Monday, November 22, 2010

TED Talks Demystified for Teachers

I came across a great link today and wanted to share it before I forget.  Many of you have probably heard or seen TED Talks, but were really unsure what they are.  TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) hosts a conference and from that conference are several talks that people pay careful attention to because the people talking are very well known and tend to be dead on when it comes to the topics discussed.

Well, the History Teachers Attic (look for more about this site in my Weekly Core Subjects Post next week) is a website that has put together a great list of all the TED talks related to education and broken them down by topic and subject matter.  The videos are divided into 20 different topics.  For each video you will find the title, the speaker, and the length of the video.  If you are looking for a TED talk video this is a great starting point. 

What is great about TED is that this is only a small taste of all they have to offer.

A Big Thanks for Jeff Mummert

America's Next Best Teacher

There is a movement today to support Educational Reform through Blogging.  Here is my short response on the state of education, knowing that I am by no means an expert.

Reality television is huge.  It seems to me that we are heading down a road where experts come in to a school and contestants can audition their "talents" to determine who the big winners are that get to be teachers in that school.  Who would be the "expert" judges?  Television, politicians, and Washington DC would have you believe that it should be Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Charter School Founders, Hedge Fund Leaders, and Arne Duncan.  Oh, and let us not forget the CEO's of the companies that make all the standardized test because they want someone who will teach to their test so that they can get richer.

If you are wanting to determine the best teachers, shouldn't you ask students, parents, administrators, teacher educators, and fellow teachers?  Shouldn't they be on the panel?  So far, every program, meeting, panel, and decision about education seems to be missing that one important group of people....the people education influences the most, educators.

Part of me believes educators are left out due to fear.  Fear that our voices will be heard.  Fear that what really needs to be done to fix education will have little to do with making a profit.  The average American citizen fails to realize that education is where big money can be made.  The greatest idea for fixing schools could be the next gold mine for an entrepreneur.  Heck, even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is starting to get in on the action with his donation to Newark, New Jersey schools. Something tells me he is just waiting for an opportunity to say: "Remember when I....."  If you still don't believe me, think about the fact that the new Chancellor of New York City Schools has a BUSINESS background and little knowledge of education.  Part of me wonders who the puppet master will be.  Education Is not a corporation for sale on the Stock Exchange.


EdTech Thanks

With the United States holiday of Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it would be great to share things that I am thankful for that relate to educational technology.  Feel free to add to this list in the comment section, or create your own list on your blog and then link back to it.

1.) I am thankful to work in a district that embraces technology use by teachers and students and sees the need to continue embracing educational technology.

2.) I am thankful for a district that is forward thinking and has embraced the use of social media at administrative, teacher, and student levels.  Our district recently created a District Facebook page.

3.) I am thankful for software companies that recognize the financial restraints placed on school districts and offer their product for free or for a reduced price.  It means so much to so many teachers.

4.) I am thankful for teachers who embrace technology integration in the classroom with an open mind.

5.) I am thankful for teachers who challenge me and my thoughts about integrating technology in the classroom, because one way I can grow is through constructive criticism.

6.) I am thankful for teachers who struggle with integrating technology because it is those teachers who bring the most reward when they experience success with technology integration.

7.) I am thankful for the development of my Professional Learning Network and all the great educators who help me grow and keep me grounded everyday. 

8.) I am thankful for my own experience with this blog, as it brings a type of personal reward that is hard to find.

What are you thankful for?