Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teacher as Opportunity Activator

Yesterday I tried out a little web site called Name Tag Analyzer  that looks at your LinkedIn information (this assumes you have a Linked In Account of course) and comes up with what should be on your name tag. For me it came up with Opportunity Activator which I actually think is pretty cool. Helping people find and take advantage of opportunity is something I have long tried to do. As I thought about it more I realized that being an Opportunity Activator is a big part of what teachers do.

This is about as true as it can be with computer science education. With free tools, access to cloud computing for storage and computing, and inexpensive personal computing power it has never been easier to learn computing, to create computer solutions and especially never easier to start a computer based business.

Recently I started a project with some people from Seton Hall University and a high school local to them. Rob Miles and I (That’s us below – I’m the short guy) are developing some curriculum teaching programming on Windows Phones. The students are in the picture on the right below. Rob took it from a Skype conversation during the program kick off.


It’s a pretty exciting project in large part because of the particular opportunity for these students but even more so because there are hopes that if it works it can be expanded to other schools around the country. Not every student gets the opportunity to learn computer science though. That is a real problem. We need to activate that opportunity for more students.

Note that the Name Tag Analyzer site is far from scientific and in fact it comes up with something different just about every time I try it. But it was fun and it gave me something to think about.

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