Public Speaking 2009

Here is the text version of the speech:

In the perfect world classrooms would have unlimited amount of resources as well as realistic student to teacher ratios. The students would be self-motivated and their sole priority, learning. Mom would be home, with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, waiting to complete this model scenario. Sadly, this isn’t the case. According to the latest figures the dropout rate among Quebec high school students presently stands at 29%, up from 26% in 2003. Large classes, learning difficulties as well as poverty are the main reasons sited for this disturbing fact. These hurdles prevent high school students from attaining an education. Our society is presently faced with the harsh reality that our future work force will be uneducated, untrained, and unmotivated. Obviously our current educational system is in need of change. Why not reward unmotivated students who under perform? For that matter why not include those students who show up everyday ready to do their best. Imagine how enthusiastic and attentive students would be if they were given monetary incentives to achieve academic success.

Money for Marks, Cash for Credits, Wealth for Wisdom call it what you’d like; an incentive program to entice those who lack motivation and a reward for those who are successful. Did well on that Chemistry Exam? Able to maintain an average of 80% or higher? Your reward will now be in the form of a cheque.

This incentive program is currently being tested in the United States. Private corporations are footing the bill. Their motivation; investing for the future. Big Business can see the big picture and it looks pretty bleak right now.

For those nay sayers who worry that this will lead to a more selfish and cut throat society they should ask themselves if they are willing to financially support an increasing number of high school dropouts.

84% of the nation’s work force hates their job. Hopefully, you’ll become one of the 16% who don’t. With numbers like this, let’s be honest, it’s obvious that money is the major force driving adults to get up every morning. Adults expect to be compensated for their efforts made at work but if a child is compensated – well the word bribery comes to most minds. Let’s not forget that typically good grades=good job; good job=happy employee.

Ultimately the sense of accomplishment and the increased self-esteem one gets from achieving their goals should motivate them but for 29% of our high school students, that is not the case. Ask any student in this room if they would feel a sense of accomplishment or insulted when they received their “Coins for Cleverness” and I believe they would say “Show me the Money”.

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Acer’s Smartphone

12-6-08-acer-phone

For the third time this year, we’re hearing straight from totally unofficial, somewhat sketchy Acer sources that the firm is still planning on producing its own smartphone in 2009. The latest report company chairman JT Wang stating that the eventual launch may not happen until Q2 2009 (red flag), and he blamed the possible delay on the ongoing negotiations with carriers across the globe. If you’ll recall, Acer’s been talking up its own phone ever since it took E-Ten Information Systems in under its wings, but many months later, we still have no concrete evidence that anything is going on (mobile wise, at least)  behind the firm’s doors. I suppose time will tell, but I have serious doubts the hardcore Acer faithful will be holding their breath

Windows 7: mid-2009 Release Date

Microsoft reporter queen bee Mary Jo Foley has put together a few signs suggesting that Windows 7 may debut earlier than anyone imagined – in the back of the next year. While it’s been expected that it’ll be released to manufacturing by the end of the year, a few signs point to it being on track to RTM before mid-2009. In particular, Microsoft is now advertising that the Windows Hardware and Engineering Conference 2008 will be the only chance to engage with the team before Windows 2007 is released. WinHEC 2009 starts on May 3. 

This would mean, as Foley points out, that the public beta expected in December would probably be the only public beta before release. It also makes Steve Ballmer’s recent comments that it’s okay to wait for Windows 7 make more sense – it’s hard to push Vista with an aggressively straight face when the next Windows is really less than a year away.

Of course, we’d prefer Windows 7 soon rather than later, but we’d also rather wait for a smooth, seamless launch that doesn’t resemble Vista’s rather ugly debut. It seems like Microsoft is really trying to get the launch (and the OS) right from the get-go this time, so we’re actually kinda optimistic.