Friday, July 15, 2011

The Future of IT

My daughter is 6 months old. When I was her age, my favourite toy was a stuffed Bert from Sesame Street. Not my daughter, though. She was born with a passion for technology. The first time she crawled, it was to get to my iPad 2. Forget about toys, she wants to play with cellphones, iPads and any kind of digital gadget she can get her tiny hands on.

I recently read a tweet from CEO of Polar Mobile, Kunal Gupta, who mentioned, "your children are in two states...sleeping or online," and I couldn't agree more. Born into a culture of technology, it's no wonder our kids are so tech-savvy.

Growing up, my first computer was a Commodore 64, and I dreamed of colour graphics and not needing 9 floppy disks to run a program. Computers today run on terabyte hard drives and are much more advanced, allowing kids access to technology, information and opportunities to learn that in my time simply didn't exist.

One such opportunity is an elite camp known as Shad Valley, a summer enrichment program for students currently enrolled in or finishing high school. Open to both Canadian and international students, Shad takes a passion for technology and fuels it into a prominent and driven career path. Students spend a month living on campus at one of the host university campuses across Canada, studying business, science, math, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship. Some of the top young CEO's and founders of technology companies have attended this camp.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell speaks of the rule of 10 thousand hours. He believes after 10 thousand hours of practice or study on a particular topic, you become an expert. Imagine the potential our children will have if they become experts in technology while they are still in high school. By university, they'll be ahead of the curve, and by the time they reach the job market, they'll have a competitive advantage, a vision, and no ceiling on where they can go, and what they can accomplish.

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