For those of you who don’t know what TED Talks are, click here and be prepared to be amazed.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  The 18 minute talks are about an ‘idea worth spreading’ about everything from music, to cancer research, to leadership.  My favourite TED talk is called How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek.

On October 13, conveniently my birthday, there was an event in Edmonton focused on Education, namely: TEDxEdmontonED.  The X basically means it’s an independently organized event.  The day offered 10 speakers and viewings of a few filmed talks pertaining to the topic.  Even though my friends and I aren’t teachers, the event focused on how to challenge the status quo of education.

We’ll come together to kickstart a discussion on learning among students, educators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and community leaders. How do we disrupt the status quo and replace traditional approaches to learning? How do we leave the politics of education behind to focus on impact and innovation?

Learning will definitely be a theme of my travels, so I figured a debrief of TED would be a great way to start off this category.  The following is my favourite ideas or concepts from the Edmonton Event in point form.

Amy Shostak:

  • Telling people to think outside the box creates a negative space where ideas that are not `new` are wrong.  Instead start brainstorming by talking about what people know, be obvious, and build off of that.
  • Accepting ideas creates your own truth.
  • Replying to all ideas with ‘ooh’ creates celebration and acceptance while eliminating any time for judgement.
  • Have curiosity and mischief
  • Risk breeds innovation
  • It is pertinent that we see risk, failure, and fun in our bosses and leaders
  • Positivity needs to be aggressively pursued.

Bill Ritchie:

  • Gamefying learning to better engage audiences
  • Kids want purpose, our job as educators is t
  • o provide it by having them solve ‘their problems’ versus ‘our problems’.  Do this by allowing them to have more ownership over learning, and adding practicality to projects.
  • Three branches of learning: emotional (self-esteem, confidence), cognitive (reasoning, critical thinking), Meta-cognitive (imagination, thinking about thinking).
  • Find examples of games at Puzzles.com

Carla Casilli

  • Mozilla is creating badges online to represent knowledge acquired.  Eventually they will be able to be used in job application processes.
  • openbadges.org
  • Badges will be open, remixable and free.
  • Web Maker is a Mozilla initiative to teach regular people how to do html and other forms of online formatting, ones that will eventually reward users with badges.
  • Badges will hold meta, or information about what the requirements were to achieve such a badge.
  • good.is/education

Kris Wells

  • Spoke about the need for equality with sexual minorities.
  • Founded camp Fyrefly
  • Also started nohomophobes.com which logs how many time homophobic content is posted on social networking sites per day and feeds them in real time.  Readers are encouraged to reply to such behavior on twitter with the #nohomophobe hash tag.
  • From July to October ‘faggot’ was used over 3 million times =(

Larry Anderson

  • Dreams are: Important, Powerful, and Personal
  • Autodidact: Self-motivated/directed learner
  • Fantasy>Dream>Goal.
  • RAMJAM way of learning.  RAM= Reading|Allies|Mentors (knowledge, support, wisdom) JAM=Journal|Ask better Questions|Meditate (Clarity, answers, inner-sight )
  • Education and dreams must work together to achieve goals

David Bill

  • The difference between Sympathy and Empathy
  • Project based learning creates relevance which helps with more comprehensive learning with sense of purpose
  • innovation AND disruption are all around.  The key to success is mindset.

Links to the videos we watched:

Susan Cain-The power of Introverts

John Hunter- Teaching the World Peace Game

Thomas Suarez-12 year old App-Developer


Hopefully you’ve taken away one or two things from what I took away.  I definitely encourage you to look at when TEDx events are running wherever you’re from.  Their quite the treat.

As for the classes I’m seeking out on my travels, Thai massage, cooking (thai, indian), reflexology, and threading are all on the list.  Just imagine the ‘services of the world’ shop I could open. You’d come right?



4 responses to “TEDxEdmontonED

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