TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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Could we use the adventure of space to reignite education and use that, in turn, to escape the gravity of the conflict paradigm?

Excellence must be motivated by a goal, and the educational system seems to have no powerful, unifying goal, which explains why it repeatedly falls short of excellence. If we can embrace a shared goal like the exploration of space with all of its adventure and wonder, and if we can recognize that success requires that we collaborate and cooperate across cultures (especially major powers like U.S., India, and China) to move beyond our little solar neighborhood, do you think that would be sufficient to shift civilization's conceptual framework from the traditional conflict paradigm to one of curiosity? If so, how do we get from drawing board to launchpad?


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    Apr 23 2011: As a video game and 3D art developer, I believe the answer to our educational woes lies wholly in this new technology. It is archaic and outrageous to me that the Dept. of Education has not embraced this new medium to help our students in any way, and still relies on the paper and pencil system for evaluation. The future is on the computer! If we utilized, as you suggest, the adventure of space to help educate and inspire young minds, it would create the biggest impact on students of all levels. In my opinion, the way to get from drawing board to launch pad is first, invest in the infrastructure. It has to be either a non-profit or government funded operation to employ these game developers, artists and creative professionals to produce a captivating and engaging educational game. It's possible, but often we get side tracked by our leaders and elected officials and the change is slow, much too slow.

    The traditional conflict paradigm as I see it, is more of a product of our own willingness to accept the status quo. I would like to see the tapping into of new possibilities and the demanding of progress.
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      Apr 23 2011: Using video game technology as the intermediate link is an awesome idea, Paul. Wish I were talented enough to pull this off on a proof-of-case scenario! Maybe I can list that in my professional teaching goals . . .
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      May 25 2011: Paul: Here in the UK there appears to be a push for video games design to be recognized in education as the diverse field it is (For potential school/college/university graduates). Hopefully, with recognition, the education system will start to incorporate it more as a medium for teaching like you suggest. I'm sure the UK games industry would be more than happy to oblige with educational tools if given enough government backing for such a project, and, with the economy as it currently is, that seems more and more likely as the value of the industry as an export is starting to be recognized.

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