A Berkeley-bound student earned his associate’s degree entirely online. He will enter the University of California at Berkeley this fall with hopes of double majoring in music and English.
An economical way to earn a degree and a very admirable student!
I have to admit I got a bit disappointed when I heard most Chinese youngsters aspire to work in the public sector after university graduation. My ideal 20 something shall be spent in creating something entrepreneurial. The image of some one working in front of an office desk fits people more like my parents.
I was wrong. (not the first time, not the last time and not the only time)
I was told a lot of youngsters would like a 9-to-5 job in order to setup a Taobao e- commerce shop. Taobao is the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. You can find absolutely everything there. One says ‘ There is no limit to what you can find in Taobao, only a limit of what you can think of.’
So a 20 something would spend day time earning a stable income (not working very hard) but creating his/her own e-commerce shop on Taobao, being an entrepreneur in spare time. From 9 am to 5 pm, he/she follows top down instructions, stamping papers. In the night time he/she has to really pay attention to customers: what they want and what they like, to get the business going by listening to bottom up voices.
So the most entrepreneurial minds might be hidden behind the most bureaucratic government offices (according to general perception). This is just awesome!
Back to Shanghai, I met with two friends for dinner, one of whom encountered with the coolest taxi driver.
The average taxi driver earns about RMB4000 per month. This one earns RMB30,000 per month at ease. How does he do that?
The secret is Technology!
1. He uses a taxi ordering app. to select those long distance taxi rides. The most popular taxi app. allows customers to offer tips as a bid, therefore drivers can choose which offer to pick up.
2. He purchased a mobile accelerator which enables him to accept lucrative offers 0.1 second faster compared to other drivers.
3. He offers wifi for his passengers together with a charger able to recharge 9 different types of smartphones.
We also talked about all the new smartphone apps, for example those function as private chef, grocery shopper. Amazed by all these disruptive forces, we attemped to imagine how life looks like in ten years. Of course, the future will far exceed our silly attempt tonight but I felt genuinely very excited.
Natures, beach, hike, doing adventurous sports
Hearing different languages and seeing difference races on a random street
Kindness of strangers
Free access to information
My dear friends – old and new!
Still in Hong Kong, I met with Professor Raymond, who offered his graduate level math course on MOOC last year.
He was kind enough to share his experience producing and running the course. I was impressed by two facts
1. He spent 600 hours making the videos (excluding assessment part). That is just so much work.
2. For his real graduate course, he uses the online videos to teach and just spends one hour every week for tutorial support.
It is a lot of work but according to him, the way to go for future education. I agree.
There were many kings and each owned a garden called ‘Education’. One king particularly loved four plants called STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. But he did not like flowers such as history, philosophy. Gradually his garden grew more and more plants with less and less flowers.
People of that kingdom started to notice that something was missing in their garden. They went to peep other gardens with beautiful flowers and suggested – ‘we shall have some flowers’.
The king was irritated. ‘STEM plants are the best. We do not need anything else. We have the best plants so our garden is the best!’ To make his point, he built fences around his kingdom so people would not be able to see gardens elsewhere. He also put some fake flowers in the garden. ‘If that can make people satisfied,’ he though, ‘by doing things this way, my people will love my garden by believing it is the best!’
The STEM garden’s plants grew higher, stronger and more powerful but with no flowers.
People, somehow, still have a vague memory what are flowers like. Therefore they made the efforts to travel and visit other gardens. When they came back, they either brought back photos of pretty flowers or seeds of them to grow at home.
Outraged was the king, ‘How dare you! That is a betray!’ So he confiscated photos and seeds of all flowers. The plants grew even wilder and bigger. They took all the space and nutrition needed.
One by one, people left quietly.
Decades later in that particular garden, the STEM trees grew into giants. The king was left alone in his garden, praising everyday how beautiful his garden was becoming. Too bad nobody is around to share his view.