Book Club: Smartcuts, By Shane Snow

This week was an exciting week. I had been planning my proposal to my girlfriend for several months now, and it finally all came together this past Tuesday. After sending her for a manicure in the morning, proposing after she got back, taking her to a surprise lunch with both of our families, and then throwing in a surprise trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is awesome by the way, one of the fortunate side effects is that I finally had enough time to read a book. My brother had given me Smartcuts as a christmas present, which is written by the Chief Creative Officer at his new job, Contently. Shane Snow is an interesting character because he’s a design guy with a cutting intellect on the business and financial side of his trade as well. There aren’t too many people who see all of those angles.

smartcuts

Buy it on Amazon.com

What is Smartcuts? It’s a book that critically examines the ways that people become immensely successful in a short period of time. The book examines the ways that these people have bucked the trend of working up the corporate ladder and “hacked” the systems traditionally in place for work lives. It does this in an entertaining fashion, and I personally thoroughly enjoyed the alternate histories of popular icons such as Skrillex, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and others. Strictly as a group of case studies, it was fascinating, and even though I may question the science behind the conclusions drawn by the author, I can’t discredit the intrigue of the selected cases, as they all had me at the edge of my seat trying to figure out how these people earned their success so quickly. The educator in me can’t help but be drawn to the education section, where I was both surprised and excited about Snow’s comments on teaching these.

Smartcuts ultimately come from pattern recognition, and while that won’t tell the whole story, I think it accounts for at least 60%ish of the stories highlighted in the book. Snow touches on disappointment in the fact that these aren’t taught in school, and while I share the sentiment that there is a disturbing lack of life skills taught in schools, pattern recognition, if anything, is something taught in droves. English teachers encourage students to analyze continuous trends in literature and story, science teachers instruct students how to write conclusions based on data they’ve collected in a lab, art teachers show students how to translate their own unique perspectives in the world to artistic expression, and math teachers constantly teacher pattern application to problems. Schools are always emphasizing pattern recognition, and I would love to hear how others are handling it in their classrooms, but the point here is that it underlines a problem with education reform. The author of this book hasn’t spent a day of his life inside a classroom unless he was a student, and yet he has written an otherwise informed and well researched book. This book is going to be far more received than any teacher’s innovative and otherwise successful series of pattern recognition lessons, but I would venture a guess that other people will be convinced of the author’s point after reading.

Why do we constantly embrace solutions and problems offered by everyone but educators? This is why common core is having so much trouble growing after planting its roots; it’s because it stems from problems like the one presented in this book, by people like the author of this book. Teachers are many things. Design of national curricula and assessment is maybe not something everyone is good at, but it doesn’t take a highly effective teacher to tell you what will and what won’t work in their classroom. For this particular problem, it’s not that students aren’t taught pattern recognition, it’s that it’s deeply embedded into everything they do and incredibly boring. They probably don’t even realize when it’s happening, and I would bet that some teachers don’t even realize when it’s happening. That doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Before launching our computer science program, our principal asked me if we could really get this program rolling at the school. This simple act is the difference between our successful program and many other unsuccessful programs across the country. Asking a teacher, “can this work?”, and then allowing them to mold their course to fit the goals of a program is far more effective than saying, “here, make this work”. Unfortunately, the latter is the shape taken by many educational reforms, and it’s not going anywhere without the buy-in of its soldiers, the teachers.

Negative tangent aside, this book was thoroughly entertaining and, if not scientific, it was certainly thought provoking. I’d suggest it to anyone who wants to have their eyes opened to many unknown stories of today’s hyper successful people.

A Little Challenge Cup For Your Classroom

We had the honor of participating in the Challenge Cup in NYC this past November. You can read the recap here. The entrepreneur inside me was extremely happy with the event, but the teacher inside me thought about the fun competitive nature of the event and how to incorporate it into future school projects. A nice thing is that, provided you had a suitable project with which students could pitch, it’s already a nicely packaged activity for class. Presentations? Check. Artifact for assessment purposes? Check. Actually, the hardest part is finding a project it’s suitable for. Luckily, with a new quarter comes a new project in my new programming class, and students are currently ramping up to create a social media project that hooks into one of the major APIs (Twitter or Facebook). So I gave it a shot.

