TEDx events for children/youth are sprouting up everywhere -- bringing together local educators, organizations and kids for activities, live talks and storytelling that engages young minds to learn and experience in new and different ways. (If you have a story about a TEDx event for kids/youth -- inside or outside of the classroom -- please tell us.)
TEDxConejo was produced in association with the Conejo Valley Unified School District in Southern California, and premiered on March 27th, 2010 -- it was the first TEDx event organized for an entire school district.
The theme of the day, 'What's the Big Idea', was divided into three sessions: 'Thinking, 'Doing' and 'Seeing.' Topics included the neuroscience of belief, the principles of meaningful enterprise, ideas in education and learning, effective communication, human behavior and music.
The day was an opportunity for all who attended to gather as peers. The audience consisted of approximately 40% students, 20% educators and 40% general adults who enjoyed talks from adults, seasoned experts, youth, and a selection of TEDTalks.
Besides engaging local students, educators and community members in the spirit of TED, TEDxConejo was also a powerful platform for the school district to demonstrate how learning happens beyond the classroom. Another TEDxConejo is planned for 2011.
"What a great event all of you put on, congratulations on what I know (or will know) was a tremendous effort. I've been going to the TED conference for years, and I felt the TED vibe of curiosity, sharing and excitement as soon as I stepped through the doors." -- Attendee
In 2009, Southern Methodist University hosted Dallas' two inaugural TEDx events -- TEDxSMU and TEDxKids@SMU, the first TEDx event designed specifically for young students.
In attendance at the half-day event were over 300 7th- through 9th-grade students from 37 public, private and charter schools. Speakers addressed the theme "What Will Change Everything" and included Amory Lovins, Arthur Benjamin and Rives.
Now in its third year, TEDxKids@SMU is going through a growth-spurt, with goals to increase their audience and the scope of their high school mentoring program; in addition, at 2011's TEDxKids@SMU students will present talks.
TEDxClassroomProject was presented as a six-week project to eighty 10th-grade students to watch, analyze, and reflect upon TEDTalks in pursuit of an answer to the question, "What Matters (To Us)?"
Each student individually analyzed a minimum of eight TEDTalks, which were often selected at random to inspire discovery and diversity. Students published their reactions to the talks -- both in terms of topic explanation and speaker delivery -- as individual blog entries on one group site. Comments on these blog posts came from fellow students, and a few TED speakers joined in too.
The final project was a five-minute TED-like talk given by each student on a subject of their choosing. To prepare, students watched TEDTalks and analyzed slide deck design and speaking style; TED speakers also chatted with the students via Skype video.
"TEDxClassroomProject has confirmed it. I'm no longer an 'English teacher.' Instead, I am an 'agent,' 'social media DJ' and 'publisher' for my kids." -- Christian Long, organizer