Monday, April 29, 2013

Inside-Outside - TEDxNYED 2013

Source: TEDxNYED
The theme for the fourth annual TEDxNYED conference was "Inside-Outside." Presented in the majestic 91-year-old auditorium of the Brooklyn Technical High School, on Saturday, April 27, 2013, the series of talks focused on learning inside and outside of the classroom. Or, to quote Jonathan Soma, one of the day's presenters, the motif can be flipped to view outward-facing education as earning grades for college and for parents, and inward-facing education as nurturing life-long hobbies and self-betterment.

TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 -
Source: ASIDE
Each passionate speaker shared insights about a unique slice of modern learning. Some common strands, however, wove through all of the orations, including:
  • Meaningful person-to-person interactions are essential, especially in the emerging world of automated education
  • Experience is more important than content
  • Motivated educators are carving out niches of hands-on discovery, despite the impediments against them
If you were unable to attend the gathering, the talks will soon be posted online. Here's our recap, which highlights just a few of the ideas that struck us as worth sharing. Also, be sure to check out the Twitter #TEDxNYED archive for a lively real-time record.

Sabrina Stevens, TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 - Source: ASIDE

Douglas Rushkoff (@rushkoff) - "Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now"
In a world that is constantly connected, we need to exploit a peer-to-peer culture of learning. Most digital interaction is based on scripted "Read Only" performances in what is actually a "Read-Write" world. One of the best roles of online learning is using computers to teach computers. Programming is about engineering, liberal arts, and culture.

Sabrina Stevens (@teachersabrina) - "On Love, Democracy, And Public Schools"
What makes you respected as an independent school educator makes you a dissident in a test-obsessed public school. We keep waiting for the "justice fairy" to fix our schools. This is the wish that "somebody" is to blame and "somebody" needs to do something. Disempowerment is a cooperative act, while empowerment is an act of love that requires teaching.

Ahmed Abdelqader & Jason Nadboy - "Math Matters"
Students teaching other students, from high schoolers to middle schoolers, can produce inspiration in math enrichment. An ambitious spirit can kindle curiosity through game theory, graph theory, and magic squares.

Trung Le (@lecannondesign) - "The Third Teacher"
A school's environment can be emblematic of a desire to inspire thinkers. The design of the physical space can enhance the ecology of learning. Many schools currently treat learning as separate buckets of paint, but life is a messy splatter of hues. With information free everywhere, the value of school is no longer the content but the experience. Deep learning powered by technology leads to transformation.

Trung Le, TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 - Source: ASIDE

Gary Stager (@garystager) - "Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering In The Classroom"
Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity. Why do schools, therefore, insist on whole-class instruction and full-frontal teaching, killing flow with too many transitions? "Settle-down" time really means "wait for the next instruction." Those who remember a time when classrooms included play, gerbils, and imagination have a responsibility to remind their colleagues and inform their students, starting immediately. Complexity is possible when we make simple things easy to do.

Stephanie Rivera (@stephrrivera) - "Teacher Under Construction"
When you dreamed of being a teacher, did you dream of being a doormat? How many educators have silently sent in their resignation letters? Don't ignore the negative stereotypes of teachers. Speak up, or others will speak for you. Learning is not a standard and teachers are not puppets.

Kristen Swanson (@kristenswanson) - "Viral Learning"
Viral ideas are small, infectious notions that replicate inside living organisms. If learning is participatory, personal, and powerful, it becomes shareable and spreadable. It takes on a feeling of epicness.

Jen Messier & Jonathan Soma (@bkbrains) - "Brooklyn Brainery"
If you throw a rock, you can find an enthusiast or expert on almost any topic. The challenge is convincing them they can be teachers. The only credentials necessary are passion and a connection to the audience. The surprising truth is that everyone is interested in everything. You just have to give them the avenue to learn it.

Audrey Watters (@audreywatters) - "The Laws Of Educational Robotics"
Robots today can do almost anything, but can they recognize human cognitive differences? Computers can automatically grade essays and assess understanding, but can they teach us how to learn? If computers read as well as humans, it's because we've taught humans to read like computers. With no rules to govern them, will educational robots harm our humanity?

Math Matters, TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 - Source: ASIDE

Justin Lanier, Paul Salomon, & Anna Weitman (@mathmunch) - "Math Munch"
What is the nature of math discovery? Does it take a genius? Is the culture of math off-putting? We can draw kids into the creative experience with puzzles, art, and imagination. We can tell children that their mathematic, literary, and artistic works have a place in the greater world.

Maurya Couvares (@mauryacouvares) - "ScriptEd"
We must give low income students the options of careers in computers, where they can both use technology and create technology. Mentored by experts in the field, coders become creative. Kids cannot rely on a select group of insiders to design their futures. Children must be the creators in their communities.

Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards) - "Don't Control The Learning Experience"
Learning is spontaneous and complicated. Despite all those who try, it cannot be controlled. The biggest mistake in education is thinking grades are the same as assessment. Open-ended tools and user-designed applications can stretch the bounds of what is possible. We should not try to control the learning experience, but guide it.

Don Buckley (@donbuckley) - "Building A Culture Of Innovation"
To build a culture of innovation, you need the right people, the appropriate incentives, and a common language. Through design thinking and ideation, you can survey the landscape and find areas of opportunity. Schools can even build innovation "pop-ups" to share research and proposals that rethink lunch, homework, recess, and grading.

Math Munch, TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 - Source: ASIDE

We'd like to thank all of the experts who made it worthwhile to spend an unseasonably sunny Saturday inside a dark theater. The event organizers, such as Patrick Honner (@mrhonner) and Basil Kolani (@bkolani), also deserve our appreciation for their hard work and unruffled manner. If you happen to be in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, we recommend the iced coffee at the charming Cammareri bakery.

Don Buckley, TEDxNYED, April 27, 2013 - Source: ASIDE

By the way, here's the rundown of last year's TEDxNYED 2012, if you want to compare the affairs.


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