Presentations Worth Watching

17 01 2010

As both a student and a future teacher, TED and the other technologies available to show inspiring presentations, videos and podcasts, and use them as educational tools is so exciting! If used properly, living in the digital age can be such a blessing! I have a passion for learning about other cultures and being an optimist – trying to see goodness and God in all situations. Researching my first unit building activity, I stumbled upon the book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba, and his presentation featured on TED entitled, “William Kamkwamba: How I built my family a windmill”. As a lover of traveling, diversity, hope, and a believer in endless possibilities, God, constantly learning, and seeing the big picture (how we are all interconnected across the world) – William’s book, presentation and story strikes a certain lovely and passionate chord in my body. As a future teacher, this is one book that I would undoubtedly enjoy teaching – and one story that deeply touches me. With an interest not only in English education, but also in counseling – especially high school counseling – I find “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” exciting not only because it is an English or literature book, but a cross-subject and cross-cultural book. With mind to guiding adolescents, it is a story that says “you can,” no matter where you come from. It is a continual story (follow his blog), that shows in a direct way how someone can go far by learning, trying, building, exploring, and believing in themselves and their ideas.

Another amazing, “I can bug,” presentation featured on TED is by Kiran Bir Sethi entitled, “Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge” – “Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life’s most valuable lesson: “I can.” Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.”

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Another awesome presentation featured on TED is Elizabeth Gilbert’s (author of “Eat, Pray, Love”) February 2009 presentation on “Nurturing Creativity.” While this may not necessarily be a presentation to show high school students (although you certainly could), it is certainly a presentation I feel all adults, especially those attempting to embark in the world and art of creativity should see.

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And more… All I can say is whoa – all this social networking and hard-core education blog following is getting pretty crazy. Just three days ago Kate Klingensmith’s blog featured a guest post by Karen Schweitzer entitled, Ten Free Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom – and the post appeared through my RSS feed widget on my Netvibes page. I checked out some of the links/tools, and Diggo bookmarked the post under the tag “education” so that I’ll be able to find these resources with ease again in the next year when I begin my student teaching. The website Cramberry is pretty cool (cute title too) – it allows students and teachers to “create, study and share flashcards.” It can also build “a studying schedule for you based on your progress on each card, letting you study more quickly and efficiently,” and it has thousands of pre-made cards – plus, its FREE! The website Academic Skill Builders is also pretty neat – it advertises itself as THE place for education games. And let me tell you, is it ever! I’ll be completely honest here and admit that I got a little carried away playing an awesome English game, Verb Viper (believe me, it’s really as cool as it sounds) which would be great for anyone from little kids to non-native English speakers to play to gain practice, and a better understanding of verbs and tenses. It’s fun, educational and… there’s a giant verb viper – whoa!

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