TED Conversations

Amy Peach

Director of Instructional Technology, Fontbonne University, St Louis, MO USA


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What does it take to become an educational entrepreneur?

In the rapidly changing world of education, it is important (as I've recently heard a wise man say) not to think outside the box, but to create a whole new box. How do we encourage (or even perhaps teach) recent high school or college graduates to become the kinds of educational entrepreneurs we need to bring our students the education they truly deserve?


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    Jun 27 2012: You're right. The problem isn't exposure. It's application. I hear so often from my friends in the field about how they're overworked and while they'd love to spend more time exploring the technology, they can't fit it into their schedule. Then I watch with sadness when they grade paper and pencil quizzes and tests knowing that I haven't done that in six years and I know how much time I've saved.

    I also think you're right about many administrators, but (around here anyway) I see that changing. I'm wondering if just by us having this conversation we're demonstrating a need for collaboration and innovation :)
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      Jun 27 2012: You are right that collaboration has been a big part of what school districts (at least big urban ones) have been talking about and trying to encourage now for a very long time! The most common form in which I have seen it over the last decade is in institutionalizing planning teams at the school level focused on teachers' reviewing student work and student performance data on a weekly basis but also bringing teachers together periodically at a district level for cross school collaboration. These formats for collaboration go by lots of names.
      Of course schools and teachers also have collaborations with agencies that serve their same students, but even beyond that. For example, a local museum has commited to helping a district develop curriculum materials about the science of glass. I don't know whether the large grants a firm like Microsoft or a foundation gives to schools who are willing to implement particular educational experiments counts or not.as collaboration, but one might think of it that way. These are interesting for the fact that many firms and agencies offer services pro bono or even offer schools grants to pursue certain innovations without any intention to follow up with the sale of products or services on a continuing basis. It is in part an interest in investing in community or an educated work force.
      So the virtues of collaboration and innovation seem to be very well recognized across the field by now and many organizations are very interested and active in collaborating with schools. And schools appreciate it most of the time!

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