Three things I learned from Steve Jobs...

#edtech #edchat #elemchat What an elementary teacher learned from the Titan of Tech.

Some would argue that an elementary tech teacher and one of the great innovators of Silicon Valley could not be further apart, but regardless of that distance I have learned a lot from the man who influenced much of the technology we use every day, whether or not is was made by Apple. So as my humble tribute to this man I offer the three things that I learned from Steve Jobs.

Simpler is always better. When I design my lessons for my students I always look for the simplest way to get things done. This past week I have been teaching digital photography to my fifth grade students and instead of a million different rules about what makes for great photography I only have three. Three rules that are easy for my students to remember, three rules that allow my students to take surprisingly good photos.

Always tell a story. When I get up to show my students a presentation I now go away from bullet points and use powerful images instead, images that help to move my story forward.  When I teach my students about the history of podcasting I have images behind me of a family gathered around an old radio listening to a radio-drama, and then I move to an image of students hanging out at a skate park and listening to the radio and the students draw the connections that a podcast is like a radio show that you can listen to anytime and anywhere. That is when an image of a person on a subway listening to a podcast comes up and the connection is solidified. Images make the story.

Never give up. Let’s face it we all get kicked around by the world we live in. Focus on what’s important and don’t let anyone stand in the way. For years I had these ideas of what an elementary news show could be like and time after time, it just wasn’t quite right. So I would make a few adjustments and slowly we began to move towards the show that I have imagined years ago. Now we have a great show, everything I ever wanted from my students.

So farewell Steve and thank you for making my world better place for those of us who like to “think different.”