My Quest To Teach

October 12, 2018

Bringing Diversity into Technology Careers

William Jackson 2018

Bringing Diversity into Technology Careers, Being Black and Employed
William Jackson, WordCamp speaker, volunteer,
organizer, blogger, sponsor and advocate
#MyQuestToTeach

National data by Labour and Statistics shows that
People of Color are majoring in computer science,
web development, growing in coding and even game
design. The challenge for People of Color is
finding employment with companies that say they
need talented, qualified and passionate people
of diversity.

Companies nationally fail to look in the right
place like the 100 HBCUs nationally that are
accredited and thriving. HBCUs have the talented
young people that can address the technological
challenges that will be faced in the future. The
truth is that the Unites States does not have the
ability to face all the challenges it faces
nationally and globally with cyber-security, web
development, coding and other areas of technological
need.

Factual data in 2014 showed numbers that some
Social Media sites have several thousand employees,
the number of minorities or People of Color is
minimal. There are complaints against companies
in Silicon Valley and across the nation that People
of Color are not even considered for tech jobs even
if they are qualified and experienced.

Contradictory graduation data from HBCUs says there
is an increased number of graduates with degrees by
Blacks and Hispanics tells a different story from
companies that say there are too few graduating with
degrees in STEM, STEAM, and even STREAM.

National data from sites such as HBCU Connect and
HBCUBuzz shows opportunities are there and that
entrepreneurs are running their own businesses show
that tech skills are being learned, developed, and
adapated by People of Color. As a past STREAM
educator at a Title One and Magnet elementary school
and a past technology instructor at the historic
Edward Waters College, students are excited about
the opportunities to learn all there is to learn in
tech, but companies are not willing to diversify
their work-forces. Companies make very little
investment in HBCUs not seeing the value of these
institutions.

Data from Computing Research Association shows that
4.1% of Bachelor degrees in tech areas were earned
by Blacks and many gained experience to apply their
learning from internships and being entrepreneurs
at HBCU institutions.

The biggest numbers were of Hispanics at 7.7% of
degrees, if you look at cities like Miami, Florida
there are tech conferences exclusively by and for
Hispanics / Latinos, in Texas the same holds true.
In California alone Hispanic tech firms have grown
several percentages fueled by entrepreneurs again.
They may be owned by individuals and families, their
contributions are important to
commerce, trade and sharing technical knowledge.

The increase in collaboration with Hispanics shows
there is a need be filled. So instead of looking
at larger companies that ignore People of Color,
companies that focus on diversity are being started
to fill that need. Hispanics are the fastest growing
demographic in tech companies with women leading.

African Americans are slowly building the growing
infrastructure for creating tech companies headed by
BLERDS (Black Nerds), this is a slow process because
of the lack of corporate role models, internships
and opportunities for real world work and exposure.

Professor Jackson and students from Edward Waters College

Professor Jackson (left) and students from Edward Waters College

That does not mean African Americans are not
influential, they are, but through the confines
of being employed by others and not having the
flexibility or decision making power. Large tech
companies seem so impersonal and do not show
they embrace diversity even though they say they
do. The overall workforce of Blacks makeup 13
percent of tech employers and Hispanics are at
16 percent as found in “Diversity,” the Miami
Times July 2015.

Even though many technology companies claim they
can’t find talent Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push
Coalition says, “companies are not looking in
the right place.” 2014 The other issue is that
non-tech areas are also lacking diversity which
tells a lot about hiring practices.

These practices for filling vacant positions are not
aggressive enough so positions go unfilled or combined
with several departments or individuals. Preventing
opportunities that People of Color can fill.
More youth, teens and young adults are entering into
the tech industry not to just make money, because
they love the professional and social opportunities.
The challenges of specific skill-sets, those that are
in the high end mathematics areas that address
algorithms and interpretation of data. Just as
in Hidden Figures, those with an aptitude for
math are like gold.

This information should help HBCUs adapt their curriculum’s
to teach specific skills so the pipeline from student
to graduate to employee is consistent. Many companies
smaller than Google, IBM and Intel are looking for diversity,
but need to have diversity training to make sure everyone
understands that diversity makes a company more competitive
and attractive to global commerce.
Culture does matter in the technology industry, reading
the article by Cecila King and Todd C. Frankil in The
Washington Post July 22-28 2015.

