Microsoft likes to “spark” things. They have BizSpark, DreamSpark, and now they have YourthSpark. YouthSpark is an estimated $500 million dollar initiative over 3 years to help youth oround the globe to connect with education, jobs, and other opportunities.
Steve Ballmer mentioned announced the program, but provided very little details (see following video).
This program is expected to include Office 365 for education. It should also provide free technology tools for teachers and students that will power learning. With Skype in the classrom and other tools, they hope to increase student/teacher collaboration.
One of the more interesting aspects of the program is the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub. This area will give youth access to tools and other resources. On the hub, they’ve broken out categories for kids from six to twelve, thirteen to eighteen, and nineteen to twenty-four.
This should be an interesting program. Time will tell if it is a self-serving marketing program, or truly something that ends up being altruistic.