There are few better ways to pay tribute to an important person or event than to build a monument that will be around for generations to come. You can drag your grandkids to it and stand around reminiscing about the way things used to be while they roll their eyes or play games on their phones. But some memorials make you spend less time thinking about what they represent and more time wondering what their creators were thinking. These 10 strange monuments will leave you scratching your head, whether it’s because of the weird thing being memorialized or just the disturbing way it was carried out.
By the time the terror of World War II subsided, more than 1 million people in the former Yugoslavia had been killed. Under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito in the ’60s and ’70s, enormous monuments were designed and constructed on battle sites to stand as a reminder of the strength of the country and what had been lost. The Spomeniks, which means "monuments" in Croatian, are scattered through the area that used to make up Yugoslavia. There were no aesthetic guidelines and no apparent theme for the creators, but most of them turned out looking like a vehicle for aliens or a building that’s been transported from the future. While they used to draw millions of visitors each year, they’ve been largely abandoned and now appear even more like the post-apocalyptic remnants of an intergalactic battle rather than memorials of a historic war.
No one is 100% certain what the Kindlifresser Fountain commemorates, but the unpleasant sight of a man stuffing a baby’s head in his mouth is strange enough to make it worth a mention. The fountain was built back in the 1500s, and there are several theories on what it might represent. It could memorialize the Greek god Kronos who ate his children so they wouldn’t steal his throne or a Swiss duke’s brother who is said to have gone crazy and eaten the kids in town. Other ideas suggest it doesn’t represent any one person but rather serves as a warning, either to the Jews in the community or to the children whose parents wanted to terrify them into behaving. Any way you look at it, this fountain is horrifying.
Of course there are plenty of noteworthy people around the world who deserve to be immortalized through a statue, but why do that when you can build a 6-foot-tall octopus on top of a giant soccer ball? The famous fortune-telling octopus who correctly predicted the outcome of all of the 2010 World Cup games became a global phenomenon during the year’s soccer craze, and gamblers were no doubt banking on Paul, as he was called, to come through for them during the next Cup. Sadly, Paul the Octopus died before he would get the chance to prove himself. The aquarium where he lived in Oberhausen, Germany constructed a statue of the cephalopod and placed his cremated remains inside the soccer ball.
The statue built in honor of Charles La Trobe, the first lieutenant-governor of Victoria, Australia, looks a lot like any other monument you might find erected for a leader. It’s a bronze cast of La Trobe standing on a pedestal. The only difference between this and every other memorial statue is that this one is totally upside down. The pedestal is up in the air and the whole structure is resting on La Trobe’s amazingly strong head. The idea behind this reversal is that La Trobe, for whom La Trobe University is named, thought that students needed to turn ideas on their heads by questioning the norms and looking for new perspectives. Some have thought this odd metaphor is disrespectful to the leader, but La Trobe remains in an eternal headstand.
Want to be buried in a giant chicken? No problem. How about a 6-foot-long cell phone? Just move to Ghana. The West African country has a tradition of making funerals a big event, and the coffins are the centerpiece of the affair. Many people have coffins made to reflect the dead person’s interests or careers. They can be made in almost any shape, from animals to airplanes to agriculture. This tradition is said to have started with a chair maker who made elaborate seats for rich men. One client died while the man was making a bean-shaped chair for him, so they buried the client in it. Today it’s become a bizarre art form and lucrative livelihood for one tribe.
For most Americans, Wenceslas is just a king with a funny name that we sing about at Christmas, but he has a pretty interesting back story. The Christian king from the 10th century was murdered by his half-brother (as he was on his way to church, no less) and thus became a saint. He is now considered the patron saint of the Czech Republic and is rumored to be hiding beneath a mountain with his knights and will return when the people really need his help. This statue is far less noble. Created by controversial Czech artist David Cerny, it shows St. Wenceslas sitting on an upside-down dead horse who is strung up from the rafters. It’s a sort of parody of a nearby statue depicting the saint riding a horse properly, and many believe it has other symbolism as the representation of Wenceslas looks a lot like the Czech president.
