Education as the Silver Bullet
We all agree that education can be the silver bullet for millions of students around the world. We all understand that education can change the destiny of a family in just one generation. In the U.S. for example, the data shows us that the impact of education on overall earnings is five times greater than race or gender impacts. Yet the numbers of those students who graduate high school are dismal. The numbers for those who go to college and graduate are even worse. During this talk, Google's Education Evangelist Jaime Casap explores some insights to improve the odds for all students and the role technology can play in this effort.Related Events: Education as the Silver Bullet
Lauren Kuby: Welcome everyone, to our Sustainability Series. It's great to see so many community members here. I'd like to especially welcome Rochelle Wells, who's on the Tempe Elementary School Board, and is the president of the Parent-Teacher Association. We also have Dr. Janie Heidrick, who is the director of the—state director for the National Education Association. Thanks so much for being here and all you community members too.
I'm Lauren Kuby. I work here at GIOS. We're so pleased to have you all here. We have some really exciting events coming up. Next Friday, a week from tomorrow, we're having a lunch with Richard Kidd, who is the Deputy Assistant of the Army, focused on energy and sustainability. Coincidentally, we have another military brass person on Thursday, October 25th.
This is our big Wrigley series. This is our big World Thought Leader Program speaker talk—speaker series. We're welcoming Captain Wayne Porter, who has a very great title. He's chair of the Systemic Strategy and Complexity Initiative for the naval post graduate school. He also happens to advise the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That's Chiefs of Staff, on sustainability. He's gonna speak on the Darwinian Moment, a Narrative for Adaptation. This will be at Old Maine at 4:00, with a reception to follow. This is an amazing speaker, we've heard so much about. We welcome you to attend that event.
All our events, sustainability.asu.edu/events, please register and sign up because you can see; we always play to a packed house, especially when we have such amazing people, as Jaime Casap, who I'm set to introduce.
Jaime Casap, he may not be the most interesting man in the world. He has the most interesting title in the world, Google Education Senior Evangelist. I wonder how many people at Google came up with that name. It's a fantastic title. I want a title like that.
Jaime is Evangelical for the power and potential of technology of Google Tools, in and out of the classroom. He helps educational organizations, across the world, find ways to use these tools in support of new learning models. His team is responsible for bringing Google Tools to millions of administrators, teachers and students across the globe. He's an SXSWedu distinguished speaker. We'll have to find out what the acronym means. Jaime serves on the Arizona STEM Education Board, on the board of directors for the New Global Citizens, as a member of the Digital Learning Council, and was recently named to the SXSWedu advisory board.
Born and raised as a first generation American, to a single mother on welfare, in Hell's Kitchen, New York, Jaime understands and appreciates the power of education, and changing the destiny of a family in just one generation. His mission is to make sure that education continues to be the silver bullet that it was for him. Jaime.
Jaime Casap: Thank you. All right, we've got a packed house in here. All right, you guys can hear me okay. Good morning. Good to see you guys. I am an ASU grad myself. Actually I grew up in New York. I got a scholarship to come to ASU for graduate school. I always thought that everything on the other side of the George Washington Bridge was the West Coast. I got in my car, and drove across the country. The first thing you realize is how giant the country is. Then I—there is some great stories about how I spent a night in Hope, Arkansas and a night in Texarkana, Texas, and how that changed my perspective on things.
We can tell those stories another time. Anyway, what I want to talk about is a little bit about what we're doing, more importantly, kind of the big picture, in terms of where we think or where I think, and where the folks that I work with think education could play a role, especially when you think about sustainability, when we think about what we can do, based—for the most part, I'm gonna be talking about what we're doing in the U.S. My team is obviously global. We're looking at ways to incorporate the things that we learn here in the U.S. across country.
Let's dive into that. Before I get started, here's my contact information, if you need to get a hold of me. As my daughter likes to say, "Email is for old people." Twitter is a great way, where I—it's easy for me to share information. It's easy for me to talk about the things that are coming up. It's easy for me to talk about new features, new events, new things, thought leadership stuff that we find, that we're interested in. That's how I share information. I also write a blog on the use of education, the use of education technology, education reform and all those kind of topics. That's my contact information.
These are the things that I want to talk about. Let's cover each of these in a little more detail. First, the most important thing to me is that we start with the baseline that the reason why most of us are involved in education—how many of you are involved in education, in some way, either as a—I mean either professor or teacher or in some kind of organization—is that—the reason we're so passionate about it is because it really is the silver bullet. It is the thing that can change a family's destiny in one generation.
