Understanding Engineers with Joanie Connell

“Let your kids be bored…  When you’re bored and you have time to let your mind wander, that’s when you have time to be creative.  Structuring and feeling like we have to be in an “educational moment” at all times has taken away that opportunity for kids to explore and figure things out on their own.”  –Joanie Connell, PhD

 Get updates every week.
Subscribe in iTunes, YouTube, or Libsyn!

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in LibsynYouTube-Button
 

Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcast

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • How much does work-life balance matter to today’s professionals?
  • Why do people communicate differently on email vs phone vs face-to-face?
  • What are the effects of helicopter parenting on the kids we are trying to protect?

Today’s podcast will reveal the answers to these crucial questions.

Welcome to the Table Top Inventing Online Radio Show.  Every week we interview successful individuals from across the career spectrum and share their stories.  The best information on how to raise intelligent, curious, successful kids is out there, and we’re collecting it into one place on our on-demand radio show.

Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcastToday’s guest is particularly well-acquainted with the pitfalls surrounding current trends in parenting and education.  Joanie Connell is a PhD psychologist with a degree in engineering who coaches high-performing professionals.  In her work with these high-profile individuals, she has become painfully aware of some glaring issues in modern parenting and education habits.

Let’s jump straight into this action-packed interview.

Joanie and I discussed things I’ve believed for quite some time, but she brings the psychological and social credibility.  Her background in engineering and work with professionals strikes a curious juxtaposition with the stories and woes of executives with unmotivated kids.

I loved her advice to just let kids be bored sometimes.  It’s so easy as parents to feel like we must be in an “educational moment” all the time, but Joanie’s wisdom says we should back-off and allow kid’s natural curiosity take over.

I couldn’t agree more.  Our whole Inventor Camp framework revolves around letting kids jump into the deep end of the pool to see if they can figure out how to swim.  Standing back while kids discover things on their own inspires more learning than over-scheduling or helicoptering ever can.

It is a hard thing to let our kids face life on their own.  I know.  I have teens too.  But you don’t have to take this road alone.  Sign your kids up for Inventor Camp and become a part of a growing community of parents who are learning to pull back on the helicoptering.  Head over to our Inventor Camp page and sign your teen up for the best summer of their lives!

We’ll help you step back and let your teenager step up.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

Click here to go to the top of the page

Guest Bio

Dr. Joanie B. Connell is an organizational consultant and leadership coach who specializes in maximizing leadership potential.  She works with companies to attract, develop, and retain top talent.  She works with individuals to improve their success and happiness in their careers.  She is also an author of the book “Flying without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life“.

As a consultant, Joanie develops leaders across generations.  She coaches executives and youth at Flexible Work Solutions.  She consults with organizations in a variety of areas, including executive leadership development, diversity, generations, flexible work arrangements, work-life balance, life transitions, character and ethics, team building, and virtual teams.   Her clients are from Fortune 100 companies, not-for-profit, and government agencies and high tech, biotech, healthcare, finance, legal and other industries.

As a professor, she teaches/has taught business and psychology students of all ages at the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego, the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management at Alliant International University, and in the Masters in Human Behavior program at National University.

Joanie earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Joanie is available to consult, coach, present keynote speeches, and make media appearances.  She also likes to write guest blog posts.

Click here to go to the top of the page

 

 

Joanie Connell in Paris - Table Top Inventing Podcast

Favorite Quote

Muriel-Strode-Quote

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” ­­Muriel Strode

About a Teacher

“Ms. Spanuolo was one of my high school English teachers. I never liked English because I thought it was boring until she came along. She inspired me to enjoy classic literature to the point where I took her AP English class. She not only taught me how to appreciate literature, but also to keep an open mind. Look how far I’ve come; now I’m a writer!”

Something Joanie learned recently…

“I just got a new scheduling app called ScheduleOnce. It allows me to send a link to someone to schedule a meeting with me at times I have already selected to be available. It’s a great app, but I also decided to try it for personal calls. I sent the link out to a few friends around the world whom I hardly ever talk to and we scheduled time to meet via Skype. It was so much fun!”

Something Joanie made recently…

“The last thing I made was a coaching tool to help people think about their beliefs and assumptions behind their thoughts and actions. I created a model based on research in the field and wrote up an example to go with it that people could relate to.”

