We had a great discussion on Steve Jobs today. I am NOT an “apple guy,” by the way. They make very nice products, but are way too expensive for me. But our discussion today wasn’t about brand loyalty and criticism of Apple, one of the by-products of imagination.
The list of Jobs’ inventions is long. The personal computer. The mouse. Touch screen devices. On-line purchasing and cataloging of media. I know he may not have come up with the original idea for most of these, but he popularized them in a way that has profoundly changed the way we live. From blogging on a computer, to researching and hoping for a classroom with tablet computers from which students will learn; Jobs has personally affected me and the way our students learn. Even my son learns at an accelerated rate playing on my iPod and Android phone.
As a history teacher, this was a great day because of the discussions our kids had. They were lively, engaged, and truly seemed interested by the idea that one guy made so much change. I hope we realize the power of creative and dedicated individuals.
My favorite fact about Steve Jobs isn’t about a particular invention, but a story I recently read about him from 1979. Jobs was a college-drop out, and was obsessed with computer technology. He traveled the country visiting and learning from the best and brightest, and was just enamored with what people showed him. He was not hiding his secrets. He was not driving out competitors. He was in LOVE with his career choice and immersing himself in ideas. The result is a collection of inventions that history will likely compare to Franklin and DaVinci.
Tomorrow is the kick-off for History Fair. I can’t wait to see individuals to some great things themselves. Hopefully, Jobs is an inspiration.