Sunday, September 9, 2012

5 (More) TED Talks That All School Librarians Should Watch (+ 1 Bonus!)

A little over a year ago I shared 6 TED talks that I thought all school librarians should watch.  Since that time, TED has continued to inspire me with its collection of smart and provocative video resources.  As such, I figured it was time to add a few more suggestions to my list.  In no particular order, these are the Talks that I find myself going back to time and time again, that I have shared on Twitter and have shown to my colleagues!  We're talking the best of the best here. :)

1.  Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World



This TED Talk has influenced my thinking more than any other this year.  It (along with Matthew Winner) made me want to read Jane McGonigal's book Reality is Broken, it nudged us to create Level Up Book Club and inspired huge changes to my teaching.  If you only watch one of the Talks I recommend here, this is the one.

2.  Kirby Ferguson:  Everything Is A Remix


This Talk, to me, highlights the importance of doing more than teaching kids about copyright and plagiarism in terms of consequences.   In this Talk, Ferguson posits that it is impossible to create something without drawing on the inspiration of others - which reminds me of just why it is so important to create a culture of sharing and attribution in our libraries -rather than one that focuses on punishment and the punitive.

3.  Dan Meyer:  Questioning - What Makes a Problem Worth Solving?




While this Talk focuses on math, the premise applies to every discipline: teaching kids to think about a problem conceptually (rather than procedurally) is not only more effective but also equates to more respectful, more meaningful, more challenging and more inspirational work.  What's more, if there really is a shift taking place in how we teach math, there's definitely a role for librarians to play.  If libraries are about exploring our world and thinking critically, those are skills we can and should be bringing to the math instruction that's going on in our schools.  (Shoutout to my BFF Ryan Redd who teaches math this way every day!)

4.  David McAndless:  Visual Thinking



Libraries have always been associated with literacy - but traditional literacy - that is written and, in some cases, oral communication. However, as society and technology has evolved, so has literacy. Today's students must possess a wide range of abilities and competencies from reading and evaluating online resources to navigating virtual collaborative spaces and lots and lots of stuff in between. This TED Talk highlights the use of infographics as a valid way of sharing information and begs the question, is your library synonymous with old or new literacy?

5.  Shawn Anchor:  The Happy Secret to Better Work



This Talk is just so much fun.  Not only is Shawn Anchor hilarious but his premise is so important.  Sometimes we are so focused on being great teachers that we forget how to be great learners AND as such, we create environments that stifle joy and squelch success.  Watch this talk then ask yourself: would your students describe your library/classroom as a joyful place?  And if not, what are you gonna do about it?

Bonus! The TED Radio Hour on NPR!

As much as I love watching TED videos, there are times when a video just isn't an appropriate learning tool, which is what makes the TED Radio Hour on NPR such a GEM!  This (for now) experimental radio program explores the same fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to thinking and creating that TED videos do, but without the need to sit down and watch.  These audio gems represent a great way for you or your students to connect with some of the world's more remarkable minds!

So... what did I miss?  Between this and my last post I've only shared 11 Talks - there's bound to be countless others that are worth sharing.  Leave your favorites in the comments and help me spread the TED love! 

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