Additional Notes

Connect with Joanie:

Additional Links:

Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcast

Click here to go to the top of the page

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

“I was more interested in Engineers than in Engineering.”  –Joanie Connell, PhD


I’m trying to help communicate to this younger generation and their parents that we’re so focused on the “education piece” on the getting into college and getting the “right” education that we’re losing touch with the other important life skills…  My new book is about taking these lessons learned from successful people in the workplace and bringing their wisdom to younger people.  It’s not just about getting A’s or taking AP English.  It’s about being independent, having the resilience to bounce back after a failure.  It’s about being creative–a skill we are losing by over-scheduling children.  –Joanie Connel, PhD


Helicopter parents are working a lot harder to help their kids–with the best intentions–to be successful in life, but the helicoptering is what’s holding them back from being independent individuals who can be resilient and communicate effectively.  –Joanie Connell, PhD


Let your kids be bored…  When you’re bored and you have time to let your mind wander, that’s when you have time to be creative.  Structuring and feeling like we have to be in an “educational moment” at all times has taken away that opportunity for kids to explore and figure things out on their own.  –Joanie Connell, PhD

 

Joanie Connell at the Harvard Book Club Meeting - Table Top Inventing podcast

Joanie Connell at the Harvard Book Club Meeting

Click here to go to the top of the page

 

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Young Makers with Peggy Healy Stearns

“Education is more than knowing answers.  It is important to be curious… and as we discover ourselves in the context of community, we have a chance to find our own voice and develop the courage to express ourselves.” –Peggy Healy Stearns

 Get updates every week.
Subscribe in iTunes, YouTube, or Libsyn!

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in LibsynYouTube-Button
 

085 - Peggy Healy Sterns

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • Can you learn to write software without programming experience?
  • How is educational software unique?
  • How important is technical confidence for young learners?

Join us for a look at technology through the lens of educational software.

Welcome to the Table Top Inventing Online Radio Show.  Every week we interview successful individuals from across the career spectrum and share their stories.  Hearing the stories of others who have been down a tricky path and navigated to success has a way of inspiring confidence that I too could find success.

Today’s guest, Peggy Healy Stearns, began developing and writing educational software on some of the very earliest personal computer systems.  What was the road like?  What lessons has she learned about the intersection between technology and education?

Buckle up for a fun journey through the development of some of the best selling educational software inspired by the advent of the personal computer.

Every now and then, I have a guest who completely educates me on the history and perspectives of a particular aspect of education.  Peggy has seen educational software from one end to the other.  There probably isn’t a trend in ed software in the past 30 years she hasn’t touched.

Sometimes it’s just good to reach out for someone else’s expertise, and I’m so glad I get the opportunity every week to be educated by some of the best minds in the country.

If you think you might like a little extra help inspiring your teens this summer, point your browser to the ttinvent.com website and find Inventor Camp.  This summer at Inventor Camp, teenagers across the country will be inspired to try on the title “Inventor”.  Your kids may need a little push to start, but just like Alex, after the first day at Inventor Camp, they’ll be hooked.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

Click here to go to the top of the page

Guest Bio

Peggy’s mission is to empower and inspire students, teachers and parents with compelling learning experiences and easy-to-use software that supports both formal and informal learning environments.

Peggy is an educator, author, and the designer of eight award-winning children’s software programs, including Stationery Studio® from FableVision and The Graph Club®, Neighborhood MapMachine™, and Community Construction Kit® from Scholastic / Tom Snyder Productions. She has designed extensive curriculum and resources to support classroom implementation. Peggy’s work has earned more than three dozen national awards.

Peggy is co-founder with Glen Bull of the Fab@School coalition and lead designer of Fab@School Maker Studio, an easy digital design and fabrication web app due out winter 2015-2016 from FableVision Learning. Peggy has 20 years experience at the K12 and university levels, was a district technology coordinator, and has presented seminars and conference sessions to thousands of educators across the country.

Peggy specializes in research, concept, and design of original applications; interface, documentation, user guides, classroom activities, editorial, and professional development.

Click here to go to the top of the page

 

 

085 - Peggy Healy Sterns mountain_edit.jpg

Additional Notes

Connect with Peggy:

Additional Links:

Click here to go to the top of the page

Teachers

I would like to acknowledge two educators, neither of whom has been one of my formal teachers.

When I have questions about history or music or literature or myriad other topics, I turn to my husband, Gordon Stearns. His enormous knowledge base and ability to see connections and understand multiple points of view adds daily to my background and perspective. Gordy is also my primary editor, helping me hone my thoughts and present them more clearly. Our partnership has been a continual learning journey that has spanned decades and enriched my life.

Glen Bull, UVA Professor, brought me into the Fab@School project. When he first contacted me in January 2009, I knew little about digital fabrication, and nothing in the context of the K12 and STEM education. With Glen and the extensive network of educators with whom he connected me as guides, I have explored exciting new technologies and possibilities and was inspired to design Maker Studio It’s been an exciting, inspiring, and challenging journey ­­ somewhat akin to earning another graduate degree.

Making

My latest projects fabricated just a short time ago were two pop up cards, one celebrating Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot, and the other celebrating Peter and Paul’s book Going Places.

