TEDxNYED, 2010

See the Presentations; http://www.TEDxNYED.com/
Presentations and Connections
Think Clearly, Care Deeply, Act Wisely
Technology is an ever-moving target these days, and I find it difficult to keep my pulse on its changing nature and impact on education. As a result I was quite interested in learning how the 5 major themes TEDxNYED: Participation, Openness, Networking, Knowledge and Action would play themselves out in the K-20 classroom. 

In retrospect, I would say that attending TED was a wonderful experience. It lived up to expectations despite its time frame. Let us not forget that this TED had a finite time frame – one day! From my understanding, TED is usually has a lecture type format. With this type of approach, it is understood that the information is disseminated through  a transmission model and the exchange is essentially one way. Although it is not the preferred learning style the ability to connect with educators in informal spaces enriched the day... (To add  http://tedxnyedclassroomconnection.pbworks.com )
PARTICIPATION – With Social Networking Media, participation is a few keystrokes or finger taps away. Will teachers and administrators be able to encourage free expression and ‘knowledge-able’ practices?
Andy Carvin
provided us with a vision as to how Citizen Journalism, OnLine Volunteerism, and Citizen Crisis Mobilization can support others when a catastrophe hits. As Andy and his cadre of first responders gain more experience the use of web based resources becomes more immediate, effective and life altering.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: using geographical tools (maps, GPS, and databases) to create social, cultural, political information in map/image based environments. This can help students reach out to help community members as the information becomes available; perhaps a community service and 'online volunteerism' springboard?
Michael Wesch
and his participatory anthropological practices is an inspiration to us all. As he described how he grappled with his right arm (he thought it was a boa) it became a metaphor for an existential battle. Do mediated environments make us any more happy or content? Does media enable us to be more ‘knowledgeable’ or ‘knowledge-able’. Wesch’s work with the students in Kansas is an exemplary practice that helps us understand our relationship or educational contract with our students.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: In a discussion with Honor Moorman we tried to work backwards. How could high school prepare students for the self awareness of Wesch’s higherEd classes? How could middle school prep students for that high school and ultimately how could we equip our elementary students with skills to learn in a changing world. Teachers are certainly thinking about it.  Check out http://bit.ly/cWZEWJ.
Henry Jenkins
shared information about popular culture and addressed in a historical context, participatory activism, ‘Web -10’. However, new media gives us great power as well as great responsibility. Will the promise of new social digital media create a participatory culture and how will it affect our identities? Students need to be able to participate in ‘ethical cultural spectacles’. Tributes to popular culture and icons should not be considered a threat.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Students need to be producers of digital media texts. Moving away from a transmission model to one of a participatory one.  What will be the role of gaming platforms, social media in our classrooms? Media literacy skills will be key so students can understand the impact of media on popular culture.

OPENNESS… Stuart Brand is credited with the quote, ‘Information Wants To Be Free’ 1984).  How will we resolve this with proprietary software such as Blackboard? Open source software is available. How many of teachers are using Moodle to create online virtual learning?enviroments?
David Wiley
 Openness is about overcoming your inner 2 year old that wants to shout, "Mine! Mine!" If we teachers were like honey bees, they would impart knowledge once (e.g. sting once) and then die. But teaching is an act of generosity and sharing. There is a culture of withholding… 

"Course Management Systems: Technology used against its own potential made to conceal and withhold" i.e. its like Facebook wiping out all of your friends. How do we keep our artifacts so that we can access the knowledge.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION:: Repositories of knowledge… are they proprietory? Who will house the information gathered in course management systems (CMS)? How many districts and teachers are using open source CMS, e.g., Moodle?  What happens with the information?
Neeru Khosla
what an unselfish and monumental act of unselfishness. quotes Twain: "Never let your schooling interfere with your education.She is disillusioned with textbooks and is creating Flexbooks, a ‘living book’. Creating ‘online, updateable and open’ texts as we are dealing with a ‘huge battle against a mindset’. Textbooks need not be costly or outdated. She is creating these ‘Flexbooks’ and making them freely available.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Ability for teacher to make dynamic adjustments in order to ‘customize lesson plans’ and include ‘multi-media, illustration, animations …’. Would you use the Flexbook courseware in your classroom? From where will ebooks/ereaders get their content?
Lawrence Lessig
A conservative in his youth.  Important that there is fail use. Sony Bono Copywrite  Highly informative information regarding Sonny Bono and DMCS. 
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: How much information will be available to students to use in the classroom? How will students construct knowledge if they will not be able to access. Attribution through Creative Commons provides us with the ability to credit the creators and innovators. Isn't it a win-win situation.

