Monday, March 7, 2011

My TEDxNYED Revelation, Takeaways and a Suggestion

I just returned from New York City where I had the privilege to attend my first TEDxNYed conference.  I was fortunate to combine this event with a visit to see family and an old friend. Overall it was a great weekend. 
The View
First I would like to complement the organizers of this conference for doing an amazing job. I was greeted by friendly faces when I arrived, guided to the correct floor and provided with delicious snacks and lunch. The venue was beautiful, comfortable and had incredible views of Manhattan and of the ground zero construction. The speakers were well chosen, stayed on schedule and were introduced in thoughtful and funny ways.
Ground Zero
My Revelation:

TED is actually a TV show with a studio audience. 

I had the opportunity to be part of that audience. It was exciting to be there. I got to meet some people face-to-face for the first time and re-connect with some old friends. But the lack of interaction was difficult for me. Interaction is what keeps me going. Twitter helped with that, but it wasn't really enough for me. Plus, I discovered later on that I wasn't even suposed to have my laptop open (Oops - I didn't see the sign until the last session).

Content wise there were some good messages.  A lot of what people said wasn't new to me, but it suddenly came to me, I'm not really the audience! These videos will be viewed by many many people.  That is the brilliant aspect of TED. I am thrilled that the messages that so many of us have been talking, Tweeting and blogging about will get out through a different medium. Everything we do can make a difference for someone.


  • From Alan November: Who owns the learning?
  • From Homa Tavangar: We are more plugged in, but are we more connected? We have a universal understanding of what it takes to be a good friend. A global citizen is a good friend to the world.
  • From Lucy Gray: Connect Now! Practice professional generosity for the benefit our children.
  • From Gary Stager: Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity. Less us, more them!
  • From Heidi Hayes Jacobs: We can do dumb things with SMART boards. We don't need re-form, we need new-form. We need new types of teachers. We need to be a new kind of teacher. 
  • From Luyen Chou: We can change education by changing the assessments.
  • From Morley: If you are feeling helpless, help someone.

In such a short period of time with one talk right after another it is hard to process what you are hearing. I am thankful I can go back and watch the videos to see what I missed.

A Suggestion:
What if we had half the number of speakers and 10 minutes of discussion in the room after each talk? That might be the best of both worlds!
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