Students really bought in. There’s an additional facet of this in my programming class, in that the students know they are in fact creating authentic products that will be launched, however we’ve had similar projects in our integrated science class, where students spend the whole quarter working on similarly framed work. Once that frame is presented though, there’s something really exciting about idea competitions. There’s no risk associated with the presentations. Students only invested a week in preparing their ideas and slideshows for their respective talks. I also added a fun prize for the competition, crucially not grade related, because the meat of this project is the exercise it forces students to go through in order to prepare for the second round should they be selected by their peers to present in it. The prize was that I would work for the winner for two hours of programming time. So they spent the entirety of the snow-clipped week prepping for their presentations Friday, and I was blown away by the quality of student ideas.

Students don’t normally have to think about things like product markets, revenue models, demographically appealing design, and appeal of their pitch. If they do, it’s in a business class, and what’s fun about the programming class is that they actually have to go and build the products they’re pitching: a truly unique experience to school. I’m not sure why we don’t ask students to do this more: they will have to in the real world in almost any job they acquire, and especially if they start their own businesses. If it’s because we don’t think they can handle it, I assure you, you’re dead wrong. The winning project this year was called Satellite, a social media platform by artists, for artists. It’s a place where artists can grow their following, sell their work, and interact with their fans in once place. The girl who won the competition this year had not only come up with a great revenue model, but it was complete with diversified sources of income and multi-tiered freemium entry. Essentially, her artists would set a tiered support system on their pages, where fans could donate $20 for a shirt, $50 for a print, and $100 for a canvas, for example. If it sounds like Kickstarter, that’s good, because Kickstarter has been one of the internet’s sensations over the past few years.

Social media sites aren’t the only projects that could be used for this purpose. Here are some other ones:

  • Convince the local town to incorporate more green practices into your schools
  • Create an instruction manual for a spaceship you designed
  • Create a website using an editor such as Wix for a scientifically-backed sports product
  • Start a blog that has a viewership of 300 per week
  • Develop an advertisement for the super bowl for your favorite non-profit organization
  • Design the new museum exhibit on any history topic you’re currently studying

Can you think of any more? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to this list!

Digital Snow Days

With the impending snowpocalypse of 2015 well on its way, I wanted to take a few moments to write about one of those innovations in education that doesn’t get enough attention but results in a whole lot of positives and very few negatives. I’m talking of course about digital snow days, and I had the pleasure of being recognized alongside one of the pioneers of this innovation, Dr. Barry Bachenheimer, at the 20 to Watch celebration last year. I of course had 20 questions for him, which I’m sure was annoying, but he certainly humored them and fielded each one with aplomb.

The concept is simple: with digital learning districts, the need to physically be in school is far lower, and almost unnecessary, for learning to occur. In order to alleviate the burden that snow days place on schools and their schedules, some districts, including Dr. Bachenheimer’s Pascack Valley Regional, are filing to replace snow days with virtual learning days, and not having to add additional days onto the school year after a snowy season. The obvious payoff here is that schools no longer have to negotiate the sometimes hazardous path of schedule shakeups, but there are many, perhaps more important, not so obvious benefits.

Responsibility

Being a teenager is tough, because everyone is telling you to grow up, and you don’t want to. Most teenagers have one responsibility, which is going to school, and they don’t tend to desire more. It’s thus important that we teach responsibility within the school environment, because students don’t have another way to obtain this crucial learning. Unfortunately, for most people, this amounts to “do your homework by this date,” or “study for the test on this date”. Digital snow days put a much more authentic frame, in that students need to complete their day’s work on their own time, and submit it in order to be credited with attending school for the day. This is a unique way to teach responsibility that’s not available in most other circumstances.

Technical Play Time

For districts implementing virtual days, digital learning is a part of their fabric. One aspect to digital learning that most people don’t emphasize enough is the concept of technical play time.  As with any skill, students (and teachers) must be given time to experiment, play, and learn in an unstructured environment for true mastery to develop. Students are extremely good at this in an unproductive environment, but when they’re given this time in the context of completing a certain project or assignment, they will likely come up with new ways to approach their work, explore new tools with which to complete it, and maybe even suggest new ways to conduct projects that would improve them. Digital learning days provide this time, albeit indirectly.

Publicity & Community Building

Let’s face it; schools always need to get better at this. By incorporating something like digital snow days, it’s a great way to get parents more involved with their kids’ education. In many schools, there’s at least one parent at home with a child during a snow day, which means at least one parent will at least be supervising their child’s learning activities for the day. This is not a bad thing: maybe inconvenient for some parents, however it also provides a true window into what a classroom is doing, which doesn’t normally happen.

