Tagged: students

High School Startup Talk (how-to)

This past Friday was Career Day at Ankeny Centennial High School (the high school near me). They invited me to talk about what I do in my career. I gave them several options (software engineer, consulting, entrepreneurship/startups). I was asked to speak on entrepreneurship.

Rather than just talk about me, I thought it’d be more fun (for me, but especially them) to show them how to create their own successful startup businesses.

In one of the three sessions I told the students that I was considering setting up some kind of extra-curricular “create your own startup” class, where I would mentor high-school-level students and help them create a business over the course of a semester. There seemed to be a lot of interest in it, so we’ll see where that goes.

The slides for my entrepreneurship talk are shared for viewing on Google Drive.

Feel free to use that for the basis of your own discussion of startups.

I won’t go further into the content of my talk here because I’d really rather devote several blog posts to the various points in the future.



Education Posts to Come


Photo credit: Donald Lee Pardue (flickr)

Over the coming months, I plan to write many blog posts about education – specifically about where the US system falls short and what can be done to improve it.

I’ll include lots of background information (e.g. scientific research) in psychology, human motivation, behavioral economics, etc.

Recently I started listing the topics I’d like to cover and I already have over 25 articles planned. Who knows, maybe this will turn into a book someday.

Here’s a general synopsis of what I intend to write about:

The important factors in your chances of success in life today are:

  • Having a college degree
  • Grit
  • Other non-cognitive skills
  • Being proficient in math
  • Being a self-directed learner and intrinsically motivated
  • Having a growth mindset and high self-esteem

Many of those items (besides the first one) will help you get through college (and achieve the first one) and most of those traits are interrelated.

Our schools aren’t helping students attain those skills or characteristics.

The world, and the needs of students, are way different today from when the current school system was devised.

Based on decades of research, we know of some changes that can produce major improvements in our education system.

Although we know what to do, the changes will be a major shift in thinking for some people – including teachers, students, parents, and the wider community. So care must be taken in how the changes are implemented (including proper communication, possible phased roll-outs, etc.) to increase the likelihood of overall support for them, and thus a successful implementation.

There, now that this post is out there, and you’re all dying to read my insights in all those forthcoming articles, I better get to work, lest I be shamed for breaking my promise.

(Maybe I’ll discuss that little self-control tactic in a future post, too.)