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

Perhaps the most meaningful learning comes from life experience and relationships.  Education is more than knowing answers.  It is important to be curious… and as we discover ourselves in the context of community, we have a chance to find our own voice and develop the courage to express ourselves.  I think that voice is the bridge to our own creative, unique potential.  –Peggy Healy Stearns


People think engineering is just about sending rockets to the moon or really complicated projects, but everything is engineered.  A toothbrush is engineered.  Everything we use is engineered, and people need to see engineering as being something that is familiar and something they can approach.  –Peggy Healy Stearns

Click here to go to the top of the page

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

I don’t like being told what to do…
asparagus
 
But have you ever tried something just because you were told to try it?
 
Yeah, my mom told me just to try my asparagus.  It looked about as appetizing as a sliver of raw alligator.  Something inside told me this was not going to be good, but I knew that slimy green stalk of mushiness stood between me and playing outside.
 
So I took the plunge.  My mom was right that it didn’t kill me, but it did make me shiver like I’d just been thawed out from an iceberg.  However, the funny thing is that, today, I love asparagus. It’s one of my favorite veggies.
 
Who do I have to thank?  Yup!  My mom.
 
I think Alex felt the same way about Inventor Camp.  The week before camp, he got into trouble and had a little penance to pay.
 
So when his dad signed him up for Inventor Camp, Alex thought it was a punishment.  He put a good face on it, because I didn’t know the background story until after camp.  To me, Alex looked like he was having a great time.
 
After camp, Alex’s dad pulled me aside to tell me the story.
 
Evidently, Alex was pretty bummed out about missing part of his break doing “something dumb like Inventor Camp.”  So the first day, Alex was basically dragged kicking and screaming to start camp.
 
However, that did not last long.
 
After the first day, Alex went on and on about what he did that day, and on the second day, he was excited to get to camp to work on his project.  I ask myself the following question all the time.
 
Why the change?
 
I don’t have a crystal ball, and even if I did, I don’t think they work on teenagers!  My best guess is that just like me with the asparagus, my preconceived opinions were getting in my way.
 
Some of the best experiences I’ve ever had were because someone else said, “Steve, come on.  You’ve got to try this!”
 
Change your teen’s world this summer.  Send them to Inventor Camp–even if they have some preconceived opinions.  Signup at http://ttinvent.com/InventorCamp.
 
Carpe Diem,
Steve
 
PS – Recently, Faith’s dad told me he originally thought Inventor Camp was like every other tech camp out there, but afterward he exclaimed, “This has been a life-changing experience for Faith.”  Sometimes kids have no idea what their passion even is until an adult helps them find it.
 
inventorCamp2016_smallPoster_allLocations
Tagged with:

Nothing compares to the first time you take the wheel of a car and feel the power and responsibility.
 
I was about 8.  My dad and I were driving in his blue Ford F-150 pickup truck.  He pulled over to the side of the road and slowed to a stop.
 
Then he said those words that changed my life.
 
“Do you want to drive?”
 
Ford Pickup 1988-500Half-believing I was dreaming, I climbed up onto my dad’s lap while he eased the truck back onto the sleepy little street we lived on.  As I took the wheel, a surge of pride and excitement washed over me.
 
Then I realized that I might run the truck off the road, and I froze.
 
My dad had to take the wheel, but a few days later he asked me again.  I tried again, and this time it was a little better.
 
This became a regular routine whenever we turned onto our quiet street until I became quite comfortable with the responsibility.
 
I have played out some form of this learning to take the reigns over and over throughout my life.  Sometimes it came very naturally, and sometimes it took a lot of practice.  In every case, though, I stepped up to the plate, swung for the fence, and eventually made things work.
 
I’ve had the same experience with students in our Inventor Camps.  When we give them the reigns, they step up and deliver outstanding results.
 
What if we did the same thing with every teacher in America?
 
What if tomorrow we decided to treat them like the professionals they are?
 
Ted Dintersmith believes this is the answer to our educational conundrums.  Listen to the TTI podcast this week to learn who Ted is and why this idea is so powerful.
 
Carpe Diem,
Steve

Succeeding at Education with Ted Dintersmith

“What if the purpose of education is purpose?…  Kids should leave school with a sense of purpose.” –Ted Dintersmith

 Get updates every week.
Subscribe in iTunes, YouTube, or Libsyn!

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe in LibsynYouTube-Button
 

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • Why would an entrepreneur and noted venture capitalist zoom in on education?

  • How serious are the educational challenges we face in the US?

  • Is there a simple path forward to creating a better education for every student?

My guest today is Ted Dintersmith, noted venture capitalist, author, and executive producer of the Sundance-acclaimed education documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed.”  Ted believes that with the best of intentions, we’re ruining the futures of our kids, and our country. He says we stubbornly cling to an obsolete education model that prepares kids for assembly line jobs that no longer exist and that failed policies have turned school into a dreary regime of testing and accountability. Worse,  he believes that even our best students learn little, as so many lose curiosity, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and sense of purpose.  Ted is fresh off a 50-state tour of schools and communities with his film, throughout which he has also seen the very best of learning experiences which have provided for Ted an inspiring vision of how schools can launch kids into lives of competence and purpose. 

