Wed, 27 May 2015
What kind of a company gets started on a road trip? In the podcasting world, what is a “double-ender”? How does a boot-strapped US-based startup company get connected with a startup incubator in Chile?
Hey there, Innovation Nation! Today’s guests have a fascinating story. If you’ve ever thought about starting a company in your spare time or if you’ve had an idea for a company in the strangest place, you’ll find some kindred spirits on today’s show.
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
These words from Steve Jobs underline the fact that innovation is driven, not by money or even other technology, but by people. Creative, observant humans are the engine of innovation. It is easy in our tech-filled world to equate new tech break throughs with underlying technological infrastructure, but in reality while currently available technology does enable future technologies, the future begins with a dream in the heart of a person.
“Even though the map to educational makerspace success remains vague, pioneers in the field are pushing forward and reporting their findings.” – Gene Roddenberry In the late 1960’s, Gene Roddenberry had a dream. He turned this dream into a television show we all know as Star Trek. In this fictional future, the crew of the USS Enterprise used a device called a tricorder. This device had the capability of reading information from it’s surroundings, geo-locating the user, taking chemical, biological, and physical data along with connecting the user to the computer in the sky aboard the USS enterprise for analysis.
Today the tricorder has largely become a reality in the smart phone and it’s supporting technologies. We are connected to the computer in the sky via our cell signals and WiFi. We can geo-locate ourselves using the GPS features on our phone. We can take a photo of an object, and the “computer in the cloud” can tell us what that object is, what it can be used for, and it’s other physical, chemical, and/or biological properties. With appropriate add-ons these devices are now also monitoring our health, connecting us to the electronics back at home, and allowing us to track other humans on the planet via their GPS signals.
It can easily be argued that the smart phone and many of it’s supporting technologies began as an idea in Gene Roddenberry’s creative imaginings. So here at Table Top Inventing we spend the bulk of our time investing in the inspiration of creativity in teenagers. We know that by feeding their fanciful imagination and then putting tools in their hands to begin exploring the possibilities, a new generation of innovators will arise quite naturally.
Just the other day, some students in our Inventor’s Bootcamp learned that hobby-grade, quad-rotor technology could be used to lift a person off the ground. Now I don’t know exactly what they will do with that knowledge as time goes on, but they are already discussing how they can improve their own DIY quad-rotor project. Perhaps they will invent an improved hoverboard like the one I saw just this week!
To find out more about Inventor’s Bootcamp, visit InventingZone.com
Speaking of innovation, today’s guests are quite familiar with the development of game-changing technology. Spencer Handley, Hannah Russell-Goodson, and Josh Lankford recently started a small company called PodClear. Their technology is already revolutionizing how I am conducting podcast interviews. Listen in for engagingly clear answers in today’s podcast!
Original Release Date: 5/28/15
Direct download: 037_-_Changing_the_Game_with_PodClear.mp3
Category:Makers and Innovators -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT
Wed, 20 May 2015
How can educators integrate geeky-ness with accessibility? How important is documenting our learning to the larger educational community? and What exactly is a Kreg jig?
Hey there, Innovation Nation! You are going to love today’s guest. He is a master of fun with technology. A good friend of mine, Tim, told me back in graduate school that we became physicists because physicists have the coolest toys! I could not agree more, and physicists have believed this for a very long time. In fact, Carl Gauss, a physics-famous pioneer from the early 1800’s said,
“It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment.” –Carl Friedrich Gauss
Learning is indeed a quest, and even though it may be hard at times, it is most definitely fun. Around here we call that “hard fun”, a term we lovingly adopted from the Pepperdine OMET/MALT program. Hard fun is a way of life. Life is indeed hard–sometimes very hard–but we are dedicated to having fun in the process! Learning without fun causes boredom and has killed many powerful learning opportunities. On the other hand, learning without hard work does not engender a strong feeling of accomplishment or excitement upon completion. By marrying the two, learning experiences become both profound and deeply satisfying–a recipe for educational ecstasy.