There are companies like “Yes We Code” a group that
is working to teach 100,00 low income people to write
computer code to be employable and there are others
in many cities. Googling for them helps kids grow
interest in new careers.

One challenge for People of Color is venture-investment
where companies that are mainly white invest in new
companies, but this works by word of mouth and networking.
If People of Color are not at the tables of dialogue and
decision making they miss out, they will only get scrapes
if at the most that. This is another reason why People
of Color need to attend conferences, meetups and workshops.
This is why I take students to FlBlogCon, WordCamp, Bar Camp
and EdCamp conferences in Florida and other states.

Through growing collaborationist HBCUs are encouraging big
companies to offer internships, mentors and even those
that want to work on HBCU campuses to show how the
procees works. HBCU counselors must build relationships
with companies so they can have a foundation that HBCU
students are eager to work with companies and that
HBCUs produce a quality product in its students.

It all starts before the student gets to an HBCU by
having the infrastructure in place and ready to receive
the student. Students of color and culture are looking
to 21st century jobs that allow for growth and the
challenge of critical and higher order thinking. The
challenge is companies seeing the value of PofC and
their contributions to building diversity in their
companies.

Resources:
HBCU Connect – http://hbcuconnect.com
HBCUBuzz – http://hbcubuzz.com
Black In Tech Business
https://www.npr.org/2016/02/28/468483901/being-black-in-the-tech-industry
Spot Light On Black Tech
https://www.npr.org/2013/10/28/241385367/african-americans-in-tech-how-to-get-a-black-steve-jobs
What is behind Black Unemployment
https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/05/25/186609052/for-black-americans-finding-work-an-uphill-battle

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September 29, 2018

21 Reasons Your Content Should Be Great After FlBlogCon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Reasons Your Content Should Be Great After FlBlogCon
William Jackson #MyQuestToTeach
FlBlogCon Education Speaker 2014

Being great on Social Media is not a thing of chance,
it is the ability to be comfortable in your digital
life as a content creator, digital innovator, thought
leader, graphic artist or even a web developer.

It means that it is ok to have fun on the web and to
integrate yourself into your product even on a digital
level. Too many people lose the excitement of creating
content that will be read, viewed, studied, listened to
and watched. Your audience changes as access and
platforms change, so why not be flexible and adaptable
and fun.

Providing something that brings people to you so you can
teach, preach, inspire, encourage and engage. It takes
work to create great content, so the value comes in the
quality not the quantity of your content. In my over
10 years as a blogger I try to meet the needs of my
readers not just my need to write.

SEO (Search Engine Optomization) is not just the ticket
to get exposure and followers. To get more views or likes,
WOM or Word of Mouth is still important and should always
be a viable strategy to build your Brand. Search Engine
Optimization is computer based, technology cannot always
build relationships. Building relationships is the key
to building and developing a consistent following.

There is a great deal of work, blood, sweat and I’m sure even
tears that goes into making this conference one of the best
conferences and experiences a person can have. The energy is
phenomenal and the access to talented, creative and innovative
people is not by chance. Bess Auer and her team has strategically
planned, mapped and coordinated this conference to meet the needs
of about 500 if not more attendees. The speakers are not just
nationally known they are internationally known and respected.

Attending FlBlogCon is not just a moment of a day, it is a
movement of technological empowerment, engagement and
collaboration that will inspire, excite, motivate and help embrace
digital tools that are current and futuristic. There will be many
opportunities to learn how to apply and integrate immediately
the use of tools, platforms, ideas, and concepts that build
digital innovation in multiple ways from business, education,
the arts, science and even in the areas of STEAM and STREAM.

As a FlBlogCon attendant since 2013 here are my
“21 Reasons Your Content Should Be Great after Attending FlBlogCon.”

