Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Education Evangelist, delivered the keynote message at the Horizon Council General Membership Meeting on Friday, May 27 to a packed house of close to 200 attendees. Casap is responsible for working across all internal teams at Google that impact education. He also works with educational organizations around the world, helping to find ways to improve the quality of education through technology. Casap was part of the original team that launched Google Apps for universities and in K-12 schools and was instrumental in getting Chromebooks into schools.
As a first-generation American, born and raised by a single mother on welfare in Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y., Casap understands and appreciates the power education has on changing the destiny of a family. Casap began his address by simply stating “Education disrupts poverty.” Instead of asking a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Casap says our society should be asking, “What problem do you want to solve when you grow up, and more importantly, what skills do you need to solve that problem?”
A key skill the next generation needs to solve problems lies in computer science. Casap quoted a statistic that currently the state of Florida has 22,500 computer science job openings, paying an average salary of $75,000 per year, yet only 2,100 Florida students will graduate with a computer science degree.
He went on to say that technology is now core to everything we do. We have a generation who has no idea what the world was like without smartphones or Google. With that said, he proposes changing the way we think about teaching Generation Z. “How they think about learning is different,” Casap stated. “We have to remember that these kids just go out and learn.” The world we live in today is defined by iteration, continually updating a process to reach the best outcome. Casap believes educators do not do this well. Grading systems in the majority of schools are outdated and team work is not look upon favorably. Today’s work environments require team-based efforts in lieu of individual work. Yet, in education, collaboration is considered ‘cheating.’” He asked, “How can we effectively teach collaboration skills in that sort of an environment?”
Casap believes converting information into intelligence is the key to successfully educating youth and a culture shift is needed towards student-driven learning and more experimental learning models. He said, as this happens, “Nothing is more important than having great teachers in our classrooms.” He emphasized that teachers need support, be well paid, and have access to continuing education for themselves. For more coverage on Jaime’s visit click on the links below:
Watch the NBC-2 story on Casap’s visit here.
Read The News-Press article here.
For photo gallery click here.