Why We Love the Work of Dr. Randy Pausch

Who cares how your kids learn about financial literacy?  The important thing is that they do.

One of the people who inspires us at Gifting Sense is the Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor whose “last lecture” went viral in 2007. One of the stories told in that lecture was about the Alice Project 1, educational software designed to get more kids to learn how to code – but in a nontraditional way. Dr. Pausch’s view was who cares if kids learn how to code creating animated movies and games – the important thing is that they learn to code. He popularized the term “head fake” to describe indirect learning: “The best way to teach somebody something is to have them think they’re learning something else. … the head fake here is that they’re learning to program but they just think they’re making movies and video games.”

Randy did with the Alice Project what we at Gifting Sense want to do with shopping. He used animation to teach coding and we want to use shopping (for holiday and birthday gifts) to help kids learn to think before they buy.

We live in a world where in many ways it has never been easier to buy things. But at the same time, the need to more carefully consider what is being bought has never been greater – for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is the aggregate waste and environmental impact of gifts that are never used or appreciated.

By asking your children to take two minutes to answer 10-12 questions before they ask for their next birthday or holiday gift, you can begin to replace waste and disappointment with learning to be money-smart, and happiness. Our process was specifically designed to be quick, easy to use, and ensure that kids will only end up asking for items they really want and value. Parents don’t waste their time or money and kids receive gifts that are genuinely appreciated. It’s a win-win!

Dr. Randy Pausch 2
Dr. Randy Pausch 1

But don’t just take our word for it, “Get Started”  with one of our Gift Surveys today and see for yourself if shopping doesn’t become the best financial literacy “head fake”, as Dr. Pausch liked to say, of all. Who cares how your kids learn about financial literacy? The important thing is that they do.

1 Alice used drop and drag graphics which allowed students to immediately see how animation programs ran, enabling them to more easily understand the relationship between programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gained experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.


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