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How TEDEd and TEDx Transformed My School

 by Josefino Rivera, Jr, English Teacher at Asociación Escuelas Lincoln , Buenos Aires, Argentina



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The Benefits of TEDEd and TEDx at Asociación Escuelas Lincoln, the American International School of Buenos Aires.

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In 2014, I added TEDEd Clubs to the school’s offering of extra curricular activites. The benefits of what came from this club were unimaginable two years prior when we begin.

Multidivisional Collaboration: A common thread in every multidivisional international school I’ve worked in is the disconnection among the elementary, middle, and high school divisions, usually due to logistical reasons like sharing one cafeteria, thus staggering the use of combined facilities through completey separate schedules.



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Lincoln was the same. However, all three ES, MS, and HS TEDEd Clubs met after school on Mondays. Some weeks we worked all together when we were building community, sharing ideas, and reflecting that required all students. Other times we differentiated into divisional groups for more specific age-appropriate support. Regardless, we were one community.

This multidivisional collaboration spread beyond the students. Teachers, support staff, and parents from all divisions voluteered to support the TEDEd Clubs. A primary school teacher with theater directing experience became our Stage Manager for the TEDxAsociaciónEscuelasLincoln Event. A high school art teacher was our Brander and designed our look each year. A high school math teacher with web experience created our website. A parent with lots of event planning experience organized designed and decorated the breakout stations area. Skills our community had were showcased together.

The Development of the Importance and the Authenticity of Student Voice: By far, though, the most important benefit was that students started to believe that their voice mattered, not just for their teachers to get a grade, or even for their peers for social status, but for the larger community.

Graduated senior from the class of 2016, Caio Brighenti, delivered an informational talk called “Understanding Climate Change”. His talk was so well researched that the biology department at the school has now included it in the curriculum.

Florencia Petrikovich, another graduated senior from the class of 2016, gave a talk called “Speak Up and Go From There”. When it was published to TEDx’s YouTube Channel, a professional nurse in the USA, miles from Buenos Aires, commented on how powerful her speech was and was thankful for how her words empowered her.

Analia Wu, from the same graduating class, gave a funny and powerful talk called “The ‘F’ Word” or ‘failure’. Her talk currently has over 1,700 views.

And finally grade 6 student, Diego Meneses Ballesteros, spoke about an important phenomenon to international schools — Third Culture Kids. TEDEd happened to see his talk on livestream and now it is one of the model talks on TEDEd’s YouTube Channel in the TEDEd Club Picks Playlist.

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TEDEd at Lincoln began with 18 students in HS in 2014–2015. Eight of those students delivered a TEDx Talk by the end of the year. After a bit of trial and error

In 2015–2016, word about the club had spread like wildfire and we started the year with just under 50 members from grades 4–12.

We followed the TEDEd Clubs Guidebook and the 13 TEDEd Clubs Explorations, each exploration per week. We added a few extra lessons as we saw fit for our students’ needs and our clubs, and by the end of the first semester, students delivered the TEDEd Presentations.

We hosted three separate TEDEd Presentations, a more informal stage, for each division in three different locations. The benefits were that we were able to have all 32 kids that presented in one night. The downside is that most audience members wanted to see a mix of students, especially parents that had children in multiple divisions. The goal in the future is to have these presentations spread over the course of three nights with a mixed group of speakers each night.


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After TEDEd Club Presentations were over, we chose the top 12 speakers from MS and HS Clubs (ES was not eligible) and featured them at our TEDxAsociaciónEscuelasLincoln Event in the following semester, a more formal stage.

Students were chosen based on the following criteria: commitment to club, originality of topic, and dynamism of delivery.

These twelve students were featured. We made posters and banners of their faces and each participated not only in a TEDx Talk but also a breakout station related to their talk. We provided food and drink and invited the entire Lincoln community. It was a spectacular event.

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TEDEd Innovative Educators

Both the TEDEd Clubs and TEDxAsociaciónEscuelas Lincoln Lead Organizer, Josefino Rivera, from 2014–2016, and the incoming Lead Organizer, Yau-Jau Ku, have been privileged to be chosen as a TEDEd Innovative Educator. Read the blog by Laura McClure below for more information:


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TEDx Marks the Spot in AASSA

On Thursday, April 14, I presented at the Association of American Schools in South America’s (AASSA) annual educator conference on the various TED platforms and how to effectively use them in education to develop student voice and unify schools. Read the blog below for more information:


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TEDEd Club at Uruguyan American School

As a result of collaboration among teachers within AASSA, Joe Koss at the Uruguayan American School began a TEDEd Club at his school. Eight students delivered talks last week and their fans across the chraco are anxiously awaiting their videos.


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