Teacher Flex Curriculum

op

Robert Oppenheimer is a badass, as are many of the nuclear scientists of the 40s, and I would love the chance to teach students why.

This post is a shameless steal from a colleague of mine, Jerusha Vogel, who in a conversation with our program administrator on Friday, suggested what I think is an outstanding idea. In light of the Next Generation Science Standards, with a focus on heavy science skills and less on science content, our department, like many others, is looking at the troublesome issue of trying to fit more skills instruction into a full cup of content. Jerusha’s suggestion was to strip the courses of whatever content we need to, and then provide an entire unit focused on whatever topic the teacher chooses to cover, so long as it addresses the required NGSS skill in that unit. I couldn’t love this idea more. It’s an excited teacher that gets students excited about content, not the other way around, and the best way to guarantee an excited teacher is to let them teach whatever content they choose provided it covers a specific skill.

The more I think about this idea, the more I wonder why it’s not done in science more. In English classes, it’s a much more common phenomenon, where individual teachers in some cases get to pick which books they cover. Even if covered works are departmentally the same, there’s certainly no universal prescription statewide for which books every student has to read. In social studies, the story is a similar one, although there are certainly far more guidelines regarding specific historical events to be covered.  Math is understandably harder to do this for, although most Math standards are based on skills, and not content, so perhaps they already do. Science has lagged way behind the 8-ball here, since state standards across the country continue to include more and more content, which were picked because they would hopefully provide students a prerequisite set of skills with which to graduate.

The fun part to think about is, “what would I do in my science class with three weeks of free content time?” I am fascinated with the history of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy. This science topic is multidisciplinary, since it has all of history, chemistry, and physics. It’s exciting due to the personalities of the scientists involved and all of the espionage that went on during the war as we were racing Germany to the weapon. I even get to sing my nuclear chemistry song during that unit!

Flex curricular time like this is a great idea. What do you think? I’d also love to hear what you would do with three weeks of time in your respective classes in the comments.

On Differentiation and That EdWeek Article

In case you haven’t read it yet and you are involved in the field of education, the EdWeek article that came out on January 6th is an absolute must read. As its title says, the author has concluded that differentiated instruction simply doesn’t work, despite the immense amount of time teachers, administrators, and others have put into promoting the idea of meeting the needs of every student. I figured it would be a good time to weigh in on this, and I will divulge that I have scored everywhere from below expectations to exemplary on our school’s teacher evaluation plan in this category.

The Theory

I am in full agreement with the sentiment presented in this article, that in theory differentiation is a great idea. Meeting the needs of every student is an important task of educators everywhere. I think what is commonly lost in the conversations I observe surrounding differentiation is why this is so important. It’s a common trend in educational conversations, actually, that we forget about the reasons for changing our practices so drastically in the first place. Differentiation exists because starting from the moment they leave kindergarden, students have varying levels of aptitude and, frankly, intelligence. To provide each of those students with the best possible learning experience, we would theoretically have to cater learning material to their specific personality and aptitude. The end product here is that every student receives an appropriate education.

The Practice

The actual practice of differentiation is where things start to unravel. A powerful quote from the article above is “It seems to me that the only educators who assert that differentiation is doable are those who have never tried to implement it themselves: university professors, curriculum coordinators, and school principals.” It’s almost hilarious to a teacher who has been watching these types of individuals push differentiation in our evaluation plans and meetings without blowing anyone’s mind on how to accomplish the goal. Providing varied reading levels of material on the same topic is heralded as differentiation, but in reality all it does is dilute the classroom discussion to a level most appropriate of the students in the middle of the aptitude scale in a particular classroom. We could look at a number of different examples, like the article did, but I’d rather direct you to EdWeek and read the statistics backing the conclusion. While I might argue with the validity of some of these stats, I can’t argue too much with the conclusion, because even on a good day, differentiation makes a small impact that is unworthy of the amount of work it requires.