How I know this is that I was a first generation—I still am, a first generation American. I grew up in Hell's Kitchen. My mother came from Argentina. I went to—I went to PS111. They said, "Welcome to PS111." I said, "que?" Spent a couple years in bilingual education, technically, English is my second language. Statistically, I am that person that fit within that role of the urban kid, minority urban kid, who grew up in a bad neighborhood.
Now, I have two kids of my own. I have a 20 year-old. God, it's hard to say 20 year-old. That's when you guys are supposed to say, "You don't look like you have a 20 year-old." I have a 20 year-old, then, I have an 11 year-old. My 20 year-old is here at ASU. She's also here at ASU. Keep the money in the family. She never asked if she had to go to college. She just assumed that she was gonna go to college. She just assumed that she was going to pursue her studies after high school. It never became a question of whether or not she will or won't. She just knew. As a matter of fact, she assumes, just like her mother and father, that she's gonna go to graduate school. She also assumes that I'm paying for it. That's also a whole other conversation that we can have.
Where I grew up, in an environment where I would wake up, literally, without electricity, and had to deal with that kind of concept, and the idea that oh, now, what the hell do we do all day, and how do we get electricity, and had to go spend the day in the Social Services office. Those are the types of issues that I dealt with. My 11 year-old wakes up. He starts complaining because he's upset that he's got to do a system update, on his Playstation 3, before he can play Call of Duty on his 55 inch television set. Doesn't have the same perspective that I have, that's exactly what we want.
The social impact, the economic impact, the family impact of education is tremendous. It's absolutely the thing that we should focus on, not only here, but across the world. When we think about that, when we think about education, especially in the United States, how many of you have walked into a classroom, into a third grade, and have been—marveled at the fact that it's exactly that same grade or the same class that you took 20 years ago or 30 years ago or 40 years ago? How do we prepare our kids for jobs that we don't—we can't identify yet? How do we prepared our kids for careers that have nothing to do with what we're doing today because when I graduated high school, the job that I currently have, the job that pays my mortgage, that pays for that Playstation 3 did not exist? The industry didn't exist. How do we prepare our kids for those types of jobs?
Those are some of the questions that we want to ask for because we recognize that, besides—I’m gonna talk a little bit about that magic line that I call the high school graduation line. Besides that high school graduation line, there's gonna be jobs. There's lots of jobs that are gonna require some kind of postsecondary education. They're gonna require some kind of skill set. From an organizational perspective, like someone like from a corporate perspective, from someone like Google, we're gonna hire engineers. We're gonna—we have so many offices around the world. Where we hire engineers from is up to the countries that we're working in.
Being able to hire engineers, being able to hire computer scientists, being able to hire folks that have those postsecondary skills, are gonna be critical for our sustainability, as a nation. Also, this is something that—a level of tools and skill sets that our kids are gonna need across the world.
When we look at the current state of things, we're not doing very well. At best, we have a 75 percent success rate, if you're black or Latino in this country, you have less of a—60 percent chance of graduating from high school. We recognize what the importance of that line is. That's a magic line. There's a huge difference between when you graduated—if you graduated from high school and, if you don't graduate from high school. There's all the evidence in the world suggests that there is a magic line, where you graduate from high school. I assume everyone here graduated from high school. Well, there you go, right?
There's that line that we see, in terms of that magic line of graduation. How do we get there? Then, just to throw another monkey wrench on the whole thing, is that even if we get there, the line after that isn’t necessarily all that great, where we have less than a 50 percent graduation rate, for those that are going to college. If you're black or Latino, you have a 26 percent chance of graduating from college. I'm not saying that everyone has to go to college. I'm sure ASU would love everyone to go to college. There is enough evidence that shows that folks who have some kind of postsecondary education, some training, make 26 percent more than those that graduate from college.
It's not necessarily a magic—the silver bullet that you need a college education. For us, what we're thinking about is how do we get through that magic line, and how do you get some kind of postsecondary education? These are the challenges that we're facing. From a real perspective, for every Latino, and that's what I kind of care about more than anything, is for every Latino, we have 2.7 in jail. For every kid in college, we have 2.7 in jail. Just to put this in perspective from a sustainability perspective, because that's what you guys are interested in, every month there are 50,000 Latinos that turn 18 in this country. Fifty-thousand turn eighteen.
If 60 percent of them are only graduating from high school, and we know that 40 percent of them aren't, and we know what happens when you don't graduate from high school, what is that doing to our economy? What's that doing to our sustainability? What's that doing to our economic well being? These are real issues that are critical that we can't not pay attention to. We need to create learning environments that are sustainability, learning environments where we can get kids to get the education that they need. I think in the future, that magic line, that high school graduation isn't gonna be as important as what you know, that kind of skill set that you're gonna need to know. We'll talk a little bit about that.
