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EdTech: Looking for Sputnik

How do you get through it? Simple—you just work through it. So what does this have to do with Education and Technology? You guessed it, simple. Technology does not educate—desire does. And today we have lost the desire. We have the technology. Heck, you’re using it right now.

We need Sputnik. It scared us right into developing the Internet. The problem is we have it, however it is in stealth mode this time. Where is it? It is right there in front of us, everyday. How can you see it? Simple—pick up the item you are buying and look where it is produced. Am I advocating isolationism? No—I am advocating moving on, into the future, where the economic model is built on bits, not atoms. How do we get there – ________ (you fill in the blank.)

Imagine if you could marry the technology we have today with the desire to learn we had before? Well you can and it can be done for very little cost. How? Yet again simple. (I believe in keeping things simple.) Do the math. Oh no, not math! My point again—yes the math. (BTW, I teach design. And I love math. Fibonacci numbers, perfect —look it up.) It is integral to everything.


Passion plus desire plus worldwide resource materials times 24 students plus one common goal = a good education.
Today we are faced with a declining global presence. Our economy was left in a shambles from a decade-long return to the dependence on a fossil fuel economic structure. “I thought I was out and they pulled me back in!” (always have to have the Godfather reference, somewhere—hey, I said I came from the South Shore). We were almost there. We almost realized Nicholas Negroponte’s dream of bits over atoms. And we blew it!

We will never go back to a muscle economy. We must move forward. Stop just being consumers. We need to manufacture. This time out it is algorithms. (Not derivatives—we tried that didn’t work so well, did it?) Yes, math and design and science and all the other goodies thrown in. How do I know it pays off? Simple—look at Google. Opened at $85 and is now around $580 a share.

Technology in a classroom is great when used correctly. Money doesn’t fix the problem. Desire does.

Today you can do it all very inexpensively. How? Simple.

iPad – $499

Picoh projector – $300

Internet – free

An informative, engaging, accessible class lesson uploaded to a blog that teaches the world – priceless!

There is our answer to Sputnik. Internal desire. A totally reusable, renewable resource—as American as a double cappuccino half-latte espresso.

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