Imagine the possibilities . . .

Imagine the possibilities . . .
designer | techcnican | engineer | programmer | developer

CPS TechCrew

What is it?
TechCrew is designed to enrich students’ educational experience and job readiness skills. This is accomplished by providing students with a TechCrew coordinator and the training and framework necessary to carry out basic computer problem resolution within the confines of their school.

What is the turnaround time? Are there any other parameters?
TechCrew requires principals or technology coordinators to participate in an information session. If the school decides to participate, the designated TechCrew coordinator(s) must also participate in a training session. Upon completion of the training session and recruitment of student participants, TechCrew will be operational.

How do I request service?
To request information about TechCrew or to register for an information session, contact Victor Herrera at

What is the cost?
No, there is no cost for this service. However, the school is responsible for the TechCrew coordinator stipend.

What curriculum do the students use ? How do I recruit students?

TechCrew Impact

TechCrew Inspires: “The experience you gain from being part of TechCrew is immeasurable. TechCrew helped me to find my passion for technology.
-Gabino Noriega, Former TechCrew Participant

TechCrew Helps Educators: “TechCrew helps out students academically and has allowed students to assume leadership roles and to gain confidence through their experience.
-Brian Surina, TechCrew Coordinator, Phoenix Military Academy

TechCrew Saves Money: “TechCrew is a positive experience for the school and the students because the students achieve the skills necessary to perform in this field while the school is able to allocate funding to other educational programs.
-Joellen-Zielazinski, Budget Manager, Kelly High School

TechCrew Increases Attendance: “We recognize that student attendance and graduation are increasingly important issues facing public schools. We are looking to target specific schools as we have seen TechCrew have a positive impact in these areas.
-Victor Herrera, Student Technology Services Manger

TechCrew Improves Performance: “Twenty-first century technology is a shopisticted, cutting edge, and ever changing industry. We want our students to be at the forefront of that industry, and TechCrew is a good place for them to start.
-Arshele C. Stevens, Chief Information Officer

TechCrew Spotlight

Ready for an E-Mail Diet?

Tory Johnson's Tips to Shrink the Amount of Time and Energy You Spend on E-Mail


July 26, 2007 —

Ever feel overwhelmed by e-mail? Does the convenience often seem more like a nuisance?
If so, you're not alone, because the average Outlook business user receives 470 e-mails a week and spends 15 hours dealing with them. By 2009, workers will spend 41 percent of their time reading and responding to e-mails, according to market research firm Radicati Group.

To fight back, some companies, led by advertising giant Kaplan Thaler Group, are going on "e-mail diets" to shrink their daily dose of electronic messages. Other executives have declared e-mail bankruptcy, shutting down their inboxes all together.

From high-profile CEOs to musicians, more professionals are saying no to e-mail. According to several reports, techno musician Moby sent a message to his address list announcing his break from e-mail.

Saying he was done with e-mail because of privacy concerns, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine announced in a statement, "We'll go back to the 1920s and have direct conversations with people." A venture capitalist made headlines when he said he was so far behind that wiping the inbox clean was the only option.

For the rest of us not ready to cut the cord just yet, there are some simple tips on how to get e-mail under control.

Cut the clutter before it starts. Take yourself off every distribution or mailing list you don't need, which includes everyone you don't instantly read. Be sure to click "no" on the "May we add you to our mailing list" box when registering on any Web site or while shopping online.
Use spam blockers. Talk to your IT department or email provider for help installing and activating spam blockers to limit the amount of junk mail you receive.

Lose multiple accounts. The Radicati Group says e-mail accounts worldwide are growing faster than e-mail users at an average annual rate of 8 percent, which means many of us have more than one e-mail account. Not just one for business and one for personal, but many people have several personal accounts, which adds to the overload. Sign off those extra accounts.

Treat your inbox as a one-stop shop. That means deal with each message once and only once by reading, responding and deleting it at the same time. This means breaking the habit of reading messages and moving on to others before acting. But once you get used to it, the practice is easy. You'll feel more efficient when you're not buried in the e-mail pileup.

Send fewer e-mails. Be part of the solution: Send fewer e-mails and think twice before CCing the whole office. It greatly reduces the number of replies you and others will receive.

And as archaic as it sounds, pick up the phone instead of sending e-mail, especially if the issue is a discussion rather than a bit of information to impart. This saves you time on back-and-forth communiqués and you'll resolve the issue faster. And if you're really daring, you'll get up from your desk to talk face to face instead of sending an e-mail to the person down the hall.

