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TED Talk

Thomas Suarez is really something. On the outside, he seems like any other sixth grader- going to class, playing on his iPhone, hanging out with friends, doing (some) homework.. But this TED Talk gives insight into this sixth graders’ genius: he’s a code writer, programer, and app developer. Through his talk, he invites us to realize what the democratization of content creation has really brought to the world, “a lot of kids these days like to play games, but now they want to make them.” We’ve reached a point in time where we have the choice to either consume media or produce it. And Suarez is most definitely producing it.

Suarez explains his fascination with technology and explains the difficulty he encountered as a kid wanting to make programs, but lacking direction from adults or education programs to help him accomplish this. “It’s difficult because a lot of kids don’t know where to go to make a program. If you want to learn to play soccer, you could go to a soccer team. If you want to learn how to play the violin, you could go to a violinist. But where do you go when you want to create an app?”

However, when the iPhone emerged with its iPhone software development kit (a suite of tools for programming iPhone apps), Suarez created a number of apps, tested them, and then convinced his parents to pay the $99 fee to put his apps on the app store. From there, he received encouragement from friends and teachers, which led him to develop an App club at his school, where kids can go to learn how to program apps. Profits from the apps then go toward funding the program.

Currently, Thomas Suarez is a sixth grade student in South Bay, California and has established his own company, CarrotCorp. which sells four mobile applications on the iOS platform. His most successful app is called “Bustin Jieber,” a Justin Bieber type Whac-a-Mole.

This kid’s got a bright future, and we’re looking forward to seeing him learn, grow, and execute as he encourages and provides resources to other kids to do the same. Thomas is a true inspiration and a perfect example of the remarkable power of technology in shifting the previous norms of content and media creation.

By: Daniela Cuevas

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