It's Elementary!

by Jamie Forrest

My own TED experience November 14, 2010

Filed under: eci831,New Learning — Jamie @ 2:32 pm

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to attend TEDxSaskatoon. Now, as soon as I heard of this opportunity, I was excited. I applied for a ticket, was accepted, and started to plan the drive. I shared my excitement with many in my Twitter PLN. In the Twitterverse, it is easy to forget sometimes that to the average person in my life, the words Twitter, blog, Web 2.0, and TED are from a foreign language. I knew what TED was, I know the influence that TED has in the world, but honestly, I had no idea how to really explain this to others. I looked up TED on Wikipedia. Here is what I found:

But again, they might understand “Ideas worth spreading” but the words “Creative Commons” would again be foreign. The best way to maybe explain this might just be to share some of the ideas I came away with. Some of the ideas I think are worth sharing. At the beginning of the day, we were provided with a pen and a pad of sticky notes. As the day progressed, I took notes and stuck them in my program. They are the ideas…

Here they are. Note: They are attributed to the speakers, but they may not be word-for-word quotations.

  • Everyone has a unique talent and it is your purpose in life to share it and to use it to help other people. – Dale Zak
  • Your unique talent is not just one thing, but the combination of your being. – Dale Zak
  • The smartest person in the room is the room. We, as teachers, need to stop the idea of the “mind your own business” education and we need to start taking advantage of the collective knowledge that is available to us in our classrooms. – Dean Shareski
  • To start tapping into our inspiration and creativity, here are three suggestions… First, write the last though you have before bed and the first thought you have in the morning for three weeks. You will begin the see the truth of your life and ideas will start to flow. Second, take off your iPod or turn off your music while you walk or drive. Once in a while, stop and write down the first word that comes to you. You will be amazed at what comes to you. Third, sit down with a pen and paper and try free form writing. The ideas will just start to flow. – Jay Semko
  • Believe in the impact of a single idea and in the collective power of a community. – Ainsley Robertson (Her talk reminded me very much of the Dress for Success Regina program we have here in Regina.)
  • Nothing is more powerful than a hand-written letter. – Omar Ahmad (from his TED talk “Political Change with Pen and Paper“)
  • Eating locally: Start small – Try a potluck with friends and ask that everyone use Saskatchewan grown/made products. For more information, try the Saskatchewan CSA. – Amy Jo Ehman
  • I’m not doing it because it is the right thing to do, but because it just feels right! – Amy Jo Ehman
  • If we are not doing assessments, how will we know their limitations? BINGO! Why are we focussing on peoples’ limitations and not their strengths??? – Jeff Nachtigall
  • Watch “A Year at Sherbrooke” (a NFB film) for some inspiration. – Jeff Nachtigall
  • Art is a vehicle for hope. – Jeff Nachtigall (Side note: This talk reminded me a lot of the Best Buddies Blues Band program here in Regina.)
  • The only thing democracy cannot survive is people who don’t care about it and don’t participate. – Lieutenant Governor Gordon L. Barnhart (This reminded me of a tweet I saw while the USA Senate elections were going on, and I’m sorry I didn’t save it so I can’t attribute it: If you can vote for a favourite dancer/singer/reality star but can’t vote for a political leader, there is something very very wrong.)
  • Pyjamas should be an essential part of your work wardrobe as much as your suit. – Carolyn Schur
  • Creativity in the collective is a powerful thing. – Alec Couros
  • Everyone should know about the OER Commons and the Creative Commons. We should be teaching our students about them. – Alec Couros
  • The first follower is the underestimated leader. He transforms the lone nut into the perceived leader. – Derek Sivers (From his TED Talk “How to Start a Movement”)
  • Have the courage to follow and to show others how to follow. – Derek Sivers (From his TED Talk “How to Start a Movement”)
  • A thought turns into a belief, which turns into a behaviour, which turns into our normal; and our normal is our enemy. – Gregg Cochlan
  • Do these four things: First, act with civility. Second, act with compassion. Third, act with citizenship. Fourth, work on peaceful coexistence with just one person. – Gregg Cochlan (Side note: This idea will become the basis for a social skills unit in my classroom.)

What a day! So much to think about and to process! I am going to take some time to process all this information. I’m going to start small with the last point on this list and work my way out: one idea at a time! What do you think of these ideas? If you were there, what ideas did you come away with?

PS> If I have misunderstood or mis-attributed something, please correct me!  I’ve already found one mistake and corrected it!


12 Responses to “My own TED experience”

  1. olabakri Says:

    Great ideas. I love all the quotes. But, the one that takes me is “write your ideas”. Great thought. I have never thought of that although I always have those “aha” moments before I sleep and when I wake up. I, from now on, will start thinking about writing my own thoughts may be I’ll come up with the ONE!
    great reflection.

  2. lewisv Says:

    Oh…I am so jealous! 🙂 I would have loved to have been in the audience at TEDxSaskatoon. It sounds like you have lots of reflecting and thinking to do following the experience. I look forward to hearing more about “ideas worth spreading”. Do you know if any of the speeches are/will be up on the web? I listened to Ainsley speak before – she is a strong speaker. I would love to view Alec’s and Dean’s talks as well. Thanks for sharing! I am happy you had the opportunity to attend this event. 🙂

  3. It sounds (and from your sticky note comments looks) like this was an amazing conference! It is so great when we can learn from others and then share the learning again. As Alec has made reference to – It is a “Pay it Forward” experience. Thanks for sharing. Your reflections have me thinking as well.

  4. steptul Says:

    You are lucky man. I heard about TED-Sask too late; all tickets were sold. Waiting for talks to appear on the web.

  5. courosa Says:

    Thanks for the great description of the talks. Ainsley’s, Jeff’s and Dean’s were probably my favorite – really neat event!

  6. Dave Says:

    Great summary! I never knew you were such as good scribe – and your driving was good too!. I agree with @courosa as far as my fav. presentations.

  7. Somehow I missed there was a TED conference in Saskatoon and I live here. Thanks for the summary.

  8. Mme Holliday Says:

    Awesome Jamie! Would you like to share your thoughts at the staff meeting on Wednesday!! I think it would be motivational and maybe stir passion in the room! 🙂


  9. […] Display of themes and brevity of presentations made it easy to talk about numerous topics in a short time. This type of presentations has its advantages: • Fits attention span “time brackets” Most healthy teenagers and adults are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than   about 20 minutes at a time, although they can choose repeatedly to re-focus on the same thing.(Wikipedia) TED Talks is probably the best example. Jamie Forrest wrote about it in My Own TED Experience […]

  10. byrnesa Says:

    1. Wow, first I am so jealous! I wish I had been able to attend this. Thank you for sharing with us. If we couldn’t be there, at least we can read about it.

    2. Congrats on the opportunity to present at a staff meeting… and to not have initiated! I hope that you do present and let us know how it went!

  11. Leanne Says:

    Thanks for sharing Jamie! It sounded like an awesome day – it is so great to get motivation and fresh viewpoints.

  12. dianna831 Says:

    Thanks for this sticky summaries – much appreciated … so much to think about and so little time!

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