Apple's Tim Cook talks education, says he wouldn't want his nephew using social media

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 19
As part of a European tour to promote Apple's new university coding courses, the company's potentate sat for a wide-ranging discussion during a stop at Harlow College in the U.K.




The first port on Cook's voyage of chat was the utilization of technology both in and out of the classroom. Cook noted that while Apple has an interest in promoting tech as an educational tool, it's not necessarily always the best option.

"I don't believe in overuse [of technology]. I'm not a person that says we've achieved success if you're using it all the time," he said, according to The Guardian. "There are are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not."

Cook said that he considers social media usage among children problematic, though he didn't elaborate.
Apple "has a deep belief...that education is a great equalizer of people," Cook said.
"I don't have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won't allow; I don't want them on a social network," he added.

On the role of coding in education and Apple's place in that field, Cook was more direct.

"I think if you had to make a choice, it's more important to learn coding than a foreign language. I know people who disagree with me on that. But coding is a global language; it's the way you can converse with 7 billion people," he said.

The company announced earlier in the day that an Apple-designed "App Development with Swift" course would be coming to nearly 100 European colleges and universities. Harlow is one of the universities adopting that curriculum.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,404member
    I agree with Tim Cook's sentiment that learning coding is more important than learning a foreign language, but only if you do not have to collaborate across a team composed of members from countries with different written & spoken languages. Sure, a Chinese developer can pick up code written by a French developer and assuming it's fairly small in size and with sufficient time figure out what the code does. But understanding what the code should do or how it fits into the larger application scope requires non-coding based languages like written requirements & design documents, UML diagrams, storyboards, spoken human communication, etc. I can't call up my Brazilian colleague on the phone, via email, or text message and start conversing in Swift, Python, or C++. It does paint a comical picture however...

    I totally understand Tim's sentiment and his call-to-action to get everyone engaged in coding to at least a level of understanding what it is and how it is used to help solve real world problems and make things work. There should be no mystery around what computer coding is and how it fits into our modern society and industry. Just like most people understand what human languages are and how they work within societies and industry - even if they never intend to write a novel or learn Mandarin Chinese they still understand human language and are proficient in one variation.

    Good to see Tim Cook engaged in an activity that I'm sure is very personally satisfying to him.   
    baconstangracerhomie3repressthislolliver
  • Reply 2 of 38
    jdwjdw Posts: 608member
    Learning to code is to learn a "foreign language."  It simply is not a "human spoken language."  In many ways, it takes the same amount of brain power, time and effort if you are going to master it fully.  And while "everyone can code," not everyone can do it well.  Everyone can learn to speak "Japanese" like "Sony, Matsushita, Fuji, and Arigato" but that doesn't mean you will be having a conversation and genuine cross-border human interaction.  

    Learning how to program a few lines of code doesn't mean you can single-handedly program an app like FCPX.  And while we all need to start somewhere, it's important we go into learning code with realistic expectations.  Apple wants kids to learn to code because coding is hard, even in SWIFT, and Apple wants more coders in the future (great coders, A players) to help press their product line ahead of the competition.  "ANYONE can code" sounds nice but it isn't reality.  If we abandoned our private lives completely and focused exclusively on learning code, then perhaps more people could code.  But most people don't or can't do that.

    The day AI progresses to the point we can begin "programming" computers via voice commands is the day "most people can code."  I think of it as using a WYSIWYG web design tool to get my creativity on the web without having to resort to HTML or JavaScript coding.  It's the superiority of 1984 Mac 128k's GUI versus text "code" of DOS or CP/M.  Computers need to get more powerful in terms of their software easy-of-use to empower more people to achieve things that were once unthinkable.  And in the end that won't transform us into the Bynars of Star Trek.  Advanced computing technology should help push human beings to a higher level without changing us into a computer.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    dewme said:
    I agree with Tim Cook's sentiment that learning coding is more important than learning a foreign language, but only if you do not have to collaborate across a team composed of members from countries with different written & spoken languages. 
    English is the lingua franca (lol) of international business. English is the lingua franca of the tech industry. English language instruction is one of the fastest-growing segments in education. English - not Mandarin or Spanish and certainly not Portugese - is the future of spoken and written communication.
    SpamSandwichlostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 38
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? 🤔
    paisleydiscorepressthisadm1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 38
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? 🤔
    lol true
    prob because he’s the rich uncle who’s paid for everything 
    SpamSandwichrepressthisnetroxlostkiwiadm1muthuk_vanalingamlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    lol true
    prob because he’s the rich uncle who’s paid for everything 
    He starts off his comment that he doesn't have a kid. From the article:

