The idea behind this stems from a reading of Outliers: The Story of Success, by award winning author Malcolm Gladwell, of The Tipping Point and Blink. The book aims to answer the question of why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential. Malcolm Gladwell dismisses the notion of the self-made success story, propelled by intelligence and talent, however, he states that the individuals who became overwhelming successes were a result of extraordinary opportunities and hidden advantages.
In the book, Gladwell details the extraordinary circumstances of Bill Gates and Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems. They had access to computers and programming early on in their lives, an extraordinary circumstance because very few in the world had that opportunity and support system for working on computer terminals. Some of the major factors that Malcolm Gladwell attributes to the extraordinary success are access to software, facilities, and facilitators in a time where few students had access. Bill Joy and Bill Gates were able to spend countless hours, at a young age, learning and engaging with what was going to become the future. The 21st century student will need to be prepared for 21st century challenges in the workforce, and the global economy. I want students to be exposed to the future of technology, in hopes that we are able to create some of the extraordinary greats such as Bill Gates and Bill Joy.
Bill Gates and Bill Joy were beneficiaries of a special program that gave them early access to cutting edge technology, and a support system that linked their achievement with additional resources. This program is that opportunity to give students access to tools that very few in the world have access to, and enabling them to be leaders by having their software created for their schools, communities, and homes.
Coupling this concept with the “engagement gap” by linking learning with student interests, the students can create a plethora of applications based on their interests and the needs in their communities, schools, and homes -- empowering them as instant leaders.