Co-founder of Apple Inc. Steve Wozniak spoke to a sold-out audience at the UNF Arena Tuesday night. President John Delaney asked Wozniak a variety of questions about his early life, work with Apple, and his hopes for future technology. Wozniak answered Delaney’s question with ease, and even gave audience members a look at what might be ahead in our future years.
After establishing Apple Inc. with Steve Jobs, Wozniak’s goal shifted from creating new technology to educating the younger generation to promote creativity and innovation. Wozniak taught computer classes to fifth graders for eight years after leaving Apple. Wozniak tells students to “find what you love, and take it out of class.”
“He spent the latter half of his life focusing more on children, the education, and providing younger generations the technology. As opposed to what he, himself could do or what he, himself could invent or patent.”
– Mattie Ledew (audience member)
He now travels and gives speeches at different locations hoping to aspire the next generation. “If you try to get good at something when you are young, maybe that turns out to be the valuable things,” said Steve Wozniak to a group of high school students before the speech.
“It’s not about what they can do now, but what they can do five to ten years from now. I want kids to get into this mindset of I can do anything if I sit down and apply myself.”
-Mark McCombs (audience member)
Steve Wozniak hopes that with his influence he could inspire someone to follow his footsteps and “create things that have never existed.” Some of the things he sees around the corner include Amazon drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars. These ideas got the audience excited, and made them think about steps we could take to promote the innovation of technology.
UNF student Jay Lacanilal mentions that a way to promote innovation is by staying up to date with technology as it moves forward. “I think that guidance counselors at high schools and advisors for incoming freshmen should push for more technical classes no matter what degree the students are studying for. This is to raise awareness since technology is in every field and always changing.”
Other audience members like Mark McCombs are already promoting children education in technology. McCombs is part of Renaissance Jacksonville that helps teach students from Kindergarten to 12th grade how to design and build robots for competitions. “The goal is to build more competitive robotics teams in North Florida than in anywhere in the country to get companies like Apple to relocate to take advantage of all the talent.” said Mark McCombs.
In the end, Wozniak’s message can be narrowed down to finding one’s passion and pursuing it to find happiness. For technology, this means building a foundation of kids who are eager to learn and create.
“This was the message: give the kids in the house the best computing powers that the family’s got and give the parents the hand-me-downs because the kids are the ones that are going to learn how to exploit it. They’re going to be the creative ones, the curious ones that go there, poke around and take it to the limits of what its abilities are while the parents are just going to mess around on Facebook.”
-Mark McCombs (audience member)