    "I don't have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won't allow; I don't want them on a social network."

    When his nephew spends time with him without his parents around—which is common—then it's Cook's rules, not his parent's rules for most most things—which is also common. If you have siblings and those siblings have children and you have a good relationship with those siblings this is commonplace. Even within the Big Brother/Big Sister programs and the like or with grandparents the same dynamics apply.


    edited January 19 baconstangphilboogierepressthisgilly33muthuk_vanalingamjony0lolliver
  • Reply 7 of 38
    I also agree with Tim. And, I also don't allow my kids to use social media/network at all. I don't use it as well. It's a trap that majority doesn't understand. I have never used Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatsoever and I am very happy without them. I do have Twitter installed on my iPhone and I am only following 3 of my most favourite singers (still never posted anything). My most favourite musician from my most favourites has died in 2016, so really I will be deleting even that app anytime. Not to mention, I am almost 50. ;-)
    edited January 20 baconstang
  • Reply 8 of 38
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,797member
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? 🤔
    Yeah, that’s what I thought. I assumed he meant that he puts boundaries on the kid when his nephew’s parents rope him into baby-sitting. 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    I don't see a single reason why Cook - a father without kids - could have the necessary experience, idea or insight about how I should raise my kids. His idea's and nephew are only mobilised when they commercially serve Apple (that fares better by coding monkeys more than by internationally oriented critical well-educated people) No Tim, education isn't an equalizer - it is a accomplishing discriminator. And why would we listen to someone who doesn't understand such basic things ? Cook isn't a great politician, a rather dull than remarkble industry-leader - he was only chosen as the least intriguing guy at a time that Apple had a few too many internal quarrels. And oooohh, if we are supposed to be so stupid as to think that Appstore games aren't addictive, is that intrinsically sheepy behavior from our side or sheer arrogance from the part of an Apple CEO that gets sooooo over-excited with the least of new iOS features ?
    edited January 20 tallest skilkestral
  • Reply 10 of 38
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,008member
    Latko said:
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    I don't see a single reason why Cook - a father without kids - could have the necessary experience, idea or insight about how I should raise my kids. His idea's and nephew are only mobilised when they commercially serve Apple (that fares better by coding monkeys more than by internationally oriented critical well-educated people) No Tim, education isn't an equalizer - it is a accomplishing discriminator. And why would we listen to someone who doesn't understand such basic things ? Cook isn't a great politician, a rather dull than remarkble industry-leader - he was only chosen as the least intriguing guy at a time that Apple had a few too many internal quarrels. And oooohh, if we are supposed to be so stupid as to think that Appstore games aren't addictive, is that intrinsically sheepy behavior from our side or sheer arrogance from the part of an Apple CEO that gets sooooo over-excited with the least of new iOS features ?
    What an idiotic, despicable, dishonest, hate-filled post. I feel pity for you.
    edited January 20 flydogSoliRayz2016jony0lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 38
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? 🤔
    Yeah, that’s what I thought. I assumed he meant that he puts boundaries on the kid when his nephew’s parents rope him into baby-sitting. 