I'm gonna talk a little bit about technology. What I want to start with is the thing that matters the most. What's the most important thing? Okay. We have all these problems. What's the thing that we need in the classroom the most? The more important thing that we can put in a class room is a great teacher. How do we put great teachers in classrooms? How do we continue to train and develop teachers because the role of a teacher has dramatically changed, especially in K12, where you have—it used to—a teacher used to be the center of information, the center of knowledge and the distributor of knowledge, where now, a teacher's role has to be a facilitator? What are we doing in our colleges? What are we doing in our teaching programs? What are we doing in our professional development programs to turn that role of a teacher into more of a facilitator, to be—to have the skill sets that we need to provide greater education for our students?
When you think about it, there is a lot of conversations around metrics and measures and evaluations and how do we know great teachers? The truth is, everyone in this room knows what a great teacher looks like. You know what a great teacher feels like. You didn't have to think about your K through 12 teachers, and think I don't really know which ones were the great ones. You know. We know which ones are the great teachers. We know what they are. We need to be able to develop those teachers. We need to pay them well. We need to do all the things that we need to do. We need to take this seriously because nothing is gonna be more important than putting as great teacher in a classroom, especially for those in disadvantaged situations, especially for kids, who are growing up in environments where the teacher becomes the authority figure in the classroom, where the teacher becomes the most important person in that kid's life.
As a reflection, and mostly of you can probably do this as well, I've had a great career. I've been at Google for six and-a-half years. I was at Accenture for six years. I worked for the governor of New York, doing welfare reform in New York. I have a great career. I've met lots and lots of people. I interact with lots of great people. One of my mentors is Vint Cerf, who created the internet, not Al Gore, Vint Cerf.
I still remember what my fourth-grade teacher did for me. I still remember what my sixth-grade teacher did for me. I still remember what my eighth-grade teacher did for me. These were huge, influential people in my life. We have to think about their role, and what they can do for us. That's the first thing that we have to think about. How do we create and manage and scale great teaching in the classroom? I'll stop using the word classroom, at some point, in the next couple years because that's gonna be another word that we have to talk about.
How do we manage the managing crisis, the lower expectations, especially for disadvantaged kids? Kids in disadvantaged situations are living—they're living in low expectation environments. I remember when I was a kid. I was in third grade. I took one of those what are you gonna be, when you grow up assessments. Remember those, you took those. Mine came back as an IRS agent. I was gonna be an IRS agent. Everyone laughs when I say that. I always feel bad, in case there is someone in the audience that's an IRS agent. That's what I was going to be when I grew up. I was gonna be an IRS agent. What was important about the story is that when I remember when I went up to my teacher, my third-grade teacher, who is not on my list of great teachers, and I said, "Hey, this is what my result is." You had to have a little conversation with your teacher. The teacher looked at me and said, "Oh, you know, if you—you might—if you work hard enough, you probably will get a good job. You're probably not gonna be an IRS agent. If you work hard enough, I'm sure you'll get a good job."
Those are the types of expectations that we set for our kids, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This is a long-term thing that happens to you, as you're growing up, in these environments. There is a lot of evidence that suggests that this is happening. We know it is. I remember being in college. I was a senior in college. I wanted to go to graduate school. I wanted to continue studying public policy. I was a political science major and a communications major. I was a double, fulltime major. I graduated like 195 credits, in four and-a-half years. I wanted to continue my education and go to graduate school.
I was looking around for schools. One of my political science professors said to me, "Hey, you should apply to the Kennedy School. You should go to the Kennedy School and study there." I remember saying to him. I had this conversation with him when I went to speak at Brockport in New York. I said, "Kids like me don't go to Kennedy School. We don't go to Harvard. I'd get my ass kicked at Harvard." Never mind that I was a double major. Never mind that one of the majors was because my friends were in that major, and I just wanted to hang out with them. Never mind that I was teaching undergraduate classes as a senior in college. I was teaching Introduction to Political Science, as an undergraduate, in college.
I had the expectation that I couldn't make it. Now, I look back at the whole thing, and I realize that I would have gone to Harvard, and I would have kicked their ass. You don't know that. That's the power of low expectations. When you think about it, how many of you have your own kids? I mean some of you guys are kids yourselves. How many of you have your own kids? When you look at this statement, I know some of you can't see it, it says, "successes related to effort".
