[This post was originally published earlier today on Tech~Surf~Blog.]
I felt it. I didn’t know it then, but it may have been at the precise moment Steve was passing. I was sitting in a room of about 100 people, mid-afternoon, listening to a panel of educators at the EduTech MN conference at the University of Minnesota. I was actually finishing a blog post on my MacBook Air, and hadn’t even intended to stay for the panel (the startup pitches were over).
But I was surprisingly drawn in by the discussion. I was blown away by what these people, senior educators, were saying — showing so much passion, speaking from the heart, talking about how kids are learning today. They just lit up as they described how the new tablet and mobile technologies are opening up worlds for these kids like nothing they’d ever seen before. The iPad, the iPod Touch, and all the great software these Apple devices have engendered.
I found myself beaming from ear to ear as I listened to them describe their real-life experiences, with such excitement in their voices. These aren’t boring educators, I thought! These are really dedicated, committed people who work on the front lines, whose worlds revolve around how our children learn, and how they can make that process better for them, every single day. And, thanks to technology and a certain company named Apple, they have more and more amazing tools to help them do that. It was a special experience for me, as someone not involved much in the world of education. I’m so glad I stayed.
I sat there and thought to myself — right at that very moment — “Wow, would Steve Jobs be proud to be hearing this right now.”
I like to think he was.
Steve, you didn’t just change technology, media, music, and retailing forever. You changed education, too — in a big, big way. We thank you. We will greatly miss you.
But we know we’ll see the mark you made on this world for a long, long time to come, in the eyes of children everywhere.
[Left to right on the panel: Jesse Thorstad, technology specialist, Fergus Falls school district; Dave Eisenmann, director of instructional tech, Minnetonka school district; Jennifer Sly, MN Historical Society; and Jay Haugen, Superintendent, Farmington school district. The panel was moderated by State Senator Terri Bonoff.]