Now in its fifth year, Geek Squad Academy is a guided, hands-on learning program that partners Best Buy Geek Squad Agents with local schools across Canada to teach kids about the latest tech in a fun and interactive environment. The students at A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School (ALC) in Stittsville have experienced the fun hands-on in past years when attending the learning camps. Now, due to COVID-19, Geek Squad are bringing their learning program to everyone online for free.
The four online courses, created for learners ages 10-16, are Picture Perfect (Digital Photography), Web Know-How (HTML Basics), Binary Coding and Game Development with Godot. Each course is 55-75 minutes long and offered in shorter modules so students can learn at their own pace. All content is designed to be accessible for a wide range of abilities and learning styles. Teachers, parents and guardians are encouraged to take part as well.
In its original form, Geek Squad Academy partners with local non-profit organizations and schools to teach students about STEM topics in a fun, interactive environment. Camps are led by Geek Squad Agents and Best Buy Blue Shirts, who share their love of technology.
At the ALC camp last year, Elizabeth Rainer, school Principal, and Anik Mackey, the lead teacher, were proud to tell us “that A. Lorne was one of 15 schools across Canada chosen to host the day”. Anik added, “she had applied on behalf of the school to Best Buy, so the students could discover new technology and apply it to their learning”. A robotics club already exists at the school in which many of the students take part.
When asked if Geek Squad would be returning to ALC, Anjee Gill, External Communications Specialist with Best Buy, told Stittsville Central, “the Geek Squad Academy team were still in the early stages of reviewing applications for in person camps when the program had to be put on hold because of COVID-19. The team still wanted to be able to provide the same fun and interactive educational experience for youth. That’s how Geek Squad Academy Online Learning started.”
The expansion of Geek Squad Academy to online learning was a natural evolution of a proven successful program, according to Jen Knight, Social Impact Specialist at Best Buy Canada.
“The events of the past few months have highlighted the importance of technology in our lives – to connect, entertain and educate,” she says. “A growing number of Canada’s top jobs require technology skills. Programs like Geek Squad Academy Online Learning provide excellent avenues for youth to learn and enhance their technology skills in an increasingly tech-centric world.”
Best Buy Canada focuses its social impact on supporting youth to connect with technology to inspire, motivate and empower their education. To access courses, visit www.bestbuy.ca/geeksquadacademyonline.
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