Perhaps that imagery is a little more powerful than you were ready to hear today, but I would like to challenge you to think bigger when it comes to the educational experiences you observe and create. We began asking ourselves what was possible to learn in a few short days, and out of that question grew one of the most fun and challenging experiences we have ever seen in the education of teenagers. We keep talking about the Inventor’s Bootcamp experience because we have seen teenagers face almost insurmountable technical challenges, time after time, and continue to find enjoyment in the over-the-top difficulty level of the experience. The students keep telling us, “It was hard, but really fun!”
You can find out more about Inventor’s Bootcamp by visiting http://www.InventingZone.com or by clicking on the Inventor’s Bootcamp button on the TTInvent.com website.
Today’s guest is no stranger to “hard fun”. Josh Burker is an educational technologist with extensive experience. He particularly enjoys making technology “invisible” as well as extremely accessible which is a skill many teachers would like to see in their tech department. Josh has honed his skills and become a recognized expert on “Hard Fun”, and his new book called “The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun” shares his extensive toolbox! Listen in for lively answers in today’s podcast!
Original Release Date: 5/21/15
Direct download: 036_-_Hard_Fun_with_Josh_Burker.mp3
Category:Technology Educators -- posted at: 11:17pm PDT
Wed, 13 May 2015
How can you get your Kickstarter idea funded? Is it possible to be immune to a brain freeze? What would cause successful college students to abandon their degrees?
Hey there, Innovation Nation! Today we’re talking entrepreneurship, and at the center is one of my favorite topics – learning how to learn. Alexander Pope said,
“A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.” …learning how to learn itself is a really dangerous skill to have. Once tasted, the spring of knowledge spoils our ability to live an average life."
His assertion was that if we learn, we should go all the way. On the podcast today, Andrew Lien asserts that the idea of learning how to learn itself is a really dangerous skill to have. Once tasted, the spring of knowledge spoils our ability to live an average life.
We believe this idea so strongly that we’ve built a whole company around it, including one of our favorite activities–Inventor’s Bootcamp. We fill a room with 3D printers, embedded processors, sensors, 3D design software, and computers for programming, and then set students free to discover that ever dangerous idea: I can learn on my own. In every class, several students are set free to discover the universe without the limits imposed by others.
To find out more about the Inventor’s Bootcamp visit http://www.InventingZone.com or you can just visit http://www.TTInvent.com and click the Inventor’s Bootcamp button.
Our guests from JuiceBoxx today do not sugar coat their feelings about formal learning. They aren’t hostile to traditional learning, but they have learned how to learn, and that, my friends, has proven to be a very dangerous skill for them.
Original Release Date: 5/14/15
Direct download: 035_-_Powering_Innovation_with_JuiceBoxx.mp3
Category:Makers and Innovators -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT
Wed, 6 May 2015
Do you need a patent to make money on a great idea? What choices to inventors have to bring their ideas to market? Can you start a successful business as an art major?
Hey there, Innovation Nation! Today we’re talking inventing–one of my favorite subjects–and I just read a great quote by the business strategist Gary Hamel:
“As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it’s laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe – we are happiest when we are creating.”
I agree whole-heartedly as does my guest on the podcast today, inventing coach Stephen Key. I just lose track of time when I’m creating something, whether it be a recipe I’m developing or a 3D design I’m making and printing in our 3D printing lab. I am truly happiest when I’m creating.
We believe this idea so strongly that we’ve built a whole company around it, including on of our favorite activities–Inventor’s Bootcamp. We fill a room with 3D printers, embedded processors, sensors, 3D design software, and computers for programming, and then set students free to discover that ever dangerous idea: I can learn on my own. In every class, several students are set free to discover the universe without the limits imposed by others.
To find out more about the Inventor’s Bootcamp visit http://inventing.zone or you can just visit http://www.TTInvent.com and click the Inventor’s Bootcamp button.
Our guest today is a well-known inventor and coach to upcoming inventors. His students have been on the television show “Shark Tank”, and most of us have probably used one or more products designed and licensed by Stephen Key. Today’s interview is a peak into the mind of a great inventor.
Original Release Date: 5/7/15
Direct download: 034_-_Inventing_and_Licensing_with_Stephen_Key.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 9:00pm PDT