It’s strange enough to build a monument of just a boot, but even more bizarre that the "most brilliant soldier" that the statue memorializes isn’t named. That’s because this famous man is Benedict Arnold, and the statue is in memory of his heroic efforts on behalf of Americans in the Revolutionary War. Arnold was a major general in the war and helped win the Battle of Saratoga, during which his leg was injured and his military career ended. The imagery of the boot in this memorial is in honor of that wounded limb. Of course, Arnold would later become the most well-known traitor in American history, so the monument avoids mentioning his name.
When you’re walking through a cemetery to attend a funeral or visit a loved one’s grave, you probably aren’t expecting to see a creepy clown staring at you. In Colma, Calif. though, the number of circus people buried at one cemetery apparently warrants a light-hearted memorial. The moderately scary clown is surrounded by a bigtop, merry-go-round, and other cheery circus-themed images on top of the granite monument. Ring masters and lion tamers deserve to be honored, but maybe the middle of a graveyard isn’t the best place to remind people of their fear of clowns. Apparently, the marker for the memorial used to be a life-size painting of a clown, so this might be an improvement.
The Boy Scouts of America are known for teaching our youth good values and helping old women cross the street, so it seems only fitting that they would be honored with a memorial. But when you think of the proper images to immortalize the Boy Scout ideals, naked people probably aren’t part of that picture. The statue created for the Boy Scouts on the group’s 50th anniversary stands in D.C. and features a sweet, innocent Boy Scout in his uniform, with two people close behind him. These larger figures on either side of him are supposed to represent American manhood and womanhood and the ideals they pass on to the next generations, but these ideals appear to be bodybuilding and nudity. Both the man and woman have bulging muscles and are almost totally bare — not good symbolism considering the sex abuse cases that would later make headlines.
There are so many things wrong with this statue, it’s hard to know where to start. The sculpture is a tribute to Britney Spears, the birth of her first child, and the pro-life movement (apparently just because she had a baby at a relatively young age). The artist created a statue that shows Spears naked on all fours on a bear-skin rug, giving birth to Sean Preston. First of all, who would ever give birth on a bear-skin rug? Secondly, Spears had a C-section. Most photos only show the front of the sculpture, and it’s probably for the viewer’s benefit because the back end shows Sean Preston’s head crowning. A permanent crotch shot of Britney Spears is the last thing America needs.
As tens of thousands of American troops return from Iraq by New Year’s, they are going to face the challenges that many veterans find themselves up against after serving abroad. Not only will they have to figure out how to fit back into their family lives and rediscover clothes that don’t involve camouflage, but many of them are also going to have to find relevant civilian jobs in a tough economy. President Barack Obama has started focusing on the importance of providing jobs for the selfless men and women who have served our country, announcing recently that he has lined up more than 250 companies that will hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses in the next two years. As veterans try to market themselves in the civilian world, they should capitalize on the marketable skills they’ve learned during their service and look for careers that use everything they have to offer. If you know (or are) a veteran trying to get back in the work force, these eight professions are a good starting place for a successful job hunt.
If you’ve had any engineering training in the military or before joining, you might be able to land a job with a manufacturer in the defense industry. Several companies throughout the U.S. have defense contracts, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics, and make parts for weapons and military vehicles. Depending on your area of specialization and your level of education, you’re looking to make between $50,000 and $60,000 when you begin your career and can reach salaries in the six-figure range. The benefit of having military service in your background when applying for defense industry jobs is that potential employers already know that you’re responsible, have knowledge of the field, and won’t have any problems with security clearance.
