TED Conversations

Al Meyers

social enterprenuer, community activist, inventor, artist, peop, AICPA


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What if the TED Community worked together to build the model 21st century learning environment? What would it look like?

The TED Community has some of the most innovative minds in the world. This goes beyond TED-ED. We have digital media experts, researchers, educators, public policy experts, politicians and entrepreneurs. The community has all of the tools and resources in it to become the ultimate disruptive innovator in education. What about adding a new type of fellow: a TED-ED Fellow, and have them work together on a project to design a new learning environment, and one that can be scalable. Then take the "idea" and use the financial resources of TED to turn it into an "idea worth doing."

The model would need to account for teacher training, compensation and evaluation; curriculum standards, learning pedagogy, and funding sources, to name a few factors that need to be accounted for.

I believe there's no better brain trust in the world to tackle this project than an open-source TED collaboration.


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  • Jun 14 2011: Well one thing i doubt it would include is ever changing textbooks.

    It seems odd to me that our early mathematics and reading books are constantly changing when the information is not.

    I've personally been consistently disappointed with my textbooks since as long as i could form an opinion, and many times my teachers have agreed with me.

    i remember specifically that my 8th grade math teacher held on to her old algebra textbooks until they literally fell apart because they were far superior to our modern textbooks.

    why would our textbooks be getting worse?
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      Jun 15 2011: I so agree, Zack, and I think the problem is indicative of the state of affairs in publishing overall.
      • Jun 15 2011: my theory is that publishing got the way that it did through government involvement and the licensing process. - that being said i really don't know much about the licensing process

        anyone here know the details of what it takes to get a textbook sold in a major educational institution?
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          Jun 15 2011: If you're an "adoption state," it means that subjects come up for bid every few years, depending on the state. So once you're in, you get an annuity. Some states have six year licenses. And typically, if you are able to get your textbook adopted in one of the major states (CA, FL, TX), then you are guaranteed major distribution across the rest of the country, and that means BIG profits.
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      Jun 20 2011: Zack read Richard Feynmans story about being on a committee to select science textbooks for California. Textbooks are one of the most profitable issues for the publishing industry

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