I had the opportunity to attend and present at another great Colorado Summit featuring “Google for Education’ in Boulder, Colorado. Leading off this action packed event was Google Chief Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap. The takeaway from this session was the great reminder that “education disrupts poverty” or at least it can in theory. This was just the beginning of the exciting thought provoking weekend that was about to begin. I say in theory as we have not seen this shift occur in education, yet.
The next thought provoking “AHA” was to think about the technology students are looking at today. As a young student looks at an iPhone 7 this will be the oldest technology they remember. To the generation of students in front of us this is the most antiquated technology they will remember! Molly Schroeder refers to this as students are “always living in beta.” This will be like my memory of my Mac Classic. While the Mac Classic had an amazing purpose, it isn’t the machine I need today. And maybe the way classrooms are structured isn’t what are students need either. But if schools continue like the Mac Classic, we will have schools that students do not need. If this happens we will never abate poverty.
Another shift in my thinking that occurred as a result of the weekend was in how we question students about future plans. The question I need to ask kids is, “What problems do you want to solve in the future?” This will replace, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question in my mind often sounds like, “Who do you want to work for?” With our students’ mindset and current ways to collaborate globally, they don’t want to work for anyone, nor should we expect them to be part of current corporate culture. Students of today have many opportunities to connect globally and to solve problems, create and imagine a different world. This was my take-away and why I spend my weekend at a GAFE summit.
The best of the GAFE Summit is getting to come back to school and share and putting my learning into action. I know with hard work and thinkers, such as the EdTeamTeam brings together, our schools can become iPhone 20. I know with the backing of this group we won’t become a MAC Classic of schools.