The Reality

I have made numerous reflections on this blog regarding the merits of the computer programming classes I’ve created at our high school, but something that is crucially important involves the topic of differentiation. To me, differentiation is simply a misunderstood synonym for freedom of academic engagement. Science is a field, and to muse that we could present to a student a course covering “Chemistry” is actually insane. Learning and practicing the process of “doing science” is the truly important goal of a science class, and the content is mostly irrelevant. Yet still, I am required by the state of CT to perform a laboratory experiment on solar cookers, polymers, and acid rain. It’s not that I have a problem with any of these activities, it’s that they remove the focus on what’s important: doing science.

In our programming classes, since I was able to design them myself, you can bet that this problem in other classes was at the forefront of my mind. I’ve mentioned the simple motto of “build stuff” is prevalent throughout the fabric of the courses, but the end result is the true goal of differentiation. Due to the fact that the course is structured around building real products, I could actually care less what the subject of each of their projects are. Each quarter, we do a project where students are required to learn and incorporate a certain set of skills into a product of their choosing. For example, next quarter, students will learn to read and write information in their Facebook accounts and create a social media product using their information. The goal here is to teach the programming skill of Facebook integration, and its success is irrelevant of the type of product built. The end product? Students are free to design and develop anything they can think of, provided it meets this standard.

Now, imagine for a moment if your standard science class was organized around this concept? Each quarter, a student would have to design and carry out an experiment using a specific piece of equipment, to develop a certain type of data study, or investigate a certain researchable question. I assure you, this type of work is not beyond the level of high school students and, if my own experience is any evidence, the end product is what we’re shooting for anyway.

Weekend Blog: Cross Post from DC 1776

Happy Holidays! What a year it’s been for Slate & Tablets, and what a year 2015 will be! We have many exciting things to share as the new year kicks off, however let’s start with a blog-centered announcement. After we crashed and burned at the Challenge Cup in November, DC 1776 asked if I could write for their blog! My first post was just published today, so in lieu of a weekend blog post, I’d like to direct you over there to read about the biggest trend I’d like to see pop up in educational technology. Check it out!

http://1776dc.com/news/2015/01/06/the-next-trend-in-edtech-skills-that-matter/ 

 

 

The Hour of Code Impresses Again

It’s been almost a year to date from my last post about the Hour of Code. After I am done lamenting about how fast time flies, it’s important to recognize how little has changed about this event. It is still the greatest educational event humanity has put together, and this year it was bigger and better than the last. I can’t possibly say enough about the merits of the Hour of Code, and I wrote that whole article last year raving about it.

This year, I’d like to share what we did at Greenwich High School to make the event extra special. We reserved the library computer lab all day and had teachers sign up to bring their classes to the event. Our four classes of computer programming students then led these students through the Hour of Code tutorials, many citing that it was “one of the coolest things they’d ever done”. I always preach the dangers of believing the block languages used in the Hour of Code is actual coding, since it’s not, but the teacher in me joyfully giggled when many of the students answered those inevitable questions with expertise. We invited some local press coverage to the event, and major kudos to Paul Schott who wrote this fantastic article about it. Susan Morris also took some video as well:

The major question is, has anything changed since last year? The Hour of Code remains fantastic, but what’s different about computer science education in our country? I think the biggest change is that the concept of every student learning coding in high school is now creeping into conversations on a far more frequent basis. We’ve utterly created this conversation at our school, because the enrollment in the program went from 0 to 33 to 100 in two years. 300 students participated in the Hour of Code event this year. Students are talking about it with their parents, community members talk about it with me, and I talk about it with my colleagues. Two years ago nobody cared. This is a good sign.

I’ve written about some realizations about computer programming in high school frequently on this blog. Here are two examples of the way creating this program has changed my concepts of teaching, and that hasn’t stopped. Just last week a student informed me that he was hired by a company to program part of their website on a part time basis. I’ve begun signing senior project forms: for students who plan on starting businesses creating animated films and selling products online. These are students who, from no programming to just a year and a half of experience believe that they can accomplish these goals. It doesn’t take much, clearly, but many students don’t have the opportunity because they’re stuck learning skills that can’t be translated into success. I think this is the next big step for education: teaching students how to monetize their skills. Not just computer skills, but art, writing, woodworking, and everything else. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this journey so far, it’s that students absolutely have the talent to succeed in this manner, but they need guidance, an opportunity to actually develop their creative talent, and someone to help manage their time for long term goals, since they have zero experience doing that.