NRN. You've mastered LOL, as in laugh out loud, so now try NRN, as in no reply needed. Use this in e-mails so recipients know they need not reply. And forget for a moment what mom taught you: Office e-mail etiquette doesn't require you to thank someone for his e-mail. If you must, just type "thank you" in the subject line so the recipient can prioritize reading and deleting the e-mail.

Take a time out. For most people, a timeout is more realistic than an outright ban. If doing so during the business week is out of the question because of the nature of your work, try taking a day off on a weekend from both work and personal e-mails.

Maybe your time out is evening hours. Think of it as an e-mail fast. No matter when you do it, be sure to activate your "out of office" message so senders know you're not ignoring them.

Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor for "Good Morning America" and the CEO of Women for Hire. Connect with her at

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

TECH 2007 - Sprinfield, Illinois



Cleaning Materials: Windex or another mild ammonia-based cleaner (a little ordinary ammonia in demineralized water works just as well), paper towels or lint-free cloths, a canister of electronics-grade compressed air, and a small static-safe vacuum cleaner.

Case: Use a clean cloth lightly dampened with ammonia cleaner to remove dust, dirt, or stains from the exterior of the PC. Start at the top and work down. Add extra cleaner to remove stubborn stains. Always dampen a clean towel with cleaner. Never spray cleaner directly onto any part of the computer.

Air Intake: Check for accumulations of dust or debris around intakes, or intake filters. Clean away any accumulations from this area, then use your static-free vacuum to clean the intake filter, if possible. Avoid the use of ordinary household vacuum cleaners. Static electricity may be generated by the rush of air along plastic hoses and tubes, which can damage the sensitive electronics in a PC.

Speakers: Use compressed air to gently dust-out the speaker’s openings. Do not insert the long thin air nozzle in the speaker—you can easily puncture the speaker cone and ruin it. Remove the long nozzle and spray directly from the can. Afterward, use a clean cloth lightly dampened with ammonia solution to remove any dirt or stains from the speaker housing.

Keyboard: Attach the long, thin nozzle to the compressed air can and use the air blow through the horizontal gaps between the rows. Be careful. This will kick up a lot of dust, so keep the keyboard away from your face. Use a clean cloth lightly dampened with ammonia solution to remove dirt or stains from the keys and keyboard housing. If any keys seem unresponsive or “sticky”, you can remove the corresponding keycap and spray a little in the key assembly, and gently replace the cap. Do not remove the Enter key or Space Bar. These keys are held in place by metal brackets that are extremely difficult to attach once the key is removed.

U.N. Creates IT Site For Youth

Reprinted from

The United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technologies and Development (GAID) launched a Web site today for youth.
The site will encourage young people to discuss how technology can improve education, entrepreneurship, governance, and health. The launch comes ahead of a forum for youth planned for Sept. 24-26 in Geneva.

GAID expects 600 participants and attendees at “Youth and ICT for Development: Youth and ICT as Agents of Change.” The alliance hopes to encourage young people to interact with policymakers, as well as private business and community leaders, to explore ways that information and communications technology can empower youth around the world.
Before the event, people can find information and updates about the forum, check out a related blog, and begin discussions.

“The blog will allow young people to discuss the use of ICT in these fields and address specific cases, lessons learned, protagonists, and policies,” GAID executive director Sarbuland Khan said in a prepared statement. “Experts from various sectors will moderate the blog and will be raising difficult questions or highlight[ing] controversial issues in order to engage readers and provoke them to respond with their position and to ask further questions.”
Khan said that organizers will listen to feedback, which could help with the planning of panels and workshops.

The forum is organized by GAID and the International Telecommunication Union, in partnership with the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Labour Organization, UNESCO, World Health Organization, U.N. Population Fund, U.N. Human Settlements Program, and civil society organizations.

Last year, the U.N. held a digital inclusion forum.

Tech Crew Effective Models

Taylor School is definitely interested in the implementation of the Tech Crew Program for 2007-2008. Are there effective models of implementation that have worked well in other schools? I am concerned about a possible scheduling problem.


My name is Frankie. I am a volunteer for the TechCrew program. I have been working with the TechCrew since its first year extablished in CPS. Alongside Victor we managed to succesfully implement the program at Kelly High School.While teaching the students how to fix computers the program also has helped many students with their education attendance and behavior. If you have any questions about the program or you need help with anything feel free to contact me.

FLASHPOINT: The Academy of Digital Media Arts and Sciences

Dear Parents/Students/Teachers /Counselors

Thank you for your interest in Flashpoint, The Academy of Digital Media Arts and Sciences. Flashpoint will forever change the face of education in Chicago. And we want you to be there when it happens.

So it is with great pride and anticipation that we invite you to our upcoming Private Group Tour.

