These are my notes from Jaime Casap‘s opening keynote session, “Technology & Innovation in Education” at the 2012 Mobile Learning Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 11, 2012. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Jaime is the “Google Education Senior Evangelist.” I REALLY LIKE THAT TITLE. WHAT A COOL JOB!

We want to think about the BEST ways to use technology in education today

– challenges we face
– what matters the most
– the burning platform
– skills students need for tomorrow
– managing and scaling technology

The reason I got involved in education because it is the silver bullet
– I am a 1st generation American

“I didn’t know what a ghetto was then. Later I would learn that we lived in ‘the slums”; I thought we had just moved to paradise.”

In 1 generation major perceptions about college can change dramatically

I paid my college loans and all my bills now in a job and industry that didn’t exist when I was in high school
– What will work look like for graduates in 2036?

What really matters the most?
– nothing matters more than the teacher
– at the end of the day it comes down to having great teachers
– that is going to matter the most no matter what technology

I clearly remember my 4th grade teacher, my 6th grade teacher, my 8th grade teacher… those memories

Managing the crisis of low expectations
– especially for kids living in disadvantaged circumstances

My test of “what are you going to be when you grow up” in high school came back: You’ll be an IRS agent

“Success is related to effort”
– students rated this at about 2%
– 78% of low income students disagreed with this
– Boeing engineers

The X factor: What is it that motivates kids
– for some it is sports
– what is it for low income students
– arts
– sciences
– after school programs

“Understanding what motivates our kids is essential to understand what drives learning”

Do you remember when we used to have to call the Internet?
– sometimes it would say it was busy, call back later

The Internet is where we find resources and manage relationships

Technology is increasingly web-based

Concept of “cyber Monday” (online Black Friday)

Remember technology is NOT new to this generation
– my 10 month old has no idea what an operating system is, or the difference between a Mac and PC
– not waiting for version 8.9 of operating system XYZ
– growing up in a completely different world, where technology is a part of their world

How students are learning how to do things is completely different from how we learned about things


Travel tip: Never buy your child a ukulele on the first day of vacation

Story of a 2 year old after using an iPad1, asking why it doesn’t have a camera?
– hour hold technology not meeting the expectations of a two year old

More stories of kids living on the web…
– what are today’s 2 year old’s expectations of technology use going to be like when they come to your school?

Key skills:
– Communication
– Collaboration
– Critical thinking
– Analyzing Information
– Problem solving

Everyone needs these skills no matter whether they go to college or not

How we communicate has changed
– I can’t control what you all are writing about me on Twitter right now

Collaboration is more important than ever
– why is collaboration cheating? it is how we do things today

I can’t imagine going to my boss at Google with a report, like our global education strategy, and saying “I developed this all by myself”

How can kids build skills together and learn together while developing their literacy skills?
– this is key today

My team at Google is made up of people from around the world
– we’re expected to create documents, make things together

We have to stop memorizing things, we need to start thinking
– instead of memorizing we have to learn how to process and make sense of information, and use it in collaborative environments / in communication

Information is at EVERYONE’s fingertips today

Analyzing and making sense of information is key

What percent of the world’s information is now online
– it’s about 15% now

For every minute of YouTube video you watch today, 60 hours of YouTube video gets uploaded
– that means you can NEVER catch up with it!

Most of you are probably bad searchers
– if you type a question mark into the search bar, you are a bad searcher
– how are we teaching our kids how to properly do advanced searches?

We learn and solve problems in different ways
– lots of research supports this

If we all learn in different ways, doesn’t it make sense we should be testing in different ways?

In 1980 a gigabyte of information cost around $200,000
– the hard drive alone in my current cell phone would have been worth over $6 million

The digital divide is getting greater
– tech is cheaper to get
– but less than 45% of kids whose parents make less than 30K per year have access to technology at home


If we are not using technology in our schools, where are kids learning technology skills

Remember, technology is JUST a tool
– don’t think of technology as any different than desks


Desks are a huge detriment to learning in schools, they are perfectly setup for falling asleep on them

How is the technology helping us in schools build the skills we need
– we all agree technology can be useful, we need to utilize it

Great teachers, expectations, motivating factors, and content are still the keys
– technology just enables this

I am very concerned about the FEAR we have about technologies in our schools
– when my kids were born I taught them how to cross the street. I didn’t try to ban cars.
– how are we teaching our kids to cross the digital street?
– we need to teach our kids how to be digital leaders


'Crossing the street' photo (c) 2012, vonderauvisuals - license:

Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it both accessible and useable
– tools you can use anywhere and on anything

These tools are going to just

Remember when you thought you’d be able to bookmark the web?

Leveraging our students and what they know / can do is essential
– we have to find better ways to work TOGETHER

The web is here to stay
– the Google leverages our ability to create apps and tools that we can use on multiple devices

“Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world”
– change a family’s destiny in one generation


Jamie’s answer
– when I was 10 years old I had some access to bad things
– working on what expectations we can have, and making reasonable efforts at protecting our students
– a lot of the responsibility is on providers like Google to provide clean access
– responsibility is also on administrators
– I’ve seen this addressed more in the past three years through superintendent education

I encourage superintendents to see the importance of helping students learn to behave responsibly offline as we do online

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One Response to Technology & Innovation in Education by Jaime Casap

  1. MTLinville says:

    Jaime gave a similar talk to this at SXSWedu. It’s great hearing stories from people like him who are able to espouse how much of a personal impact education can have on individuals and society. If you’re interested, here’s a slide deck from Jaime on Google Chromebooks in education:

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