 

Stony Brook’s 40 under 40 and the Importance of Alumni Connection

Tuesday night marked a fantastic occasion in the first annual celebration of Stony Brook University’s 40 under 40. Held in the beautiful 5th Avenue Empire Penthouse, it was truly a wonderful event. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the production as I was not at all expecting such a high quality affair. Everything from the musical entertainment, to the venue, to the awards ceremony was outstanding. Admittedly, I shouldn’t have been surprised, as I have been raving about the quality of my experience at Stony Brook for quite some time now, and should I be presented with the opportunity, I’d go right back for college, but this was my first interface with the alumni association to date, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Matt Meyers and Sam Stanley, president of Stony Brook University.

Matt Meyers and Sam Stanley, president of Stony Brook University.

The event gave me a chance to reflect on some issues in education that I find myself thinking about frequently. For a country that boasts some of the best universities in the world, a lot of the systems in place at the college level are strikingly absent from those in place at the high school level. These aren’t pieces that are a function of student maturity, they’re simple things like alumni connection, celebration of graduates, and others. Distinguished alumni at many schools are looked to as role models, and while every human needs role models, would you argue that those in most need of such figures are at the high schools of our country? I certainly would. Yet, there is stark contrast between the value placed on alumni by universities and by high schools. Let me illustrate.

Stony Brook University’s alumni foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that takes donations (tax deductible!) to organize events and recognitions such as the 40 under 40 event I attended. Why would this organization, and the many others like it, exist if not to promote what Universities know is important? The high school equivalent amounts to individual teachers reaching out to alumni relevant to their subject matter in hopes they might come and talk about their achievements. That, of course, is only if you get a teacher interested in that sort of thing, and if you find an alumnus willing to come share. Occasionally there will also be distinguished alumni presentations. When I was in high school, we had one for a gym teacher at the high school for 30 years, who also was a graduate. I imagine that’s about as personal as these get.

Why don’t these exist in high schools? A decreased value in networking between high school students might be the best argument, but one couldn’t possibly use the funding issue as an excuse: most alumni associations are hugely run off of donations and I’m sure local parents would donate to such a worthy cause. I actually think that, since most of the benefits of alumni associations do come from networking, we might just drastically undervalue this at the high school level. This is quite funny, considering the number of successful technology companies founded by students while they were in college, or who dropped out! They didn’t even get a chance to be a part of their University’s alumni association!

I speak a lot about this to my computer programming classes, filled with entrepreneurial-minded young students, who drill into code they don’t understand in an effort to create their own products and bring their own ideas to life. I tell them to look around. One out of every four of them will start a technology company in college, one out of six of them will work in one while they attend college, and one out of eight of them will start one during the summer between high school and college. These are just statistics of computer science graduates from high school. They have all of the reason in the world to stay in touch with each other, because many of them could have potential job offers during their freshman year of college.

We don’t speak enough about the importance of networking in high school, nor do we teach students how to do it. Just because Facebook is called a social “network” doesn’t mean students have any idea what “networking” means. Based on what many of these young adults say online, I’d say they most definitely don’t know what this means, but it’s about time we put more value on this important skill during high school. I think we’re missing the obvious here: many of these students, specifically ones in entrepreneur-creating classes, are going to be future job providers. If what we’re teaching has any value at all, we should at least be able to provide students with appropriate skills to other students looking to hire them.

In the meantime, I’ll just have to continue to thank Stony Brook University for what was an outstanding event, honor, and opportunity to meet some people doing awesome things. I couldn’t help but feel like a minnow amongst giant fish there, but if there’s one thing I thought everyone I met had in common, it’s that they were all warm and motivated people.

Congratulations Matt: Stony Brook’s 40 Under 40

A big congratulations is due to Founder and President Matt Meyers who was named to Stony Brook’s inaugural “40 under 40” class last night. Co-honorees included Mireya Mayor, host of NatGEO Wild, John Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock, and Joe Nathan, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Matt would like to thank his family for attending, and the Stony Brook Alumni Association for throwing an unforgettable event that will be a great way to recognize outstanding SBU Alumni in the future.

Challenge Cup Roundup

In what was a very busy week for Slate & Tablets, we ended the week with a great appearance at Challenge Cup NYC. This was one of the better events I’ve ever been to. It was fast paced, interesting, well supported, and for only the third year running, DC 1776 has got it down to a science. As a participant, I couldn’t have been happier with the way the event was organized and run.

