I’ve always been a fan of Apple Computers (now Apple Inc.). From my very first Apple IIe to my current MacBook Pro (and about a dozen in between), these computers and products have helped me and our employees to do some very amazing things over the years. That’s why it was an honor to be invited to visit Apple last week and speak with a group of their employees about my experiences running our business on a Mac platform. During my visit, we also taped some online seminars that will be posted on apple.com/business in the near future.
Okay, the secret is out… we’ve been in business for 16 years and never had a PC in the office. So, I know your next question… “Did you shoot off a few Mentos Geysers during your visit to the Mothership?” While the thought crossed my mind, there were just too many unknowns to haul in a bunch of Diet Coke and Mentos. However, I did give everyone a Mentos Test Tube Geyser to take home. One of the employees shared his “accidental” discovery on his personal blog.Pretty funny stuff.
Aside from doing a few experiments and sharing some of the history behind the Mentos Geyser phenomenon (and the role iMovie played in creating some of our first videos), I shared some of my experiences as a teacher and business owner. At the heart of Steve Spangler Science is a desire to help make good teachers great. Here’s the difference… Good teachers teach us how to do something, but great teachers teach us why. Good teachers share the facts while great teachers weave facts into real-world applications. Good teachers may do “activities”, but great teachers create unforgettable learning experiences.
We’ve all had lots of teachers come and go in our lives, but there will always be a few who stand out in our minds forever. Some teachers are memorable because of their unique teaching style or a funny mannerism or even their choice of clothing. As you filter through the flood of memories, you might just land on one teacher who stands out from all of the rest – a truly great teacher. Then you start to wonder why that teacher is so memorable after all of these years. For many of us, it was that teacher who opened our minds to a new idea, who challenged us to thinking differently, who embraced our ideas and helped us find value in both our successes and failures. That teacher may be directly responsible for what you’re doing today.
When I think back on my list of great teachers, I don’t remember anymore much of what they taught me, but I sure remember being excited about learning it. These teachers shared more than content… they shared an excitement for teaching, a willingness to be creative and a passion for learning that ultimately turned into a contagious experience. It really didn’t matter what they were trying to teach. I was infected by their love of learning.
The unfortunate truth is that some people have gone through school and never really had a great teacher. Don’t get me wrong… good is not bad… it’s just notgreat. Let’s face it, if you’ve never had a great teacher, good is the only thing you know.
When I think about how we use personal computers in our business, I can’t help but think of the difference between good and great. It’s senseless to get into a debate over using a Mac vs. a PC because it’s like comparing apples and oranges (okay, pun intended). If you’ve never experienced great, you’re content to settle with good. Ask any Apple user about their computer and the word “experience” will undoubtedly find it’s way into the conversation. Whether we’re using iChat to do one of a dozen things (managing employees in satellite offices, video conferencing with our factory in China, or just helping a co-worker with a customer service call) or iMove to create a new product demo or GarageBand for our podcasting, our Macs are just an extension of the way we think and work… and play.