2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2012 12:38 PM by Bonnie Feather

    Let's read together and discuss Steve Jobs' Biography

    Bonnie Feather

      Have you read Steve Jobs' Biography yet?  I am only starting it, but I was impressed that his adoptive parents recognized early that he was "smarter" than they were and fought for his schools to challenge him.  Though they were high school dropouts, they said to school authorities "It's up to the school to keep him challenged" and out of trouble.  And they had to work hard to move him to schools that could provide him with what he needed as a learner to keep him involved in school.  In addition, he speaks of one teacher in particular who was able to bribe him into learning until he found that learning itself was a reward.


      The book is titled "Steve Jobs" and is available through Amazon, with a good discount on used copies.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm listening to it since I have a subscription to Audible.com


      If you have an interest in discussing one of the great thinkers of our time; certainly one of the greatest innovators; please grab a copy, borrow it from a friend, check it out at your library, and join in!  I can't wait to *hear* what a group of dynamic educators think of the book and the life it describes!



        • Re: Let's read together and discuss Steve Jobs' Biography

          Hi Bonnie,

          I downloaded it from Amazon.  It is such an interesting read. I remember my first Apple IIE. It worked without fail every time.  After reading the first chapter of “Steve Jobs”, I gleamed that the quality of Jobs’ work and work ethic stemmed from him observing his adopted father‘s craftsmanship and his ability to work on cars as well as the Eichler’s clean design and simply constructed low-income homes. The appreciation of the work Eichler placed in his homes instilled in Jobs a passion for making nicely designed products for the mass market.  From his father he got his love for electronics.  His father exposed him to a lot of little things that help set the stage for apple family of products. It is amazing what young children observe while traveling with parents. I got my love of baking observing my mother.  What skill or talent did you get from your parents?

            • Have you read Steve Jobs' Biography?
              Bonnie Feather

              Steve Jobs did indeed get some of his interests from his parents, and like many others, some of the interests turned into skills! 


              My mother could not operate any technology, even a point-and-shoot camera.  I believe this was due to cultural mores of her time, since she was a brilliant and capable woman. She frequently said to me, however, "You are the master of the machine; it's not the other way around." 


              When I began student teacher, back in the dark ages, I was sent to the office to make some extra copies of a handout on the Gestetner machine- yes, this was even before the purple-text "ditto" machine.  I got very frustrated with it and there was no one around to assist.  I channeled my mother and decided it was just a machine, and it had to be logical, and that I could master it.  It worked!


              I believe firmly that this is why I have had a certain amount of success with educational technology.  I was never fearful of it, and I loved learning new ways to bring it to my students for their learning and experience.


              Thanks, Mama!


              As I continue reading, I have noticed that he had some chagrin later in life for the way he treated his parents.  They had promised his birth mother that they would send him to college.  And they did, at great cost to them in terms of money, which meant sacrifice. He blew off the college experience ad Reed College, but even though he was allowed to attend and audit the courses he chose to take, without enrolling in a formal course of study- they allowed this.


              What do we do in schools today that might honor the students who are intrinsically motivated and "know" what they want to learn?  Do we smooth their paths, or do we put up roadblocks?  ...and how on earth would we recognize the rare students who, like Jobs, will educate themselves to "become" somebody who contributes to the world?  Kudos to Reed College for somehow recognizing this person and smoothing his path.