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

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."

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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