Any job that involves working under pressure is well suited for most veterans. Contractors and other construction managers use the skills taught by the military in their daily routines as they see a building project through from start to finish. They face tight deadlines, organize workers, and have to think on their feet when problems arise. Plus, there’s always the danger of falling through a roof or getting shot with a nail gun, which is nothing compared to the threats veterans have encountered. About half of all contractors work for themselves — great news for anyone who wants the freedom of choosing his own jobs and leading a team of people — and there are expected to be more positions available in the next few years than there are qualified candidates.
Many veterans have the valuable ability to understand the big picture of a project and visualize each step that is necessary to reach the end goal. Logistics coordinators are professional multi-taskers, keeping track of each part of an assignment down to the smallest detail. Depending on what kind of company you work for, you might be managing the handling and distribution of raw goods or finalizing plans for an event. It’s this broad range of possibilities, however, that makes the profession so attractive. You will likely be able to find a position in any state and your skills will transfer to other company’s logistics departments when it’s time for a job change. Servicemen and women who were tasked with procuring equipment and keeping track of inventory will transition to this career without any problems.
What better profession to take on after serving your country than to serve your community? Police officers work in much the same way as those in the military: there’s a hierarchy with room for promotion, your main duty is to protect your fellow citizens, and you get to wear a slick uniform and carry a gun. The discipline learned in the military makes veterans extremely marketable to police forces and many units build the same kind of camaraderie veterans are used to. Cops normally earn between $35,000 and $60,000 a year, but that doesn’t include the respect you’ll get from the people in your city. If you decide you need to go back to school to land the law enforcement job of your dreams, you could even qualify for discounted or free tuition under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.
Becoming a data communications analyst is one of the most highly recommended career paths for retired military members. Not only does it use skills that directly translate from military positions like information security technician, but jobs in the field are expected to increase more than 50% by 2018. Add in the fact that the average salary is somewhere around $90,000 and you probably don’t even care what the job description is. Data communications analysts work in the information technology field and help maintain communications systems by testing and analyzing them, helping clients troubleshoot problems, and designing software and hardware. Computer knowledge and solid communication skills are a must for this position, but at least you can play around on the Internet all day.
Teamwork and leadership skills are some of the most important tools gleaned from a person’s military service, but many veterans often downplay them and focus only on their technical training. The marketplace is full of jobs that veterans are likely to land just by highlighting their experience managing people, especially if they ever helped train new recruits in the military. Training managers are responsible for educating new employees on company policies and procedures and organizing on-the-job training for them. There is also room to be creative and teach classes for all employees on new technologies or provide one-on-one training to bring a worker up to speed. The mark of a good trainer is building loyalty to the company and enthusiasm in the workplace, which is a trait trainers in all branches of the military seem to possess.
Admit it: you just pictured a guy in a striped hat and overalls or imagined someone yelling "All aboard." Railroad conductors don’t get enough credit for all they actually do. Working as a railroad conductor means coordinating all the activity on your train, including the crew, inspection of equipment, and schedule. Communication skills, like the kind used in military operations, are also essential to prevent disasters with other trains that we hope to only see in movies and math problems. Yard masters perform the same function but on the ground rather than on the train, making sure yard workers are safe and hard at work and handling the unloading and rearranging of train cars. Railroad companies are some of the most veteran-friendly employers in the U.S. so they are known for making the transition back to civilian life as easy as possible.
Becoming a field service technician or engineer is ideal for the person who doesn’t want to sit at a desk all day (or maybe ever). You can work in a variety of industries, from oil and gas to mobile communications, so the job opportunities are widespread, and you’re never stuck in one place as you travel from site to site installing and maintaining complicated equipment. The job carries a lot of responsibility since you often work with little supervision and are expected to be an expert on the machines, which normally requires a strong interest in mechanics or electronics. Veterans who like to build and fix things would fit this hands-on position like a glove.