This is my daughter, who swam here for Xavier, and went onto college to swim, then retired. I don't know how you retire at 19. She retired, and moved back, and went to ASU. She worked her butt off. She went to one of the best schools to go swimming. That's why she went there. She swam on a team that lost one swim meet in 80 years, or whatever they did. She got up at 4:00 in the morning. She went to swim. She put her effort into it. She understands that success is absolutely related to effort. Most of you would agree that your kids believe the same thing.
When there was a couple of studies, one in Houston, one in Minneapolis, where they asked minority, low-income kids that same question and a list of questions, and one of them was, "Is success related to effort?" The response was 72 percent of the kids said no. That's what we're dealing with in these communities. We're dealing with these low expectations. We need to focus on that. That's another subject, great teachers, low expectations.
The third thing I'll say is the X factor, what I call the X factor because it means something different to every kid that's growing up in a situation like that. The X factor for me was basketball. I played basketball. I was good at it. It was my world that I lived in. That X factor, that thing that activates kids' motivation and drives them is critical in the education environment. It could be that. It could be sports. It could be music. It could be any kind of extracurricular activities. More so than the skill set that it builds because it does build team building skills and leadership skills, and all the other skills that you want to build, it's also an escape for a lot of these kids. It's also a hope, if you will, for kids that are growing up in environments like that.
What are we doing in our communities? We're getting rid of extracurricular activities. We're getting rid of sports programs. We're getting rid of fine art programs. That's what we're doing. We're taking away the X factor, and focusing on standardized testing, which I'm gonna get to in a minute. We're not thinking about how this plays a critical role in kids' education. As teachers, having that tool, having that toolset that says, how do I take this X factor; how do I take this thing that motivates my kid, and use that in my learning environment, is absolutely critical, and something we need to focus on.
We talk about the skills that kids need, all those things are absolutely critical. I want to focus a little bit on kind of the skills that you need. I'll put these up, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, analyzing and problem solving. You've seen these in different formats. You've seen the 21st century skills. You've seen the Tony Wagner's Survival Skills. There's different ways to kind of come up with this list that are critical skills that kids need.
I don't like the phrase "21st century skill". I don't use that phrase. First, I have no idea what century I'm in right now. I don't know what 21st century is. It suggests some kind of future thing. I don't like that idea. These are skills that kids need right now, today. If a kid graduates from college today, they need to know how to do this. If a kid graduates from high school, they need to do this. A kid in third grade needs to start building this skill set today. I want to dive into these a little bit, in some more detail.
The first is, "how we communicate has dramatically changed". Yet, we haven't really done anything about it. A couple months ago, I had to have a one-on-one with my daughter. We had to have a communication meeting because things were falling off the plate because when I was in college, and I wanted to talk to my mother, I went to the payphone. I called my mother. I had three options. Either one, she would pick up the phone, and I would talk to her. Two, it would be busy, and I would just keep hanging up the phone in frustration, or three, it would just keep ringing and ringing and ringing because she didn't know how to set up the machine, the answering machine.
Those were my three options. My daughter and I have 1,000 different ways to communicate with each other. All of them can cause dramatic stress syndrome in ways that you can't even imagine. We had to come up with our communication plan as to how we communicate with each other, what a text message means, and what my response rate is because, unlike her, my phone is not attached to my hand at all times. The five-second delay is acceptable in my world, where, in her world, that's not necessarily acceptable. Or how she needs to get important information to me, and saying I called you and left you a voice mail, when she knows I don't listen to voice mails, is probably not a good—these are the things that we had to work out. How kids communicate on a global scale is gonna be critical. How kids communicate in a social media world is absolutely critical.
I mean, some of you might be saying nasty things about me on Twitter right now, and I have no control over that. How do we manage our kids' communication skills? How do we teach them communication skills? I, sometimes, teach here at ASU, in the school public programs. I have a—obviously, I have some professors, who are friends. One of them teaches in the MBA program. Every semester, he asks me to come sit in his class. It's the students do case studies. When they do Google, I come in and sit. When I can, when I'm in town, I'll do this. I'll sit. I'll listen to the four students get up, and do their presentation on Google. I act all tough and serious, like I—just to scare them a little bit.
They do their presentation on Google. It hasn't failed yet, in the six years I've done this with this professor. The kids take the case study that they read, and literally, translate it into a PowerPoint deck, and spit it back out to the audience, with 12 bullet points that they split up through slides, each one. They just—you sit there. You listen to the whole thing. I remember that I did that when I was a student too, when I was in college. It was called an overhead projector and a transparency paper. I used a Sharpie, and drew pie charts, and I put it on there. I thought, man, this is antique. Kids are still doing that. They're just using different formats. I'll get to the whole concept of tools as a skill set. Anyway, how we communicate has dramatically changed.