Practice Night

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John and I hit the road at 3:45 for the Founders’ Dinner and pitch workshop, with a planned start at 5:30. The first thing I learned during this experience is that you should never drive to the city during the day, because by the time we got there it was night time, and we were late. While sitting in the parking lot, a.k.a. I-95, I managed to get some work done on our slides, and we went over some final strategy bits. Jason had arrived early to the event and saved us a table up front, so when we arrived and scooped up a pair of delicious chicken wings, we were ready to go.

After an outstanding overview of the competition by Evan Burfield who, by the way, clearly has the best job in the universe. He travels around the world, listens to people doing awesome things, and figures out which ones are going to have success. Jealousy insues. Anyway, after his overview, we had a coaching workshop with Brandon Pollak, who helped us out a lot with our pitch mechanics. It’s interesting “performing” for different people and hearing how differently they interpret your pitch. When you only have one chance to explain things, you can’t just clarify, like you can in class. We survived a corporate sabotage attempt from our table mates (people do that?) and spent the next hour in the room and hour in the car rehearsing the 1 minute pitch. I think I practiced a total of 250 times.

Thursday came, and I woke up still pulsing with adrenaline. Good thing because five hours of class and then the competition was probably more than most people had to do. Truth is, I love teaching, and if not for some special moments detailed ahead, it would have still been the best part of my day. The afternoon arrived, I squeezed some grading in, and headed to the train station. I was more excited than nervous, but both feelings were, at this point, rushing through me. I skittishly practiced my 1 minute on the train, and after I was fairly certain I had it down, I did one of the only things that could relax me at this point; some coding. Yep, that’s weird. I know.

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John and I arrived at the venue about two hours early (I guess our moms did something right) and went over some last minute strategy and pitch details. The event was set up in what probably was a night club turned into gladiatorial arena. I actually can’t overstate how impressed we all were with the quality of the experience as a whole. DC 1776 did an unbelievable job. I don’t know how they managed to feed everyone and have an open bar on $0 tickets, but they sure know how to organize an event.

The networking session started and it was fantastic to get to know the various people attending. You don’t really get to talk to the other startups in the competition during the workshops, and I enjoyed speaking with all of the education people and learning about their histories. Sadly, I noticed a disturbing trend, in that of the 10 education startups at the competition (not including S&T) only 3 addressed problems in schools. The two startups that went to the final round, while we were greatly impressed by the models and success of both, had absolutely nothing to do with academic success inside a school. As a society, we must not give up on this issue. There is such opportunity in educational entrepreneurship because getting into schools is difficult, but crucially important. Without innovations for schools, we truly have no hope but to repeat the problems that caused our schools to lag behind the rest of the operational world in the first place. Don’t give up.

As we waited for our 1 minute round to start, I noticed three familiar faces walk in. I had seen them for an hour earlier today – they were my programming students!

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I’m not sure what craziness incited them to train out to NYC in the middle of the week, but they certainly provided me with a moment I’ll never forget. It’s one thing to work on Slate & Tablets while teaching full time, which is a lot of work, and another to pitch the company alongside others worth $10M+. Doing all of this in front of the students, our users, for whom all of the hard work is intended is something I will never forget. We were the only company in the room who had this kind of support, and if you ask me, that’s what’s missing in ed tech. Products and people that can make others get out and sing, scream, or fight over them. The number of heated debates you hear about Apple vs. Android is insane – until we have that for an educational product our jobs are not done.

The finalist rounds began, with some surprisingly excellent pitches. It was truly an honor to be competing alongside many of these companies, who are all several years and rounds of funding ahead of us. We learned a lot about some interesting business models, and I’ll never cease to be amazed by the completely different mindsets it takes to do the pitch work and the product work. It literally requires two completely contrasting points of view to push one singular product or vision forward. I think the education winner was hard to pick, as both Campus Job and Cognotion both did an outstanding job and had innovative ways to solve problems. I’m happy that Cognotion won, which teaches entry level workers the skills they need to graduate those jobs and ascend the payroll ladder, because Campus Job is not really about education, despite it still being a needed and useful service.

After three 18 hour days this week, everyone was pretty much exhausted. I’m happy John and I took the train home, because I don’t think anyone was in a shape to drive. I was so tired I forgot my shirt from the event! Those were nice shirts too. At least the students all got one :)

Farewell from an outstanding week!

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