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Tuesday, February 28

Innovator Profile - Steve Jobs

Posted by Leslie

You can’t have a conversation about great American innovators without including Steve Jobs. He led Apple in the creation of exciting and engaging technical products that have changed the world as we know it. You may be reading this very article on your iPad, or maybe you’ll forward it to colleagues with your iPhone. But how did Steve Jobs become a great innovator, and what are the core beliefs that led him there?

It’s not surprising that his educational background was unconventional. He learned what he wanted to learn, guided by key principles that those of us in the education field already know to be extremely effective.

“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement,” says internationally recognized leader in education development Sir Ken Robinson. “And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.”

Jobs’ early development certainly bears this out. His mother taught him to read before he ever attended elementary school. (Again, we know that involved parents make for better education.) He’s said that he thought of himself as a “humanities person” as a kid who also happened to like electronics. After he dropped out of college, he continued to direct his own learning by persuading professors to allow him to attend just the courses he wanted to take. Through those courses, Jobs developed an understanding of graphics and fonts, which he later applied to computer technology. When he was eventually fired from Apple, Jobs said he wanted to continue creating things. We’re certainly fortunate that he did.

His own rules for success in innovation were simple:
1. Be passionate. Do what you love in order to persevere during the tough times.
2. Be a talent scout. You need a team of great people.

Those rules can help those of us who are inspired to make the impact of a visionary in the field of education. Every child is inherently creative and innovative; they just don’t know it yet. So are teachers. We can all be education innovators ourselves and help kids to tap into their own creativity and ability to innovate.

Steve Jobs’ life can inspire the innovators in us all. Click here for a 9-minute video summary of his fascinating life.

(Image via Digital Trends)