TEDxNYED – My 2 Cents

Saturday, March 6, 2010
By Suki

Streamed live today from NYC, TEDxNYED was an independently organized TED event on Education. For those of you who were not following the discussion, this conference  looked at “how the role of new media and technology is shaping the future of education.” There were inspiring examples of what’s right, and passionate “lectures” on what’s wrong with education – Jeff Jarvis even went as far as using the “F word” when describing standardized testing!

The answers to education’s problems at the end of the day were far more complex and ‘nuanced’ to borrow a word from Chris Abani (a speaker who always makes my eyes wet). Many speakers echoed the theme that education needed to be more open, collaborative and flexible and allow students to be the drivers of their own learning. Nothing new if you’ve been in this space for a while, but it was the stories that they told that made it fresh.

“Celebrity” speakers included Gina Bianchini (Founder of Ning), Henry Jenkins, Lawrence Lessig and Amy Bruckman. New to me were some amazing teachers that talked about what they do in the classroom with their students, like Chris Lehmann (a teacher with the passion of a preacher) and Dan Meyer (he’d make a great educational game designer!) To see a complete list of speakers go here.

While one of my tweets regarding the imbalance in the diversity of the speakers seems to have echoed what some felt (judging by the number of times it was retweeted!), the speakers and organizers did a more than commendable job. I was even more amazed when I heard the camera crew was a group of high school students!

I’m going to take Jeff Jarvis’ advice and not talk about what happened since I know by the end of this weekend there are going to be lots of educators who can do a way better job than I can and so I might as well just link to them eventually.

Instead I’m going to offer my 2 cents (plus a rupee!) of very ‘fresh’, unedited, unprocessed thoughts about what might be interesting to see at the next TEDx event related to education.

  • More examples from game design  (TEDxNYED organizers if you’re reading this, look at getting some speakers from the Games for Change Festival)
  • More examples from curators in the toy, tech and children’s media space (people like Warren Buckleitner of the Dust or Magic Institute and  folks from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center)
  • More from the folks in the trenches, the educators teaching urban youth (the ones who are using hip hop to teach science like Christopher Emdin)
  • Examples from outside of the US where people are doing so much with so little (if you think classrooms in the US don’t have enough resources, I invite you to come to Sri Lanka!)

But more than anything I think what made this event quite amazing and truly speaks to what is great about this country (and I say this rather objectively because I am NOT American) is that I wasn’t even physically AT the event! I heard about it late last night via the the Open Culture feed in my Google Reader on my iPhone and logged on to Livestream this morning to check it out from my living room in Florida! I ended up rescheduling all my plans, glued to my laptop the entire day, sharing selective tweets and links via Facebook with my educator friends across the globe from Israel to Sri Lanka to Canada to the UK.

Some might think that’s sad. To me I think it’s pretty darn cool.


Watch live streaming video from tedxnyed at livestream.com and interact with folks via Facebook Connect and Twitter.

Hashtag to follow: #TEDxNYED

Videos of all TEDxNYED talks posted on YouTube


  • Collaborative notes on all the speakers of #TEDxNYED http://bit.ly/944jkg (Via @ShellTerrell)
  • Facebook Fanpage for TEDxNYED

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