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Digital Adventures - You're Fired!

June 16, 2018

As we think about our privileged role in the development of the technical education of the next generation, our ultimate goal is for students and their parents to fire us. In order for us to part ways, we focus on 3 key areas while working with our students. Our goal is for our students to develop their independence in building with technology, understand how to make their ideas real and learni...

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6 Tips for Picking a Great Summer Tech Camp

June 9, 2018

Now that the kids are out of school for their summer vacation, it’s a great time to think about how to continue to engage them in learning opportunities that will further their development and growth to prevent the dreaded ‘summer learning loss’. One of the best options is to enroll your kids in summer camp. There are a wide variety of camps that cover many different topics.  With the increased...

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4 Tips for Graduates From a 3X Student

June 2, 2018

Around this time of a year, parents and kids celebrate an important milestone….graduation. Whether it’s my youngest son, finishing pre-K or my daughter completing elementary school; this is a truly a special time of the year. Over the course of my life, I’ve had the good fortune to earn 3 degrees (BS Mechanical Engineering - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, MS Mechanical Engineering - U...

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Helping a billion people with technology

May 26, 2018

Did you know that there are an estimated 1 billion people around the globe who have a disability? Because their disability often prevents them from doing work, their poverty rate is almost twice as high as the general population.  On the other hand, we have witnessed extreme examples of the intelligence and world changing impact of those who are disabled in people like Stephen Hawking.  In orde...

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In 10 Years These 3 Things Won't Change

May 19, 2018

"I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stabl...

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Disruptive Potential of Technological Innovation - Google AI Assistant

May 12, 2018

This past week, Google introduced the Google Assistant – an artificial intelligence powered personal assistant. During the demonstration of the product, the CEO of Google (Sundar Pinchai) let us listen in to the personal assistant using natural language to book a hair appointment.  While booking a hair appointment might seem trivial, the possibilities for humans if computers can begin to better...

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4 Tips to Prevent Summer Technology Learning Loss

May 5, 2018

As we near the end of the school year, teachers, students and parents are ready for a well-deserved break. However, between trips to the swimming pool and Popsicle purchases from the ice cream truck; it is important that we don’t lose all the progress that was made during the school year. Academic studies summarize summer learning loss as having the following characteristics: (1) students’ achi...

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Build with Technology. Change the World!

April 28, 2018

One of the great things about teaching kids to build with technology is that it equips them with the skills necessary to develop solutions at scale that can truly change the world. In this blog post, we will highlight a few world changing applications that are already in flight with the hopes of inspiring the next generation to build upon this foundation of invention and innovation from their p...

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Human Are Underrated

April 21, 2018

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to advances in technology is that humans will become redundant because computers will be better performers for a wide variety of tasks. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. While computers are able to perform simple, repeatable tasks at a high level; there are many areas that human capabilities are underrated. The most like...

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3 Ways Kids Can Make Money on the Internet

April 14, 2018

For each new generation, it is important that they gain an understanding of how business works as early as possible. This makes these kids more successful as they get older because they are better able to recognize and monetize emerging trends. When I was growing up, my first job was in retail bagging groceries at Jewel (our local supermarket). A bit later, I transitioned into newspaper deliver...

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Facebook Data Scandal - That's What I LIKE!

April 7, 2018

Over the past several weeks, the widespread use of data to influence social media users has come to light. The specific example that has concerned most users is that their behavior on social media was harvested by Cambridge Analytica and combined with external information (voter data records) to build extensive profiles that were then used to place targeted information in their newsfeeds. This ...

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The Uber Self-Driving Accident Proves Humans Are Bad at Driving

March 31, 2018

Every day in the United States and globally, people die or are terribly injured in automobile accidents.  Statistically speaking, automobiles are one of the most dangerous ways to travel with ~40,000 people dying annually in the United States and 1, 250,0000 globally. There are many fundamental challenges associated with driving for humans – we are maneuvering very powerful and heavy automobile...

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Why Is Apple Showing So Much Love To Chicago?

March 24, 2018

Over the past 6 months, there has been one major announcement after another from Apple about second city – Chicago. In October 2017, Apple opened a newly designed flagship store along the Chicago River. In December 2017, the Cupertino-based company announced that they would be partnering with the City of Chicago to teach every Chicago Public School student to code. In March 2018, Apple plans to...

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Opportunity in every difficulty

March 17, 2018

“A pessimist sees the difficult in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill When we read quotes like this, we often want ourselves and our children to be more like the optimist. Oftentimes, this has to do with either how we’ve seen pessimists create such a negative environment in the workplace that often nothing can get done once someone has ...

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Does technology development have a responsibility to be ethical?

March 10, 2018

For the past several months, news stories about the impact of technology on society have been front and center. From concerns about the addictive nature of smartphones from Apple and social media applications like Facebook and Twitter to the broader impact of technology on politics including the ability for the popular platforms to be manipulated or the possibility that gig economy tools like U...