Day 169: 70000 students Skype to the bottom of the ocean

Can you imagine spending a night underwater? How about a week? Fabien Cousteau doesn't have to imagine. In 2014 Fabien spent 31 days living in an underwater research lab and in doing so broke a world record and not just any world record Jacques Cousteau (Fabien's grandfather) world record from 1963. Jacques spent thirty days under water. What I love most about Fabien's underwater adventure is that whilst underwater he got to share the experience with 70,000 student! He had WIFI underwater (mind boggling sometimes I cant event get reception in the local grocery store) and would realtime skype with the students. How awesome is that! Sure trumps learning about the ocean from text books! For all the faults that people heap onto the "digital age" and education, there are ten-fold positive reasons why the current age we live in right now is one of the best times to be a student. Sure, some students may not be able to add up … [Read more...]

DAY 167: What do maths and music have in common?

What do maths and music have in common? TED speaker Clayton Cameron uses him time at TEDYouth to demonstrate the answer. I dislike maths but I love drum beats. Ahh the corundum when presented with a TED talk that explains maths behind the rhythm. This TED talk was part of the TEDYouth lineup, hence the emphasis on "A-rhythm-etic” I love how Clayton explains to the audience that maths is the backbone of music.  Okay so Clayton is a drummer and not a maths teacher, but if I would have had a maths teacher that broke it down for me like that, then I might of had a better appreciation for maths. When students in my maths  class in primary school groaned “why do we need to learn maths anyway?” answering “to create music” would have been a whole lot more effective than “because it’s in the curriculum" The truth is when I started to teach myself to read music I learnt the connection between maths and rhythm and this made me made dislike … [Read more...]

Day 105: What is the most perfect song to be played at a Ted education event?

Continuing on with my Ted talks on Music theme week I decided to watch a  Ted performance by musician John Legend singing the classic song 'True Colors.' In 2013 John Legend hosted Ted talks education and treated the audience to a cover of the Cyndi Lauper classic 'True Colors'. Watching his performance  in the context of being on a Ted stage was the first time I actually stopped to really listen to the lyrics and find the meaning behind the words - it's quite beautiful actually. It's about not being afraid to be your authentic self and  live true to yourself and who you really are.  I can't think of a more fitting song to be presented to teachers and students and a Ted education event. So often in school we are taught to think and act a certain way and maybe that's not leaving much room for kids to be themselves. If you haven't already watched John Legend's ted performance, hit play, sit back and let your mind wander with the … [Read more...]

Day 90: Why lunch ladies are heroes

Day 90- Why lunch ladies are heroes. A post inspired by Ted speaker Jarrett J. Krosoczka

When Jarrett Krosoczka's  first children’s books was published he went to his old elementary school to give a talk to the kids about being an author and illustrator.  On that visit he spotted his old lunch lady, Jeannie and that meeting sparked the evolution  of his comic series Lunch Lady graphic novel series. Jarrett uses his Ted talk “Why lunch ladies are heroes” to share with us why that encounter with his former lunch lady inspired him. When Jarrett bumped into his lunch lady she didn’t recognize him. She thought that he was his uncle. Jarrett was amazed that she could recognize his family. Jeannie filled Jarrett in on her life, she had grandkids and kids. Grandkids? Kids? Jarrett had never thought before of lunch ladies having a life outside of the school grounds. His imagination went into overdrive; what if their was a lunch lady who used fish sticks nunchucks to fight off evil cyborgs? And so the Lunch Lady comic book series … [Read more...]

Day 88: What is MOOC’s and how it’s changing the education landscape.

Day 88- What is MOOC’s and how it’s changing the education landscape. by Website Confetti

The education landscape is changing.  Not so long ago students in lecture halls were armed with pens and lecture pads. These days students in lecture halls are armed with mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Ted speaker Anant Agarwal has a message to share in his Ted talk “Why MOOC’s still matter” he believes that we shouldn’t fight technology in the classroom, we should be embracing it. What is MOOC? MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses which is available for free online to anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a willingness to learn. Courses can be self-paced or run on a set schedule.  Credentials might even be offered on some courses. MOOC’s is an amazing way to get knowledge in the hands of those who might be otherwise limited by finances or location. The reach that a course delivered through MOOC’s has goes well beyond the reach a physical classroom has. What universities can learn from … [Read more...]

