Apple University will train executives to think like Steve Jobs — from by Liz Dwyer


If you want to honor Steve Jobs’ life by following in his entrepreneurial footsteps, forget heading to business school. The Los Angeles Times reports that an Apple team has been working on a top-secret project to create an executive training program called Apple University. The goal? To train people to think like Steve Jobs.

Apple refused to comment on the existence of Apple University, but the Times says that in 2008, Jobs “personally recruited” Joel Podolny, the dean of Yale Business School, to “help Apple internalize the thoughts of its visionary founder to prepare for the day when he’s not around anymore.” Apple analyst Tim Bajarin told the Times that, “it became pretty clear that Apple needed a set of educational materials so that Apple employees could learn to think and make decisions as if they were Steve Jobs.” Though the curriculum is still under wraps, Jobs himself oversaw the creation of the “university-caliber courses.” (emphasis DSC)

 Also see:


Steve Jobs’ virtual DNA to be fostered in Apple University:  To survive its late founder, Apple and Steve Jobs planned a training program in which company executives will be taught to think like him, in “a forum to impart that DNA to future generations.” Key to this effort is Joel Podolny, former Yale Business School dean.
Photo: Steve Jobs helped plan Apple University — an executive training program to help Apple carry on without him. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Steve Jobs helped plan Apple University — an executive training program to help
Apple carry on without him. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / October 6, 2011)

From DSC:
If Apple were to choose to disrupt higher education, several other pieces of the puzzle have already been built and/or continue to be enhanced:

  • Siri — a serious start towards the use of intelligent agents / intelligent tutoring
  • An infrastructure to support 24x7x365 access and synchronization of content/assignments/files to a student’s various devices — via iCloud (available today via iTunes 10.5)
  • iTunes U already has millions of downloads and contains content from some of the world’s top universities
  • The internal expertise and teams to create incredibly-rich, interactive, multimedia-based, personalized, customized educational content
  • Students — like employees in the workplace — are looking for information/training/learning on demand — when they need it and on whatever device they need it
  • Apple — or other 3rd parties — could assist publishers in creating cloud-based apps (formerly called textbooks) to download to students’/professors’ devices as well as to the Chalkboards of the Future
  • The iPad continues to be implemented in a variety of education settings, allowing for some seriously interactive, mobile-based learning





At the least, I might be losing a bit more sleep if I were heading up an MBA program or a business school…


From DSC: Expectations, today, are getting hard to beat

Since Apple’s event yesterday, I’ve heard some conversations on the radio and reviewed several blog postings and articles about Apple’s announcements…many with a sense of let down (and some with the usual critical viewpoints by the backseat drivers out there who have never tried to invent anything, but who sure like to find fault with everyone else’s inventions and innovations).

It made me reflect on how high our expectations are becoming these days!  It wasn’t enough that iCloud is coming on 10/12 (and who knows the directions that will take society in). It wasn’t enough to introduce some serious software-based innovations such as Siri (which bring some significant advancements in the world of artificial intelligence) or AirPlay for the iPhone.  It wasn’t enough to enter into the multi-billion dollar card industry with their new Cards app for the iPhone.  Wow…tough crowd.

What might these announcements — and expectations — mean for education? 
Well…I can see intelligent tutoring, intelligent agents, machine-to-machine communications, the continued growth of mobile learning, learning from the living room, the initiation of programs/events caused by changes in one’s location, continued convergence of the television/computer/telephone, continued use of videoconferencing on handheld devices, cloud-based textbooks/apps, and more.


Siri on the iPhone 4S -- October 4, 2011




From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

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Intel predicts Smart TV is the device of the future — from’s blog
Chipmaker Intel believes that the Smart TV is the electronic device of the future, in the living room anyway.


The Smart TV is already upon us, in its various forms from various manufacturers. It has arrived with 3D capabilities, web browsing and social networking and applications. Currently Samsung and LG seem to be two of the big players pushing the Smart TV to consumers.

Also see:


Artificial Virtual Assistants to grow in usage -- Gartner and


From DSC:
Again, though this may be business/corporate-related news for now, learning-based apps may not be too far behind these sorts of innovations.

A hugely powerful vision: A potent addition to our learning ecosystems of the future


Daniel Christian:
A Vision of Our Future Learning Ecosystems

In the near future, as the computer, the television, the telephone (and more) continues to converge, we will most likely enjoy even more powerful capabilities to conveniently create and share our content as well as participate in a global learning ecosystem — whether that be from within our homes and/or from within our schools, colleges, universities and businesses throughout the world.

We will be teachers and students at the same time — even within the same hour — with online-based learning exchanges taking place all over the virtual and physical world.  Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) — in the form of online-based tutors, instructors, teachers, and professors — will be available on demand. Even more powerful/accurate/helpful learning engines will be involved behind the scenes in delivering up personalized, customized learning — available 24x7x365.  Cloud-based learner profiles may enter the equation as well.

