Update on TEDxKids@BC Excitement!

On May 13, I posted about the excitement that a couple of eighth graders expressed about the possibility of engaging with TEDxKids@BC. One person commented on that post – Goran Kimovski, who is with TEDxKids@BC. THANK YOU, Mr. Kimovski. If nothing else even happens, I appreciate you taking time to comment, communicate, and excite! Such is a bedrock of learning, isn’t it?
Over the past weekend, a veritable flurry of communication exchanges occurred among the two eighth-grade learners, Ms. Gough, and me (Ms. Gough and I are part of the Synergy 8 team with these two eighth graders). After about 13 prototypes of a formal communication to Mr. Kimovski, here is what the eighth graders sent…
Dear Mr. Kimovski,
    We would first like to thank you for responding to Mr. Adams’s blog post in such a quick and inviting manner. Secondly, we would like to submit a proposal for the TEDxKids conference. Please let us know what would be the best way to do that, whether it be sending our thoughts to you via email or submitting some sort of application. We’d love to talk to you via skype; anytime from 2:40 to 3:30 EST is fine on our end, what time works for you? Below is a summary of our ideas and thoughts for this conference.
    School that cultivates a love of learning:
– increased student discussion less teacher lecture
– improvement and retention rather than  learning for test and grades
– incorporating technology to reach all learners
    Over this academic year, we believe that we have grown as students and in our beliefs of what makes up good schooling and what school ideally should look like. Also, as participants of a prototype course, called Synergy, we had the opportunity to explore the concept of “ideal school” further. We would like the opportunity to let others know about what we, as students, feel about this important issue of education, and the evolution that’s necessary to better serve the needs of learners.
Thanks once again,
T. S. and S. Z.
If for no other reason (and there are many!), I am thankful for social networking media used for educational purposes. Connecting learners with passionate, critical topics for exploration and discovery and possibility…that’s what is required for innovation and improvement.
What are you excited about? With whom are you connecting? With whom are you exchanging ideas and possibilities? Who is on your team to help push the change and improvement we desire in the world? How are you spreading ideas? What ideas are you catching that others are spreading?
Get connected. It’s about learning!

TEDxKids@BC and a dollop of Synergy feedback!

Assessment comes in so many shapes and sizes! Recently, I received some unexpected feedback about Synergy 8 – an interdisciplinary, community-issues, PBL class that Jill Gough and I created and piloted with eighth graders this past fall semester.

Earlier this week, as I was reading in my GOOGLE RSS feed reader (I use Feeddler on iPad), I discovered a call for speakers for TEDxKids@BC. Being a huge fan and supporter of TEDx and David Wees, I tweeted the blog-post-call-for-speakers. Thinking specifically of two or three Synergy “grads,” I called their attention to the tweet with a mention. Via direct messaging, two of the Synergy team members scheduled a face-to-face to discuss possibilities, and then one followed up with an email showing her initial brainstorming about a proposal to speak at TEDxKids@BC. I am pasting the email below, with permission:

Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:09 AM
To: Jill Gough; Bo Adams
Subject: tedx kids ideas:
tedx kids ideas:
What should school look like?
(use synergy experience as example)
– discussion and question centered
– students as teachers too
– self assessments
– improvement and retention vs. Grades
– technology integrated
– find out what students and teachers think school is and what it should be/what they want it to be
Class room environment:??? (don’t rly know, this might be a totally irrelevant or repetitive tangent…)
– respect
– student involvement instead of teacher lecturing (students as teachers too)
– using technology to appeal to all kinds of learners and learning styles
– teach how they learn, and what they want to know not just for test
– cultivate a love of learning and subject (may be far out there)
Bisous 🙂
Live, Laugh, Love
Sent from my iPhone
“Ideas worth spreading” indeed! Fourteen years old, this Synergy thinker is. Can you feel the ripples she might be causing in the way we think about education and school in the 21st century?! Whether she makes it all the way to a TEDxKids@BC talk this go-around or not, “BRAVA!” to her for taking the risk and forwarding her thinking. Ms. Gough and I are behind her all the way!