by Josefino Rivera, Jr, Asociación Escuelas Lincoln, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Asociación Escuelas Lincoln’s TED-Ed Club and TEDx Event
This year, Asociación Escuelas Lincoln in Buenos Aires, Argentina joined the handful of international schools that offers a TED-Ed Club on campus and will host a TEDxYouth Event. When hired, English teacher, Josefino Rivera, Jr., began the process to begin a TED-Ed Club as an extra-curricular activity. After three meetings, the club gained a reputation and a committed set of around 25 students from grades 9-12 saw the power of TED-Ed. After establishing the club, Rivera applied for a TEDx license and was approved to host an event in April 2015.
Differentiating TED-Ed, TED-Ed Clubs, and TEDx
TED-Ed, the newest branch of TED, is committed to creating lessons worth spreading, in the same vein as TED’s famous talks. Teachers can create short videos to explain difficult concepts. These videos, then, can be attached to a customizable lesson with multiple choice questions, online discussions, opportunities for extended research, and more. Teachers can set these lessons to private, for only their students, or publicly so classroom walls can be torn down.
TED-Ed Clubs, instead, offers students an opportunity to “stimulate and celebrate the best ideas of students around the world”. After an online application and a 30 minute online conference with a Programs Coordinator at TED-Ed, club advisors receive a plethora of resources to begin the TED-Ed Club, including 13 set lessons, a reproducible “Idea Book” for students to develop their talk, and links to model TED Talks. During the club, students develop their idea worth sharing, working towards an informal recording that is sent to TED-Ed.
TEDx, then, is its own independent branch of TED that offers anyone the opportunity to host its own TED-like event, including youth events. TEDx, then, becomes the platform for students to take those ideas they’ve shared informally and share them in a more formal setting. To be clear, TED-Ed Clubs and TEDx are their own entities and require two separate application processes, however, they can work hand in hand.
Benefits for Students
In a blog written by Linda Flanagen from KQED’s MindShift, she argues that the authentic assessment of the TEDx Talk has many benefits for students.
Social: Like a sports team or a theater group, the TEDx group was joined with a common passion but around intellectual pursuits instead.
Cognitive: Inquiry-based by nature, the TEDx group becomes a speakers’ workshop that forces students to take charge of their own learning and deepening of the understanding of their topic.
Emotional: Speaking in front of an authentic audience boosts confidence.
Creative: Students are exposed to multiple connections to make in their talk with the club, opening out-of-the-box ideas they may not have made on their own.
Bringing Multiple Schools Together
At Lincoln, preparing for the TEDx Event has developed new multiple school interactions. The licensee solicited a call for staff members’ expertise to help organize the event. Roles included “Rule Mavens” that learned the TEDx Rules and informed the other roles of standards set by TEDx, a “Brander” that created the theme and look for the event, “Event Planners” in charge of creating the space to facilitate the event and the ongoing discussions during the breakout sessions, “Storytellers” that created the website, blogged, tweeted, and updated the community about the event, “Speaking and Multimedia Coaches” that directly worked with students in developing their speeches. These volunteers came from the elementary, middle, and high schools and also the secretarial staff, all of whom brought their skills to the team in a new way.
Partnering with the Community
Once a licensee of a TEDx event, TEDx establishes local connections with other TEDx organizers small and large scale. In Buenos Aires, Lincoln’s TEDx group already connected with another local private school and began collaborating with the TEDx organizer there who has more experience and has been a guide of sorts. Also, the organizer of a more established local event, TEDxRíodelaPlata, with an audience of 10,000 people, has shared his experience and offered his advice as well.
Lincoln’s event will be held on April 18, 2015. The theme this year is “The Confluence of Influence” and will include a range of talks about climate change, spatial awareness with live painting, musical influences and performances, and more.
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