Most coaches do a good job of staying out of the spotlight, but some just can’t help themselves when the opportunity arises. A recent example of this headline-stealing behavior was Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz’s fight, which proved to us that coaches are just as emotional as players, and sometimes they let it show. Here are 10 coaches who stole the headlines:
Former Kansas City Royals manager Hal McRae may be more widely known for his temper than his baseball career. In 1993, McRae stole the headlines when he lashed out at reporters and had one of the biggest meltdowns in baseball history. The manager went berserk when a reporter asked him a "stupid question" about his batting lineup decision. McRae started cursing and throwing objects off his desk, including a telephone, a bottle of vodka and a tape recorder, which struck a reporter and cut his cheek. After trashing his room, McRae continued to berate the reporters and ended the interview with the zinger "put that in your pipe and smoke it."
NHL coaches Bryan Murray and Lindy Ruff stole the headlines when they started a brawl during a Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators game. Few people actually remember who won the game, because most people only recall Murray and Ruff fighting between glass walls and a rinkside reporter who picked up some of the smack-talking on his microphone. Although the coaches never actually got physical, the incident turned out to be a memorable fight that helped fuel the longstanding hockey rivalry.
Oklahoma State University head coach Mike Gundy managed to stay out of the limelight for the first few years of his coaching career, but all of that changed in 2007, when he went on a major media rant. Gundy’s famous postgame tirade was over a newspaper article that was critical of the former starting quarterback Bobby Reid. The three-minute, 20-second rant uttered the famous line "I’m a man! I’m 40!" The meltdown became a YouTube hit and has spurred many parodies.
The New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is bold and brassy and never fails to find his way in the headlines. Ryan’s reputation as an outspoken coach with a great deal of confidence has gotten him in the headlines on multiple occasions. Ryan also found himself in the media for a non-football related incident involving a series of foot-fetish videos that featured a woman who appeared to be Ryan’s wife and he was the alleged cameraman. And for once, Ryan had no comment for the media.
Retired college basketball coach Bob Knight is known as much for his sideline outbursts and tirades as he is for his coaching achievements. The legendary coach earned a reputation as a hothead who yelled profanities, berated officials and allegedly grabbed and verbally abused players. Knight was full of insane, spotlight-stealing moments, but none was as great as his infamous chair throw during the 1985 Indiana-Purdue game. Knight continued to entertain audiences and anger referees, but his abuse of the "zero-tolerance" policy got him canned from Indiana University.
The Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington may be known as a strong leader in baseball, but 59-year-old surprised everyone when he confessed to using cocaine. Washington admitted to his "stupid" error after failing a MLB drug test and said that he only used it once. Washington’s confession stole the headlines of MLB pre-season and, unfortunately, took the initial focus away from what would be one of the Rangers’ best seasons.
Lou Piniella may be nicknamed "Sweet Lou," but this former Chicago Cubs manager has had his fair share of not-so-sweet moments throughout his baseball career. Piniella developed a reputation for having outrageous meltdowns and tirades on the field that would result in dramatic ejections from games. Piniella became famous for yelling in the faces of umpires, kicking dirt on them and throwing down his baseball cap in anger while cheering fans egged him on. Piniella’s outrageous outbursts may have gotten him ejected from a few games, but he definitely won the spotlight.
Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon had a long history of challenging umpires on close calls, but it was his reaction during a 2001 Pirates-Brewers game that really stole the headlines. In his traditional argumentative fashion, McClendon walked on to the field to dispute the call and got ejected from the game, but this time he took a souvenir – first base. McClendon tore up first base and walked back to the dugout with it. McClendon never lived down the meltdown, and we never forgot it.
Mike Leach was a one-of-a-kind college football coach who didn’t hold back from saying exactly what was on his mind. The former Texas Tech head football coach stole the headlines on multiple occasions, mostly for his outrageous commentary and odd fascination with pirates. Sportswriters called him the "mad scientist of football." Leach was notorious for lecturing his players on everything from Apaches to pirates, and told them to "swing their swords" before games. His peculiar behavior and snide comments about other teams didn’t sit well with a lot of people, but it was his alleged mistreatment of Adam James in 2009 that got him the boot.
