Highlights from TEDxPhiladelphiaEd 2011

8/1/2011 3:20:00 PM

by Kevin Jarrett


Attendees gather at the collaborative space in Wharton’s Huntsman Hall.

The first TED talk I ever saw was “Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense.” It blew me away. Before long, I was enamored with all things “TED.”

TED’s mission is to create events with “ideas worth spreading.” Amid cries of elitism, a spinoff initiative, “TEDx” was born. TEDx events are essentially “mini-TEDs” that are locally planned and much less exclusive (though they are still invitation-only). TEDx’s quickly began appearing all over the world. In March 2009, there were just two. By June 2010, 610 had been held. By March 2011, 1,579 TEDx events had occurred worldwide.

Some of those TEDx’s were education-focused. Unfortunately, the TEDx application process is difficult, resulting in demand far outstripping supply. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend TEDxNYEd in 2010. When I heard that TEDxPhiladelphiaEd was happening during ISTE 2011, I knew I had to apply. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut, but my EdCamp Philly colleague Kristen Swanson did and invited me to attend as her guest.

On the day of the event, discussing the event with friends and colleagues, I was surprised by the pushback. One said they preferred to attend EduBloggerCon so they could “talk and learn, not sit and listen.” Another said they felt, for them, TEDx looked like the “same old, same old.” While I understand where both of these people are coming from, I think they missed an incredible opportunity. It is true that TEDxPhiladelphiaEd was a “sit and listen” event. It was not, however, the “same old, same old.”


Speaker Barbara Chandler Allen discusses her work with FreshArtists.org.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

¦ Hearing Barbara Chandler Allen tell us about her work with FreshArtists.org, her project connecting K-12 inner-city kids to art and philanthropy.

¦ Watching Matt McGinnis, CEO of a startup called Inkling, demonstrate his company’s interactive textbook.

¦ Listening to Sinnea Douglas, a high school senior at the Science Leadership Academy, command the stage with her powerful poem, “When I Become a Teacher.”

¦ Learning about classroom management and making a difference in students’ lives with child psychologist Dr. Stewart Pisecco. My takeaway from his talk: if you think you can’t make a difference— even if you’re seemingly the only person in the student’s corner—you not only CAN, you MUST.

¦ And last, watching my colleague and friend Kristen Swanson share the vision and story behind EdCamp Philly, an unconference that has spawned a nationwide movement toward participant-directed professional development.

The phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” is popular these days, and TED is a living, breathing, embodiment of that philosophy. The true power of TED and TEDx is the network. The result: a phenomenon with the potential to change the way professional development is done in school districts nationwide.

comments powered by Disqus
Tweets
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...