Collaboration, this word comes up a lot. How do we collaborate, teaching collaboration skills, especially when we're talking to—in K12? Education is a very individualized experience. They get an individual grade. They get an individual—they go into individual classes. It's a very individual experience, even though they're among other people. Then we push them out the door. We say, "All right, good luck. Go work with others."
Imagine, as a teacher, you give you test to a grade of—sixth graders, and they're doing their test. At the end of the test, two kids come up to the front of the class holding the tests together. They say, "Hey, we did this together." What would your reaction be? Why is collaboration cheating? How are we teaching collaboration skills, so kids can actually learn how to work with each other, on a global scale? Right now, in my head, as I am talking to you, the—right now we're in the same time zone as California. That one doesn't matter as much. I know the time zone in California. I know the time zone in London. I know the time zone in Japan and the one in Australia, because I'm working on a project with those four people. I need to know when they're active, so we can continue to work on our project. That kind of collaboration across the globe is absolutely critical. We need to be able to teach them how to collaborate with others. We need to do it as early as possible.
We need to start getting kids to think. The whole concept of trying to get kids to memorize information doesn't make any more sense. This is back to the role of the teacher, where it made sense at one point, where the teacher was the person who had all the knowledge because when I was in third grade or fourth grade or fifth grade, and someone asked me what happened on December 7th, 1941, I would have to say, "All right. Hang on. I'll be back in about three days." Then I would go find the information, and go to the library, and find a book, and go through the index, and do all this. That world doesn't exist. Yet, we're teaching kids in that same world.
Where now, as a parent, one of the things that I thought was a benefit of being a parent was that I could just make things up whenever I wanted to. I could just make up stories, and make up worlds, and make up facts, whatever I wanted to make up. That doesn't exist anymore. I can't do that because my 11 year-old is—I'll say something. If he questions it just for a microsecond, he's like, "I don't know if that's necessarily true." He's vetting what I say. I've got an 11 year-old vetting everything that comes out of my mouth. That's the world we live in. How do we teach kids?
This is not a U.S. based issue. This is a global issue. There is kids using computers everywhere. That number continues to grow. When I started at Google, 18 percent of the world was online. Today, it's 38 percent. Six years later, 38 percent of the world is online, and that number keeps growing. The world is online. We live in a world of information abundance. How do we take that abundance, and build skills around knowing why things happen, finding the right information, and asking the why questions to solve problems? All the information is available to us. We need to now make sense of it.
We have to teach kids how to make sense, because I know lots of teachers. All of those of you, who teach in K12, know that when you ask a kid to go search for something, they'll come back up to you and say, "I can't find it." They looked at the first page. It wasn't one of the first three results that didn't show up on Google. That's not analyzing and searching for information. Here's the sad thing. This is one of those when you ask a driver if they're good drivers, 95 percent of the people say they're good drivers, and everyone else is bad drivers, one of these things. Most of you are bad searchers. I've looked at the data. I know the information. I can do an assessment right now, and test you guys, and make you feel bad for the rest of the day. You are bad searchers.
Here is a little self-assessment test for yourself. If you're typing a question mark into the search bar, you are a terrible searcher. If you're a bad searcher, how are you teaching kids how to search? How are you teaching kids to vet through information? Right now, ten percent of the world's information is online. What's gonna happen when it's 30 percent or 40 percent or 50 percent or 90 percent of the world's information? What happens when that world exists? How are kids gonna make sense of that information that's available to them?
Another way of looking at it is for every YouTube video that you guys watch, for every minute of YouTube video that you watch, we at Google upload 72 hours. That needs to sink in for a second. Seventy-two hours of video gets uploaded onto YouTube every minute. No matter how hard your kids try, and my kid is trying really, really hard, he's never gonna be able to watch every video on YouTube. Being able to find the right videos and find the right information, is gonna be absolutely critical. We need to teach these kids how to do this today.
This is a global issue, is that we need to start teaching how to use technology, and how to use the web and not ban it. This is getting better and better in the last couple of years. It's a simple—I use a simple analogy for that, where I talk about when my kids were young. I live in downtown Phoenix. When I decided that—lots of us are parents—decided that when he started walking it would be important to teach him how to cross the street because we recognized that we weren't going to be able to ban the cars. We're not gonna be able to ban the web. It's here to stay.
How do we teach kids how to cross the street? How do we teach them how to create digital footprints? How do we teach them how to create digital portfolios, so that what they share online, what they post online is the reason why they have a great career, not the reason they don't? Just banning it is probably a bad idea. This is even worse in some places. You have other countries that are creating their own internet because they don't like the reality of the real world.
