This past September I got up in the wee hours of the morning to travel to Columbia, South Carolina to meet Chris Craft. We proceeded to Charlotte, North Carolina for our destination, TEDxCharlotte. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and is a program to bring these three together along with science, business, and the arts to present and discuss new ideas. The x means the event was an independently organized TED event.
The speakers are given 18 minutes to present their idea or cause. Frequent breaks are give to allow attendees to discuss what was just seen with each other and the presenters. Many in the audience were posting messages on Twitter to spread the conversation. TEDxCharlotte was one of the best events I have ever attended. It definatetly stimulated my thinking in a way that has been rarely done.
One great thing about TEDx events is they record the sessions so they can be reviewed. The reason this post is so late is that I have been waiting for the videos to come out on YouTube so I can share my favorites and comment on them. Feel free to add your comments and see all of the videos. I plan on showing some to my team over the coming weeks. Also, if you have a chance to go to a TEDx event, take the time and go. It will not be a waste of time. On to the videos!
Doc Hendley was a bartender with too much time on his hands. Fortunately for people in developing countries Doc saw that a lack of clean water was a major problem around the world after a night of random searching on the Internet. This search spured Doc to hold his first Wine to Water event. These fund raisers generated thousands of dollars to help people get access to clean water. Because Doc wanted all the money raised to go to his cause, he was recruited to go spend the money where he saw fit which took him to some of the worst places in the world. Doc's story was the most inspiring of the day. There are still Wine to Water events in bars and restaurants today.
The Bechtler Ensemble interested me because my unique take of the performance. They blended poetry, music, and video to create a unique message. I thought groups of students could team up across the curriculum to create a different type of presentation. It would require lots of coordination but for end-of-the-year showcase it would be great. What do you think?
Kathryn Wyatt directs KidZNotes, an after-school music program to teach children to play violins. This program, focuses on the process of learning and not the outcome (a novel idea) based on the El Sistema method from Venezuala. With school budget cuts killing arts programs KidZNotes can help keep fine arts alive in schools.
Molly Barker shows she still feels pain from a self esteem problem caused by her teachers that led to other problems in life. However, she was able to rise above her problems by starting Girls on the Run which helps girls build self esteem through running and talking about their problems. Molly's passion shows through her moving talk.
Roger Baumgarte discussed how friendships are valued in different cultures. He asked the question would you tell on your friend if you were the only witness when your friend hit someone with a car and drove off? Roger's talk spurred me to attempt to engage my students through Edmodo.
I believe to this day TEDxCharlotte attendees are wondering if Randy Powell's idea of using Vortex Mathmatics would solve our energy problems. However, if Vortex Mathmatics can do all the things Randy says then it will be the greatest discovery ever. It could also be a big joke played on us. Watch and share your thoughts on this one.
There are other videos of speakers and artists from TEDxCharlotte that I just don't have time to mention but I encourage you to watch them and share your thoughts on them. Especially food deserts and John W. Love, Jr.'s performance. I am already looking forward to next year's edition.