1. FlBlogCon allow you to attract diverse readers and viewers.
Embracing diversity is a plus because people connect with
what they relate to, fills their needs and is relevant.
2. Most viewers will be women because women are the fastest
growing demographic building online businesses.
This means women of all colors, cultures, ages and generational
backgrounds are potential thought and digital leaders.
3. If you want a broad spectrum of followers visual
appeal is very important. Make sure you integrate dynamic colors,
coordination and attractiveness.
4.International markets look to promote content that make a
connection. FlBlogCon has international appeal and influence
in national and international views.
5.If your looking to monetize your content expand your Brand
to new markets that provide unique services.
6. One person cannot do it all so be ready to hire people with
dynamic skills.
7. Use video, Instagram and Twitter to share and expand your reach.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with photos, video and text content.
8. Submit to speak at FlBlogCon and attend Meetups, workshops,
seminars and other venues. WordCamps, Bar Camps, EdCamps (for educators)
and other tech conferences allow for dynamic networking.
9. Always have business cards available, make sure there is a
current photo of yourself and have your “elevator pitch” ready.
10. Hire a graphic artist to create your logo. People are visual
use that to your advantage. Don”t be cheap on magnifying your image.
11. Be a sponsor and promoter of FlBlogCon. Share the conference on
your Social Media platforms and use your tools to show what you are
learning and importantly how to apply that knowledge.
12. Join the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau,
get out and get involved in the community you service.
13. Be a speaker on talk shows, Podcasts to share your knowledge.
Give back to the same community you market to, don’t always take.
14. Start your own Podcast with guests.
15. See where you can help your church of ministry with their
connectivity and content.
16. Take a Social Media class yourself and build your knowledge.
17. Offer Social Media classes with certificates when completed.
18. Keep your profiles current, relevant and diverse. Who are you
associated with, who are you photographed with and who is in a
business that can help you grow.
19. Encourage, inspire and meet new people. Being an introvert is
not beneficial any more.
20. Embrace diversity in your company and your associations.
21. Network – Network – Network

William Jackson Resources about FlBlogCon
William Jackson Speaking at
FlBlogCon 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVGwPEPprQQ

Blogs by Wm Jackson about FlBlogCon
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/tag/flblogcon/

FlBlogCon EDU Conference Guide
https://www.slideshare.net/FLBlogCon/flblogcon-edu-conference-guide

Want To Be A Cool Blogger, Then Attend FlBlogCon
https://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php?topic=27797.0

EWC and DCPS Students Attend FlBlogCon in Orlando, Florida
http://thyblackman.com/2016/10/09/ewc-and-dcps-students-attend-flblogcon/

HBCU Students Attend Florida Blogging Conference To Learn About Career Growth
https://hbcubuzz.com/2016/10/students-attend-florida-blogging-conference-learn-career-growth-opportunities/

FlBlogCon

FlBlogCon

September 5, 2018

Impact Biz Jax – Building and Encouraging Business Ownership and Entrepreneurialism

Impact Biz Jax – Building and Encouraging Business Ownership and Entrepreneurialism
William Jackson http://MyQuestToTeach.com/ and Aida Correa http://LoveBuiltLife.com/

#ImpactBizJax What a great event for business owners, artists,
entrepreneurials, dreamers, college students, youth, teens and
young adults to gather together in celebration of business dreaming,
building financial stability, growth and development and building a
stronger Brand.
Creating generational wealth for families.
The opportunity to interact with, speak with, engage with, potentially
collaborate with and share ideas and best practices related to business
empowers business owners and establishes their value in the
communities they serve.
Participating in In the Small Biz Chats, strategic networking,
Pitch Contest, and shopping with small business owners created an
excitement that this event would expand in the future for Jacksonville’s
small business and diverse community.

Aida Correa of #LoveBuiltLife, owning multiple businesses for several
years, shares that it was a great experience and a great opportunity
for the vendors (like her) who could share their talents and skills in a
welcoming and encouraging environment and to sell their products,
learn how to improve inventory, marketing and building strong Brands.
The atmosphere was friendly, welcoming and seeing so many
businesses was encouraging as a woman business owner, stated
Ms. Correa.

Participating in the “Pitch Competition” was a wonderful opportunity
to show how important it is to define your Brand as a business and
share its’ viability and growth potential.
Ms. Correa a national WordCamp speaker, poet, artist, web developer
and community volunteer stated strongly, the “pitch competition,” a do
or die moment that showed that you believe in yourself and your business
or you don’t.
The diversity of the event showed that diversity does matter economically,
culturally and socially. Many business owners proudly stated their heritage,
Latina, Haitian, African American, Hispanic, Latino and other cultures
attending brought a flavor of social growth and community unity.
The youth, teens and young adults attending saw people that looked
like they do provide encouragement and visual/mental validation their
abilities to dream of being a business owner and not just a consumer.

