To Whom It May Concern… in other words

I have often thought about what fires my passion and my curiosity, and I keep coming back to the same idea. Apple. While my passion for and curiosity about technology certainly precedes my introduction to computers, it clearly exploded once I got my hands on my first Apple IIe. For me, that initial experience (and the IIgs that followed it and the very, very long string of Macs and iDevices that have followed since) defined (and continues to define) my professional life. Moreover, as anyone who knows me well can attest, they have an enduring and profound positive effect on my personal life as well.

Had there never been an Apple Computer, I would certainly still be interested in technology (see my previous post). But I am just as certain it would not be with the same enthusiasm and zeal. For me, Apple is a company that inspires. As one might expect, I know quite a number of people involved with technology, both through my years in education and through my years in the private sector. But, of those hundreds (perhaps thousands) of self-described “geeks,” I cannot name one who expresses the same passion, the same excitement for their Dell or HP or Lenovo that I have for my Mac.

In the late 90s, when Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple Computer, the company adopted the famous “Think different” ad campaign. At the heart of this campaign was a kind of mission statement aligning creativity, genius and change titled “To the crazy ones.” This manifesto spoke to me at a very basic level. While I suppose I may have always known, it brought forward in my consciousness the fact that I could use technology to change the world.

So I do.

As a technology coach, my passion and curiosity are the backbone of how I work. Those with whom I have worked express appreciation for the joy and excitement I bring to teaching technology. I have been told that my love of computers has an infectious quality (I believe they meant that in a good way…) And I suspect it is that love that allows me to be so patient with people learning new skills. I want to share the joy I feel when I locate the perfect font or find a keystroke command to make the job just that much easier, the wonder of tables and the beauty of charts, the creative freedom of Photoshop and Final Cut. Just as technology simplifies complex tasks, I want to simplify technology for others. And I want them to feel even a small part of the excitement and power I feel when I create using these elegant and glorious tools.

In order to express both my passion and curiosity for technology as well as how I attempt to inspire passion and curiosity in those with whom I work, I have recreated Apple’s iconic “To the crazy ones” print ad. While the structure might remain Apple’s, the passion, the emotion and the intention are all mine. Note that I have replaced the nine images of genius with nine icons characteristic of skills deemed important by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (If you are not yet familiar with, I highly recommend becoming so. They share my passion for technology.) As ever, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

click to enlarge

teach-different pdf


ben (2009). palette [png]. Retrieved from

Burgam, K.J. (2013, October 30). Maker experiment #3 [Blog post]. Retrieved from

entropy_eater (2011). City hall [png]. Retrieved from

Fadookie (2007). Caduceus [png]. Retrieved from

fra30774 (2011, September 5). Apple—think different [Blog post]. Retrieved from

garethclubb (2012). Green recycling [png]. Retrieved from

jantonalcor (2012). A good idea [png]. Retrieved from

jongo_jingaro (2008). globe [png]. Retrieved from

j_iglar (2013). Team at work [png]. Retrieved from

mazeo (2013). Meeting presentation [png]. Retrieved from

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). Framework for 21st century learning [Online pdf]. Retrieved from

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