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Posts Tagged ‘ted talk

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You get all sorts of interesting and inspiring speakers at TED Talks. This old but recently featured one by Terry Moore almost seemed improptu. He showed everyone how to tie shoelaces.

Or rather, he urged his audience to relearn how to tie them. It was a slight change to the process but the result was more effective. I think I learnt how to tie laces this way from a LifeHacker article a while back.

Consider the way we teach. It’s easy to just teach the way we were taught and assume that what we do is effective. But sometimes someone can come along and show you more effective ways with the help of small tweaks.

That is why I like examining my teaching shoes often and thinking of more effective ways of tying my laces. This prevents me from tripping up!


You need to skip forward to the 8min 40sec mark to get at the seven ways.

If the talk was a game, most people would have stopped playing…

I monitor Richard Byrne’s FreeTech4Teachers blog by RSS. Hardly a day goes by without something useful appearing on it.

Byrne highlights a recent TED talk by Daniel Pink on motivation. While there is a business slant to the talk, the principles of motivation apply just as well in education.

Pink describes how providing extrinsic rewards are not necessarily motivating and that rewards is only good for simple tasks where the outcomes are obvious. He adds that rewards are not productive for complex tasks and that rewards kill creativity. He proposes that in order to motivate, we should be promoting autonomy, mastery and purpose in order to motivate.

Hmm, sounds eerily similar to our adopted framework of meaningful learning!

… because they are not truly interactive white boards.

Normally the only one interacting with them is the teacher. More often than not, the type of interaction is limited to the vain attempt to deliver information (the same information that is often better learned by other means) in a flashy manner. I think that IWBs promote tired and increasingly irrelevant teacher-centred pedagogy.

But there is one thing I like about IWBs: Their high cost has got innovative people like Johnny Lee figuring out ways to not only create cheaper ones with the Wiimote, but also how to make them multi-input-capable. This multi-input capacity makes multi “touch” computing possible (see video below) and can allow more than one student to interact with the resources on it!

[YouTube video source] [Original TED talk source]

What I like most about Lee is his personal philosophy of getting as many of the people who don’t have the technologies to help themselves! He has offered his ideas and software online for free.

If you use his hacks, acknowledge him and please don’t just create an IWB. Use it to allow students to learn better!

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