    If Tim wasn't busy babysitting we'd have a new Mac mini out by now. /s
    Rayz2016adm1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 38
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,447member
    Latko said:
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    I don't see a single reason why Cook - a father without kids - could have the necessary experience, idea or insight about how I should raise my kids. His idea's and nephew are only mobilised when they commercially serve Apple (that fares better by coding monkeys more than by internationally oriented critical well-educated people) No Tim, education isn't an equalizer - it is a accomplishing discriminator. And why would we listen to someone who doesn't understand such basic things ? Cook isn't a great politician, a rather dull than remarkble industry-leader - he was only chosen as the least intriguing guy at a time that Apple had a few too many internal quarrels. And oooohh, if we are supposed to be so stupid as to think that Appstore games aren't addictive, is that intrinsically sheepy behavior from our side or sheer arrogance from the part of an Apple CEO that gets sooooo over-excited with the least of new iOS features ?
    On the flip side, I see people with kids all the time who shouldn't have them. Just because you don't have kids, doesn't mean you don't know how to raise them. Its not like when you have a child you're automatically trained on how to raise a child. Just go to Walmart and you'll see this simply isn't true.
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    macxpress said:
    Latko said:
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    I don't see a single reason why Cook - a father without kids - could have the necessary experience, idea or insight about how I should raise my kids. His idea's and nephew are only mobilised when they commercially serve Apple (that fares better by coding monkeys more than by internationally oriented critical well-educated people) No Tim, education isn't an equalizer - it is a accomplishing discriminator. And why would we listen to someone who doesn't understand such basic things ? Cook isn't a great politician, a rather dull than remarkble industry-leader - he was only chosen as the least intriguing guy at a time that Apple had a few too many internal quarrels. And oooohh, if we are supposed to be so stupid as to think that Appstore games aren't addictive, is that intrinsically sheepy behavior from our side or sheer arrogance from the part of an Apple CEO that gets sooooo over-excited with the least of new iOS features ?
    On the flip side, I see people with kids all the time who shouldn't have them. Just because you don't have kids, doesn't mean you don't know how to raise them. Its not like when you have a child you're automatically trained on how to raise a child. Just go to Walmart and you'll see this simply isn't true.
    I’m always amazed when people believe that being a parent means they’re entitled to some esteemed level of wisdom or making the world a better place simply because they had unprotected sex.

    edited January 20
  • Reply 14 of 38
    Latko said:
    I don't see a single reason why Cook - a father without kids - could have the necessary experience, idea or insight about how I should raise my kids.…
    Mr. Cook accrues insight through paying attention to those he quietly admires, just like I do, and you, I presume, too:
    ___

    Even Silicon Valley parents who work for social media companies tell me that they send their children to technology-free schools in the hope that this will give their children greater emotional and intellectual range. Many were surprised to learn that Steve Jobs did not encourage his own children’s use of iPads or iPhones. His biographer reports that in Jobs’s family, the focus was on conversation: “Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things. No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer.” Our technological mandarins don’t always live the life they build for others. They go to vacation spots deemed “device-free” (that don’t allow phones, tablets, or laptops). This means that America has curious new digital divides. In our use of media, there are the haves and have-nots. And then there are those who have-so-much-that-they-know-when-to-put-it-away. 

    Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (New York: Penguin, 2015), 55.
    ___
    lostkiwimuthuk_vanalingambadmonklolliver
  • Reply 15 of 38
    Another opinion on the same topic:
    ___
    The very best programmers go beyond fluency to the level of art, where, like Shakespeare, they create works that have value beyond that even recognized or intended by the writer. Who will say that Shakespeare isn’t worth a dozen lesser writers, or a hundred, or a thousand? And who can train a Shakespeare? Nobody; they have to be born.…

    The tyranny of normal distribution is that we run the world as though it was populated entirely by Bob Cringelys, completely ignoring the Don Knuths among us. Americans tend to look at research like George Miller’s and use it to custom-design cultural institutions that work at our most common level of mediocrity—in this case, the number seven. We cry about Japanese or Korean students, having higher average math scores in high school than do American students. “Oh, no!” the editorials scream. “Johnny will never learn FORTRAN!” In fact, average high school math scores have little bearing on the state of basic research or of product research and development in Japan, Korea, or the United States. What really matters is what we do with the edges of the distribution rather than the middle. Whether Johnny learns FORTRAN is relevant only to Johnny, not to America. Whether Johnny learns to read matters to America.