Phil Jackson may have won more NBA championships than any other coach in league history, but his well-known feuds with Kobe Bryant have frequently stolen the show from the otherwise successful team. Jackson’s supposed pompous attitude and arrogant behavior caused problems on the team and affected some of his player realtionships.
Being fired is by far one of the worst experiences a person can go through, but one thing’s for certain – you’re not alone. Some of the most talented people in Hollywood, politics and sports have been laid off at some point in their careers, but their resilience and strong work ethic helped them move past the loss and keep their eye on the prize. Here are 10 famous people who flourished after being laid off:
It’s hard to believe that the man who created Mickey Mouse and co-founded one of the biggest motion picture production companies ever faced rejection, but in 1919, Walt Disney was fired from his job at the Kansas City Star because he supposedly lacked imaginative ideas. Disney later set his sights on creating a cartoon series that spurred the mega media conglomerate known as The Walt Disney Company.
Mark Cuban wasn’t always a successful Internet mogul and NBA owner. In the ’80s, Cuban worked as a salesman at a computer store, but found himself more interested in working on computers and developing business plans rather than manning a cash register and sweeping the floors. Cuban was laid off, and this was the last time he worked for someone else ever again.
Billionaire businessman and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn’t reach this level of success without failing a little here and there. When Bloomberg was a partner at the investment bank, Salomon Brothers, he and 62 colleagues were fired because the company was bought out. Bloomberg used his severance check to develop his own financial services company, which has made him the 18th richest person in the country.
Long before Oprah Winfrey became the most successful female talk show host in television history, she was working as a TV news reporter at WJZ in Baltimore. After seven and a half months of co-anchoring at WJZ, Winfrey was pulled off the air because the producer felt she was too emotionally invested in her stories and was "unfit for television news."
Bill Belichick may be best known for leading the New England Patriots to several victories, including three Super Bowl championships, but this isn’t the first NFL team Belichick has coached. From 1991 to 1995, Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, but after facing a losing season, Belichick was let go. Although the chances of Belichick getting another head coaching job looked bleak, he got the opportunity to join the Patriots in 2000.
Anna Wintour is best known as the successful and cut-throat editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Despite her success, this hard-nosed leader has been laid off before. When Wintour was starting her career as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, her work was heavily criticized by editor Tony Mazzola, and she was fired nine months later. Shortly after working at Harper’s, Wintour went on to work at a couple different magazines before landing her spot at Vogue.
Today, Thomas Edison is regarded as one of the most prolific inventors in history. However, during Edison’s early years, he was called stupid by his teachers and was fired from his first two jobs for not working hard enough. Despite his failures and firings, Edison went on to invent some of the most remarkable devices like the light bulb, the phonograph and the motion picture camera.
Before J.K. Rowling was writing about wizards and warlocks, the best-selling author was working as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International. When Rowling’s dreams of becoming a writer got in the way of her secretarial work, she got laid off. Rowling used her severance check to support her as she began to write the book series that would change her life forever.
Cycling star and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong didn’t always come out on top. In 1997, Armstrong was fired from the French racing team Cofidis while he was undergoing cancer treatment. The team refused to give Armstrong the rest of his salary and medical coverage. Obviously, Armstrong went on to lead the United States Postal Service squad and take home a handful of victories.
Award-winning actor and director Robert Redford didn’t always shine on the job. When Redford was a teenager he worked as an unskilled worker at Standard Oil. After he got caught falling asleep on the job and making several mistakes, Redford got fired. This incident led the young man to pursue his dreams of going to college and eventually becoming an actor.
