The other side of #MVP … doing the good … community style, another round of SaferInternet 4 Kids #mvpbuzz #meetbe

child_logoFor once I’m not going to talk technology, but I’m going to talk softskils. Being an MVP has a couple rings to the name: technology experts recognized by community all over the world and locally. But for me being an MVP means more than just technology. It’s all about sharing and adding to the greater good of this crazy little thing called community. Microsoft has this great concept called the Citizenship Program on which interacts with social awareness programs all over the world. In Belgium this program collaborates with organizations like ChildFocus, an organization/ Foundation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children operates under the name Child Focus, which is a public service foundation.

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This organization also tries to educated children on how to be safe online. For this they work together with Microsoft in order to deliver SaferInternet training. MSFT organizes this twice a year, and on October 22nd, it was S-Day again (sorry it took a while to blog on it, but I was waiting for the pictures)

They’ve been organizing this for already a couple of years, and it’s a great experience for both the children and the people who deliver this training. Besides that I find it also needful, since I’m also a parent and I need to get through that phase too somehow, one day.

The schools I went to visit this time where VBS “de Klimop” in Sint-Gillis-Waas (http://www.vbsdeklimop.be) (in the classes of juf Lieve, juf Ellemieke and juf Ann) and VBS “Sint-Lutgart” in Belsele (http://www.sintlutgart.be) (the class of juf Sofie and juf Veerle) . I therefor would also like to thank these institutions, their teachers and their pupils again for their co-operation in this matter, there I find it very important to provide a fun a safer internet experience to children. It’s a medium which should be embraced and not feared, and if we can guide our children this way we can try to make our digital worlds a little better and safer for everyone perhaps ….

and even the kids know how to say thank you

MERCI_5de

Yours truly,

Mike, the most valuable parent ( ;-) )

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XX Reasons for attending Community Day 2013

What’s another year in the life of a IT person (actually its a datediff with a difference  of 31449600 seconds in this case, but hey who’s counting …) Last year i gave you XX reasons for attending, this year I’ll try to hand you all of the ammo i got !!!!

First of all it’s Edition N° 7 and the 5th in Utopolis Mechelen (so actually it’s kind of an anniversay )

We have no less than 5 tracks waiting for you filled with sessions on various Microsoft Technologies or … and this is new, cross technology (like the guys from PHP Benelux will do a session on Windows Azure and PHP, pretty cool stuff if you ask me!!)

There’s sessions on Windows Azure (5), SQL Server (5) Sharepoint (3) and many many many many more …. (dixit Cmdt LAssard, Police Academy .. )

If that’s not enough then this will say : “shut up and take my blood, cause i want in!”:

  1. All User Groups will be present (all 14 + additionally PHP Benelux!) : so if you got a question for the experts —> NOW IS THE TIME AND PLACE
    1. AZUG
    2. Belgian C++ user group
    3. BIWUG
    4. CLUG
    5. WINTalks
    6. Pro-Exchange
    7. SCUG
    8. SQLUG
    9. ACCB.net/VBIB
    10. Visug
    11. IAMCT
    12. DotNetHub
    13. MADN
    14. TechNine
    15. PHP Benelux
  2. Great Sponsors come with great things : Combell will be present and we all know what that means!! (yep it starts with I and it SCREAMS  …. )
  3. Go old school: time to do some networking PEER 2 PEER
  4. don’t go home empty handed: we got some GREAT prizes for you waiting (if you win of course :-) )
    • A Windows 8 tablet
    • A Windows Phone 8 (Lumia 820)
    • Pluralsight annual passes
    • Telerik DevCraft Ultimate licenses
    • Asponse licenses
    • Full conference passes for NDC London (December 2013)
    • JetBrains licenses
    • MyGet licenses
  5. Get educated for only the price of your lunch (sorry bout that but we had to, because of many no shows last year)
  6. and most important : JUST BECAUSE IT IS FUN!!!!!!!!

I’m proud of working for the Platinum sponsor (Cronos again, we dig community!!!!! ) and that I’m involved in the community (I’m an Azug Crew member and darn proud of it ;-) ) and this year even organizing member . All these people deserve your full attention and at least come and take a look so that you know what they are capable of! You can register yourself here: http://www.communityday.be/

As you can see the list became larger than last year’s list, if this still isn’t sufficient , well then …  I know a guy … so there shall be consequences !!! :-)

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#MEETBE Training the kiddies in being safer internauts

child_logoOn November 29th I got to do another set of public / community talks. Now this doesn’t sound so special, but if you take a look at the audience this is quite a game changer. I took the challenging opportunity to teach children of the age between 10 and 12/13 to safely use the Internet. I must admit I found it very satisfying to have discussion and interaction with these youngsters. These talks were organized by ChildFocus together with their partners Microsoft and Belgacom. This time they even allowed the Microsoft Community to do some of the coverage, because we all live by the motto that “Sharing is Caring” and that we all find it very import to have a good sane internet knowledge as young as possible.

I had the chance to deliver 3 sessions, 1 in the school (http://www.vbsdeklimop.be) of my wife, and 2 others in another town. Here’s a couple impressions of the event at one of the schools. This talk was done together with Sigrid de Jonghe from Belgacom. Sorry about the blurry pictures, but it seemed I was quite gesticulating during my talk J:

My audience for the day J

Teacher interaction was also included and necessary. Childfocus has a great catalogue with material for in-class usage:

All pupils being very wise and silent J and they were very “savant” on the topic.

I found this so much fun I’ll do these kinds of talks more often when asked for. Another session of these talks is planned for February 5th 2013 , which is the International Safer Internetday. If you’re willing to know more on the topic, or you want your kid(s) to be safer online then certainly check out this page:

Want more information on Childfocus?

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DISCLAIMER: all images and above data have been published with the agreement of the school

I got a new pickup line: Got a problem? We should MEET! :-) #MEETBE

Yes it’s finally here: the new home turf for MEET and I’m on it :-). I blogged about my nomination for MEET a couple of months ago, and now we got a whole new website! It was created to easily query the experts by either expertise, name and user group info. Want to take a look? well here you go : http://www.microsoft.be/meet

Some people you really need to MEET are :
Kris   van der Mast
Kristof   Rennen
Maarten   Balliauw
Panagiotis Kefalidis
Yves   Goeleven

XX Reasons for attending Community Day 2012

If you can’t think of one reason of going, then I’ll give you at least 17 very good ones !! That’s right, 17! Wonder where the number comes from? :-) actually it’s easy, Belgium is proud to have at least 17 Microsoft communities, each of them specializing in either a single product,  a complete product group or technology. And all of them hosting expert talks, events and people. Here’s the full list:

  1. AZUG
  2. Belgian C++ user group
  3. BESUG (soon PIRAD)
  4. BIWUG
  5. CLUG
  6. IT-Talks
  7. Pro-Exchange
  8. SCUG
  9. SQLUG
  10. ACCB.net/VBIB
  11. Visug
  12. WinSec
  13. XNA-BUG
  14. DotNetHub
  15. MyTIC
  16. Wiphug
  17. TechNine

If that is not enough, I’ll even throw in a couple more:

  • it’s free :-)
  • it’s fun!!!
  • it’s educating
  • it’s the place to be (next to the Belgian TechDays scene) in order to do some networking
  • ow and did I mention it’s free? :-)

I’m proud of working for the Platinum sponsor and that I’m involved in the community (I’m an Azug Crew member and darn proud of it ;-) ). All these people deserve your full attention and at least come and take a look so that you know what they are capable of! Registrations start 09/05/2012 , and you can register yourself here: http://www.communityday.be/