Creating technology for a brighter future

November 9, 2011 2:05:17 PM PST
Sekai Farai believes creating technology can create a brighter future; so, she recruits students in Harlem for a free 12-week computer programming workshop.

"When you give access to people who are marginalized they do remarkable things with them and it really shows their trajectory. It changes their lives in a very real sense. Not just because they make money. Not just because they're rich, but because they can re-imagine their communities," she says.

In this program, students learn to build what they use.

Bruce Lincoln, an Educational Technologist at Columbia University, says, "African American and Latino students are the fastest growing market when it comes to the adoption to smart phones, so they're already all over these devices. So we need to be teaching them how to create apps" - which is why these types of classes are catching on.

"So you've got programs now rising up all over the country that are looking at how to create entrepreneurs, how to get more students involved," he says.

In Atlanta, Glitch pays high school students to test video games as a way to learning computer programming and design. They get a chance to write the app and it is actually very simple.

And, at Chicago's 21st Century Youth Project, "Right now we're learning how to create Android apps for Android phones they're also teaching me how to sell things, not just apps but how to get a clients attention, " says a student.

"We're also learning how to make little robots and stuff and that's really cool."

Overall, there is so much hope for students in programs that teach technology as a path to opportunity.