Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Self Discipline is twice as important than intelligence in predicting academic achievement

Self Discipline is twice as important than intelligence in predicting academic achievement

This is a fascinating article that confirms one of the most common sense principals known in America which is that Self-Discipline is more important than intelligence in prediciting academic achievement. Angela Duckworth applies science to this principal to prove that the principals of self-discipline and nurturing this within our children is important to their success in life. If intelligence is hard-wired and we are constrained by our gene pool then this provides some insight into one of the factors that allows students to succeed.

How do you foster self-discipline is a more involved topic which requires a blog by itself but here are a couple of tried and true ways to start the process. Structure, Sports and Self are the three most important things to provide a child. I grew up in a household which had a tremendous amount of structure around a couple of very important things---school, religion and sports. We had a lot more freedom when it came to other things but as long as we took care of business in these areas. Each day when we came home from school we were able to get a snack and then we had to immediately do our homework. After our homework was done we could do anything we wanted before we had to go to swim practice. This structure and routine to our daily routine put the priorities on the things that were important to our parents.

Swimming was another great sport for developing self-discipluine for a couple of reasons. If you wanted to be good at swimming you had to practice which meant dedication to the sport and attending practice on a regular basis. Swimming teaches the creation of developing goals and then working hard to achieve them. Swimming also

The development of "self" is an important aspect of self-discipline. A child that knows who they are is able to work within their talent and capabilities to achieve. This comes from learning from failure and structure and sports help teach this to the children. FAILURE is important to our children because in a very low risk environment children learn to deal with feelings, the self-esteem issues, and the most important "what do I do next". The events of failure teach the child the boundaries of their talents and give them the ability to reset goals early in life........they are allowed to "practice" responding to failure.

Some good reading on this topic:
NO: Why Kids--of All Ages--Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It (Hardcover)
Get it now

Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (Paperback)
Get it now

Saso Seminars (if you live in the Bay Area then here is a good resource)
Go there now

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Return of the Porta-People

In an new take on teleconferencing technologies, a rotating display holds forth at the weekly meeting. This is innovation at it's best. In the interest of Globalizing knowledge this opens the door to including more global voices in meetings and decision making. Imagine a meeting held with global members who could participate more fully. There are certain cultures who rely more on facial expressions or physical expression to communicate more effectively. This is something that has been left out of phone conference calls. Cisco has been promoting their technology http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2006/ts_121206.html?CMP=ILC-001 via their voip and video phones. However, they usually only accomodate one view of another conference room. This technology would allow for each individual to be represented in the meeting individually.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sun Microsystems CEC--Globalizing Knowledge in Practice

Control does not equal success. Oracle and HP are struggling with this problem. HP lost their way recently because they wanted more control. So I am here at CEC one of the best engineering conferences on the planet. Why? Because it is all about Sharing. Sun brings its most talented customer engineering staff together to share, learn, share, teach, build relationships and did I say Share. This is done with one purpose in mind to convert implicit knowledge to tacit knowledge for the benfit of our customers. Sharing makes Sun Smarter.

We are waiting for Jonathon at the moment to give us the end of conference speech to all of us and they are giving awards for the best conference video. What a great company to be surronded by such talented people. You got to check out the videos which I will send you a link to in an edited version of this conference later tonight. Sun gets that knowlede is power not only by the tag line of the conference which is "Share" remember it comes before success in the dictionary. Anyone who has read Tanaka's works on knowledge management gets the process of moving tacit knowledge into implicit knowleddge (that is moving knowledge inside someone's head into knowledge that everyone can use for the benefit of customers, the world, your nation or more importantly your family and your community).

Technology is good at making us faster, safer and better at killing each other, but rarely about fun (Michael Hawley, explaining the MIT media lab, 1986). Sun helps make technology FUN. The one-minute Participation Age (pervasive computing, enabled by large scale networks, with plenty of storage). "Social software has to be more software than social." Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation at the Sun WWERC. At the end of the day social computing, web 2.0, mobile phones, etc. are all about Software. Would you recommend that your son or daughter get into the software industry? YES.....it is all about Software.

