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Tech designer urges students to think outside the flock

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Troy Shantz

A tech guru at Google used a screen to connect with city high school students recently, while urging them to look beyond their screens to future tech applications.

“You don’t need to make the next Snapchat, you just need to make really useful technology,” Golden Krishna told the computer tech class at Great Lakes Secondary via webcast.

“And when we don’t think about things beyond screens, we miss out on all this opportunity.”

Krishna is a design strategist at Google and the author of ‘The Best Interface is No Interface,’ a book the Grade 11-12 class read last semester.

Teacher Caleb Courtney added the book to the curriculum and then reached out to its author, hoping for a discounted price on a class set.

Krishna replied that the discount was out of his hands, but offered instead to do a webcast with the students from California.

Courtney jumped at the opportunity. The students, who are more accustomed to hands-on projects, were receptive of the book and the webcast was icing on the cake, he said.

“They’ve been looking forward to this since October.”

Krishna chatted about his career and ideas and took questions from the 12-student class.

Talking to the author himself brought the book alive, said Grade 12 student Kyle McDonald.

“He was there to answer (questions), even the most miniscule one, even what prompted him to write it in the first place.”

“He put numbers into perspective,” added student Alexander Balfour, who noted the book estimates smartphone users take their phone from their pocket 127 times a day.

Krishna has toured the world giving lectures and was hailed by one tech magazine as one of the best user-experience designers anywhere.

Great Lakes Secondary was the first high school he’s ever spoken to, he said.

Courtney said he hoped the experience helped his students realize the potential they have. Krishna’s career took off after he shared his ideas in blog posts – a communication tool almost anyone can use.

“There’s a big world out there and as much as we want many people to stay (in Sarnia), the world is their opportunity,” he said.

“From a blog post, he’s worked at Samsung and now Google. The possibility exists for these students as well.”

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