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Asociación Escuelas Lincoln’s TED-Ed Club

By Josefino Rivera, Jr.
Asociación Escuelas Lincoln’s TED-Ed Club

This year, Asociación Escuelas Lincoln in Buenos Aires, Argentina joined the handful of international schools that offers a TED-Ed Club on campus and will host a TEDx Youth Event.
When hired, English teacher, Josefino Rivera, Jr., began the process of launching a TED-Ed Club as an extra-curricular activity. After three meetings, the club gained a reputation and a committed set of around 25 students from Grades 9 through 12 saw the power of TED-Ed. After establishing the club, Rivera applied for a TEDx license and was approved to host an event in April 2015.
Differentiating between TED-Ed, TED-Ed Clubs, and TEDx
TED-Ed, the newest branch of TED, is committed to creating lessons worth spreading, in the same vein as TED’s famous talks. Teachers can create short videos to explain difficult concepts. These videos, then, can be attached to a customizable lesson with multiple choice questions, online discussions, opportunities for extended research, and more. Teachers can configure these lessons to various settings—such as private, for their students only, or public—so that classroom walls can be torn down.
By contrast, TED-Ed Clubs offer students an opportunity to “stimulate and celebrate the best ideas of students around the world.”
After an online application and a 30-minute online conference with a Programs Coordinator at TED-Ed, club advisors receive a plethora of resources to begin the TED-Ed Club, including 13 set lessons, a reproducible “Idea Book” for students to develop their talk, and links to model TED Talks. During the club, students develop their idea worth sharing, working towards an informal recording that is sent to TED-Ed.
TEDx, then, is its own independent branch of TED that offers anyone the opportunity to host its own TED-like event, including youth events. As such, TEDx becomes the platform for students to take those ideas they’ve shared informally and present them in a more formal setting.
To be clear, TED-Ed Clubs and TEDx are their own entities and require two separate application processes, however, they can work hand in hand.
Benefits for Students
In a blog ( written by Linda Flanagen from KQED’s MindShift, the author argues that the authentic assessment of the TEDx Talk has many benefits for students.
• Social: Like a sports team or a theater group, the TEDx group is joined with a common passion but around intellectual pursuits.
• Cognitive: Inquiry-based by nature, the TEDx group becomes a speakers’ workshop that forces students to take charge of their own learning and deepening the understanding of their topic.
• Emotional: Speaking in front of an authentic audience boosts confidence.
• Creative: Students are exposed to multiple connections they might make in their talk with the club, opening out-of-the-box ideas that may not have occurred to them on their own.
Bringing Multiple Schools Together
At Lincoln, preparing for the TEDx Event has developed new interactions with multiple schools. The licensee solicited a call for staff members’ expertise to help organize the event. Roles included “Rule Mavens,” who learned the TEDx Rules and informed the others of standards set by TEDx; a “Brander,” who created the theme and look for the event; “Event Planners,” in charge of creating the space to facilitate the event and the ongoing discussions during the breakout sessions; “Storytellers,” who created the website, in addition to blogging, tweeting, and updating the community about the event; and, finally, “Speaking and Multimedia Coaches,” who directly worked with students in developing their speeches. These volunteers came from the elementary, middle, and high schools and also from among the secretarial staff, all of whom contributed their unique skills to the team.
Partnering with the Community
Once recognized as a licensee of a TEDx event, local connections are sought with other TEDx organizers, both on a small and large scale. In Buenos Aires, Lincoln’s TEDx group already connected with another local private school and began collaborating with the TEDx organizer there, who has more experience and has served as a sort of guide. Moreover, the organizer of a more established local event, TEDxRíodelaPlata, with an audience of 10,000 people, has shared his experience and offered his advice as well.
Lincoln’s event will be held on April 18, 2015. The theme this year is “The Confluence of Influence,” and will include a range of talks about climate change and spatial awareness, with live painting, musical influences and performances, and more.
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