A call to BLOG…Leadership Day 2013!
The year was 1974 and I sat in a sixth grade classroom. I recall the desks aligned in rows and I sat listening intently. My teacher, Mrs. Fallon, I didn’t know it then but was an innovative teacher that challenged her students. That afternoon, she challenged my class to think about the future. She told us to dream what it might be like 30 years from now. I recall thinking that I couldn’t imagine 30 years from now which would make it the year 2004, a new century! She encouraged thinking and directed the class to get to work. At that time the technology that was in my home included a television in the living room, a rotary dial phone, a radio, stereo, a CB, and a metal detector. This was actually a lot of technology. One of my favorite things to do was to rush home after-school and watch General Hospital on TV with my mom. As I sat pondering about the challenge in front of me I had a brainstorm, a creative burst, and I welcomed it. I crashed the white of my paper and began sketching a TV watch! How amazing would it be to view my favorite shows from my wrist! Did I dare dream of something like this. I thought it could never happen but I designed my blueprint in detail. When it came time to share, I was so proud of my work and my classmates dreamed with me about the future possibilities. At what point was my passion, innovation, idea, possibility put into a drawer and forgotten about? What path, nurturing, grit, does an idea need to lead to its purpose, technology?
This week news dropped that generated intense interest and curiosity worldwide. What is it, you are wondering? The Hyperloop! The Hyperloop design could potentially forever change the face of transportation! Elon Musk is the creative mind behind the electric Tesla car and SpaceX rockets and is now ready to share his latest passion and genius about his high-speed travel, solar-powered, air tube concept model. It fascinates me to see the impact on society. For somewhat selfish reasons, I’m highly fixated on the future possibility of being able to travel from the East Coast to the West Coast in 30 minutes to visit my son. There is speculation of it moving at speeds of 600 mph. It’s mind-boggling! A year ago, Musk Tweeted some clues about his design. He said, ” (it’s) a cross between a Concorde, and a railgun, and an air hockey table.” Can you imagine the future? Do you have an image in your mind of what the Hyperloop will look like? Well, grab something to write with and draw a model of what you think the future of transportation will look like! Oh wait, that’s exactly what “the Tinker,” John Gardi, did. His Twitter profile reads “I’ve always been a tinker. I started by taking stuff apart. Then I learned how to put stuff back together, then how to fix it. It’s a way of life for me really.” John put his concept out there for the world to see when he tweeted on July 15th and asked Elon Musk for some basic clues to add to his concept. Musk replied to John that his was the closest guess so far and supplied the hint, “pod diameter probably around 2M.” Musk was seeking critical feedback from the world for improvements.
I recently listened to an EduAllstars interview with a very profound educator, Angela Maiers. She stated, “The smartest person in the room is the room.” I agree strongly with her statement and propose the next step in this line of thinking, the smartest person in the world is the world! In this time of exponential change, we can no longer keep our ideas and voice to ourselves. We must engage in critical thinking and collaborate with others to not only dream the future but design the future. We must make use of social media tools to move our lone voice to great potential with many voices using critical feedback to build potential solutions to the world’s needs. Educators must create learning environments that are a buzz of voices working together to solve real world problems driven by their passion. We need to use social media and connect kids with other voices working on similar challenges. As educators, we need to be connected, passionate, involved, present, leaders who model critical thinking and critical feedback. If we dare to embrace the simple idea, the smartest person in the world, is the world, together we can use our voices for powerful creation!
The Hyperloop concept model is open source. Maybe you have the grit and perseverance to make the Hyperloop reality!