After becoming a teacher it became pretty clear that no one outside of education can understand just how brutal and time-consuming it is to be a teacher — especially when it comes to grading essays. But on the flip-side most teachers don't know how or where technology can help them. Or worse, they're surrounded by all this awful technology that's been forced upon them. My district's attendance system required three separate logins! Three! Argghh! Last year I had four sections of the same Senior English prep. That meant 96 papers would come in all at once. I was super-passionate about getting these regular-level students ready for the rigors of college so I would find myself spending 15, 20, 30 minutes per paper. That multiplied by 96 is insane. That's where came from — as a teacher I felt the same pain you're feeling but my programming background allowed me to see where a little bit of technology could go a long way.
World makers, social network makers, ask one question first: How can I do it? Zuckerberg solved that one in about three weeks. The other question, the ethical question, he came to later: Why? Why Facebook? Why this format? Why do it like that? Why not do it another way? The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the “Why” of Facebook. He uses the word “connect” as believers use the word “Jesus,” as if it were sacred in and of itself: “So the idea is really that, um, the site helps everyone connect with people and share information with the people they want to stay connected with….” Connection is the goal. The quality of that connection, the quality of the information that passes through it, the quality of the relationship that connection permits—none of this is important. That a lot of social networking software explicitly encourages people to make weak, superficial connections with each other (as Malcolm Gladwell has recently argued 1 ), and that this might not be an entirely positive thing, seem to never have occurred to him.
Fresh topics for essays