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Kyra Gaunt

Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Assoc.Professor, Kyraocity Works

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How does the status quo design of student - faculty interactions diminish innovation in the classroom? How to hack higher ed?

This Live Conversation with TED Fellow Kyra Gaunt will open on June 15th, 1pm EDT.
Note: Conversation has been extended until June 17th.

There are many TED talks about innovation in education, but most focuses on K-12 education. There are also amazing talks about breaking the code on our relationship to work, to learning, and to our application of knowledge (aka wisdom).

Students call me Professor G. I am a professor of anthropology, ethnomusicology and racism studies. I am also a 2009 TED Fellow. My students in cultural anthropology are interested in engaging the TED community in a conversation around how to hack the design of the higher ed classroom where emerging adults and their supposed mentors, if a design was scalable, could truly become the consumers of their own productivity as students.

My aim as a professor is to help students realize they are great students, great citizens and great human beings NOW not after graduation.

To truly explore this question, we need diverse perspectives and we intend to discover the power of extending the classroom beyond its four walls with a weekly TED conversation around a question related to hacking the higher ed classroom.

What if the classroom interactions were designed for sustainability, for curiosity, and for innovating thinking? What would we talk about? What could we talk about? And wouldn't we talk about anymore?

Consider grading (but we do need so way to measure accurate thinking). Consider the power dynamics of the student-teacher conversation around grades, assignments, and dialogue. And consider the role of the repositories of knowledge and experience that often goes unnoticed, the students themselves.

Do we need textbooks anymore? Would Google and the students' experience be enough in an anthropology or social science course? #justaskin

Also consider issues of ethnic and gender representation relative to issues of power and training emerging adults to be leaders in a globalizing world.

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    Jun 15 2012: The classroom is a basic lecture hall, but we go outside when possible. But there is still a lot one can do in such a large class that engages and captures the students. Regarding creativity, I threw out six beach deflated balls to 300 students and just watched what happened. within minutes they were batting them all around, laughing, but shortly after they were bored, and the balls were grounded. I asked them how many of them were done with the ball thing and they all raised their hands and I said, "this just shows that good ideas have a shelf life and new ones are needed all the time." But still, too many linger on Facebook, no matter how much i try to engage them!
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      Jun 15 2012: Hmm. One of the TEDFellows from Bahrain invented her company on FB during a class. I am a big social facilitator in large and small classes. I don't have that problem of distractions from FB. I am intent upon making sure students are learning about and from one another. One to many in a standard classroom set up IS boring. But even in a traditional lecture hall I can get 90% of students engaged within 2 weeks in a class of 95 reliably.
      • Jun 15 2012: How? Examples?
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          Jun 15 2012: First you have to leave the front of the class and circle about. Second, pair sharing with neighbors daily in each session have them apply the content to a context they have lived. Third, ask them to tell you teh truth about being bored and suggest things IN CLASS. And then take their coaching.

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