The chances for creativity,  innovation, and entrepreneurship that are coming will be mind-blowing! What employers will be looking for — and where they can look for it — may change as well.

What we know today as the “television” will most likely play a significant role in this learning ecosystem of the future. But it won’t be like the TV we’ve come to know. It will be much more interactive and will be aware of who is using it — and what that person is interested in learning about. Technologies/applications like Apple’s AirPlay will become more standard, allowing a person to move from device to device without missing a  beat. Transmedia storytellers will thrive in this environment!

Much of the professionally done content will be created by teams of specialists, including the publishers of educational content, and the in-house teams of specialists within colleges, universities, and corporations around the globe. Perhaps consortiums of colleges/universities will each contribute some of the content — more readily accepting previous coursework that was delivered via their consortium’s membership.

An additional thought regarding higher education and K-12 and their Smart Classrooms/Spaces:
For input devices…
The “chalkboards” of the future may be transparent, or they may be on top of a drawing board-sized table or they may be tablet-based. But whatever form they take and whatever is displayed upon them, the ability to annotate will be there; with the resulting graphics saved and instantly distributed. (Eventually, we may get to voice-controlled Smart Classrooms, but we have a ways to go in that area…)

Below are some of the graphics that capture a bit of what I’m seeing in my mind…and in our futures.

Alternatively available as a PowerPoint Presentation (audio forthcoming in a future version)














— from Daniel S. Christian | April 2011

See also:

Addendum on 4-14-11:


Tagged with:  
Tagged with:  

From DSC:
In my mind, this area of intelligent systems and agents is one of the most important areas to watch in the years ahead.  Such efforts should help us develop sophisticated systems that can help deliver personalized, customized education at the K-12 and higher ed levels…and perhaps will be relevant in the L&D space as well.

The innovations that come from this area may make hybrid-based — as well as  100% online-based learning — incredibly powerful!

If someone can develop such systems and make them available at far cheaper prices than exist today, a quality “Walmart of Education” will truly have been built.

 IADIS International Conference: Intelligent Systems and Agents - in Rome, July 24-26, 2011


Per the Call for Papers section, the topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:


Area 1 – Intelligent Systems  

– Algorithms

– Artificial Intelligence

– Automation Systems and Control

– Bioinformatics

– Computational Intelligence

– Expert Systems

– Fuzzy Technologies and Systems

– Game and Decision Theories

– Intelligent Control Systems

– Intelligent Internet Systems

– Intelligent Software Systems

– Intelligent Systems

– Machine Learning

– Neural Networks

– Neurocomputers

– Optimization

– Parallel Computation

– Pattern Recognition

– Robotics and Autonomous Robots

– Signal Processing

– Systems Modelling

– Web Mining





Area 2 – Agents  

– Adaptive Agent Systems

– Agent Applications

– Agent Communication

– Agent Development

– Agent middleware

– Agent Models and Architectures

– Agent Ontologies

– Agent Oriented Systems and Engineering

– Agent Programming, Languages and Environments

– Agent Systems

– Agent Technologies

– Agent Theories

– Agent Trends

– Agents Analysis and Design

– Agents and Learning

– Agents and Ubiquitous Computing

– Agents in Networks

– Agents Protocols and Standards

– Artificial Systems

– Computational Complexity

– eCommerce and Agents

– Embodied Agents

– Mobile Agents

– Multi-Agent Systems

– Negotiation Strategies

– Performance Issues

– Security, Privacy and Trust

– Semantic Grids

– Simulation

– Web Agents



The Connected Life at Home — from Cisco

The connected life at home -- from Cisco



From DSC:

How will these types of technologies affect what we can do with K-12 education/higher education/workplace training and development? I’d say they will open up a world of new applications and opportunities for those who are ready to innovate; and these types of technologies will move the “Forthcoming Walmart of Education” along.

Above item from:

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From DSC:
Below are some notes and reflections after reading Visions 2020.2:  Student Views on Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies — by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Education, and NetDay

Basic Themes

  • Digital Devices
  • Access to Computers and the Internet
  • Intelligent Tutor/Helper
  • Ways to Learn and Complete School Work Using Technology

Several recurring words jumped off the page at me, including:

  • Voice activation
  • A rugged, mobile, lightweight, all-convergent communications and entertainment device
  • Online classes
  • Interactive textbooks
  • Educational games
  • 3D virtual history enactments — take me there / time machine
  • Intelligent tutors
  • Wireless
  • 24x7x365 access
  • Easy to use
  • Digital platforms for collaborating and working with others on schoolwork/homework
  • Personalized, optimized learning for each student
  • Immersive environments
  • Augmented reality
  • Interactive
  • Multimedia
  • Virtual
  • Simulations
  • Digital diagnostics (i.e. analytics)
  • Wireless videoconferencing

Here are some quotes:

Math and reading were often cited specifically as subjects that might benefit from the use of learning technologies. (p. 5)

