Dig'nIT

Dig'n IT Initiative

The University of Idaho Dign’IT program has the bold goal of changing the culture in northern Idaho to one that embraces high tech, high growth businesses. Highly interactive training efforts are designed to raise awareness of the importance of information technology for vibrant communities. A key goal is to focus on programming to promote a comfort level with diverse technologies.

The program takes a responsive approach to build a multi-tiered software development ecosystem. Well-marked on- and off-ramps will accommodate students regardless of age or education level (on-ramps) and support employment and entrepreneurial opportunities (off-ramps). The program connects with regional IT companies and new start-ups to harvest corporate input that will enable a focus on practical development of skills required for industry success. This will ensure that programs are relevant and producing high value experience for participants.

Outreach Programs

2014 Group PhotoThe Dign’IT Coding Camp for Girls, in its second year, is designed to encourage girls to develop coding skills and to consider careers in this field. The camp is free to participants and focuses on middle school girls to increase and reinforce interest in this key STEM discipline among females.

The Dign’IT JAVA Camp for Teens is an introduction to the Java programming language focusing on robotics projects using the Lego Mindstorms platform. Students learn to use the Eclipse programming environment and the LeJOS robotics libraries to develop robotic applications and games. Participants work in teams to develop projects for autonomous robots such as autonomous search and mapping. 

The Dig’nIT Internship program is an academic summer technology enrichment program that creates paths to college for area students, while promoting careers and education associated with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). The program is for rising high school juniors and seniors and college freshman. Interns are placed at sites in and around Coeur d’Alene for 20 hours per week. The goal of the internship program is to provide students with meaningful experiences that will expose them to interesting IT careers that require a bachelor’s degree and that will motivate them to continue on the academic path needed to enroll and succeed at a four-year college or university. 

Dign’IT added a Teacher Computer Science/Mathematics Integration training in the summer of 2014 that enabled 20 regional teachers to learn graphical programming languages and strategies to incorporate programming into the teaching of multiple subjects. This teacher training included continuing education credit, and the course was designed and delivered by Dr. Robert Heckendorn, also on the U of I Computer Science faculty.