Douglas Crets

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Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Samsung Focus Review: My iPhone Love Wasn’t Love

The Start screen of Windows Phone 7

Image via Wikipedia

Warning: While this review was written with the intent to be a review about the Samsung Focus smartphone, it also ends up being a little bit about the Mango OS, and the behavior it induces, as well as the meaning it creates.  I come from a school of thought that design teaches as it improves the user and the user’s expectation. It may also go so far, in really great mobile device and mobile software design, to eliminate the need for expectations by reducing difficulty and ensuring compatibility between user and phone.

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Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, Work, , , ,

Why This #Recession is Different: A Future Without #Jobs

Scary, right? Well, there may be some kind of truth to the alarmist sentiment. But this recession might be different in the jobs creation department.

Look at this McKinsey graph about job creation and its lag after rises in GDP after recessionary troughs. We are a full 60 months behind any healthy uptick in jobs creation, which usually lags behind any increases in GDP during or after a recession.

This Recession has seen the slowest jobs creation uptick in history

A recent TechCrunch article posited that this recession is different, and that the future might already be here — an economy without jobs, because technology outpaces the skills available to use it meaningfully. TechCrunch blogger Jon Evans writes:

Unless Martin Ford and/or Arnold Kling are right. Ford essentially argues that we have hit an inflection point at which technology destroys jobs faster than it creates them. Kling writes (at length, but it’s worth reading): “The new jobs that emerge may not produce a middle class … gains in well-being that come from productivity improvements [may] accrue to an economic elite … we could be headed into an era of highly unequal economic classes. People at the bottom will have access to food, healthcare, and electronic entertainment, but the rich will live in an exclusive world of exotic homes and extravagant personal services.”

We already see evidence where people are shopping differently, turning to the mobile device, and using things like Square, which founder Jack Dorsey explains is pulling in $11 million in transactions a day, and not just for cab rides.  What does that do your company’s sales force?

GDP (PPP) Per Capita based on 2008 estimates h...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve long argued that our education system is not preparing people for a world they can work in, nor is it preparing them to use the tech they need to use as consumers. Or leaders, or entrepreneurs. The education system is only teaching them how to get through the education system and qualify for accolades and awards that only make sense to the people in the education system.

With massively inappropriate under-preparation like this, what happens to our GDP, or our jobs, or our lifestyle over time?

People in the Occupy Movement may think it’s about 1% of the people of the world possessing nearly all the wealth, but I would have to disagree. It’s about 99% of the people being poorly prepared to make it in the world. In fact, the saddest part of it is that they are only introduced to the realities of the world AFTER their education. And what kind of education is that, then?

 

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , ,

Steve Jobs Biography: Education System Crippled by Unions, Barack Obama Doing it Wrong

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Steve Jobs, sounding more like a conservative Republican than a liberal Democrat, told President Barack Obama when they met in Silicon Valley, that the nation’s school systems were “crippled.” This comes from the Huffington Post, which received an advanced copy of the Walter Isaacson biography, due out October 24.

Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

Though Jobs was not that impressed by Obama, later telling Isaacson that his focus on the reasons that things can’t get done “infuriates” him, they kept in touch and talked by phone a few more times. Jobs even offered to help create Obama’s political ads for the 2012 campaign. “He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,” writes Isaacson. Jobs later told the author that he wanted to do for Obama what the legendary “morning in America” ads did for Ronald Reagan.

I wonder if at some point Jobs didn’t just decide he was going to run for president himself, damn this country!  Can you imagine a Steve Jobs presidency?

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , , ,

Magical Thinking Did Not Work for Steve Jobs

By the time that Steve Jobs got around to treating the rare form of pancreatic cancer that had been eating away at him, nine months had passed, and the tissue around the pancreas had started to become affected by the aggressively moving cancer. Walter Isaacson tells 60 Minutes that Jobs waited so long because 1. he didn’t want his body to be cut open, and 2. he believed that magical thinking would end the cancer.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

Filed under: Digital Learning, Influence, Tech, , , , , ,

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