They are great, getting real world examples for students to develop, they are interesting, fun and have prizes.
However, there is an issue. We struggle to break away from our programmes now, is this worth credits is a phrase that I wish we could knock on the head. Competitions in schools need a good lead in, with the pressures of NCEA now upon us, adding a competition in will not get you into this.
Competitions need to be structured in a way that it links into the curriculum,
most competitions offer cool prizes, but where is the learning?
Your business want to give away money and technology,
great, but be prepared for little interest, as teacher who will be promoting it won’t see the value in what you are trying to do.
Find a teacher, gather together to group of teachers, work with them to develop a plan of attack, how is this going to link in with the learning, when is a good time of year to offer a competition (not the last weeks of the term, or around term 3) they are a almost no go zone as schools go into revision mode, or assessment mode.
be prepared for other teachers of curriculum areas to take up the challenge, they may not be your key stakeholders, but they have interest, develop that interest in your area. I am a digital technologies teacher, but I have an interest in displaying data especially if it is mapping data at the moment. I am looking at this from a Digital Information level 3 objective.
I also will look at other students that may not be your primary focus, I have year 9 and 10 students, who I am working with on developing broader skills, let me use your information and competition to help develop that interest, these are the students that will be coming through in the future.
I look forward to your competitions, but just be careful around when you set them.