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 7 2011: Innovative Approach?

    Ditch the paper degree - some of the best teachers I've seen are 'unqualified' in the tertiary education sense.
    Evaluation - the students should do the evaluating - not the ministry, board of trustees or council, or even the teachers.
    Curriculum Standards - removal of all standardised measurement. This must happen in order to 'free' the curriculum.
    Funding - tricky. Not sure about that one. Force a tithe on all business? Free goods and services to all schools as part of community expectations of private business?

    The curriculum is not the problem - it's the easiest to change.
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      Jun 21 2011: Scott I think you are right on with the first three points. The 4th, funding is something to which I have given a lot of thought. In an Entrepreneurial Experiential School why not have teachers and advanced students start actual businesses. The school could supply initial space and mentoring in exchange for a cut of the profits. I have long dreamed of a universal school with a well equipped shop-laboratory"skunk works" that could potentially fabricate anything a student could design. If they lacked a tool they could build it. The older or more advanced students would hire those less so (12 and older) to give them experience and wages. Our current public schools tend to function as babysitters and in part keep kids from competing with adults. Academics would be kept to 3>4 hours a day. The point is instead of grades they could see that learned skills would earn them the chance to make $. Relevance of knowledge and skills would be immediately testable in the real world. Motivation would be natural and built in. Before age twelve play and interaction and basic skills would be emphasized but in this paradigm the school could mostly pay for itself. I am of course not thinking in terms of manual labor but creative work where each student could learn to fulfill a variety of roles to help them find what fits. Bookkeeper, designer, tech, sales, advertizing in short potentially all and everything and yet nothing required but the drive to contribute and prove ones worth as a team member. Above all it should be fun and creative
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        Jun 28 2011: A great idea! An authentic context on so many levels.
    • Jun 23 2011: Hear, hear.

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