A cleverly conceived trade can make a general manager’s career and launch a middling team into a new stratosphere of competitiveness. The Herschel Walker trade, for example, also known as "The Great Train Robbery," involved 18 players, the most effective of which were procured in the draft by the Cowboys. Of course, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the ’90s, thanks, in part, to Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, and Alvin Harper. On the less conventional side, the Pats obtained Bill Belichick from the Jets in exchange for draft picks, setting up their 2000s dynasty. The following trades are more like the latter — those weird ones that made you think "is that really possible?" and realize that there’s more to being a GM than merely plugging players into a trade simulator.
Baseball’s original version of "Flash" Gordon is regarded as one of the greatest second basemen of all time, winning five World Series titles during his Hall of Fame career. After he retired, he worked his way up to manager of the Indians, but his new job was made more difficult as he feuded with general manager Frank Lane, who often second-guessed his decisions. In 1959, Gordon was fired and rehired, leading up to his trade for Jimmy Dykes, the first transaction of its kind, during the 1960 season. He managed just 57 games for the Tigers, leaving them for the Kansas City Athletics following the season.
Both Tanner and Sanguillen were accomplished at their respective positions. Tanner won Manager of the Year in 1972 when his White Sox pushed the vaunted A’s to the limit during the regular season, ultimately succumbing to a second place finish. Sanguillen earned three All-Star appearances and was an instrumental member of the Pirates’ 1971 World Series title-winning team. A year after their trade, Sanguillen was reacquired by the Pirates and assisted Tanner in securing his only World Series title on the "We Are Family" squad.
Ready to return home to the Florida Gulf Coast, an aging Piniella was warm to the idea of being traded from rainy Seattle to sunny Florida to manage the Rays. In return, the Mariners received Randy Winn, who was named to his only All-Star game in 2002. Two years removed from guiding the Mariners to a 116-46 record — tied for the most wins ever in a single season — Piniella received criticism when the team fizzled out in the playoffs. He endured three seasons in which his team lost 90 games or more as he was tasked with building the Rays into a winner. He departed after the 2005 season, critical of the front office’s lack of commitment to fielding a competitive squad.
It took just eight years, a period in which he won a World Series title, for the always volatile Ozzie Guillen to wear out his welcome with the White Sox. His contentious relationship with general manager Ken Williams had been well-documented, and change seemed to be forthcoming regardless of the circumstances. As talks of a contract extension deteriorated, he was released from his position with the understanding that the team would receive compensation if he manages in 2012. The Marlins pounced on the opportunity, enabling Guillen to work where he keeps his offseason home.
While in New England, Parcells’ famously once said "They want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." Discontent over his lack of say in personnel matters, he sought to leave the Patriots after the 1997 season, but his contract prevented it. The moribund Jets, determined to secure the services of a proven winner, attempted to work their way around the impediment by hiring Bill Belichick as head coach and Parcells as an adviser. Recognizing the festering confusion and anger, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue oversaw the arrangement of the blockbuster trade that placated both sides.
As it turned out, Belichick continued to serve as Parcells’ top assistant and defensive coordinator during Tuna’s stint with the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells retired, Belichick served as the Jets’ head coach for one day before resigning during his introductory press conference and subsequently accepting the same position with the Patriots. Because he was still under contract with the Jets, the Patriots were forced to provide compensation, which ended up being draft picks.
Al Davis certainly isn’t known for doing things by the book, and the manner in which he orchestrated Gruden’s departure is no exception. The Bucs were in desperate need of someone who could propel them to the Super Bowl after the firing of Tony Dungy, a move that was questioned by many in the NFL community and media. After being rejected by Bill Parcells, they turned their sights to Gruden. Davis initially refused to allow him to negotiate, but later relented and settled for a nice compensation package. Both teams seemed to benefit, as they met in Super Bowl XXXVII. Gruden’s Bucs won 48-21.
In four seasons with the Jets, Edwards guided the team to three playoff appearances, but sank into hot water when he oversaw a miserable 4-12 season in 2005. Undeterred, the Chiefs proceeded pursue Edwards anyway. In an effort to secure a contract extension, Edwards embraced the attention, accelerating his eventual departure from New York. Emotionally, Jets owner Woody Johnson reached a point of no return, and allowed his front office to negotiate a deal with the Chiefs. Edwards tallied an underwhelming 15-33 record in three seasons in Kansas City.
