Cracked iPhone anyone?
For those who don't know, this summer the iPhone was cracked by a 17 year old George Hotz.
By cracking it, he made the phone able to run on different networks other that AT&T, who I'm sure was not happy about the announcement. But in the weird word of cyber -law it's ok to crack a phone, just not sell or distribute the know how.
While this is all interesting on a geeky level, the real interest for me is from the rationale of George spending 500+ hours on this 'summer project' because ultimately he was bored. And where were we, the educators, in all of this.
If George came to you with this idea, what would happen? What about all the other George's in our classes. This reminds me of another story about Ashley Qualls. A 17 year old who started a website called www.whateverlife.com that provides templates for MySpace. She's since been offered $1.5 million for the site. (Which she declined, by the way.) Again, where would be she in class and what are we offering students that want to move beyond the standard multiple choice tests.
A final note on students. We must take them seriously. Not just as another aspect of our jobs, but people to engage and learn from as much as we teach them. Recently "A 16 year-old Australian student took approximately 30 minutes to bypass a government funded content filter that took $84 million to create." [link]
Students will always find an outlet for their creativity, whether we chose to benefit from their creativity is up to us.