This is a critical issue that we need to focus on, is how do we teach our kids all these skills and yet, keep an open web, or as much as possible, an open web? We recognize that the web is something that can help us learn in different ways because we all learn in different ways. We have enough evidence now that suggests that we all learn in different ways. This is just—I would say, this is the last 20 years because when I was a kid I remember—those of us, who are old, like me, in the room, will remember this.
When I was a kid, someone would, say, explain something to me. I would say, "I’m sorry. I don't understand what you're saying to me." They would explain it again. I would be like, "One more time, please." Then they would get frustrated and insult me. They would say, "What? Do you need me to draw you a picture?" That was an insult. What's the answer today? Yes, I need you to draw me a picture.
We all learn in different ways. We recognize that. Yet, we are still trying to focus every kid into the same grade, into the same standards, into the same environment. It doesn't make any sense. When we think about that, we're starting to see some changes with personalized learning and personal learning, and being able to use things like written and text and video and blended learning models. We're starting to see some of the things.
The conversation that we need to have, in the next couple of years that no one is having right, and there is a lot of talk in education right now about different things that are happening, but no one is having this conversation, is that if we all learn in different ways, it probably makes sense that we all test in different ways too. Yet, we're all focused on standardized testing. We're all focused on one test for every kid. That doesn't make any sense, especially the multiple choice test. Some kids look at a multiple choice question and the answers, and can make all five answers right. We have to think about what that looks like in the future.
Utilizing and scaling technology, how do we do that? Technology can play a critical role in all this. Before we talk about that, we have to recognize that—I'm a big fan of the web. I'm a big fan of the web, as a learning platform. We have to recognize that the web is a baby. We just started. It's brand new. I mean think about the fact that—and again, some of you guys look like you aren't gonna get this reference at all. Do you remember when we used to have to call the internet? We used to have to make phone calls to the internet. The internet would be like, "I can't talk to you right now. I'm really busy." You're like, "Okay. I'll call you back later."
That was our experience with the web. What was our reward? Our reward was web pages that had lots of words, with links to pages that had lots of words; that had links to pages that had lots of words. That was our experience. We were really excited about that. We were okay with sitting there, at 96 kilobytes of speed, a page loading for us, and then somebody would walk into the kitchen, and pick up the yellow wall phone, and knock us completely off the web. Today, I complain because I can't watch the Jon Stewart show while I'm flying at 35 miles an hour, I mean at 35,000 feet, at 525 miles an hour on my airplane. That's the level of expectations that have grown in the web.
Think about what we're doing on the web today, 800 million searches every couple of seconds, tweets that go out every couple of seconds, just the amount of stuff that we do on the web, and the video that's available, and the interactive tools, and what HTML 5 can bring us. All the things, interactivity that we can do on the web today, compared to just 12 years ago, doesn't even make sense.
When you think about the web, those of you who are involved in education, you're thinking what do I need to bring into my school now, and how do I utilize this, and how do I do that. I wouldn't necessarily worry about it because what the web is gonna be able to do two years from now, you're not gonna be able to predict today. What it's gonna do five years from now, you're not gonna be able to predict. Imagine ten years from today. Think about the fact that we've just started with the web and its potential as a learning platform.
We have to recognize that technology is not new to this generation that is born into it. It's like us being all excited that electricity works every time we walk into a room. We're like, "Whoa, electricity." No, we just know it's there. Kids are growing up with the technology around them. I don't even like the word technology, when we talk about technology. It's another one of those weird words because when you think about technology in education, and that phrase, ever since, as humans, we picked up a rock, and threw it at an animal, and were like oh, that worked, we've been using technology. Technology in education has been a desk and a chalkboard and pen and paper. All this has been technology.
Technology is not new because it's not—it's just part of the environment that they're born into. This is a generation of kids that are born into it. At the same time, we have to keep in mind that it didn't make them superhuman because they were born into it. Do a search for millenials and multitasking or students and multitasking and you'll find a million articles about how kids today can multitask, and kids today can do this, and are different, and kids are different for some reason. They're not. They can't multitask. They do four things poorly. That's what they're doing. They're just doing four things badly. They can't multitask. The brain hasn't evolved for you to multitask.
I was literally at a conference. It was a speaker, who was talking this way. He was saying, "Kids today can multitask. They're different than our generation." This was a young guy doing this, this conversation. He was talking about his generation, and how he was in his early, early 20's talking about how he's a gamer, and he does some education gaming stuff. He's talking about kids today can multitask, and they can do this. His presentation stopped working in the middle of his presentation. All the sudden, he started focusing on fixing the presentation.
