Friday night, I met my roommate. I was blessed with Delene McCoy from Arkansas, who made me laugh the second I walked in the door by realizing she had to close the bathroom door to let me in...close quarters in NYC!! She was the best roommate I could ask for! I am so happy to have gotten to know her. We got our amazing #swagbags, including a handwritten not from Sting (not Sting, as I thought, and we laughed about that, too.) I settled in, comfortably, awaiting to meet the other people in our group.
|photo by Anthony|
|photo by Christie|
Cadillac House in the morning for breakfast (where you can have meetings in their cars!) and had a surprise visit from the head of TED, Chris Anderson. Chris inspired us to no end, telling us that there are now "4 R's to learn in school: Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic, and Rhetoric," and that "Ideas want to spread. They want to be free."
|photo by Saad|
And7 year old talking about the importance of mathematics #TEDEdWeekend #mtbos pic.twitter.com/De2HjwPtZY— Lisa Winer (@Lisaqt314) December 3, 2016
There my mind was blown, yet again.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼Anika for her beautiful talk on string theory & how we're all made of music #TEDEdWeekend pic.twitter.com/2BbaTGX5UZ— Kristin Leong (@kristinleong) December 3, 2016
Two surprise famous TED talkers also spoke with students.
Personally, this was exciting because my famous blogger BFF's famous poet daughter loves Sarah Kay!
After some talks, we went to a presentation by LittleBits, award-winning magnetic building blocks, which bring out the hidden engineer in you in the easiest possible way. Delene, Mbao and I enjoyed making things buzz and light up. There was even a challenge as well as a rock paper scissors competition!
Is there anything she can't do!? Poet & engineer @kaysarahsera celebrating the @littleBits challenge. #TEDEdWeekend pic.twitter.com/P4mGXqAYJ0— Kristin Leong (@kristinleong) December 3, 2016
The next highlight was a roundtable discussion with the founder of https://girlswhocode.com/, Reshma Saujani, who spoke about how she founded Girls Who Code, and didn't even know how to code herself. Basically, she hit rock bottom and turned it all around for herself, empowering thousands of young women along the way.
Here is an interesting and provocative video that she shared with us that was just so cool:
And a Verizon ad about what a girl hears when you tell her she's pretty:
And finally the TED-Ed Mannequin Challenge!
We headed out to dinner to Otto Pizzeria, a restaurant owned by Mario Batali (go RU!) and had delicious food and talk.We were so impressed by all of our amazing youth speakers at #TEDEdWeekend! #MannequinChallenge pic.twitter.com/6Rh4BBUNFV— TED-Ed (@TED_ED) December 5, 2016
I sat near Tom Rielly, who is responsible for the TED Fellows program, among other things. I think he must have started as a stand-up comedian! We had great conversations, and the night ended when a table of gentlemen bought Prosecco for all of us, upon learning we were educators. Only in New York!!
That night, some of us saw family, saw the tree at Rockefeller Center, or practiced pitches.
The next day was for US, the TIEs. No longer did we hear the excited energy of the kids, it was us, and so we took the elevator up to the 11th floor at 330 Hudson and practiced our "elevator pitches."
We arrived to take some pictures on the TED-Ed stage and to have breakfast, and by then word buzzed around that we had someone who was going to do our make-up and hair for our profile picture. WHAT!? We just were so excited, I can't even tell you.
We spoke a bit and then headed to give our pitches. Each of us took the stage and spoke about our project, the one we applied with and then tweaked each time we spoke with our cohorts on the video conferences. They were awesome! It was amazing to see this group speak about their ideas and goals, and wow! Mind blown, yet again.
After the pitches and a fantastic Mexican lunch at TED-Ed HQ, we learned about animation. All I have to say is, more mind blowing. We were broken up into groups and taught how to use Stop Motion animation, which we all immediately wanted to use in our classrooms when we got home, as you can see below:
We each had our head-shot, and then we ended the evening talking as a group about where we go from here and other things that I can't remember, as my head was spinning from this amazing weekend of learning and connecting and sharing. The whole TED-Ed team was unbelievably professional, and everything went so smoothly--if something was wrong, I can tell you we did not know about it. The interns were equally incredible!
It was definitely hard to say goodbye at the end, but I know it's not forever. We bonded as a group and will stay connected.
Delene and I could not end the weekend in NYC without making it to Broadway to see Beautiful, the musical about Carole King. It was absolutely incredible and perhaps my favorite Broadway musical to date.
This was an unimaginable weekend that I will never forget. I'm excited to start on my project, which is called Students Teaching Students. I envision students all over the world creating videos for other students using the TED-Ed Lessons. In my mind, I see students working hard to create lessons that are shared and watched throughout the world. Kids and adults do TED Talks, why should only adults teach the lessons? It's a lofty goal for me, and I will track the progress eventually.
Want to know more about TED-Ed? Here's some more info.
If you haven't started a TED-Ed Club, now is definitely the time! Logan's goal, to have a TED-Ed Club in every school, is no so far away. Kids will learn presentation literacy and so much more. As David Saunders said in our follow-up video conference today, public speaking is no longer about memorizing and restating a poem. THIS is what it's about!
Learn how to be a TED-Ed Innovative Educator here.