Edward Waters College was represented with the involvement of one of
her own students who earned a cash prize for his business. This shows
that particularly EWC students should be and need to be involved in future
business events to learn the soft-skills, higher order and critical thinking
necessary to be a business owner.
The concern is there was very little participation from EWC
business students who will be competing for jobs with students
attending UNF, JU and other higher education institutions. If EWC
students are to be competitive they must be involved in events
like these to acquire skills and valuable networking practice.

“I personally loved that Impact Biz Jax was able to provide a
$500 New Town Success Zone Small Business Grant for a
student at Edward Waters College sponsored by the Jax Chamber
and Chase Bank. For me, as a Higher Education Consultant, young
adults are the heartbeat of our community and they need financial
support, professional skills training, and career guidance to live
up to their full potential.

Impact Biz Jax is a relevant resource that provided funding and
invaluable connections.” Lequita Brooks, LCSW

William Jackson #MyQuestToTeach, past instructor at EWC
taught Educational Technology, Social Media and STEAM
shared that, classroom instruction cannot truly “teach” what
can to be learned from engagement, mentoring, interactivity
and gaining wisdom from those that have gone through the
fire and rain of fulfilling a dream of being a business
owner. “EWC students need to be involved, engaged and active
if they want to compete in highly competitive business and tech
careers. If they want to make changes in the community they live
in or be prepared to be a thought leaders or agents of community
change they need exposure outside of the classroom.”

George Maxey, Executive Director of New Town Success Zone
arrived to the cheers of the audience because of his continued
encouragement of business ownership with New Town Success
Zone and Vision Keepers.

The availability of engagement and providing resources and
chances for collaboration in the community. There is always the
need for volunteers for New Town Success Zone and Vision
Keepers. Improvement in the community must come from within
the community not from outside.

The Economic Development Sub-committee managed by Wiline
Dennis has monthly meetings to support business development
within the New Town area. This includes credit building, access
to grants, networking, capital for funding, counseling and other
services needed to start, build and maintain a business.

Minority business owners have resources that are for them to
establish a consistent business for growth and building capital.
More events will be made available in the future so the
community must stay active and engaged in Impact Biz Jax
and New Town Success Zone / Vision Keepers.

The Pitch
William Jackson’s Pitch My Quest To Teach
https://www.facebook.com/aida.correa1/videos/10156433230572752/
Aida Correa’s Pitch Love Built Life
https://www.facebook.com/williamdjacksoninfl/videos/pcb.10210080755895340/10210080740334951/?type=3

Photos and video can be found at the links below.
Impact Jax Resources:
Website: www.ImpactBizJax.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImpactBizJax/
New Town Success Zone and Vision Keepers
https://www.facebook.com/VisionKeepersofNewTown/

Resources:
Aida Correa Love Built Life http://lovebuiltlife.com/
William Jackson My Quest To Teach http://myquesttoteach.com/

July 30, 2018

Higher Education Students – Build Your Brand and Build Your Impressions

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Higher Education Students – Build Your Brand and Build Your Impressions
by William Jackson, My Quest To Teach #MyQuestToTeach #MQTT

Before higher education students can start their careers the
reality is they cannot wait until graduation week or even after
graduation to build a Brand or create favorable impressions.
The process of building a Brand must be started years earlier.
The unfortunate reality is that students are building their Brand
creating impressions when they start posting content online.
That can mean when a child in elementary school is provided a
phone, tablet, gaming system, watch or even a toaster (just kidding),
once content is posted there is an impression of that content by
people.

The Internet is a vast reservoir of information, the ability to
tap into and communicate on a global scale comes with being
responsible. Many students in higher education still are not mature
enough to manage not just their Social Media content, other
personal things that can influence their behaviors.
Young adults in higher education are influenced by peers,
the media, families, personal interests, hormones and passions.
What goes on the Internet does not stay on the Internet, it is
viewed, watched, read, consumed, even downloaded and
screen captured. A person’s whole life, literally is being posted
from birth to death on platforms that are endless in digital
memory.

A time line of events can be created as the infant develops
into a toddler, the toddler develops into a youth and the
continuous growth and development of life. There are now
ways to track and chart growing life cycles of people.
Children must be taught to manage their Brands, because their
Brand represents them, just as in the “Old School” way of thinking
your “name” was valuable because it represented your word.
In the digital age your digital content represents your Brand and
that is who you are identified as.

