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Watching the TED talks was a great way to jump start the lessons in this course. I noticed my husband was listening while I have been plugging away at these talks in my spare time throughout this past week. The talk I felt was the most inspiring was The Hole in the Wall experiment in India and beyond by Sugata Mitra. I have witnessed first hand the power of learning and the impact that technology has on learning but this experiment was truly profound. It shows that technology can transcend language, that even the remote areas of the globe can be connected and that the web is a place where meaningful learning happens. I believe the granny cloud has so much potential. There is something very special about grandmotherly support and this TED talk shows that even grandmothers that speak different languages can still support children with love, patience, and encouragement. I love that this dynamic reinforces that the older generation has much to contribute to this world and that lifelong learning is thriving with a little help from technology and the internet. When you mentioned in the description of this video that, Most youth need a minimum of five adult mentors to encourage learning, and the 'the love of learning.' I have never heard that statistic but I can see in my own life how true that is. The mentorship and connection between the older generation and young people reminds me of these two news reports I saw over the past year.
Here is the story of Dan Peterson and his new, 4 year old buddy Norah.
The next story is about a nursing home and a preschool that share the same building in Seattle, WA.
Both of these stories illustrate the need for connection across generations. I see so much potential for learning to happen in these environments. I am unaware of an effort locally here in Wasilla, AK to tap into the potential for programs with our senior citizens. Folks around here that are retired do have time as a resource and certainly a love for our community and the next generation of children. Wow, my wheels are turning....
Have any of my fellow classmates that you know of been involved in programs that connect senior citizens with school districts and classrooms? It could be web-based or face-to-face. Frank, do you think a "granny cloud" style mentoriship would work with Alaska Native Elders? I know you have an extensive background working with elders, students and educators.
The other TED talk that I would like to mention is the Melinda French Gates: What nonprofits (and for-profits) can learn from Coca-Cola. It could be my background in Business Education but I love what she had to say in this talk. I believe we have much to learn from the best practices in business and that we would be selling ourselves short as educators if we do not at least research what works in industry and see if it can apply to our classrooms. The theme of aspirational marketing has potential in so many areas like you mentioned in his description of this video. I believe aspirational marketing can work to help students with career choices as well. Some of the videos I used in my Accounting classes that sparked interest were provided by the AICPA, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. They put together a series of videos to highlight the diverse careers in accounting for example, an accountant for a major NFL team, for major film productions in Hollywood, or even a forensic accountant for the FBI! Aspirational marketing works well in the classroom to showcase potential for exciting and dynamic careers in something like accounting that can often be viewed as bland or uninteresting. It is one of the fastest growing career fields in the US and is an excellent industry for students to consider but if we don’t inspire then students will not aspire. Career exploration is just one example but like we saw in the TED talk, there are numerous areas where this method can work, particularly entrepreneurship in Coca-Cola’s case.
My two favorite TED talks so far would be:
Although every video had something valuable to take away, I was most interested in and connected to Salman Khan's TED Talk. His philosophies about teaching, math in particular, are very similar to mine. The option for students to review a well-taught math lesson, on their own and without fear of being singled out as "not getting it", is a huge advantage for a subject that typically invokes fear. As you mentioned in an email sent earlier, I'm looking forward to Lesson 4 about setting up instructional videos.
I think my favorite Ted Talk that you had was the one about Crowd Accelerated Innovation. It was interesting to see how web video has made this cycle of people improving and innovating, inspired by video from all across the world. As a side note, I had seen videos in the past of the League of Extraordinary Dancers, and I didn't know how they started. The website (Jove) where people showed their research and experiments, instead of just writing a lab report, was actually pretty sweet, and things like that could be done in the classroom.
If there are any English/poetry people here, one really good Ted Talk is one by Sarah Kay, who's a Slam Poet/Spoken Word poet. It can be found at https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter