School 2.0

BillSchool 2.0

This is my vision for a non-profit educational facility. As such, it will probably change tremendously upon it’s collision with reality.
In recent times we have had vast changes in the knowledge available to anyone with internet access, the types of jobs available, and a decrease in the number of total jobs due to offshoring and automation.
These factors have left a lot of people unemployed, even if they have studied diligently for decades, even if they have a lot of experience in vocations that no longer exist.
My best guess is that in the immediate future there will be jobs for various types of programmers in many areas, including automation and artificial intelligence. There will also be jobs in designing and setting up automated factory systems.
Ultimately though, the best solution is to teach people to teach themselves, to rapidly become knowledgeable in new technologies. To boldly become experts where no experts existed before.
As a major part of the new ecology, we have crowdsourcing. Everyone needs to know how to use and contribute to the world in this transparent way, and the rules that have to be followed.

This is an attempt at a mission statement. (Please feel free to make comments of any sort).

Mission/goals:

To enable students to reach their maximum abilities by showing them how to get started and how to teach themselves. To encourage and motivate. To connect them to the entire world and huge open source projects. To teach them to lead, not for power and control, but to accomplish great works.
We wish to engage our students into our community, make sure that they understand and participate in our management, and can be a part of it for the rest of their lives. This will include working on large projects and research.

Infrastructure:

Each classroom will have laptops, tables and chairs for about 10 students, a projector for powerpoint viewing, a whiteboard.
Perhaps moveable walls so that we can open it up for larger events.
At least one good 3D printer. A small CNC milling machine, a small laser cutter.

Course types:

Programming
Electronics
CAD
Production, making.
Management
Creativity and Innovation.
Open Sourcing (world wide collaboration)

Course Construction:

Whenever possible, courses will be found on the internet, copied and modified to fit our standards. Teachers will provide links to original material. If possible, the modified course that we teach will be uploaded for the benefit of the whole world.
We can have classes and workshops for this subject.

Possible Courses:

Programming:

WordPress
HTML5, CSS, PHP, Javascript, SQL
Mobile apps
C++

Electronics:

Basic electronics, microprocessors, digital logic, embedded programming

CAD:

OpenSCAD, FreeCAD, Inkscape, Eagle PCB design

Production, making:

Soldering, welding, salvaging, woodcraft, 3D printing, laser cutting, injection molding

Management:

Leadership styles, Results only, Collaboration enhancement.

Creativity and Innovation:

Daydreaming, Selecting for success, Modification, Presentation

Open Sourcing (world wide collaboration):

Github, Creative Commons, Instructables, crowdfunding, Earning money with open source

Magic

For many years of my life, I searched for magic in the world. I have actually climbed mountains, walked through forests and desserts, and met with people claiming to have certain powers. I learned to meditate and alter the way I perceive the world just to catch a glimpse of something that should not be there.

In one way, I have to say that magic does not exist. If someone tries to tell you that they can walk on water or lead you to paradise, you should run the other way as fast as possible. Most of the amazing things that you hear about are either totally false or a case of a professional using special equipment to fool everyone.

 

But there is a bit of ‘magic’ in the world.

 

I find magic in the personalities of the people that I meet. Each person is different, each has experienced a different world, and you can listen to them for days while they tell you their experiences and how they perceive the world around them.

 

I have talked to many people for extended periods of time. Sometimes I tell my friends that I have found that everyone is crazy. This is just a humorous expression of my perception, because I have found that everyone drifts from reality and talks about beliefs that are obviously impossible.

 

A major problem is that we are seldom logical and rational people, fully aware and awake. More often we are emotional and reacting to events as they occur, and at some level of attention from deep sleep to day-dreaming. The average person probably is only fully awake for a few hours each day.

Rationality and logic are actually a result of extensive training, and very few people use them. Instead they rely on ‘common sense’.  Common sense is a list of ‘facts’ that authorities figures have passed on to you during your life. The problem is, was the first authority figure that created the ‘fact’ a rational and awake person? Usually, the information that we carry with us as common sense carries with it the attitudes and morals of our parents, priests, or childhood peers. The truth is that common sense is a total fabrication. The term is only used when you do not do something the exact way that someone else expected you to do it. It is really just a lack of communication.

 

 

 

What if I told you that there is a better way to think? A way to improve your level of success in the world? A ‘common sense’ approach that feels natural and yet always gives you a better result than usual? It is done by using a combination of rational thinking, emotional judgment, symbol manipulation, strategic planning, controlled attitude, and precise communication.

 

We only need to use a little bit of rational thinking, so don’t get stressed about it. We start every ‘train’ of thought with things that we know to be true. No assumptions. If your initial thoughts are based on concepts that can be proven scientifically, then they are less likely to turn into daydreams, and other people will believe you.

 

We all make emotional judgments about everything. The ‘hunch’ is actually a message from the non-verbal areas of the brain. These non-verbal areas are much larger than the thin layer that differentiates us from animals. This type of thinking made it possible for our ancestors to survive for a billion years. You must take a hunch seriously, but then filter it with logical and rational analysis to see if it fits reality.

 

Symbol manipulation is what we do very well. Language is the best example. With language we create a sound that represents a certain thing, and then share it with our friends. We use math, music and special terminology for our work. Take key concepts of any subject that you wish to discuss/understand and create/find a simple word and symbol to represent each concept. Suddenly it is much easier to manipulate that knowledge. It is condensed and easy to move about in your mind.

 

Strategic planning is not often taught in any place but military and management schools. Most people are taught to be workers, to complete any task set before them by a manager. Lower level managers are taught how to manage people. They try to get them to come to work every day, do the job, not fight, not waste time or resources, and stay until the end of the day.

But at the top there has to be someone that is a strategic planner. They have to pilot the entire organization in profitable directions. To them, people and departments are just symbols to be manipulated. They have a goal to achieve, and everything else is an obstacle, opportunity, or tool. Usually they have a time limit and a budget as the limits of their ‘playing field’.

There can only be one person at the top. But if each of us has a better understanding of what that person is trying to achieve, we can help insure that our company can reach those goals.

 

Controlled Attitude is a symbol/key-word that I use to represent the self-image that we should project to others. What I mean is that your attitude has a lot to do with success in anything that you do. If you allow yourself to act differently each day depending on how you happen to ‘feel’ at the moment, you will never be very successful.

Let us say that you want people to like you. The best way to get people to like you is to always be a happy person. No matter how you really feel, you smile at everyone that you meet and talk in a happy, up-beat manner. One bad day where you express depressed or angry thoughts will be remembered for years, and people will not feel very close to you.

On the other hand, if you want to be a successful leader, you have to project the attitude that you know exactly what you are doing, know where you are going, and inspire others to believe that if they follow you they will improve their life too.

To use this technique correctly, you must decide what your goals are, and exactly what attitude you need to project. It may take years to change a ‘bad’ attitude into a useful one. You can not fake the right attitude, you have to live it.

 

Precise communication is essential to powerful collaboration. Say the right word at the right time with the right inflection, and the meaning that you wish to convey leaps into the minds of others like a flaming spear. Anything else is just a mush that has to be translated by the listener. Use of phrases like “that thing” or “these ones” convey nothing except the need for attention. The listener must approach and solve the mystery. The speaker may as well be invisible.

No one can read your mind. If someone has been with you long enough that they can figure out what you mean before you are done talking, you are just boring and predictable.

On the other hand, when working as a team, everyone should know the goals and direction of travel. Some things do not need to be said because they can be predicted or assumed. At those times the correct words can resonate in everyone’s mind. To say complementary words for the group makes the mind glow and the spirit leap. A snide or sarcastic remark can destroy the rhythm, break the spirit and dissipates the group.

 

Can you remember all of that? Do you think any of it is wrong? Perhaps you know of something else that can be added to the list. Comment and I will listen. Inspire me to write more.