behind in both their reading and math levels and struggle with basic computer operation. With the right tools and support we have seen some truly remarkable stories!

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  • James404d wrote:

    Sal8273 wrote:

    James404d wrote:

    Very cool.  Would have loved to seen something like this when I was in High School (1990's, so not sure how popular that would have been).  I wold also like to see this develop past CS.  There is more to IT than just clicking OK.

    FTFY.

    I think it's important to understand how computers work.  Too often - especially of late - people get sucked into the romanticism of "Computers can do anything" idea, and the fact that we can play such realistic games and have Alexa, Iris, Cortana, and Siri as our personal assistants makes it easy to forget that computers can only add, make a comparison, and follow a set of very simple instructions.  That has not changed, despite the advances in languages and applications, the underlying technological capabilities have, basically, remained the same.

    Not understanding the "science" of computers makes bad code a requirement.  A program like this that has the potential to fix that.

    Don't get me wrong a basic understanding of how things work is fundamental.  My BASIC, C, and Assembly Language classes in high school / college have been nearly useless in my career, beyond the basics.  I'm not picking on CS people at all, you do what you do very well.  Too many education environments tell students that CS is the only answer, which is not true.  My response did not need fixing.

    I did not mean to imply anything here that your response needed fixing.  The truth is, most of what IT is about is never really taught in any classroom, as you know.  The real problem is, "education" is geared toward a piece of paper that will land you a particular job title and not toward what you need to know to do that job.    It's not in any way designed to actually teach you anything.  Replace one degree's Databases class with a Protocols class, and now you have a different degree that makes you a Network Engineer instead of a DBA.  NO - it doesn't.

    There are plenty of companies out there who will hire a person with a Masters in Marine Biology for an IT position over a person with an Associates or "just a certificate" who has actually been working in IT for 3 or 4 years or even more.  And the reason is, they want a "better educated" employee.  And they'll get one, usually, just not one that is better educated in what they need that person to do.  On the one hand, that's wrong.  On the other, it really doesn't matter, because the difference between the DBA and the Network Engineer is one class. 

    A program like this has the potential to fix that problem, which is what's entirely wrong with the way we do things to prepare people for life as adults.

    As a person with a CS degree who does "CS" work in IT, I can tell you that I agree with you:  CS is not the only answer.  But, sadly, it is the only offering in many cases, and it probably hasn't changed much since I took it with BASIC, C, and Assembly.  In my day, we had the advanced "Scientific Programming" classes.  In these, I still used BASIC, C, and Assembly, but instead of counting from 1 to 100 by 17 or playing a guessing game I had to program trig functions.

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  • I'm going to be the odd man out and ask why they can't just pay people more if they're in a field with high demand. If they can pay more for someone with a masters, they can pay more to attract Computer Science grads to teach.

    I already know the answer though: look at all the teachers marching and it's obvious the fiscal conservatives are squeezing money out of public education so they can funnel it elsewhere.

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  • This is Cool wish they had teachers like this in any of my schools including college. 

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  • johnjannone  Welcome to the dark side! :) 

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  • As a student currently at a high school, I can't possibly stress the importance of having a well educated and eager teacher. If you are someone who truly does know what you're talking about in regards to CS and you can teach that to kids and young adults like myself, there is no better way to draw people into the glorious field of IT. I am currently taking a CS course at my high school, and while it doesn't teach any truly useful coding, it still teaches other basic CS principles, terminology, best practices, and information. 

    This program is amazing and I hope it continues to grow so we can bring more young minds toward IT.

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  • If you look around there are a number of opportunities to mentor teachers as well as students.  I was a Science Office in the Navy Reserve and we judged regional high school science fairs.  Having degrees in biology and EE I got to see a variety of exhibits and we awarded graphing calculators (expensive in the 90's) and small scholarships.  It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.  Check your local senior center and community college for opportunities.  Yeah, trekkies, Navy Science Officer a.k.a. CDR Data.

    As a private pilot I'm also involved in EAA Young Eagles program for reduced cost to obtain pilot's license leading to a career in aviation for high school students.  One girl was having trouble in math, so we went over crosswind landings and a little trig to demonstrate how it works.  In 3 months her math grade jumped from D to B.