No concept drew greater interest from the student responders than some sort of an intelligent tutor/helper. Math was the most often mentioned subject for which tutoring help was needed. Many students desired such a tutor or helper for use in school and at home. (p. 17)

…tools, tutors, and other specialists to make it possible to continuously adjust the pace, nature and style of the learning process. (p.27)

So many automated processes have been built in for them: inquiry style, learning style, personalized activity selection, multimedia preferences, physical requirements, and favorite hardware devices. If the student is in research mode, natural dialogue inquiry and social filtering tools configure a working environment for asking questions and validating hypotheses. If students like rich multimedia and are working in astronomy, they automatically are connected to the Sky Server which accesses all the telescopic pictures of the stars, introduces an on-line expert talking about the individual constellations, and pulls up a chatting environment with other students who are looking at the same environment. (p.28)

— Randy Hinrichs | Research Manager for Learning Science and Technology | Microsoft Research Group

From DSC:
As I was thinking about the section on the intelligent tutor/helper…I thought, “You know…this isn’t just for educators. Pastors and youth group leaders out there should take note of what students were asking for here.”

  • Help, I need somebody
  • Help me with ____
  • Many students expressed interest in an “answer machine,” through which a student could pose a specific question and the machine would respond with an answer. <– I thought of online, Christian-based mentors here, available 24x7x365 to help folks along with their spiritual journeys

Emerging Interactive Ed. Tech: Classmate Assist and Wayang Outpost – Sensors, AI, and Context Awareness for Learning -and Teaching — by Lynn Marentette (emphasis below from DSC)

I’ve been following developments in intelligent tutoring systems for a while, and find it interesting to see how researchers are combining artificial intelligence, learning theory, affective computing, and sensor networks to create applications that might prove to be useful and effective.

The advantage of using intelligent tutoring applications in some cases is that it provides students with additional support and feedback the moment it is needed, something that is difficult for teachers to provide to students in large classrooms. With the increase in use of smartphones and other mobile devices such as the iPad, there is a good chance that this sort of technology will be used to support learning anywhere, anytime.

Although most intelligent tutoring systems are geared for 1-1 computing, I think there are some components that could be tweaked and then transfered to create intelligent “tutoring” systems for collaborative learning. Students like game-based learning, and what could be more fun than playing AND learning with a partner or group of peers? (I plan to revisit the research in this area in an upcoming post.)

Below I’ve highlighted two “intelligent” tutoring systems that incorporate the use of sensors in one form or another to generate information about student learning in a way that simulates what good teachers do every day. The ClassroomAssist application was developed by researchers at Intel, in collaboration with several universities. The Wayang Outpost application was developed by researchers at UMASS, and is aligned with the principles of Universal Design for Learning.

Steve mentioned in his emails that we can pass this newsletter along…so that’s what I’m doing here.

Steve Knode’s September 2010 edition is out. Some of [his] favorite links this month include:
  • Virtual Tutors being developed at NC State
  • Donald Tapscott’s synopsis of his new book (Macrowikinomics)
  • Georgia Tech mobile phone app for campus events
  • Allosphere stunning video demo
  • A health application 4 times more powerful in improving health than drugs
  • 3D surgery
  • More smartphone apps
  • Some neural network applications
  • Smart credit cards
  • More robots
  • the danger of the Internet of Things.
  • etc.
Steve also mentioned that all applications are categorized at his website — — and all prior and current newsletters are available at

We need to be constantly checking and praying about the state of our hearts.


The State of the Heart

From DSC:
My conscience prompts me to write this…as my recent posting on developing and using web-based learner profiles was not meant to try and ultimately recreate the human brain.  I don’t think that’s possible. Rather, I was hoping that we could use such methods and breakthroughs to promote the personalization, customization, and engagement levels of the learning materials and experiences that we are able to offer each other.

But the posting got me to reflecting on a variety of technological advancements…and I couldn’t help but wonder about the motivations at play sometimes here.

That is, things can begin innocently enough and with excellent intentions.  For example, with stem-cell research, such research can offer understanding on how stem cells might be able to help treat debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, traumatic spinal injury, or be used for positively affecting other clinical and therapeutic applications. And that’s great! Excellent!

But the problem for me in many of these endeavors lies in the hearts of mankind. Because, who knows where things could go from there…

Will we one day find ourselves being able to create fellow human beings? If so, who determines what those fellow human beings are like? Will we be able to program a robot to continually learn? If so, how will such devices be used by individuals? Corporations? Governments? Nations?

I know…it sounds rather bizarre and far-fetched. But with the rate of technological advancements, I just think we need to take a pulse check on the motivations involved. I’m suspect that the motivations of many folks out there are not in mankind’s ultimate best interest…plus…sometimes these individuals and organizations just don’t have the heart.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them;
I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

P.S. from DSC:
I need to say that my heart is in constant need of attention as well;
I don’t claim to be perfect…but I also don’t claim to want to play God.

© 2022 | Daniel Christian