3. Steve Jobs
Photo: Peer Grimm/EPA/Corbis
Though the co-founder of Apple passed away last October, the legacy he left behind so profoundly affects the way our children learn and the way we interact with them that we couldn’t leave Steve Jobs off the list. His company, whose name is practically synonymous with innovation, revolutionized the home technology industry. We now help our toddlers learn about shapes through apps for the iPhone (the number one selling smartphone ever), we curl up to watch movies together using our iPads (59 million sold since its June 2010 launch), we listen to podcasts and flip through photos on our iPods, and more.
Jobs’s legacy has had — and will continue to have — an unquestionable impact on our children’s education, too. When school started last September, for example, the relatively
affordable iPad had already been adopted by 600 school districts (according to the Associated Press) to replace some of their traditional textbooks with online versions that can be customized and updated with ease. More schools will surely follow.