Day 84: Want to raise entrepreneurial kids? Don’t give them pocket money!

Day 84- Want to raise entrepreneurial kids- Don’t give them pocket money!

Ted speaker Cameron Herold thinks that we need to keep an eye out for kids with entrepreneurial skills. He believes that we need to nurture those skills, just like any other life skill. In his Ted talk “Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs” Cameron talks about why giving kids pocket money could be sending out the wrong message. Why giving kids pocket money can send out the wrong message Cameron doesn't believe in giving his kids pocket money, he believes it sends out the wrong message and breeds kids to expect a paycheck each week. It’s the ‘job’ mentality. Now, that’s fine if you are not raising your kids to be entrepreneurs, but if you are, your kids allowance could be one of the most significant business lessons of their life. Cameron doesn’t give his kids pocket money in the traditional sense but he does give them opportunities to earn money. He teaches his kids to look for opportunities around the yard and house for things … [Read more...]

Day 49: Google Science Fair Winners

Finishing off my Amazing Human series theme week is a Ted talk by three teenagers who won the 2011 inaugural Google Science Fair. Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah use their Ted talk to explain their award-winning projects. Meet Lauren, Naomi and Shree First up was Lauren discussing the effect that different marinades have on the levels of carcinogens in grilled chicken. She was led down this path after reading about a lawsuit involving seven  fast food restaurants and the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. The restaurant were being sued for failing to disclose the potential of their being dangerous substances in their food. Her high school lab wasn't sufficient enough to carry out her research so after emailing 200 people in a five-hour radius of her home she got one yes and her project was born. Following Lauren was Shree’s talk discussing her project - cancer research, more specifically how to treat patients … [Read more...]

Day 48: What do teachers make? A post inspired by ted speaker Taylor Mali

When setting out to do my Amazing Human series I didn’t set out to feature teachers.  It’s not that I was intentionally staying clear of teachers, it’s just that they weren’t front of mind when I was thinking about who to include in my Amazing Human series, but after listening to Rita Pierson talk earlier this week I have a new found appreciation for teachers and what they do.  I am ashamed to say this, but I never gave teachers proper credit before. Sure on some level I knew that teachers are important at educating new generations, but I never really stopped to think about what difference they could really make, not only on an academic level but also on character building. On Day 42 I published a post by Tedx speaker Barbara Corcoran. Barbara candidly spoke about the emotional scars that her primary school teacher had left on her self-esteem. That reminded me of the damage that teachers could do.  Perhaps this why, on some … [Read more...]

Day 45: Every kid needs a champion. A post inspired by Rita Pierson

every kid needs a champion

Meet  Rita Pierson - the school teacher with grit.  During my 365 Days of Ted, some talks have had more of an impact than others. Every talk I choose to write about has moved me or challenged me in some way,  Rita Pierson’s talk is no exception, which is why I have included her in my Amazing Human's series Rita’s message is a simple, but crucial one “Every kid needs a champion." Rita, Mrs Pierson, is a  straight-talker with all heart. She is the type of teacher I wish I had in high-school.  The majority of my teachers did their job - they taught the curriculum and I was semi-willing student so I got decent grades, but I don’t know if I was really ever inspired by them.  It’s not that they were bad teachers.  I think that it just became a job to them, not a career.  Quite  a few teachers ended up resigning  and moving on to completely unrelated fields.  The exception is two teachers I had who did seem to have a genuine passion for … [Read more...]

Day 35: Are you gritty? Your success depends on it

facing failure

Are you living your life like it’s a marathon or a sprint? Ted speaker Angela Lee Duckworth has a message to share about the “key to success” and that is that success is not determined by I.Q but by that unique trait that some are born with and others develop over time - grit. What exactly is grit? Today’s blog post is a response to how I am feeling in this moment. Not wanting to break the chain I write today’s post in the midst of feeling quite frankly awful. My head hurts my body is overcome with some pretty serious fatigue. I feel like I am having a hangover, despite not having had a drink for weeks. Every part of my being wants to rest my head on a pillow and check out for the day, but there is a little voice inside my head, a voice that is being suffocated slightly by the Sandman who wants to bring me pleasant dreams, and that tiny voice that is struggling to get through is called grit. It’s hanging on by a thread today but … [Read more...]