Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BDPA Los Angeles Member Reviews Online Tutorial for BDPA Students

Temitope Sonuyi is a member of our BDPA Los Angeles chapter. He joined BDPA because he saw it as an organization devoted to the service of educating young people. This fit with his personal desire to assist in the spread of knowledge to those who don't have the resources and opportunities and those that WANT to learn.

LA Chapter Computer Camp
Therefore, it is not a surprise that Temitope was interested in bringing 'best practices' from other BDPA chapters to support the efforts of training young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives within BDPA Los Angeles chapter.

One of those 'best practices' is the online tutorials available through an application known as "BDPAStudents.com". This online application is available to any BDPA chapter engaged in the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

We asked Temitope to share his review of BDPAStudents.com for our blog. Here is what he had to say:

It's hard to figure out exactly where to begin in reviewing the BDPAStudents.com application. To begin it was created by Zachary Garbow, an instructor for the award winning Southern Minnesota team, and he released it to other chapters who were looking to find better ways to instruct their students.

BDPA So. Minnesota - 2010 Nat'l HSCC Champions
The application is great because it is a sort of self-contained site where students can do all the work and research that an instructor makes for them, without having to install software or keep files on their own. This makes it easier for students to get up and running on assignments. They simply login, read the instructors lesson plan and begin writing code in files that can be stored on a server. This allows students to continue work on assignments from anywhere as well. Furthermore it has a built in grading system that automatically ranks students and tracks scores for each assignment an instructor assigns.

Going from not using BDPAStudents.com last year, to using it as the main center for instruction has made a night and day difference in the ability for me to instruct and for students to learn.

There are future plans to further develop the application into a resource hub for all chapters. This application can potentially be a huge catalyst to deliver more instruction to more students since assignments can largely be self-contained and rely less on an instructor being present. If it becomes a resource hub it will greatly help out instructors as they will have a baseline of material to teach kids from, and can also contribute their changes or new assignments as well. You have to use it to believe it to truly grasp the power of it. Don't sleep on this one folks!

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very appreciative of Temitope for taking time to share his review of this collaborative software tool.   We hope that more chapters will take advantage of this opportunity to support the training of their students in the future.

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