There are lots of opinions about how and why we should change the education in the US. If you only take one point away from today’s show, consider this. What would happen if suddenly tomorrow we told every teacher in the country, “We trust you to turn our kids into curious, thoughtful, productive humans”?

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

Click here to go to the top of the page

Guest Bio

Ted Dintersmith is a father of two young adults, and concerned about the world’s future. He is retired from his venture firm Charles River Ventures, a top-tier early-stage venture firm, and now focuses his time, energy, and money on high-potential education-related initiatives.  He spent the fall of 2012 in New York City, selected by the President to serve as part of the delegation representing the United States at the United Nations General Assembly, where he focused on education and entrepreneurship.  Now, he is traveling way more than he ever did when he was active in venture capital.

Some four years ago, he started working on several initiatives dealing with the collision of innovation with our education system.  

Here’s what he has accomplished so far.
Mr. Dintersmith organized and funded a feature-length documentary on education that was directed by Greg Whiteley and his amazing team —Most Likely to Succeed. The film premiered at Sundance in January and has had an amazing run since.  It’s been a featured selection at more than twenty major film festivals, has been the opening night film for a half-dozen top conferences on education, and was part of a reception in November, 2015, setting up the White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools. They have an innovative distribution model for the film, encouraging schools to show the film to their community. They get hundreds of requests each week. Here’s how you can bring it to your school.

Click here to go to the top of the page

 

 

dintersmith04Mr. Dintersmith co-authored a book on education with Tony Wagner, which was released on August 18th to strong critical acclaim.  Check out this Chicago Tribune review and order a copy.

He recently gave a TEDx Talk in Fargo, North Dakota, to an audience of 1,700.

He has written several articles which have gotten lots of traction. Love the way social media can give an article real reach. The best include:

Mr. Dintersmith is active on Twitter (@dintersmith) and would love it if you followed him.

Currently his is off and running on a tour with the film, going to all fifty states. His goal is to bring together people in each state and encourage them to form their own modern “Committee of Ten” — and lay out the goals and objectives they have for their graduates, and support the innovations and changes needed in their schools to make these goals a reality for their students. The tour began on September 14 in Lexington, Kentucky, and will run throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Check out his blog for progress to date.

Mr. Dintersmith has had some defining experiences that have shaped his views on education. HIs career has been all about innovation and entrepreneurs, so he understands what our 21st Century economy will be like, and what types of capabilities will be required.  Along with his wife and two kids, Mr. Dintersmith took a remarkable year-long trip around the world in 2007-2008 (www.dintersmith.org), and home-schooled (or maybe world-schooled) their kids during that year. Their kids have been in several schools, with differing styles and in different parts of the country, and had some outstanding experiences as well as some clunkers.

What Mr. Dintersmith finds shocking is that schools aren’t preparing our kids for life in the 21st Century. Surrounded by innovation, he believes that our education system is stuck in the 19th Century. The skills and capabilities our kids need going forward are either ignored or outright trampled.  Here’s a talk presenting his views on education, and why our nation’s future depends on wholesale change in our priorities.  And here’s a much shorter talk he gave at William and Mary’s Convocation ceremony, welcoming the class of 2018 to the college.

Mr. Dintersmith is now on a mission — changing our education system so that it promotes, instead of vitiates, innovative kids. He is hoping to influence things nationally, but with four orders of magnitude fewer resources than the Gates Foundation. He is supporting initiatives he feels have high potential (see Portfolio) and bringing his film all over the nation in the fall. 

Mr. Dintersmith holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the Stanford University, concentrating on Mathematical Modeling and Optimization Theory. He also holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary, where Mr. Dintersmith graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with high honors, in Physics and English.

 

Additional Notes


Connect with Ted
:

Additional Links:

Click here to go to the top of the page

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

“What if the purpose of education is purpose?  Wouldn’t it be interesting if we said we should be using these precious years when children are in school to help them understand that they have skills and talents and passion and perseverance to making their world better in ways they define through vehicles they create.  Really what we should accomplish with our kids is they leave school with a sense of purpose.” –Ted Dintersmith


“What if the purpose of education is purpose?… Kids should leave school with a sense of purpose.” –Ted Dintersmith


“I have lived in startups that failed, and failure isn’t great. You learn from it, but if you told me that I could either succeed or fail, I’ll take success every time. What is really debilitating is the fear of failure. What you find with people who do really well in the world of innovation is that failure doesn’t worry them. They say, ‘if setbacks occur I’ll figure my way out of it.'” –Ted Dintersmith


 Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. –John W. Gardner

Click here to go to the top of the page

Tagged with: , , , , , ,