    Robert X. Cringely, Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1992), 28, 30–31. (The three bolds words indicate the beginning of a new page).
    ___
  • Reply 16 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,404member
    dewme said:
    I agree with Tim Cook's sentiment that learning coding is more important than learning a foreign language, but only if you do not have to collaborate across a team composed of members from countries with different written & spoken languages. 
    English is the lingua franca (lol) of international business. English is the lingua franca of the tech industry. English language instruction is one of the fastest-growing segments in education. English - not Mandarin or Spanish and certainly not Portugese - is the future of spoken and written communication.
    Yes it is. I've been involved with highly distributed product development and standardization activities for many years and English is the common language for all team level spoken and written interaction. The fact that everyone on the team was also proficient in one or more computer programming languages was very important from an execution standpoint but we'd never had been able to get to that stage of development without a common spoken and written language, which is English. 
  • Reply 17 of 38
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 904member
    jdw said:
    Learning to code is to learn a "foreign language."  It simply is not a "human spoken language."  In many ways, it takes the same amount of brain power, time and effort if you are going to master it fully.  And while "everyone can code," not everyone can do it well.  Everyone can learn to speak "Japanese" like "Sony, Matsushita, Fuji, and Arigato" but that doesn't mean you will be having a conversation and genuine cross-border human interaction.  

    Learning how to program a few lines of code doesn't mean you can single-handedly program an app like FCPX.  And while we all need to start somewhere, it's important we go into learning code with realistic expectations.  Apple wants kids to learn to code because coding is hard, even in SWIFT, and Apple wants more coders in the future (great coders, A players) to help press their product line ahead of the competition.  "ANYONE can code" sounds nice but it isn't reality.  If we abandoned our private lives completely and focused exclusively on learning code, then perhaps more people could code.  But most people don't or can't do that.

    The day AI progresses to the point we can begin "programming" computers via voice commands is the day "most people can code."  I think of it as using a WYSIWYG web design tool to get my creativity on the web without having to resort to HTML or JavaScript coding.  It's the superiority of 1984 Mac 128k's GUI versus text "code" of DOS or CP/M.  Computers need to get more powerful in terms of their software easy-of-use to empower more people to achieve things that were once unthinkable.  And in the end that won't transform us into the Bynars of Star Trek.  Advanced computing technology should help push human beings to a higher level without changing us into a computer.
    Very dismissive.  Most people can write (employing grammatical structure & syntax to articulate their story) as language is taught ubiquitously & early.  So most people should be able to articulate an idea in code if it’s taught ubiquitously & early.  There’s no mystery to logical inference.

    With the majority of corporate IT still failing to demonstrate a return on investment and hindering business productivity more than it helps, anything new is worth a try.  I like these initiatives as they allow SMEs to render their ideas as succinct, relevant products rather than assumptive, functionally bloated, over-engineered nonsense we have to put up with from IT; authors write books, not typesetters.

    If nothing else, coding ourselves leaves us with the ability to better articulate our requirements and appreciate the complexities the tech teams face.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 904member
    Just because you don't have kids, doesn't mean you don't know how to raise them. Its not like when you have a child you're automatically trained on how to raise a child. Just go to Walmart and you'll see this simply isn't true.
    You’re confusing knowledge with assumption.  Knowledge is only obtained by experience and parenting is a case of learning on the job, getting it right is highly subjective.  Sorry your point is fatally flawed, I’m assuming you’re not a parent either.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 38
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 904member
    Does Tim’s nephew not have parents? Why would he be deciding if his nephew can use social media? ߤ䦬t;/div>
    Because he’s ‘one of those’ uncles. You know, the ones the parents smile at when they try to naively push their opinions onto an inherently defiant entity.  Sorry Tim, the kid’s got an account already.
    edited January 20
  • Reply 20 of 38
    I'm sure Twitter and Facebook will be delighted to hear of Tim's opinion on social media.  /s  

    In this case, I don't disagree with him, but I wouldn't presume to dictate to a nephew what they can and cannot do unless I had adopted them.
    adm1
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