Apple has launched some education resources on it’s website, in order to commemorate John F. Kennedy’s centennial year. The website is part of an education initiative which includes Today at Apple, App development curriculum, and some third party partnerships. All in an attempt to provide educational resources to consumers. Which is pretty neat, in my opinion. When you go to the website, the first thing you see is a picture of JFK at a podium. Smiling, and presumably giving a speech. You will also see the reason why Apple is show casing JFK. They have stated:
“At Apple, we share the same vision of leadership through service, courage, innovation, and inclusion that guided John F. Kennedy’s presidency. Together with the JFK Library, we’ve curated a collection of learning materials and activities to help commemorate his centennial year and inspire the next generation of leaders.”
Not only is the tool meant to be educational, Apple is hoping to inspire the next generation to take action. And presumably, have the courage to make changes in the way that JFK did. This website let’s you listen to the full 1961 Inaugural Speech, which includes the famous “ask not” line. What I really like about the website is that it links to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Some might argue that Apple’s website only gives you part of the story. It only embraces the positive things that he did, and doesn’t examine some of the harder tasks that he faced as a President. But what’s wrong with that? They want to promote the positive in an attempt to change the future. I think it’s important to understand some of the challenges he faced, but I don’t think we should let those define him. He was a man who did many things. Some good, and some bad.
I think this website is coming at an interesting time. Especially in the way that it’s been worded. There is always value and merit in encouraging the next generation to do better than the generation before them. But something tells me that this might be directed towards the current Administration. I mean, what better time than the present to encourage the next generation to take action? After all, we are living in a pretty scary world right now. This isn’t specifically directed at American politics, although that is definitely part of it. But all over the world. It’s just a different time and a different place. And maybe that’s what JFK was thinking during his time in office. And maybe he felt that he had to do something about it.
No world leader is perfect. Some make more mistakes than others. The point is though, that we have to learn from those mistakes and try to do better the next time. After all, that’s what life is. Learning from the mistakes you’ve made so you don’t make them again. And I think that’s what Apple is trying to encourage through their JFK website. Here was a man who did some pretty incredible things. Here is a man who found himself in some pretty tough situations. He wasn’t perfect. But he stood up for what he believed was right in order to make the country a better place to live. For him and his children.
What is also interesting about this website is that it also encourages you to make technology part of your education. At the bottom of the page, you can link to books, movies, podcasts and other resources through iTunes that Apple has compiled on JFK. You can listen to a few of his speeches right through the website itself. There is even a link to a page called “Where in the World is JFK”, which shows you locations of schools, parks and community centers around the world who have named their space after JFK. All in all, I think this is a really great idea, and I hope to see more of it with other historical figures.