Thursday, December 18, 2014

What 10x Thinking Can Do For Your Classroom

By Kevin Brookhauser
Director of technology at York School
 in Monterey, Calif. 

US troops invaded Grenada in 1983, Tennessee Williams left our world that same year, and in 1983 the phrase “I ought to” appeared less frequently than the phrase “I need to” in the published word for the first time. Most students armed with a little curiosity and some library skills could discover the first two important facts by sifting through books. The third bit? That requires the use of some serious computers that have scanned, stored, and indexed almost every printed word in the English language.

This week in my computer concepts and programming class at York School, D Feher, a member of the Google Education team, spoke to students about how computers do more than just help people send emails, filter photos, and share cat videos. She discussed how computers and programmers are shaping our future and how they also help us understand our history.

With the help of Google’s Ngram Viewer, linguists and historians can analyze the frequency of words and phrases like “I need to” and “I want to” and just about every published word or phrase. Ever.

Why did “need to” come into fashion in the 80s? Perhaps it’s related to the rise of the “Me” decade. Could the commitment toward one’s duty and dependents connoted in the word “ought” take a back seat to 70s and 80s individualism implied in the word “need”? Maybe. But now we have some hard data on the frequency of these words’ usage to help feed our curiosity.

Access to these kinds of comparative data allows researchers in all academic disciplines to expand their understanding of their fields and our knowledge of everything.

Behind all of this rapid expansion of knowledge? Computer programmers.

Feher encouraged students in CCP to consider what bugs them about the world adults have built around them and asked them to create solutions in a very big way. People at Google are not out there trying to solve problems with incremental improvements. They engage in what’s called 10x thinking.

“If you want cars to run at 50 miles per gallon, fine you can retool your car a little bit,” says Astro Teller, Director of Google X Laboratories. “But if I tell you it has to run on a gallon of gas for 500 miles, you have to start over.”

The creators behind this Ngram tool didn’t just want to add to existing etymology dictionaries. They dreamed up the idea of cataloging every instance of every word printed in every book since books started getting published. That’s true 10x thinking.

I try to encourage the kind of innovation Google cultivates in their offices by having my students take on 20time, which are independent projects modeled after the 20% projects Google employees tackle to solve big problems not necessarily mandated by management. Students are simply charged with solving a real-world need by designing novel solutions and executing them.

As students talked about their CCP 20time projects, Feher kept coming back at them, asking them to think bigger. She asked them to dismiss the fact that they didn’t yet know how accomplish that big idea and to ignore the probabilities of the project’s success. She asked students to look hard at a challenge that is very likely to fail and to try anyway.

Over the past couple of months, CCP students have been building websites, designing 3D models, and they’re cooking up something big with Ms. Kiest’s environmental science class for a unique interactive experience in York’s Outdoor Lab, 100+ acres of a former army base our school recently acquired. We’re quite excited about it, but we just need to find a way to take this big project ... and make it 10x bigger.

Kevin Brookhouser is an active presenter with EdTechTeam and is their student agency specialist in the emerging Future Ready initiative. He is the director of technology at York School in Monterey, Calif. and author of the upcoming book The 20time Project: How educators can launch Google’s formula for future-ready innovation. Learn more about the 20time and the book at

To learn more about an upcoming summit, register for an EdTechTeam Summit featuring Google for Education in your region, or contact EdTechTeam about custom professional development and organizational change coaching.

EdTechTeam is a California Benefit Corporation and global network of educational technologists dedicated to improving the world’s education systems using the best technology and learning principles available. EdTechTeam produces Future Ready Schools summits and custom professional development for teachers and school leaders around the globe.


  1. Most of us typically operate the text complexity, remarkable excellent, trendy pattern or maybe lovely cartier replica sale worth to go into detail a lavish custom made tote. That breathtaking Burberry Burnished Household leather Handbag Case encapsulates most of these prices, and many more. At this point abide by everyone for taking some sort of deeper patek philippe replica sale think about the almost all sought-after tote with forthcoming times. It truly is lined with burnished household leather having cutaway form a contrast household leather trims in addition to obtain louis vuitton replica sale refined on features connected with case, giving the easy case an increasingly innovative overall look. Equestrian Knight emblem in addition to brand 'Burberry recognized 1856' is usually embossed on entry on the case, revealing to all that case is usually by famous vogue household, Burberry, to comprehend in comparison with fake chanel just one centuries heritage. A couple form a contrast coloration rolled household leather grips brand precious metal buckle emotions gives some sort of trace connected with modernity towards entire pattern. Put together with just one very good ripped household leather crossbody secure, this is usually hand-held or maybe breitling replica uk took all over your whole body. That has a measurement connected with 42cm back button 42cm back button 20cm, that tote delivers commodious inner surface, that's just by females busy. And another middle go drawer divides this case with a couple. Ones needs is usually as a stand alone presented to counteract this in the course of haze circumstances with your case.

  2. It is really well written and I think all teachers have to try it and apply on classrooms. Maybe education becomes more pleasant for kids with such methods. always towards growth.

  3. This is a useful information. Thank you for sharing it and I'll send to your friends.
    juegos de matar | Juegos de Matar gente | Juegos Matar Zombies

  4. Love it :) This is such an amazing idea. Thanks for update information.Keep on posting!

    i like play games un show mas | juegos de un show mas | juegos de un show mas gratis

  5. I would like to thank you for your nicely written post
    friv 2
    friv2 2
    friv games

  6. You men do a wonderful blog site, and also have some terrific.
    amazon promotional code

  7. Very interesting, I've spent a lot of time to read and think about it, thanks for your ideas.
    buy assignment online

  8. A great possibility for me and it was a superb knowledge to view this site. Very difficult to uncover these beneficial web page or web site. I have many devices and achieving proper picture of these worked well and energy continues to be seeing about this weblog. Often my own intend to make my personal site as well as my own enjoyment is growing due to this page. I we do hope you may well be more effective.
    happy wheels| cool math games| 8 ball pool| sudoku| yoob| friv| monster high
    tetris| shooting games| barbie games| friv4school|

  9. Insect problem of the serious problems that we face in everyday life, you'd better pest control company in Dammam achievement tops company continues to please visit us on our website
    شركة قمم الانجاز

  10. The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept
    super mario bros

  11. Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers.
    Friv 4
    Friv 100
    Friv 5