I have been observing the Catalyst Open Source Academy over the last few days. The course is attended by twenty students from around New Zealand (Years 11-13) and exposes them to computer science, software development methodologies, programming, web development and the opportunity to work on a project. The tools used are all open source.
This is a fantastic initiative, the material covered in two weeks is probably more than we cover in schools over six months, probably achievable because the students are clever and highly motivated. There are no exams, students are attending largely for the love of learning. This is something we aspire to in schools, however constant requirement for assessment reduces the opportunities for deep learning by students
I am pleased to see half the students attending are young women, the computing profession certainly needs more woman in IT. Well done Catalyst.