What Sun does best?
What are the challenges today? Privacy, Security, Trust, Scale and standards. In a participation age where everyone is moving from different viral video, content sites, to different devices they need to be able to trust that these sites take security and privacy seriously. This is what we do best at Sun. Compare Solaris to Linux in security (Solaris has Trusted Extensions, the Cryptographic Framework, etc.) Sun has the number one identity product (www.gartner.com, www.forrester.com)

Why is FUBU important? www.fubu.com is important because it is a great example of a company that incorporates it's brand in everything that they do. This is the reason why you will see Jonathon and all of us at Sun blogging and SHARING as we believe in the power of knowledge and innovation.

One of the early forms of knowledge transference in early societies was storytelling. Great storytellers in societies were reverred for their ability to transfer information. Sun needs to get better at storytelling. This is a powerful way for us to SHARE Sun's story about Solaris, Security, Storage, lot's of great things start with S. If you want a great way of doing this in a team check out the following blog

Other examples of knowledge creation in the 21st Century of knoweledge creation and innovation is the mashup camp. Yahoo gots lots of local press on this last weekend when they did this to emphasize their new Web 2.0 products.

Sun's Vision
Jonathon is on stage now and he is giving us insight and reminders about Sun's vision. Hmmmm we may have heard this before but there is no better truism.

The network is the computer. Everyone and everything participates on the network. Check out how many blogs, photos, etc. that provide content to the network. Now you can buy devices to track kids in Disneyland. Scott said that is not "big brother" but "dad". BP has drill bits that have sensors that allow them to be steered more efficiently. Tankers have sensors, FedEX has RFID. Network clients are proliferating which is good for Sun. Volume drives value for Sun. The more people who have clients that access the network means more Solaris implementations, more servers, more storage. How are you going to make money when IT is becoming a commodity? Didn't BP make more profit then Sun made revenue. They sell a commodity. Commodity companies make money by differentiating and innovation. Sun knows how to innovate because we will never stop spending on R&D.

Traditional approaches at companies create silos. Sun's strategy is to use the knoweldge in the company, whether it lives in Storage, Software, Server's, to benefit the customer. One good example of this is that our servers will run Linux, Windows, and btw Solaris. Sun must be multi-platform this allows our customers to get access to all of the value at Sun. We have no value for our customers if we do not work with competitors. Btw...this aligns with Share. Jonathon was very clear......We will run Solaris on Dell.

Solaris is Sun's # 1 Competitive Asset. We won WSJ's Technology Innovation award in Software for D-Trace a feature in Solaris. Solaris is also one of the security rich operating systems on the market by default. You don't need to purchase add on packages to get access to containers, ZFS, the cryptographic framework. And btw in case you missed it above.....it runs on Dell.

Homework is Boring!

I was recently perusing the Sun blog site and found a link to a fellow parent that was wondering if Homework is boring so I sent him a comment on his article.

Homework especially the kind given to most kindergarden and first grade students is worthless busy work which reinforces two things: one, that school is tedious and boring; two, very seldomly the lessons learned during the day. The publishers have a very vested interest in pushing this message because they sell more books. You can even see this in the number of testing publishers www.ctb.com, www.ncspearson.com and www.riverside.com that are promoting earlier and earlier testing. Some of this is driven by the US falling test scores internationally and that some nations, UK start agressive education at age 4. My son would have been attending full day school at age 4-5 in UK and expected to read a whole year earlier than in the US. The system there as well still targets the best and brightest and syphons them off into narrow one subject centered education programs by age 16. There university participation rates still fall well behind the US in that they only send 16% to University when only a decade ago it was 8%. The numbers increase is mainly driven by the older members of their society realizing what they missed going back to school at a poly technic or to get that degree they missed

Having said all that……I am not sure you have your daughter boycott the homework. Just welcome her to the machine and find ways to stimulate the creative thinking necessary to be successful in the participation age.

