Posted Mon, 19 Mar: 11th July 2016 - Another great morning in paradise with an all you can eat American breakfast to start the day with. Todays itinerary consisted of Khan Academy, Google, and Inflection three Amazing places to start the tech company tour off.
Khan Academy is an amazing online tool for teachers and students to use in the classroom. It allows teachers to set tasks for students to do online and allows the teacher to keep track which I think is a really neat way of getting students involved in web based learning and a chance to take learning into their own hands. We arrived at Khan Academy around 10:00am at their new location that they now also have their very own Khan Academy School. As we arrived we were greeted by an employee named Mia who works on adoption of the product. She gave us the quick tour of the business and then brought us into the conference room where she showed us how Khan Academy has grown over the year and how they've done this not to mention all the new ways they are getting students involved in taking learning into their own hands by setting up competitions. She then asked us a question and gave us the task of writing down as many ideas as possible in five minutes on ways to get teenagers to use Khan Academy at least 30 minutes per month using a brainstorm activity.After time was up we all had to explain our ideas no matter how silly they were. As each person went through their ideas the Khan Academy team were writing them down and actually listen to us and really cared about our ideas and thoughts which I thought was really cool and just shows that this a company that's non-profit and really care about the quality of education and they want to know how they can better themselves.
One Cool idea i'll take away is #YOU CAN LEARN ANYTHING.
Google was the next stop and it was so huge that when we first arrived we arrived at the wrong campus to begin with but we got some great photos with the android guy which was great. I ended up finding out where we needed to be and we all started to walk across the main campus to where we were meeting our guide he was really cool, he let us raid one of the highly stocked Google kitchens just before we started the tour (lots of food/also that was kind of our lunch). We got around the campus quite quickly due to the time schedule being quite tight but everyone got most of their questions answered which was great. One thing I really liked about what Google are Playing with and reaching Alphago which apparently beat the world champion at the worlds most complex game GO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUbqykXVx0A) So many possibilities that the A.I needed to be able to know and it still beat the worlds champion. Crazy. I just wish we had more time to explore more of the campus's, Google is such a huge company and is constantly growing and and quite a rapid rate as well. After the tour we got to go to the gift shop where I bought so Google Glasses and a pen pack. After the others had finished we were ready to head to our next stop Inflection.com.
Inflection.com is not quite the scale off Google but non the less it is quite a strong company that allows you to find public documentations such as court documentations, birth records, immigration records, census collections, business filings. But they aren't limited to this area as they are easily able to come up, test , make and then sell new ideas kind of making them a constant start up company in a way. We got to meet the CEO and ask questions about his success with the company and he was very open with us as a group which was really awesome to see that a big time co CEO could be really down to earth and want to spend time speaking to us says a lot. But just before we talked to the CEO Matthew we got to meet and question a New Zealander who is an intern who was really cool and really into and enjoyed and knew what he does at the company and what the companies about. One thing i'll take away from the visit is 'You'll always know more in the future than you do now' which is very much true but just a cool way of putting it also to read more if there is anything I have learned from all these companies so far is that reading is a big player in excelling our knowledge.
After the visit to Inflection.com the group and the Kiwi intern went to a really cool western themed restaurant called bucks. It was a restaurant that had a lot of memorabilia on the walls to give that authentic feel (the food was great too everyone enjoyed their meals.
Overall it was a great day visiting and learning from only some some Silicon Valley's finest and this was only day one of the tech company tours it's crazy how much i'm learning in the amount of time I've had. To make sure that I don't forget it all I've written quite extensive notes so that I don't forget it all and that if I ever need it I've got notes from some of the worlds greatest minds to help me along. This Experience is going to be one I remember for the rest of my life and I am very grateful.