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  • Thanks for sharing! Nice write up!

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  • I have been told many times i should be a teacher...this is perhaps right up my street!

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  • You've inspired me.  I just reached out to a high school nearby and started exploring the possibility of volunteering my skills next school year.

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  • This is really awesome! Glad to know this information.

    The AFA CyberPatriot program is also a pretty great way to volunteer. CyberPatriot offers a somewhat different approach, allowing the volunteer/IT Pro to coach and teach a team or teams of middle or high school students the principles and methods of cybersecurity in a competitive setting, and addresses both Windows and Linux security fundamentals.

    I had the fortune to coach for a year, and the young men and women who were a part of my team were fantastically eager to learn, even beyond the security-related principles of the CyberPatriot program itself. It's great to see these types of programs becoming more front and center.

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  • BernardL wrote:

    Sounds too advanced for the schools around me, most of the people I see coming out of high school around here do good to just turn on a computer. Ah the joys of living in East Texas... 

    Here is your chance to change that...

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  • BernardL wrote:

    Sounds too advanced for the schools around me, most of the people I see coming out of high school around here do good to just turn on a computer. Ah the joys of living in East Texas... 

    If someone would go into the classrooms and teach the kids what a computer can do they may learn to love it as much as we do. If you make computers available to students they will learn.

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  • davecork wrote:

    You've inspired me.  I just reached out to a high school nearby and started exploring the possibility of volunteering my skills next school year.

    We all can do this.

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  • I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I can't imagine volunteering while operating in an IT Career, let alone providing high-skill services to others for free. I can hardly spend time with my family at home as it is... maybe I'm taking on too much? 

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  • The local school system here does not take volunteers, so this won't be happening here.  Kudos to those who have the time to volunteer though.  Even if this were allowed in this county, I wouldn't have time to volunteer due to pulling 10+ hour days, being a single income homeowner with two houses, an elderly parent to look after and trying to study for a few additional Microsoft certifications and just needing my personal time to recharge.

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  • Andre the Giant wrote:

    Whenever  I am mentoring newbies, I always stress the importance of RTFM...

    At work I'm slowly educating my colleagues but they call me a difficult teacher because I know too much.

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  • cnicholsontech wrote:

    I'm going to be the odd man out and ask why they can't just pay people more if they're in a field with high demand. If they can pay more for someone with a masters, they can pay more to attract Computer Science grads to teach.

    I already know the answer though: look at all the teachers marching and it's obvious the fiscal conservatives are squeezing money out of public education so they can funnel it elsewhere.

    Skimping on public education funds isn't the largest roadblock to getting teachers in a high-demand field though. A lot of states require a bachelors degree (usually in Education) as a prerequisite to the necessary teaching certification that is needed order to teach at a public school. If someone that has been very successful in the software development field for 30+ years that never went to college wants to spend the last part of their working years passing on all that they've learned to the next generation by teaching a class at their local high school, there's likely no way the school district could even consider it unless they take about 4 years beforehand to go out and get a bachelors degree in education ... even if they're more than fully versed on what they'd be teaching. Requiring that degree really diminishes the potential pool of teachers for specialized subjects.

    Fortunately, there are some states that are trying to open up alternate paths to obtaining teaching certifications to try and addresses shortages in more specialized fields to pull from more sources but the red tape is still there nonetheless.

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  • Though I have sent most of my questions to TEALS, I`m interested in both programs (TEALS and AFA CyberPatriot) how can one get material to work with? This idea can`t get me to sleep at night...just wanna see myself involved immediately. Good one guys

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  • Our specific problem here is that Computer Science still falls under the Business umbrella. So if you can teach personal finance you are now responsible for Computer Science. Consequently our CompSci offerings are not being taught at a very high level.

    I would imagine as those teachers gain real Computer Science skills (like not Excel) this would be less needed. Not that volunteering is bad, but if the staff has a more appropriate education in this field, the gaps will kind of fill themselves.

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  • Class the first acronym you will learn is RPE

    Resume Producing Event 

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