Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TED: Ideas woth spreading to your students

One of the reason's why I started on this digital history adventure just over three years ago was that I was going to graduate from University. I wasn't worried about the work place or what the future held - that actually excited me and I was hopeful of trying new things. But what I was worried about was loosing touch with a larger academic community. I felt that through technology I could still continue to learn - learn about history, about technology, and about just great ideas that still made my brain jump the way it did in University.

Fortunately the number size of the online idea community is continuing to grow, and one that is readily available to your students. We talk often about issues of civics and engagement, making sure that students are informed about what is happening in the world. Surely a great endeavor that is of the utmost importance. But at some point students also need to learn about more that what is on the six o'clock news or in the local paper - we have to have some connection to a wider current of ideas and thoughts.

Which brings me back to TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design. I love hearing interesting and smart people talk about things they find interesting and are passionate about. Anytime you can hear or spend time with a passionate person, you will grow yourself. In life we often have too few opportunities to share in this community.

TED let's you meet interesting and passionate people everyday. They inspire people in a wide variety of fields but share common threads that somehow relate back to each of us. Never in history have we had such opportunities - through TED and other projects - to learn and share in the wisdom of others. They do it because it matters to them and they are passionate about their work.

Every classroom should take a few moments out for a TED talk now and then. And of course they have a school program as well - so start finding the special lights in your community.

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