I agree with Audrey Watters — we need a way to QUESTION TED talks. Good ideas worth spreading are worth interrogating and discussing. There is NO platform for that and a growing issue, I think that TED MUST address if it is going to live long and prosper. Good educators, good leaders always question and are curious. We try things out and we wonder. We want solutions but solutions packaged in a cute 15 minute presentation aren’t ever really as simple as they seem. There is a different between a sound byte and a bit of something I can REALLY use. I agree with Audrey – READ her post. My worry is that we’re spreading ideas that haven’t, perhaps, been tested and gone through full examination. IF we didn’t learn anything from the Mortensen “3 cups of tea” fiasco then education deserves to be mislead again. We should examine and have transparency with the speeches and be able to continue the conversation. “But I have questions. I have questions about this history of schooling as Mitra (and others) tell it, about colonialism and neo-colonialism. I have questions about the funding of the initial “Hole in the Wall” project (it came from NIIT, an India-based “enterprise learning solution” company that offers 2- and 4-year IT diplomas). I have questions about these commercial interests in “child-driven education” (As Ellen Seitler asks, “can the customer base be expanded to reach people without a computer, without literacy, and without any formal teaching whatsoever?”). I have questions about the research from the “Hole in the Wall” project — the research, not the 15 minute TED spiel about it. I have questions about girls’ lack of participation in the kiosks. I have questions about project’s usage of retired British schoolteachers — “grannies” — to interact with Indian children via Skype. I have questions about community support. I have questions about what happens when we dismantle public institutions like schools — questions about social justice, questions about community, questions about care. I have questions about the promise of a liberation via a “child-driven education,” questions about this particular brand of neo-liberalism, techno-humanitarianism, and techno-individualism. You don’t get to ask questions of a TED Talk. Even the $10,000 ticket to watch it live only gives you the privilege of a seat in the theater.”
South by Southwest EDU is happening now. This is the website. You can follow and see what is happening. I keep looking in the pics to see if there is anyone else that I know.
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