FUTURE FOSSILS #0019 – Susan Molnar (Tech Education & The Maker Revolution)


This week’s guest is the delightful and insightful Susan Molnar!


“Everything can be broken. But also, everything can be built. And sometimes, breaking it and then rebuilding it makes it even cooler.”

Tech & Maker Education for Children

Google Policy Fellow for American Association for People with Disabilities

Leukemia Survivor

We Laugh A Lot

(Where does my body end and somebody else’s product begin?)

Programming Good Programmers

The Problem & The Promise of Education

“There’s this student who comes in who’s like, ‘I’ve never touched a computer in my life and I don’t know how to do this. I can’t do it, I can’t do it.’ So I was like, ‘Look. Nobody was born knowing what a pixel is. A pixel was invented. This mouse? This mouse was invented. You can learn a system. Tell me about things you have learned in your life that you have been able to use to progress from. Let’s start there.’”

“I am not a person of color. I have a disability, but I don’t have some of the disabilities that my friends have. If I can use who I am to work in concert with who they are, either to have a larger voice or be empowered to do more…”

“If you’re not good at the front of the house, there’s plenty of work to do in the back of the kitchen. If you have the ability to give, I think you should be trying to how to do that successfully. Are you able to humble yourself when you need to? And are you also able to value yourself when you need to?”

“Yes, you should be serving in a way that’s unique to your gifts. But also understanding that just getting out there and doing it is important.”

Johns Hopkins Enable Project – 3D Printing Prosthetic Limbs from Freeware Downloads

Preparing Your Children For A World That Isn’t Ready Yet

Helicopter Parents & Quadcopter Parents

Teaching Kids Where The Invisible Lines of Society Are So They Don’t Cross Them

Building & Breaking vs. Creating & Destroying

Technology As Children

Training AI Like A Pet, Letting It Skin Its Knees

Integrating Failure & Breakdown & Surprise & Difficulty

Stanford Design School: Rapid Ideation, Fail Fast

Douglas Rushkoff and New School Media Theory

Google Glass & Microsoft Hololens

Project Springfield – cloud-based machine learning for bug eradication

VR & AR disrupting learning and education

Susan Sontag and the violent language of photography


The archetype of glass and how we’re living in the “Glass Age”

Literalizing the fairy-tale concerns of losing one’s self to magical objects and devices

Neil Postman’s Technopoly & the surrender of culture to technology

The Media Show on YouTube

Producing vs. Consuming Media – building something new vs. merely mimicking

Helping the ways you can, that other people can’t, rather than wasting yourself with the most obvious (but overpopulated and possibly less effective) strategies to donate time, energy, and effort. Help in the ways you’re uniquely able.

Are millennials really that entitled? Or are we just strung out on “success pron?” Should we not try to serve the world in a way that we’re uniquely able to?

But this podcast REALLY takes off in the last five minutes:

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and how the future of media is a continuation of the “reducing valve” model of our own nervous systems, filtering information for the conscious observer before that witness is aware of it. Before awareness. (What’s aware?)

The co-evolution of computers and people for something more COMFORTABLE, ergonomic, actually (!) GOOD for our bodies… (see: Microsoft Kinect, gestural keyboards swiftly replaced by natural language processing and brain-machine zero-UI systems)

“It used to be, ‘Science is over here! Art is over here! We have anthropologists, and we have sociologists. Why would we ever want to mix these?’”

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