Want to know something cool?

One point of view, taking note of sundry "cool" things that affect-- or could affect-- the education business.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Off We Go, Into the Cyber Blue Yonder ...

Props to eSchool News online and their story (here) about a new course being offered at Rome Catholic, a K-12 parochial school in Rome, NY. Based on a similar course created a few years ago by the Air Force for ROTC cadets, the class teaches data security, network security, infrastructure, and other critical skills in the Interactive Age.

Students, from 10th to 12th graders, stay after school four days a week for 45 minutes, with at least two of those sessions being practical hands-on time in a new 12-seat computer lab (re-fabbed in a mouldering Home Ec classroom-- cookies, indeed!). Read that part again: 45 minute classes four days a week, AFTER SCHOOL. And the kids are lovin' it.

More props to Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, who is chairman of the House Science Committee, for scaring up the duckies to put this program in play. According to Boehlert, the Air Force has assured him that if the pilot program at Rome Catholic is successful, the Air Force will find the money to take the program statewide in 2006-2007 and possibly even national the year after.

High-schoolers fronting firewalls, hiding data, encrypting wireless network traffic ... it's a just such a geekalicious dream! But the truth be told, these students will leave high school with valuable skills and, perhaps, an inclination to pursue their future studies in the fields of computer science or security. And that is very cool, huh?

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