MEDIA Is perhaps what all this is about as our Marshall McLuhan said, The Medium is the message and as human extensions media change us and the way we perceive the world. Our quest for immediacy and authenticity will drive our use for more and more technology and hypermediated environments (Bolter, Gruskin 1999)
Shereen El Feki
Barbie and Fullah occupy different spheres, cultures and civilizations.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Morphing of different civilizations. How does this influence the diversity and multi-cultural nature of our classrooms? How can student media texts help to create a kinder, gentler…. and more tolerant society?
Jay Rosen
Welcome open source journalism. Knowledge develops when we have good problems…
Hallowe’en documents… Microsoft did not understand that these guy “must be crazy as they work for free”. Our readers know more than we do.’  ‘Crowd sourcing’ a valuable and effective technique. “What is the price of Milk Lettuce and 6 pack in your community?”
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: When you have online distance education you ‘Need clarity when no proximity…” For anyone teaching distance education courses this should be a mantra. ‘Adopt a bridge”  Students can adopt a community stimulus project  through an online volunteerism project.
What is the price of … in your community? Why not provide activities that help students become informed and  responsible and consumers? Why should they not learn how the local economy works. National Geographic … in the early 90’s had students collect weather data and using a 300 baud modem upload their information to create a collaborative national weather map. Why not involve students in creating a national consumer report? Let's create informed consumers.
Jeff Jarvis…
A moving address to the audience. “Does it still make sense for countless teachers to rewrite the same essential lecture about, say, capillary action?” “Just as journalists must become more curator than creator, so must educators.’ ‘I argue that news is a process, not a product. Indeed, I say that communities can now share information freely – the marginal cost of their news is zero.’ One more from him: “It’s easy to educate for the routine, and hard to educate for the novel.”
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Asessment Practices… ‘So we need to move students up the education chain. They don’t always know what they need to know, but why don’t we start by finding out? Instead of giving tests to find out what they’ve learned, we should test to find out what they don’t know. Their wrong answers aren’t failures, they are needs and opportunities.’ “In the real world,” he said, “the tests are all open book, and your success is inexorably determined by the lessons you glean from the free market.” As IDEO suggests, “if you wan to drive new behaviour, you have to measure new things. Skills such as creativity and collaboration can’t be measured on a bubble chart" (2009) How will our assessment practices need to change? How will a students digital footprint be impacted by their performance?

NETWORKS… As we be continue to grow digitally and more and more information resides in databases we are beginning to live our lives in enhanced networked environments. Within these networked environments we will be developing Personal Learning Networks and our evolving digital footprints.
Chris Abani
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: How much data do you require as evidence? A great narrative can be just as valid and more inspiring. Drawing inspiration from stories...
Gina Bianchini
Connecting Optomists… After relating a story about an acquaintance’s remarkable accomplishment in raising millions of dollars her friend intimated that there were three motivators…What we need is “hope, then competency and then love.” Optimists need to connect across disciplines… a more ‘fluid world’. ‘Architecture for Humanity’ and please ‘steal this idea’. ‘The tools are there and technology has no ideology.’
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: I came to this conference with some ‘blue sky’ ideas. I am sure that most everyone in attendance had/has a vision of how the technology can better the world. Bianchini opened a door for me… how do we get together and a capitalize on our desires to help out generously and freely? Do we not do this in our classrooms each day? Do we need a collaborative online space for optimism and blue skying!
George Siemens
1. Education is not here to emulate corporate activity – education serves a unique role in society of preparing individuals for the “vital combat for lucidity”.

