Tag Archives: TED

Great icebreakers via @tandingema @Claudiastany @theUnPD @ShellTerrell. #edchat #ETSA16

I spent July traveling around South Africa, Swaziland, and Ghana with 11 other volunteer educators as part of EdTech Summit Africa 2016 (@edTechSummitsA). We led 10 summits in 30 days, and the ensuing road-trip was full of memories and experiences I hope to cherish for a while. Besides leading my own 90-minute workshop about using GoogleSites to curate a professional portfolio and gather curricular projects/materials, I assisted in the other volunteers’ workshops covering a variety of topics: Incorporating project based learning, using Multimedia resources, designing games in Scratch, creating inquiry-based lessons, and more.

I witnessed many great moments while observing the other presenters deliver their workshops, including two memorable icebreakers via Thandekile Ngema
(@tandingema) and Claudia Stanfield (@ClaudiaStany) described below:

  1. Tandi’s workshop about creating remedial lessons for language activities began with participants writing down on a small slip of paper a challenge that they struggle with when trying to meet the needs of their learners. These slips of paper are then rolled into a balloon, the balloon were inflated, and then everyone stood and formed a circle and tossed their balloons at each other for a fun and unexpected activity. When time was up, each participant had someone else’s balloon. The balloons were popped revealing the slip of paper with someone else’s struggle. At that point, participants put aside the slip of paper and had time to explore a variety of literacy apps installed on tablets provided by the Breteau Foundation. After about 20 minutes, each person in the room took a turn reading the challenge on the slip of paper in front of them launching a full discussion about how to solve that challenge (employing strategies newly available to them via the apps they’d just explored). An alternative might have been to immediately begin conversing about the slips of paper after popping the balloons, but Tandi timed it intentionally so teachers had time to explore the apps and consider how they may create remedial lessons with the apps. It was a very photogenic activity!
  2. Claudia began each of her workshops with two different beach balls. One ball had “serious pedagogical questions” written on each different section in permanent marker to launch discussions amongst participants, and the other ball had short cryptic messages like kids would send in text messages to save time. Claudia tossed one or both balls into the crowd, and when a teacher caught a ball, they had to read aloud whatever was written on the section where their finger was pointing. This elicited equally amount of discussion and laughter.

Besides the workshops above, I’m reposting below two things that caught my eye last week (for my own benefit as well as for any possible readers of this post):

  1. I was lucky enough to attend two Unprofessional Development workshops earlier this year led by the inimitable Christina Jenkins (@jenksbyjenks) and Emily Pilloton of Project H Design. Christina and Emily gathered and shared a”cookbook” of conversation starters, project ideas, topics to explore, and a slew of amazing icebreaker activities. Here’s a recent tweet @theUnPD shared about their speed-dating activity:
  2. I saw a timely post on LinkedIn from the super connected, collaborative, generous, brilliant, and ever helpful Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell) about back-to-school icebreakers for teachers. Shelly included a link to a post of her own great icebreakers, both analog and digital. Here’s one of the slideshows from the post:

    Shelly also links to 16 Websites for Back to School Icebreakers via the American TESOL Institute. Heads up that the site is chock full of additional links to explore for icebreaker activities. A quick glance yielded the following gem from this blog:

    During the new teachers’ workshop, one of my colleagues did something that I found really intersting: we drew our hands on a piece of paper and wrote five informations about ourselves inside the drawing. Then, the papers were mixed on the floor, and we had to get a hand that wasn’t ours and find the owner, by asking him about the informations written. It was really dynamic and it doesn’t put the student in the spotlight, which makes them more comfortable to speak.
    Victória

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Just visited the inaugural @littleBits retail store with @donbuckley! Here are photos:

The first littleBits store opened today, and I was so excited to visit the space with my former boss and mentor @donbuckley! It’s so well designed! This pop-up store’s location is 355 West Broadway in the SoHo district, and it will operate there for the next 7 months. The actual grand opening will be in mid-August. Read more about the opening here: http://www.psfk.com/2015/07/littlebits-store-retail-electronics.html 

Besides being able to buy pieces in the retail section, there are demo areas peppered with inspiring projects next to correlating paper recipe cards (with starter instructions on one side and a shopping list on the other) and an open lab area in the back where you can work with a littleBits ambassador in a lab coat to build something amazing. There’s a wonderful opportunity to either leave your creation behind or take it with you (and you pay for all the pieces). Either way, there’s a wired photo org area where you can document your masterpiece and share it with the wider littleBits community online.

Creative opportunities abound here! I’m hoping to organize teacher outings to come and play. @AyahBdeir, superstar founder of litteBits, was at the store today and chatted with me and Don for a while. I’ve been a fan of Ayah’s since her TED Fellow days, and it’s been amazing to watch her build her dream company. littleBits’s flourishing business, perpetually expanding product offerings, growing popularity, and spreading community are a joy to observe through their kicking Instagram account. Check it out here: Instagram.com/littleBits

littleBits Store info:
355 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
917-924-2302 ext 102
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am–7pm, Sat-Sun 10am–7pm

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Reliving favorite moments from #TED2014 via the @TEDTalks weekly newsletter…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/specialkrb/13177197125
On the bottom right of TED.com is a little subscription widget that invites, “Sign up for our daily or weekly emails to receive notifications whenever new talks are published.” It’s so worth it.

I was privileged to attend TEDActive two months ago. It was the 30th anniversary of TED (TED = Technology Education Design) and their first annual event in Canada, so I knew it would be special. I’m still deconstructing all that I experienced and learned while there, and the weekly email updates I receive from TED is a lovely push to listen anew to awesome people sharing their passions. I’m still awaiting news of more uploaded talks from TED2014 including those from Sara Lewis, David Kwong, Moshe Safdie, and many others. Plus, AJ Jacobs and Ben Fry spoke live at TEDActive, and it would be great to be able to watch and share the videos from their talks too…

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites from TED2014:

Sarah Jones: What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers


Mark Ronson: The exhilarating creativity of remixing

Chris Hadfield:What I learned from going blind in space

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask “what if?”

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala

Del Harvey: The strangeness of scale at Twitter

Ed Yong: Suicidal crickets, zombie roaches and other parasite tales

Hugh Herr: The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance


Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
(Larry spoke at TEDxNYED in 2010!)

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?

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