Despite being essentially run out of town by Pat Riley as the Heat struggled to meet lofty expectations, Van Gundy was viewed as a hot coaching commodity. The Magic, fresh off of the quick hiring and resignation of Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan, wanted a big name, and therefore offered the position to Van Gundy. He accepted, but the Heat didn’t want to give him up to their instate rival for nothing, demanding compensation in return. Two years later, the Magic reached the Finals while the Heat were in the process of clearing cap space for a big 2010 offseason.
Believe it or not, the most bizarre trade in football history involved an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster and a Disney character. When NBC Sports secured the rights to Sunday Night Football, which essentially became the "game of the week" in place of Monday Night Football, chairman Dick Ebersol wanted an A-list crew — Michaels and John Madden, who previously worked on MNF, were considered the best tandem in the business. Michaels initially opted to continue calling MNF games for ESPN, but later asked to be allowed to move to NBC. The two networks struck up a deal centered on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit — who was developed by Walt Disney — enabling him to settle in to his rightful home.
Steve Jobs was a tremendous innovator whose influence on modern society is immeasurable. The technology created by Apple has shrunk the world and made the pursuit of knowledge — any kind of knowledge — incredibly simple. His work has also had a profound effect on online education, which has evolved with the introduction of tools such as the iPod and iPad. Students who enroll in online courses value attributes such as mobility and portability so they can pursue their dreams while carrying on with everything else in their lives. Here are five ways Jobs changed online education, or more specifically, how we learn.
Powerbook revolutionizes the laptop, portability: Prior to the early ’90s, laptops were less user friendly and more difficult to lug around. But, the addition of a palm rest and the installation of a trackball (pointing device) in the Powerbook created new standards for mobile PCs, and set forth rapid improvements that changed the industry. A decade later, laptops became essential workplace items, and today, every online student owns one — the Macbook, for example, has been the best-selling Macintosh in history and the best-selling laptop because of its comfortable usability and impressive power. Need to churn out a brief research paper? You can now do it at home, at the library, with a study buddy, or at the coffee shop thanks, in large part, to Jobs.
Podcasting enables students to view lectures anytime, anywhere: Students can view or listen to lectures conducted by their professors thousands of miles away. Podcasting has been one of the best additions to online education because of its simplicity for both the person uploading the content and the person downloading it. Professors can upload supplementary material without wasting too much time, enhancing their students’ overall educational experience. What’s more, it supplements learning by offering access to a variety of expert sources covering a multitude of topics.
iPad makes textbooks, learning easily accessible: And perhaps just as important — less expensive. Educators on all levels have been warming up to the iPad, which can download textbooks, notes, homework, practice games and other online resources, transforming into an all-in-one educational device. For example, Inkling works with education experts to develop more engaging content in their interactive textbooks, which range from essential neuroscience to the pathophysiology of heart disease. They’re better than the average textbook, and they cost about half the price — what’s not to love if you’re in college?
iCloud on the horizon: A lot of hype has surrounded the development of iCloud, a cloud computing service that enables users to store data on remote servers and download it on devices such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad and laptop. Excellent for students and teachers, it makes it easier for them to access documents and videos — think notes and lectures. Of course, it’s only available for Apple products, but that could change with time. Many educators project that it’ll be the next major innovation to influence education.
Jobs proves it’s okay to challenge the status quo: Online educators challenged the status quo in education, and Steve Jobs challenged the status quo in technology. He provided access to technology in the classroom, and he made the classroom accessible with technology. As a result, online education has evolved and become more valuable. Online students are accustomed to adopting unconventional methods for achieving success and overcoming challenges, which is why they especially should respect the work and impact of Steve Jobs.