He couldn't keep talking, and focus on fixing the presentation at the same time because you can't multitask. This happened in real environment, at a conference. Kids can't multitask. We have to stop treating them like they can multitask. They can't. How they're learning is completely changing. We have to focus on that part of it.
I'll tell you a couple of stories. The first one is, last year, a couple years ago, we—I took my—we went on our family vacation to Hawaii. Every year I go off the grid for two weeks. The wife, the kids, we go; we shut everything down, and we go somewhere. We went to Hawaii. My daughter is scared to fly. She is terrified to fly, which makes my life fun. We drugged her up. We promised her a ukulele because she loves—she is a creative person. She likes playing instruments. She likes to experiment. She's curious.
We said we'll get a ukulele because she always wanted a ukulele. We went into the ukulele store as soon as we got to Hawaii. We're walking out of the ukulele store. I said to her—because this is what was in my head, I looked in the corner. I noticed there were instruction books and videos on how to play the ukulele. I said, "Hey, do you want to pick up an instruction book or a video on how to play the ukulele?" She looked at me like I was from outer space. I'm a relatively hip guy, right? I got a pretty good job. I bought the new Kanye West CD. I'm a hip guy.
Here is my daughter looking at me like in from outer space. Like, "What the hell are you talking about? Why? How is she gonna learn to play ukulele? She's gonna watch YouTube videos. She's gonna learn how to play from other people. Not only that, she's gonna learn—there's gonna be ten people that are gonna teach her how to play the same song. She's gonna choose the one that makes the most sense for her and her learning model. That's the world that we live in. They're learning in different ways.
This picture here is of my 11 year-old, this Sunday, this past Sunday. This is him learning, playing Minecraft on one computer, and watching videos on how to play Minecraft, on the other computer. By the way, I have a whole issue with Minecraft. He's showing me all these great graphics on Minecraft. I'm like, "I remember those graphics. It's called Atari 2600." Just the whole full circle thing bothers me. This is him learning. This is him—one computer is not enough for him. This is him learning on a Sunday afternoon. He's not learning during the normal learning hours. How do you use that? How do we incorporate that into our environment? This is what the generation of kids are doing. They're not learning in a traditional you go to school, and you learn, and you leave.
We're still doing programs on summer—what is it called? The summer slip or where kids lose knowledge during—
Audience Member: Summer slide.
Jaime Casap: Summer slide, thank you. I couldn't—slip. Summer slide, we still do programs on summer slide. Really? Kids don't think that way. Why are we making them think that way? Why are we making them think that they have to learn between 9:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon? They want to learn all the time. How do we create environments that are sustainable, that can create learning environments like this, where the kid is learning on his own? I'm sitting next to him, by the way, because I got up to take a picture because I was so annoyed because I'm sitting next to him, watching the Giants game. I'm like, "Put down the damn machines, and be—and don't learn anything for a couple of minutes, and watch the Giants game." That's that the environment that kids are growing up in.
The resources for kids are available online. It's true for us too. We just haven't come to grips with the idea that that's a reality yet. How many of you bought a set of encyclopedias over the last Christmas break? How many of you thought—had a curious question about something, and said I'll be right back, I'm gonna go to the library and research this? The research, the information is online for us already. More importantly, the relationships that we manage are being more and more online. If you think about the fact that all of us who join—some of you who joined Facebook later in the whole Facebook phenomenon, a couple of years ago, you went online, and you started looking up your old high school friends. You added them as friends. You're like, "Yeah, I want to see what Jim is doing." You're like, "Oh, I'm doing much better than him." Then like six months later, they just annoyed the crap out of you. Like, "Oh my God. I totally remember why I'm not friends with this guy." Then you're caught in this paradox. Like, "Can I de-friend him? Do I not? Do I block him? I don't know what to do. Now I'm stuck with this guy for the rest of my life."
If you think about my 20 year-old, and those of you, who are in the room, who are 20, and my 11 year-old, they will never, ever be able to get rid of their high school friends, ever. They're gonna need to learn how to manage relationships for the rest of their lives. The whole game is changing in terms of how you manage relationships.
Technology is becoming more and more web-based. There used to be this idea that technology was hard drive, software, hardware, software, databases. We had all these different definitions of what technology meant. It's becoming more and more web-based. I had an interesting conversation with my 11 year-old over Christmas—after Thanksgiving when he kept—he asked me, "What's cyber Monday? What does cyber Monday mean?" I thought, wow, it's already like a legendary term, cyber Monday. It doesn't make any sense already because cyber Monday was the fact that, at one point in our lives, the technology was better at work. We had internet access at work. We had computers at work. We had applications at work. We went on Monday to work. We went shopping. We spent the day shopping.
