Tuesdays With TED – An Escape From The Usual Lunchtime Routine

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Earlier this year, I attended the annual AIS Teacher Librarian conference and met fellow TL Mr. Jason Saikaly, Head of Library Services at Barker College. He presented on the success of his weekly TED sessions in the Library, and after chatting to him about my ideas of incorporating the same idea at Newington, we’ve since kicked off during Term 3.

TED Talks are a set of conferences from all around the world on a wide range of ideas and topics to challenge and inspire others. ‘TED’ stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and it’s motto features the quote “ideas worth spreading”. One aim of hosting these TED Talks is to bring boys and staff together in an environment that showcases short, thought provoking, informative and jaw-dropping videos, intellectual discussion (and free food!)

One such video, by Luis von Ahn is titled, ‘Massive-Scale Online Collaboration’ – a fascinating discussion ‘that uses small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good’. I feel that this is the essential understanding that a digital citizen needs in their ‘toolkit’. As we all know (and may have experienced), there are occasions where online behaviour illustrates hostility, hatred and negativity. Unfortunately, our boys will be exposed to this at some stage of their online lives. The foundation for our digital citizenship Mentor program is set upon Von Ahn’s basic (but very powerful) principles – equity, resilience, knowledge and education.

The students have responded really well to the TED screenings and numbers have grown so much that we’ve changed venues to accommodate more attendees.

“I really enjoy the TEDTalks on Tuesdays for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the topics offer very interesting perspectives on all aspects of the world and life. They often offer interesting tips, ideas and cool activities. For example a TEDTalk prior was about an online translating website that I now use to improve my Italian skills. Secondly, the videos offer a refreshing break from intense school work allowing the mind to wander and think. The conversations that are created are often intriguing and it is something unique to see students and teachers collaborate over ideas presented in the video. I think Ted Talks is an interesting and unique club with extremely large potential for growth.” – Adam Goodman (Year 11)

“I love going to the Tuesday TEDTalks in the Library because it is a great forum for ideas to spread between people who would not usually meet. Staff, teachers, and students join on a large range of ideas from: how to start a movement and what is leadership all the way to whether elite sportsmen and women are actually getting more athletic or are new records  due to technological advancements. Some of the younger kids tell me that they started going for the free food, but they come back because they are truly interested. The TedTalks are a great example of Newington’s holistic approach to education.” – Edward Treolar (Year 12)


Have you seen any TED Talks on the topic of digital citizenship? Please include your suggestions/recommendations/discussion in the comments box below.

Coming up at ‘Tuesdays With TED’ at Newington Library:

Topics: Zombies, cockroaches and other strange tales

            How our brains can fool our bodies

            Canteen ladies and their secret superhero lives

Past sessions

Week 6: Kelly McGonigal: ‘How to make stress your friend’

Week 5: Postponed (due to lunchtime charity head shaving event)

Week 4: David Epstein: ‘Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?’

Week 3: Sam Berns: ‘My Philosophy for a Happy Life’

Week 2: Luis von Ahn: ‘Massive-Scale Online Collaboration’

Week 1: Derek Sivers: ‘How To Start A Movement’ and Drew Dudley’s ‘Everyday Leadership

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Stanmore Teaching Library Staff

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