12 May, 2010

I heart TEDxNYED

Ok, I know, I know, not more TED, but heck, yes to more TED. Just spent the day watching the TEDxNYED videos. My mind is sizzling. My butt is numb.

I won’t bore all of you who are not educators or parents of children in schools, by embedding all of my favourites. Rather, I just want to make a list of links to a few of them and explain why they are worth watching.

Dan Meyer’s presentation introduction is a grabber:

“Can I ask you to please recall a time when you really loved something: a movie, album, a song or a book. And, you recommended it wholeheartedly to someone you also really liked. And, you anticipated that reaction, you waited for it, and it came back, and the person hated it. So by way of introduction, that is the exact same state that I spend every working day of the last six years… I teach high school math.”

He then goes on and explains with passion and precision five factors that contribute to this situation of having to teach math to unmotivated students, as well as five factors that can change this.

Dan Cohen’s presentation is titled, “The Last Digit of Pi”, and is an entertaining, but probing story about pi, which is “a story about the psychology of change and the inertia of the past systems of knowledge, and past systems of education”.

Mark Welsh is always an interesting person to listen to. In this talk he is no less so. He tells a very funny story at the beginning that explains the tortures and joys of culture shock, but also discovery of and participation in these new cultures. “This is actually why anthropologists do what they do. We want to become children again and learn a new world in a new way with open eyes.” How marvellous is this description of the journey all of us should venture on, anthropologist or not. Yet, in the end, his talk is not one of inspiration, but of caution (sometimes when we try to use media (for social changes), media uses us) and we would do well to listen.

Jay Rosen’s presentation is called, “Pragmatism: Look for really good problems…”. Watch it. Enjoy.


  1. You leave me smiling. I'll return to watch them over the weekend.

  2. Oh, How I love TED! Thanks for the great tips about more TEDTalks.. can't wait to listen to them.