Schools failing in IT

Many high school students are self taught, but post-secondary co-op programs help
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/19/2007

When Neville Samuell was just 10, he was programming his first video game. He quickly progressed from Games Factory, a simple, no-coding-required program, to more advanced applications like Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio, which allows users to create their own Xbox video games. He did all of this on his own, without any help from courses at his high school in Huntsville, Ont.

“I didn’t get a whole lot of instruction in technology until I reached the university level,” said Samuell, who is now in his second year of a mechatronics engineering program at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ont. “I’m pretty much self-taught.”

According to a new survey by Microsoft Canada, Samuell isn’t alone. About one-half of respondents aged 17 to 20 said they learn more about technology on their own, while only 15 per cent said they learn more about technology from teachers and courses.