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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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December 15, 2008 8:27 AM

Let's Engage (Exploit) Our Kids With Building The Broadband Economy

A few weeks ago I wrote about my experiences witnessing the next generation of app development on the campus of Louisiana Tech in the offices of NiftyTV, where students make up the majority of their employees and high-tech jobs are being created in Ruston, LA.

Over the last few days, it's begun to dawn on me just how big the opportunity is for leveraging the talents of our young people to help push us further into a broadband-enabled future.

Take this example, which tells the story of a new Minnesota company that webcasts local high school sports and, like NiftyTV, hires students to manage the live broadcasts, providing them good jobs and a unique opportunity to gain real world experience.

Then I found this Healthcare Innovation Challenge, which is a competition where teams of college students work to innovate and invent new ways to use technology to improve healthcare.

And perhaps the most inspiring was logging back in to the social network of LPB Next, the initiative at the Academy of Information Technology at Carencro High School in Lafayette, LA, where I found a number of students asking for advice on how they can use their impressive skillsets to further the goals of the LUSFiber network, whether it be by creating GIS images, websites, video, or other tools to help educate the people of Lafayette on what's possible.

Encountering this series of possibilities over the last few weeks has opened my eyes to new ways to leverage the involvement of our young people. Imagine what's going to be possible if we were able to engage not just a single class at a single high school but all the secondary schools in a community, or what happens when an entire college campus gets excited about helping bring about the next generation of the Internet? The start of something big.

And best of all, many of these students are as capable as their adult counterparts yet they'll work for cheap or even free plus they bring not just enthusiasm and energy but a dogma-free way of thinking that can lead to those out-of-the-box ideas that we need to drive innovation.

Needless to say, I'm eager to see what's going to be possible in communities like Lafayette where local educational leaders are empowering their students to not just passively learn but to actively engage with finding solutions to real-world problems.

Look forward to more coverage about this area in the coming months, and if you know of analogous programs that engage students with bringing about our broadband future then share your knowledge with us all and submit a comment with the details!

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Comments (1)

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for mentioning the Healthcare Innovation Challenge project Idea Crossing and ASU's College of Healthcare Innovation are launching in January/February. We're quite excited and more information can be found at:

For a preview of the type of solutions that are possible, check out the Top 9 of 85 teams' 3-page solutions from our MBA Innovation Challenge at:

The solutions were answers to the question posed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

How might we use mobile technologies to prevent HIV infection in Gen Y?

The question was cast out to a third of our 1100+ student solver network from 48 countries.

The Healthcare Innovation Challenge will have a similar format and structure. Stay tuned and happy holidays!

CEO, Idea Crossing, Inc.
Founder, Innovation ChallengeĀ®

Posted by Anil Rathi on December 17, 2008 6:49 PM

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