TED Conversations

Jared Tompkins

Researcher, Auburn University

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What about TED-based clubs in schools? TED-based classes?

TED is an incredible concept. It is intelligent, innovative, and gives rise to some amazing ideas. The central idea of TED - the proposition of an idea worth spreading, and intelligent discussion to improve it - is something that can be applied to every part of our lives, but often the most important part of life is the younger years of primary and secondary education. Why not take the TED ideal and apply it to our schools?

I am a high school student, in the 12th grade, and TED has changed my life. I propose to the TED community this idea: the formation of school clubs (or similar groups) focused around TED that eventually transform into dedicated classes; instead of a traditional class, it would consist of the exhibition of an idea that the students and teacher then discuss.

TEDtalks, TEDconversations, even comment discussions about the talks could generate the initial idea; the class would spend the entire period discussing it, trying to improve upon it, finding ways to let it affect their lives for the better.

That's my idea (indeed, I intend to actually do this at my school), and I'm presenting it to the TED community to ask for ideas, suggestions, and discussion of the implications of this idea.


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  • Mar 4 2011: Great idea. I agree with Adam Burk, don't just watch, do something. Identify the best actionable ones and do something about it.

    And so maybe YOUR talk would not be a film from a stage, but a video of your club taking action (planing the community garden, meeting with politicians, whatever).

    And if you keep your eyes open for ways to build connections to other schools, that would make it even more powerful (do you have foreign exchange students - might they take the idea home with them?)

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