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Google boss, mayor visit South Side high school computer class

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Mayor Rahm Emanuel  Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy 7651 S. Homan Ave. Thursday May 16

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, 7651 S. Homan Ave. Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: June 18, 2013 8:17AM

Imagine you’re in a high school acting class, and your teacher announces a surprise visitor: “Hey everyone, say hello to George Clooney.”

It was a bit like that Thursday morning for computer programming students at the South Side’s Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, when Google chief Eric Schmidt — accompanied by his friend Mayor Rahm Emanuel — popped in to say hello.

“It was shocking, breathtaking,” said freshman Raven Crump, 15. “I would love to give him my resume.”

Schmidt wanted to know about the students’ work — on this day, they were programming computerized dice to roll randomly. Schmidt — who is on tour promoting his book, “The New Digital Age,” was delighted to learn the class uses various Google products, including Google Docs and Gmail.

“I am extraordinarily happy you are a Google Docs user,” Schmidt told one student. “My colleague, Jared [Cohen] and I wrote a whole book using Google Docs.”

Emanuel was showing off state-of-the-art Goode, one of five city public high schools that opened this year and put an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math — fields the mayor says are critical for future success in the workplace.

“We’re giving kids an education that will pay dividends for years to come — for them and for the city,” Emanuel said.

Schmidt — worth an estimated $8.2 billion, according to Forbes — is on tour with his provocative new book, which offers an at-times alarming vision of a future world where the Internet has penetrated every corner of the globe.

But some things won’t change in the future, Schmidt said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

Parents will still need to monitor their children’s activities.

“I am concerned that in the new digital age, everything is remembered,” said Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman. “So you have some 15-year-old girl who gets drunk at a party and shouldn’t. And then someone else posts a video of her being drunk. That would have been forgotten in previous ages. Now [online], it’s forever.”

Schmidt added: “Having that conversation early about what it’s like to live in an online [age] is probably a very fundamental activity for a parent.”

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