TEDx – my recap of Eastside Prep

Here’s a summary of the information I absorbed while at TED Eastside Prep on Friday, May 18. This event was a TEDex event – meaning an independent TED-inspired event full of speakers and video showing a curated set of relevant TED talks.

Innovations in Education was the name of this conference. Unfortunately I was late getting to Seattle so I missed the first two talks. The remaining talks were all pretty interesting and themed for educators to think beyond the traditional methods of teaching.

The first talk was titled: “Educators are in the business of designing minds” by Sasha @sashrocks (Salad Labs)

She points out that…

  • Humans store information best when we recognize it’s value
  • When you have context you have value
  • Must understand the WHY

One concept that is common to most educators but new to me was that Teaching is like creating a scaffolding. Students then turn it into a building and you can fill the building with data.

However, Education is not just a matter of content. It is in the way the content is delivered. Education has emergent properties.

In today’s age…

  • Students need stronger context
  • The way we communicate has changed. With Twitter and Facebook statuses, we have to limit our data exchange to 140 characters – communication must be quick and with precision

One speaker spoke about the Minimum Viable product concept as applied to Education. “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

To apply this concept, you must test new methods of education and collect feedback. Answer the question: What is the main thing you want your students to walk away with?

Other previous (actual) Ted Talks were broadcasted during this event. My favourite one was this guy at TED Mid Atlantic

He explores ideas on how to “Study Creativity as a Science” and “Why should scientists study creativity?”

This is really interesting to me as it relates to the question: How does one innovate?

It also interests me because they use medical imaging to scan the brains of freestyle rappers. Totally awesome research strategy for cueing jazz musicians and rappers during the creative process…. it makes me wonder if music is the form of creativity that is most obvious and measureable. Why not visual art? or dance? or computer science??

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