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Mentorship

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Digital Wish has partnered with Microsoft to bring two different after-school programs to Vermont towns participating in the e-Vermont project. There’s one program for Microsoft Kodu game development and another for Microsoft Expression web design.  These after-school programs will be coordinated by Digital Wish staff and run by local high school mentors in the 24 e-Vermont elementary schools.  High schools and tech centers located near any of these towns are invited to sign up a team of student mentors. Each participant will be awarded admission to a full day training symposia where they will be trained on either game development or web development, taught by Microsoft professionals and Digital Wish training specialists. Microsoft has graciously donated $1.9 million dollars in Dreamspark license codes which will be granted to all 1,500 participating mentors, students, and teachers, allowing access to an incredible suite of educational software including Microsoft Kodu and Expression.

The Symposium

To kick off the spring after-school cycle, Microsoft trainers are coming to Vermont to run one-day training symposiums on Microsoft Kodu and Microsoft Expression. These symposiums will be attended by selected high school students who will become after-school program mentors, and selected elementary students who want to become peer leaders in their school.

There will be two chances for students to attend each training symposium next month.

  • Northern symposium, Vermont Technical College: Randolph Campus, January 11th – Kodu and January 12th – Expression (snow day January 13th).
  • Southern symposium, Southwest Vermont Center for Career Development, Bennington, VT, January 17th – Kodu and January 18th – Expression (snow day January 19th).

Each student that takes part in this program will receive a code that allows them free access to over twenty Microsoft software programs geared toward education worth $1,325 and training in two of the most sought-after programs for web design and game development on the market. Schools are already lining up to take part in these programs, but there’s room for more. If you know of a high school or technical center that may want to participate, please have them contact Digital Wish, right away.

Southern Mentorship Coordinator Celia Olson explains that, “We’ve designed a technology-based after-school program where each of the e-Vermont elementary schools can forge stronger connections to their neighboring high schools. It’s a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills in preparation for college and the eventual workforce.”

The Program

The after-school programs are organized by Digital Wish staff, but the high school students will be the experts mentoring the elementary school children, making for a more community-driven learning environment.   The after school programs run anywhere from 4-8 weeks in each town, during each school’s regular club schedule. The high school mentors commit to attending the 1-day symposium in January, and then volunteering for 2 hours, 1-2 days per week, for the 4-8 week term of the local school’s club. Each team of mentors is organizing transportation, and Digital Wish has 1-2 computers available to each mentor team so that they can practice their skills. Program sponsors include Microsoft – donating software and training; Dell – contributing matching funds for the computers; VITA-Learn – donating 19 computers in support of participating high need schools; and VCRD – with staff and equipment funding through e-Vermont: The Community Broadband Project.

The Contests

Behind the scenes, Digital Wish is planning an exciting “surprise” contest component to wrap up the program at the end of the school year. Participating students will submit their projects into a statewide online competition. All schools in Vermont state are invited to participate, and there will be motivating students technology prizes for the winners. The deadline for submissions will be May 31st, 2012 – so watch for the contest here:

http://www.bliinkcontest.com/

Sign up Now!

If you know of a high school or tech center interested in participating, please have them sign up right away. Here’s the information link: http://www.digitalwish.com/Tech-Club/html/home.html

About Digital Wish

Digital Wish is a non-profit on a mission to solve technology shortfalls in K-12 classrooms. Atwww.digitalwish.org teachers can make technology wish lists… and supporters make those wishes come true. PTA’s and PTO’s can start online fundraisers for new classroom technology in just a few mouse clicks, complete with credit card processing. Digital Wish also runs the School Modernization Initiative, bringing one-computer-per-child programs to 28 local schools. Over 26,000 classroom technology wishes have been granted!

Learn about Digital Wish’s School Modernization Initiative and the e-Vermont Project at: https://schoolmodernizationinitiative.wordpress.com/

Celia Olson

Digital Wish Southern Mentorship Coordinator

P: (866) 344-7758 ext. 213

celia@digitalwish.org

Christian Kmiecik

Digital Wish Northern Mentorship Coordinator

P: (860) 460-7671

christian@digitalwish.org

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