Dates: Saturday, July 14th
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: 28 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL (Clark & Washington) RSVP: or call 773-410-0608

Meet us at 10 a.m. sharp at the main building of the Flashpoint Digital Campus, at 28 North Clark, Chicago, steps from Daley Plaza and the inspired creativity of the Chicago Picasso, where the tour will begin.

Flashpoint's program shapes young minds into digital media professionals. But first we must shape our space into a cutting-edge platform for digital education. View the school as we begin construction and open your mind to the possibilities.

After you see the classroom space, we will provide transportation to our 32,000 sq ft state-of-the-art digital media production complex, located in the West Loop. Because at Flashpoint, the classroom is only the beginning. Once the school opens, students can look forward to spending half their day working and learning hands-on, on multiple soundstages, and in video edit suites, audio mixing rooms and graphic design bays.

Whether you're a prospective student, intrigued parent or curious teacher or counselor, all are encouraged to see the future in the making at Flashpoint's Private Group Tour.

Bruce Eric Montgomery
Admissions & Industry Relations

Flashpoint brain trust well-schooled in digital media

March 5, 2007

BY BRAD SPIRRISON Sun-Times Columnist

Entry level video-game developers earn fatter paychecks than many experienced accountants, health care professionals and (gulp) journalists. While many of us are not in the position to press the vocational reset button, today's teenagers weaned on digital media have educational and employment options that barely existed even half a generation ago.

"We are training kids today with things we did not even know yesterday, and we are building schools for things we won't know until tomorrow," explained Howard Tullman, serial entrepreneur, new media impresario and recently appointed chairman of Flashpoint Academy.

Beginning this September, Flashpoint will offer two-year training programs for high school graduates interested in pursuing careers in game development, computer animation, film and recording arts. The 40-hour-per-week program will include classroom instruction in the Loop at 28 N. Clark as well as applied training at a soundstage a few blocks northwest of the United Center. Approximately 400 students are expected to enroll this fall with plans to accommodate up to 1,000 in the coming years. Annual tuition is $25,000.

"Students will be trained on real world stuff," said Flashpoint founder and Chief Executive Ric Landry, previously of Lake Forest-based early stage investment firm MBC Global. "Most teaching is based on an 18th century model. But there is so much information flow now that you can learn more just standing around than I learned going to high school."

Landry, 60, first pondered the idea of a digital media academy eight years ago while his son was studying film and sound at Columbia College. Last year, as the video game industry grew to $30 billion worldwide, Landry pointed and clicked his way to a business plan. A few weeks ago, Jim Hoesley of Credit Suisse First Boston introduced Landry to Tullman, now a significant investor. They are in the process of raising a seven-figure investment round.

Tullman, 61, founded CCC Information Systems in 1980, and has spent the last 15 years conceiving, funding and directing several companies in the new media and education industries. His credits include producing CD-ROM games based on the Where's Waldo? series and Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Eraser, as well as early Web sites for Downbeat and Rolling Stone magazines.

More recently, Tullman saved culinary institute Kendall College from financial ruin and serves as chairman of the Princeton Review and Experiencia Inc. Experiencia operates a learning center focusing on civics and science for elementary school students, and is a block from Kendall at the corner of Halstead and Chicago Avenue.

Regarding his Flashpoint investment, Tullman said, "In 24 months we can create people with portfolios who can hit the ground running, and make compensation levels that are four and five times what a typical liberal arts college graduate will make. If you had to pick the leading industries for the next 10 years, this is where you put your money."

Geek Squad Summer Academy

"Geek Squad"

Paula Gómez, Univision Television Group

CHICAGO, Hay un curso en las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago que convierte a los estudiantes en expertos en tecnología. Los agentes del Geek Squad se auto describen como “un escuadrón de gente medio excéntrica”. Ellos se dedican a arreglar computadoras y cualquier aparato electrónico. ¿Qué tienen que ver estos expertos con la educación? Ellos son los maestros que se dedican a impartir un curso especial de verano sobre tecnología en las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago (CPS) llamado Geek Squad Summer Academy. El enfoque del programa es despertar entre los jóvenes la pasión por la tecnología con la esperanza de que muchos escojan incursionar en una carrera en este campo. El curso dura tan sólo una semana pero eso es tiempo suficiente, según los organizadores, para enseñarle a los jóvenes cómo armar y desarmar una computadora. Los estudiantes también aprenden cómo crear sus propias páginas en la Internet y aprenden entre otras lecciones a proteger sus datos personales al usar la tecnología. El cupo para participar en el programa actualmente es limitado pero representantes de CPS esperan expandirlo con el tiempo. Si deseas más información sobre Geek Squad Summer Academy puedes visitar la página de Internet