My 11 year-old doesn't understand why we do that. Technology is always available to him. The web is always available to him everywhere, right? I think about the fact that when you guys were kids, and you would—your families would take you on vacation, you always wanted to know is there a TV there; is there gonna be a TV; are we gonna have a TV. That was your big thing. What are kids thinking today? "Is there Wi-Fi? Is there gonna be Wi-Fi?" Every time we're in a car I'm like, "Hey, turn on a hotspot, hotspot. Turn on your hotspot." I'm like, "We're going four blocks."
Technology is becoming more web-based, where everything is happening on the web. Education is starting to take advantage of these learning environments. This is a really, really exciting time to be in education. The transformation that's happening in education is starting right now. For those of you and us, who have been involved in education for some time now, you can start seeing that transformation, especially at that K12 level, where you're starting to see technology be the catalyst, and be the enabler to some of this new—these new learning models, flip classrooms, which make total sense, blended learning models, which make total sense. Distance learning models make total sense.
The ability to use technology in these new models is what's happening because it's cheaper. It's easier. Access is more relevant. These things are happening. We're changing learning models. When I say the word classroom, I think we won't be using that word as much in the future because it doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make any sense for us to think about a kid goes to school because this is where all the learning happens, as opposed to what—how learning really, really happens.
Education is starting to take advantage of that. We're starting to see that across the country. More importantly, we're starting to see it across the world. When you go to Singapore, and you talk to the folks in Singapore, and these are people who are top five always, in testing, they're looking at technology, and saying, "How do we utilize that to create innovative and creativity in our students? How do we utilize this? How do we create new blending learning models?" They're already at the top. They're learning new ways to even get further down the line.
These are the types of things that we're seeing, is these new learning models that education is taking advantage of. We're starting to see the web be that learning platform, where we're seeing the evolution of—really? This is my daughter. Wow, did you really just walk in just now?
Jaime's Daughter: I was in class.
Jaime Casap: She was in class. No, she told me she was gonna come in late. I'm actually surprised she walked all the way in, and know that I was gonna embarrass the crap out of her, while she was sitting there.
We're starting to see the web as a learning platform. We're starting to see students take advantage of the information that's available to them, and teachers taking advantage of utilizing the web as best as possible. We have to keep in mind that technology is just a tool. It is just a tool. I don't think that that message can be strong enough. I don't think we can say that enough. The New York Times, last year, wrote ten articles on technology in education, one of them on Kyrene School District in Chandler, and talked about how all this new technology that they used has not improved test scores at all, lots of articles like that.
This is just the New York Times. Or, "Research shows that technology doesn't improve test scores." Duh, that's not what the right question is because there is not one article last year, in the New York Times, about how desks don't improve test scores. There is no difference between a technology in the classroom and a desk. As a matter of fact, I would say desks are more detrimental to education than technology because the way they're formatted, they're really easy to fall asleep on.
Technology, computers, the web, smart boards, these are all tools in a classroom that need to be utilized as tools. It drives me insane, on a daily basis, when I see in user forums, or I see in conversations or in papers or in articles, where you see students or you see teachers say, "I just got an iPad. How can I use it?" Or, "I just bought 5,000 iPads. How do we implement them?"
I was at a LEAD symposium. It's an organization that was created by Arne Duncan and the FCC, to talk about technology in education. I'm in this meeting with some of the country's thought leaders in education. Next to me is Andrew Ng from Stanford, who created Coursera. Next to him is John Couch from Apple. John and I were throwing things at each other. Actually, no, we had a good conversation. These are some of the thought leaders in education. We're talking about this.
They put up a question. These are some smart people. They put up a question. The question said, "How can teachers utilize technology in the classroom?" I put up my hand. I said, "Actually, let me rephrase that question from the way I see that question." That question says to me, how do we make bad education faster and more efficient because it's not about how do we utilize the technology. It's about how do we change the learning models. How do we change education, then use technology to enable that change, and use technology to support those changes, in what we're doing in the classroom or in learning, in general?
Education is the thing that can change a family's destiny. It's the thing that can create sustainability, not just in other countries, but in our own country as well. We have to find ways for it to make sense because we're kind of ignoring it right now. We're seeing education as a way to make things faster, to make bad education faster. We're looking at ways to evaluate teachers based on student performance. We're looking at all the wrong issues, when what we really should be looking at is, how do we change the learning model; how do we make education a permanent fixture in students' performance, then not worry about what the consequences of that are. It is absolutely the thing that can change a family's destiny.
I'm done. Thank you very—I don't know. Are we answering questions? Yeah. Thank you very much.