In the last two decades, the rise of the Internet as we know it today has blossomed and boomed at historic speed and as a result changed and turned upside down entire industries and business models forever. Similar to how the oil and gas industry changed the landscape of our great state, creating jobs and businesses and revenue unseen, we see the Internet being an unparalleled opportunity in Oklahoma.
Just like the Sooners staked their claim on land and created a new future for themselves, the Web opens up similar yet equaled possibilities with the only limits being initiative and skills paired with a good solid solutions that make life more productive, easier and affordable.
The opportunity is here now. But we need a generation of people who have the skills and drive to build the next generation of business that exists on this new frontier.
“I believe the ideas — and even the money needed — to revolutionize business and life are already here in Oklahoma. That’s not the problem we are facing,” said Cory Miller, founder of iThemes Media LLC in Edmond and board president of The Div, Inc. “But we need a generation of young professionals and entrepreneurs with the skills and drive to implement and execute on those ideas.”
Oklahoma with its amazing quality of life (from great schools and affordable housing) and other vast resources can be known as a web tech hub, in the same conversation of San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Austin.
“In order for Oklahoma to be the web tech hub we believe it can be, we need to start inspiring and training the next generation to seek out careers and to start startups in web-based technology so that we can see the next Google or Facebook be birthed here in Oklahoma,” said Miller.
The Div Jr. program was started to help in that effort. The goal of Div Jr. is to inspire the next generation in Oklahoma to do just that. Practically, that means offering hands-on training opportunities with capable practitioners already doing this work.
Here are some of the Div Jr. events we are planning and thus looking for volunteers, donors and other resources to make happen starting this winter:
- Scratch Camp STEM Education — Scratch is a programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch makes it easy for kids to create their own interactive stories, games, music, and art. Learn more on the Scratch website.
- Web Design and Development Camp — we’re working on a 2-5 day program with 13-15 year olds to do build, design their very own website. This camp will offer young people the opportunity be inspired and to start learning basic web design and development skills from HTML, CSS to PHP.
- Mobile Gaming Development Camp — Children of all ages are interested in gaming. This is also a quickly growing industry. We will work with frameworks to help children get started in building their own games.
- Minecraft Camp — Minecraft is being used by teachers locally as well as nationwide to simulate real life situations for students. We will be featuring a camp using this dynamic game for older age groups. Visit the Minecraft site for more information.
The task before us is not an easy one. It will take a unified community effort of volunteers, sponsors, and other resources to make all this happen in Oklahoma. And we can’t do it alone. We are currently trying to find headline sponsors. Those companies and individuals willing to donate to help us make this happen. We need instructors, curriculum, snacks, computers and promotional help. And we’re always looking for sponsors for individual kids — so you can sponsor a child and allow them to attend our camp for free!
If you’d like to participate it any way — from having a child interested in Div Jr. events, to volunteering to help lead workshops, all the way to becoming a sponsor or donor that helps make these things happen — please fill out the form below.
If you have other questions or would like to talk further, please contact McKalyn Danner through our Contact Form here.