Global history is written by those in power and influence. The
ability to influence thinking with content and collaborate on levels
of intellect and intelligence. Brands can be keys to open doors and
allow connections with like-minded people.
Teaching higher education students the value and visibility of a
Brand is not a complex issue, it does take the ability to “see” how
a persons’ Brand influences others and makes an impression
that can last a life-time.

The summer months prove challenging because of the amount of
relaxation and vacation time. Higher education students are
more prone to post something because they are in relaxed modes
of comfort and not thinking about the impressions a photo or
a video will have. Being diligent can save a student from embarrassing
photos and videos from parties, gatherings, vacation destinations and
summer hookups that last a few weeks, but may have future
consequences.

Social Media is a tool that can either be used for good or used
for bad, proper decisions should be made to determine how and when
content will be posted and where.
A Brand should be treated with care, respect, and safe guarded.
A Brand is your word that identifies you and your potential direction in life.

Higher Education Students – Build Your Brand Build Your Impressions
manage your Brand and manage the content that you post associated
with it and who you are associated with. It could mean the difference
between employment and unemployment.
WordCamp Speaker, Volunteer, Blogger, Organizer, Advocate
WordCamp Central https://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/

cropped-wapuu-collector-pin-for-community

July 5, 2018

WordCamp Miami 2018 – You Have Too Want It and Own It

 

WordCamp Miami 2018 – You Have Too Want It and Own It
by William Jackson, Organizer, Volunteer,
Speaker,  Blogger
#MyQuestToTeach

The 10th anniversary of WordCamp Miami was a
pivotal point too many of those attending. It
was an opportunity to learn new value and
importance of the right Brand, the importance
of strategically applying Marketing strategies,
the value of recognizing changes in applications
that take the future and pull us forward.

The importance of diversity of cultures, respecting
the knowledge of women and engaging youth,
teens and young adults as business owners in
the Kids Camp. Seeing the wonder and beauty
of diversity that can lead to dynamic
collaboration and cooperation. Building future
smart creatives, digital innovators, problem
solvers, and entrepreneurs.

The evolution of “tracks” showed at WordCamp
Miami the diversity of the speakers in culture,
gender, demographics and their applied knowledge
base.  The understanding that as content creators
we cannot live in a vacuum or in our own
worlds because of the beauty of diversity in interests
applied to the dynamic platform of WordPress.

One of the pivotal points of WordCamp Miami was
the Kids Camp that provided a platform of
networking, education, encouragement,
empowerment and even enlightenment.
Youth, teens and young adults growing in their
business and entrepreneurial knowledge.
Creating digital platforms that will show their
passions, interests, dreams and aspirations
as thought leaders and intellectuals.

The instruction, mentoring and role modeling through
the speakers and volunteers showed that youth, teens
and young adults as the title of this blog states,
“You Have Too Want It and Own It.” Being accountable
and responsible for your content.

Teaching future content creators, bloggers,
entrepreneurs, business owners, educators,
venture capitalists and others that allow for
engagement, empowerment and elevation
for the future business leaders in technology.
From ages 7 youth, teens and young adults are
being empowered and inspired to be business
owners before they can even
drive a car.

My observation as an educator and parent are
the lessons learned from WordCamp Miami cannot
be effective if they are not properly applied and
mentoring is a part of the application. Everyone
in business needs a mentor to guide,
teach, direct and encourage them.

Learning is not conditional, it should be contagious
and continuous. There should be relevancy in
applying what is being learned to real world
situations. Applied knowledge
can create change, the WordCamp community
is not a selfish community, it is based on a
foundation of innovation,
creativity, imagination and sharing.

The title, “You Have To Want It and Own It,”
shows that globally the community “Wants It”
by the global contributions and the creativity
of “open source” allows individuals to
spread the innovation and creativity.
The extension of the conference for WordCamp
and Kids Camp into Meetups that encourage
interaction and
collaboration after the conference to continue
learning. Just as in education there is continuous
professional development.

Learning has to be applied to the crafts that
are chosen, “Own It” applies to being passionate
and consistent.  Knowledge is personal and
can be applied where it is beneficial for growth
and development.
The dynamics of tech can only show change
when effectively applied and applied strategically.
Owning your Brands is owning your vision, owning
your voice for what you see as your journey.

“You Have To Want It and Own It,” then make
sure you apply it, sharing it, magnifying it and
broadcasting it to those that
would benefit from that knowledge.

 

 

 

 

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