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Google: Education & Business

It was an honor to be sitting in the same room as Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist for Google. Thanks to the Lee County EDC Horizon Council, Fort Myers was able to be host this morning at Harborside. The room was filled with Educators, Business Owners and Politicians, all waiting in anticipation to hear what Jamie had to say.

First thing I point out... he was wearing sneakers! Ok, they weren't RED, but they were sneakers. See the importance? :-)

Jamie grew up in Hell's Kitchen, and wanted out. Through hard work and help from some wonderful teachers, he graduated from High School and went to college. Now, he works for Google and has been there approximately 10 years. He got there believing in himself and ignoring people who told him he couldn't do it.

Had anyone asked him "What do you want to do when you grow up?", his answer would not have been "Work at Google". Google didn't even exist when he was a kid. That's one of the questions he is challenging us all to change. Here is what Jamie recommeds:

Often we ask students the wrong question, “What do you want to be when you grow up.”  I don't like this question.  First, there is a very good chance your “job” doesn't exist.  Second, I do not expect kids growing up in communities like Hell’s Kitchen to tell me that they want to be a microbiologist or a sustainable materials architect.

Instead, I want to ask you, “What problem do you want to solve?”  What problem occupies your thoughts?

I want you to think about the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to solve this problem.

Where can you start building the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need?

  •       What research do you need to do? 
  •       What publications and websites should you subscribe to? 
  •       What classes can you take?  Online?  In school? 
  •       What books should you read? 
  •       What videos and documentaries should you watch? 
  •       Who else is interested in solving this problem?  Who are the people you can collaborate with? 
  •       Who should you follow on LinkedIn or Twitter? 
  •       What blogs should you be reading?

When I ask you to think about what problem you want to solve, I am asking you to take ownership of your learning.  I am asking you to begin to create mastery for the most critical skills you will need.  I want to give you the opportunity to think about purpose.

These are just a few of the tidbits Jaime covered today. There were many questions that came up from both Educators and Business owners that stimulated conversation. Time was up before you knew it.

Thank you, Lee County EDC Horizon Council for making this morning different than most!


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