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Tech Outreach moves online

Posted 3 months ago in Tech by Ruth James
Posted by Ruth James

How do you continue to engage youth and educators, showcasing opportunities in tech while under lockdown?

In the Tech Outreach space, the large majority of initiatives have been event based. I’m a big believer in introducing students to the environment we work in and people (in person) who work in the sector.

After watching how the Tech Outreach and event sector have responded to this challenge under lockdown, the most impactful and accessible thing to do is create content that works online. 

A few weeks ago, I reached out to the Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa and asked what would be useful content. After all, I figured they’d also be working through the challenge of working and communicating with their students remotely.

We received requests to cover topics and questions including:

  • What skills do you need to be a product owner?
  • Can you talk us through how you and your team use GitHub, and how useful is version control? 
  • How do you use encryption and cryptography? 
  • Can you explain the difference as well as the pros and cons of Agile vs Waterfall? 
  • Could you please discuss UX methodologies you use that students can apply? For example, ‘user personas’, as opposed to ‘A/B testing’ that requires a large volume of users to test with. 

Based on these requests,  I was able to reach out to our subject matter experts at Xero and record some short interviews with them. We discussed what they do, their career paths, challenges and their passion for the job. We also answered some of the questions above. 

You can check out some of these interviews on YouTube here. There will be more to come in the upcoming weeks.

Other outreach resources that have moved online during lockdown include:

Nanogirl’s Lab

Dr Michelle Dickison and her team at Nanogirl’s Lab have been very transparent about the challenge they’ve faced with their business structure. This has meant the team having to pivot quickly to maintain purpose and income. Michelle wrote a Linkedin article that you can read here.

The Nanogirl’s Lab team has created an online platform with 50+ hands-on STEM projects for 6 – 11 year olds. Check it out here.  

Code Club

Code Club, a national network of clubs for Kiwi kids to learn how to code, has now moved online. To access their content and learn how to code, click here

OMG Tech

The team who deliver workshops for primary and intermediate schools to encourage them to be inspired and learn how to use future technology have also moved online with OMG Tech TV. They have made their remote teaching courses and resources available for free as well as offer free online holiday programmes for 5 – 18 year olds. 

STEMfest

Last year a team of Xero developers spent the weekend in beautiful Tauranga in New Zealand taking part in STEMfest. This year, due to COVID-19, they are offering a whole load of online content throughout the year. Check out their schedule and sign up to online events here

SheSharp

The team at SheSharp are on a mission to increase the number of women entering the technology sector. Traditionally they have hosted events, but, like the rest of us, they have taken to utilising online platforms to continue their mission. This month they are kicking off with a Storytellers Speaker Series, check out their upcoming events here

Spirit & Soul

Xero is a regular supporter of the Spirit & Soul team who look to empower young women to be the best they can be and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. They are sharing a Leading by Example video series starting in June discussing meaningful topics including teamwork, courage, hope, passion and resilience. For more details, click here

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