TED Conversations

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: Linda, I hear what you're saying about letting students know that they are not great. (I even wrote a quick HuffPost article called Why University Students Arent' Amazing Anyone and What They Can Do About it in response to their constant need to distract themselves with Facebook despite my best efforts at engaging them.) I think it's important that students get that message but know you are coming from a point of caring and encouragement that they could be amazing and stand out in this world.

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      Jun 15 2012: I use FB in my class to avoid a lot of that distraction.
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        Jun 15 2012: Yeah, I use FB, twitter, online platforms, linked in, PDA, electronic text, data bases, you tube links. yada yada etc etc. But NONE of it replaces accountability. You either know it or you don't.

        You bet I care. I care enough to have a do-over if they need it. And I encourage and support. I am available to help. But the work is theirs. Like Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try."

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