Hello! I really have to thank you @mozzadrella / @ccannon94 in advance for your awesome work and your initiative to create this online academic community.
Describe the existing technical student communities on your campus. Who is served? Where are there gaps?
I belong at the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela. It has a lot of young people who are very motivated and passionate about technology in general. Unfortunately, we do not have many technical communities nor GitHub campus experts/advisors yet, in addition to our Systems Engineering students and a couple of student groupings administrated by them self.
The student groups that I mentioned are mainly designed to learn, play and undertake tech projects with people. However, these initiatives don’t last much because they lack more experienced folks who can lead new activities like courses, talks, seminars etc. Also, as more experienced people graduate they cannot guide the new ones who enter or help them in technical difficulties either.
Much of the problem can be attributed to our particular situation as a country, which is going through a difficult time in many aspects. Because of this, a large percentage of our talent has had to emigrate or focus on other activities for their individual sake. But I know that those who are still here have enough motivation to continue working and undertaking projects. I believe that technology and this type of communities would help us without doubt to develop our capacities and ideas.
Choose one GitHub Education program. How could it support your on-campus student communities?
The new GitHub Classroom module gave us the idea to manage student assignments with more efficiency. It would allow other teachers and their assistants to review and give code feedback. Also it allow us to keep and preserve projects! something that before was impossible to keep track of.
But if I had to choose, it will be the GitHub Campus Experts Program. This is a great opportunity for students across the globe to develop their professional careers. If we can get our tech student’s support coupled with their own motivations and ideas, we would definitely be able to support a lot more of our other student communities or small groups from other disciplines.
What would you need to do in order to support the growth of student tech communities on campus?
We need advice and ideas about what activities we could do in our university, what topics we could try or investigate in our community. I believe that in my academic community we have people willing to work and carry out this type of activities that integrate students from all areas besides the technological, what we need is the advice of professionals in the area that can guide us with simple advices and tips .
We would love to have competitive activities such as small Hackathons that allow our young people to exploit their potential and have fun along the way. Our country situation puts us a bit tight with the subject to finance this type of activities, however I think we could still try to do them. What we really need maybe is a small push that can motivate us all, from participants to organizers. I believe that this motivation can be obtained if we have the correct advice and some reward method that could be provided by relations with other outside organizations, from courses, articles, sponsorship or even the use of limited software for educational purposes. Perhaps we could attract students to join our tech activities or projects with cool GitHub’s swag too.
Thanks GitHub for your support and awesome community!