2. The solutions being offered to education’s problems are starting to worry me more than the problem of education

3. Teachers are a critical part of the educational process, or, as I worded it, teaching is a beautiful profession, serving a vital societal role, “teaching is a noble profession.” "To change education is to change society." Media disrupts traditional teaching, but can also fragment understanding. How do we tie it back together?
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: George Seimens interrogates what we know and how we know it. ‘The scientific method is a way of checking…’ ‘We have to disrupt what it means to be a teacher’ signifies that each of us needs to be an informed practitioner. We need to adopt an inquiry approach, call it action research or teacher inquiry, and collect evidences to inform our practice. We need to be able to look objectively, analyze our evidences and use or knowledge to formulate our vision for the classroom. Our practices need to reflect our new found knowledge. Then we need to connect on a personal level to implement change.

ACTIONwell how do we translate theory into practice. Some academics would argue that there is no theory without practice. Providing authentic problems and real life connections to students makes learning meaningful and relevant. Giving students an opportunity for constructivism and for constructionism (Gary Stager and Michael Resnick) provides them with real life opportunities to make the world a better place as noted by the scientific inventions and improvements by Chris Lehman’s students.
Dan Cohen
Began a treatise on Pi… An absolutely refreshing approach to two different worldviews. A reliance on the π symbol is a worldview that is ‘simple, precise and ordered perfectly’. A reliance on the numerical nature of Pi, 3.141592…) is to have have a world view that is ‘imprecise and chaotic’. We could use the example of the ‘newspaper vs. Wikipedia’ to symbolize the respective world views.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: By arming students with an investigative mind set they can be part of dynamic interdependent worldview. Absolutes are fine but don’t our students need to roll up their sleeve and get into robust problems and form their own conclusions or impressions. Learning is messy and can be disruptive. Would we ask our students to adopt a worldview of classical mechanics or quantum mechanics worldview?

Amy Bruckman
Mommy what does a bison sound like? ‘Wikipedia cannot work in practice, only in theory’ however it does work in practice. We need to provide students with agency.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: In the past 10 weeks I have been in ten classrooms. In every classroom there has been a lone computer that sits at the rear of the class. Most questions that children ask are most likely answered by the teacher… So where is the access to the information and multi-media resources that are available using the world’s largest library, The Internet. What if a Grade 2 student were to ask his/her teacher what sound does a bison make? Where is the spirit of inquiry?
Would somebody please rescue that machine in the back corner of the classroom. Give each classroom a digital video projector and let the students research it themselves! Where is the efficacy to give students agency?
Dan Meyer
 Textbooks provide too much information and that results in confusion. Challenges textbooks limited to problems. When I look Challenges textbooks limited to problems.
The formulation of a problem is more often more essential than its solution. Why? ‘Because Einstein said so’.         
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Most recently when I used a Math Textbook I had to re-arrange the input for the lesson using a document camera. In order have the information make for my students I had to first, make sure that it made sense to me. According to Dan:
Use multimedia,
Encourage student intuition,
Ask the shortest question you can,
Let students build the problem, and
Be less helpful…
Try not to build in learned helplessness… Create real life, authentic, rich problems for your students to experience.
Chris Lehmann
completed the day with a most inspiring presentation. We need ‘caring institutions that are student centred, inquiry driven, teacher mentored and community driven’.
CLASSROOM CONNECTION: Giving students an opportunity for constructivism and for constructionism (Gary Stager and Michael Resnick) provides them with real life opportunities to make the world a better place as noted by the scientific inventions and improvements by Chris Lehman’s students. Chris’ presentation reminded me of the words that my friend Ron Benson repeated to me just last month. The goals of education should be to educate students to …

Think Clearly, Care Deeply, Act Wisely...
After attending TED… let me add  that we should be educating students to be 
More Open, Voracious, and Collaborative Learners (Wesch 2010).
BTW… Thanks TED!

Just so we know how it all got beamed out... here is how the Streaming and Production Happened.  Thanks to Arvind for this… http://bit.ly/b6X2Mk

Thanks for reading the Wiki... I have tried to add quotation marks whenever possible. It may be that I have misquoted or did not attribute comments to any of the presenters. If this is the case I would be happy to correct any inaccuracies.  The websites marked in red ink are strictly for reference and do not contain specific contents shared at TEDxNYED.

The photo in the mast head is of the British Museum Reading Room.