Monday, April 30, 2012

Connected. Instructed. Created. - TEDxNYED 2012

Source: TEDxNYED
It's hard to imagine a better professional Saturday than the invigorating time we spent at the third annual TEDxNYED conference. Hosted by the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, on April 28, 2012, this independently organized TED event was dedicated to teaching and learning. Fourteen rousing speakers shared their unique passions about educational "Ideas Worth Spreading."

Source: TEDxNYED
With a theme of "Connected. Instructed. Created.," the event featured an illuminating array of topics. Some common threads, however, ran through each talk, including:
  • Welcoming failure as an iteration on the path toward learning
  • Making and creating rather than listening and receiving
  • Reinventing the school system to collaborate toward global entrepreneurship
If you were unable to attend, here's a small rundown. These blurbs are by no means summative. They are just take-aways from the experts themselves that we found particularly enlightening :

Juliette LaMontagne, TEDxNYED, April 28, 2012 - Source: ASIDE


Jenny Buccos (@goodglobalcitz) - "Global Citizenship In The Classroom"
Most schools today incorporate global education only through international cuisine and world holidays. You can't opt out of humanity. The world can't afford to wait. We don't need more research and more studies. Cross-cultural conversation and open questioning end when students are worried about getting the "right answer."

Jose Luis Vilson (@TheJLV) - "Redefining Teacher Voice"
A teacher's luminescence glows through his or her voice. Never let anyone take your voice away from you, and always recognize that the students' voices come first. Rather than getting jaded by teacher evaluations and test scores, get active. Work harder for the kids, because the conditions for teaching are the same as the conditions for learning. We need to light up now.

Juliette LaMontagne (@jlamontagne) - "Project Breaker"
The design process and the entrepreneurial mindset can combine to solve problems and change the world. The real desire for learning lies in the marginal spaces of traditional schools, in the after-school programs and the one-on-one interactions that incubate future innovators. Kids need to be part of the solutions and not just learn about the problems. Most of all they need "permission to fail."

Jim Groom (@jimgroom) - "The Educational aPOPcalypse"
Teachers are being vilified by a shock doctrine and a doom narrative of the current education system in order to manufacture emergencies and usher in privatization by corporations. We need to get away from the crisis mantra and start investing in what it means for kids to create and produce their own learning.

Source: Sree Sreenivasan


Sree Sreenivasan (@sree) - "Connecting The Physical And The Digital: A Key To Getting Anything Done"
With social media, always be listening, not just broadcasting. We need to marry the virtual and the real-life to make things happen. The formula for success using social media should include one or more of the following attributes for every tweet or post: "helpful, useful, informative, relevant, practical, actionable, timely, generous, credible, brief, entertaining, fun, and occasionally funny."

Jaimie Cloud (@cloudinstitute) - "Educating For The Future We Want With The Brain In Mind - or It Takes A Child To Raise A Village"
Things change. Will we? How many new schools look exactly like the old ones, but in miniature? We cannot educate for sustainability if we are stuck in our thinking. Mindlessness is not stupidity; it is just the brain stuck in the past and ignoring the feedback. Mindfulness and learning how to learn are the cures to avoid having to rewire kids year after year.

Christopher Emdin (@chrisemdin) - "Hip-Hop Education"
Hip-hop education seeks to reach the marginalized population that does not have what it is expected to have. It's not just about listening to rhymes on headphones. Kids need places to write, space to move, and freedom to manipulate technology their way. It's not just about rap pedagogy, but instead it incorporates a robust culture: 
Heart, Inspiration, Power. Heal Oppressive Pedagogy.

Adam Bellow (@adambellow) - "Learning To Question The Rules Of Our System"
We have to stop talking about "fixing" education. What era exactly do we want to return to? We used to teach students to make stuff; now we just stuff them full of teaching. Real learning is the difference between eating and cooking. "College- and career-ready" is McEducation - you get what's in the box. The homework for teachers, in addition to passion and dedication, is "BE INFECTIOUS!"

Sophie Altcheck - "Concussion Awareness And Contact Sports"
Two concussions in 24 hours as a high-school soccer player can give a leader crucial perspective on the importance of brain trauma and education. Concussion awareness is to the student athlete as sex education is to the average teenager.
Patrick Honner, TEDxNYED, April 28, 2012 - Source: ASIDE


Tony Wagner (@drtonywagner) - "Creating Innovators: The Making Of Young People Who Will Change The World"
Knowledge is a commodity. The world cares not about what you know, but about what you can do with what you know. America has always been an innovative nation, but is that because of or in spite of our educational system? Innovating is interdisciplinary. Play + passion + purpose = innovation.

Bre Pettis (@bre) - "Making, Learning, And Power"
You cannot teach to a test and still teach creativity very well. When you make or fix things, you gain measurable skills and experience, resulting in tangible pride in your work. How many tools and machines go unused in schools, because the teacher is not allowed to mess with them?

Patrick Honner (@mrhonner) - "Let's Make Math"
Mathematics is a highly creative endeavor. Interactions are valuable to explore all the facets of math education. Sphere dressing, weaving, photography, and even writing can all exercise power over analytical ideas.

Frank Noschese (@fnoschese) - "Learning Science By Doing Science"
Teaching is not explaining. It's a way of creating meaning. What we see scientists do and what we see students do are currently not the same. We can build curiosity through hands-on connections and model-testing. Kids need to play with a purpose and high-five each other more in science class.

Jaymes Dec (@jaymesdec) - "Making @ School: What Did You Make Today?"
Every school should have a "maker space." Making is inherently pleasurable. If you let kids build, they'll be intrinsically motivated and won't disappoint. Creating a design is the ultimate interdisciplinary exercise. There is no failure, only perseverance and growth. Kids should be asked, "What did you 'make' in school today?" Then you will know what they learned.

Thanks to all of the speakers who put their time and charisma into planning their talks. Congratulations also to host Homa Tavangar (@growingupglobal), co-curator Karen Blumberg (@SpecialKRB), and the team of organizers who good-naturedly trouble-shot the technical difficulties. Livestream broadcast the event online, and each talk is now being posted in its entirety. Many attendees also added personal insights via Twitter, making the #TEDxNYED archive worth exploring. Finally, if you find yourself in the area, we recommend Studio Square around the corner for a relaxing post-inspiration conversation.


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  4. Thank you for capturing the essence of these talks and providing valuable insights for your readers. Your eloquent and engaging description of the event has sparked my curiosity, and I now find myself eager to explore the full talks from TEDxNYED. Your appreciation for the organizers, speakers, and the event's positive impact on education is heartening, and I'm grateful for your perspective.
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