Good luck……
The Eduwonk

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Globalize this.....Knowledge

Tony Blair was in Silicon Valley the other day and during a break from the heat he sat down for an hour with some of the brightest men and women in the valley. The objective of the visit was to determine how he can foster and enable innovation in IT within Britain. In short, what contributed to the creation and success of Silicon Valley....the ultimate cluster of knowledge power. Jonathon Schwartz, one of the newest members of the elite crowd wrote about this conversation in his blog. You can read the whole text at the link but you can take away two things from the conversation is that education is the key to Silicon Valley's success and two there is a very concrete risk that the current education system may not be as good as it was 20 years ago.

Education has been the key to success in the Silicon Valley. Where can you find in such close proximity the wonderful education institutions that we are lucky to have. Stanford and University of California Berkeley are just two. There is the University of Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, University of California of San Francisco, Califorinia State University San Jose, St. Mary's, University of Santa Cruz, etc.

Some people know this fact that the first two letters in Sun Microsystems was created from the roots of the company---Stanford University.

Having said all that one of the other things that was noted in the discussion was that most of the members of the meeting with Tony Blair were products of public education. However, Steve Jobs astutely asked the next question which was "how many of the people in the room were sending their kids to public institutions?". And, not too many raised their hands. The key to our past success may not contribute to our future success. The critical needs of our knowledge economy requires us to take this problem seriously. We need to support higher standards, find solutions to elevate the learning of our large influx in immigrant populations, and reward teachers for educational excellence.

It is imperative for our future.....for Knowledge is Power.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stanford gives away knowledge for free, Network is the computer

Did anyone see this today?

First virtual high school for the gifted

Stanford has created a prep school on the internet. For years, they have offered courses during the summer time and via the internet to students who wanted to audit a course or get additional AP credits for their impending college application. But, they have gone all out and attempted to fill the void for those who are bored with their high school offerings or non-existent high school offerings. It is especially interesting if they take it as far as some schools have done, like in Colorado, where they have created virtual high schools accessing state funding for those students. Stanford is relying on the affluent parents or supergeeks to enroll in the new service. This is just following the lead of the universities that have had elearning and distance learning programs for decades.

As we know though one of the major barriers to the successful business models is the cost of hardware needed to serve up the courses. Stanford may be able to afford this for the 12,000 per student fee. How will eCollege do it?

Maybe the answer is just in their backyard......The Network is the Computer

Globalize knowledge now.

Internet in every Indian home

China, India, Africa make up three of the largest land masses and largest population groups outside of the developed world but only account for a fraction of the internet users in the world. However, with great advances in e-learning and knowledge acquisition via the internet channel this channel may provide an even bigger revolution than the industrial revolution did in Western Europe and America. Many used ambitious terms to describe the internet revolution in the past two decades like knowledge revolution or the information age but without the mass adoption globally the true revolution has yet to occur. The missing ingredient to the revolution is ACCESS.

Finding the answer to the digital divide has been the missing ingredient in this revolution, like the steam engine was the missing ingredient in the

Who are the companies that are leading this new revolution? Sun Microsystems and Google. You ask how? Well take a look at an exerpt from a recently published article by the Next Inning http://www.nextinning.com
From the report: "One of the huge challenges for emerging nations is the price
of the computer needed to access the Internet. We've seen initiatives, including
one that proposes to give away literally millions of hand-cranked computers that
cost an estimated $150, to help spread Internet access capabilities to the
people of emerging nations more quickly. However, all of these strategies have
drawbacks. A scheme using 'Network Computers' would be cheaper..."

The full text version can be found here. http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060412/phw030a.html?.v=1

But so we all found out during the first revolution "Content is King" or "Queen" whatever your preference may be so this is where it is really important to pay attention......Google will survive only if it's content is relevant to the third world and or assets are relelvant. The Google initiative with digitizing books will make knowledge relevant to the next revolution.

How will others contribute to the final stages of this revolution? Can companies successfully monetize this strategy or is it truly for the great good of humanity? Surely those that rant against the virtues of globalization do not see the potential positives that will ride on the commercial coattails of Walmart, Global Warming and continents and people crossing the digital divide.