As educators we are constantly seeking inspiration from the world and people around us that we can pass on to our students, adding colour, depth and real-life relevance to their learning. Students never cease to amaze us with their ability and willingness to question, experiment and reach for goals and this, in turn inspires us to continue in our quest for new thinking and ideas.
In my own on-going search for external inspiration, and as part of my commitment to continuing my professional development and remaining open to ideas and exploring the new concepts, I have been drawn time and again to TED. If you haven’t come across TED, it is a forum for the sharing of ‘ideas worth spreading’; a catalogue of inspiring, amusing and, sometimes, truly brilliant presentations which, combined, represent a unique and first-rate lifelong learning resource. The TED conferences are expensive to attend but the website delivers access to the presentations for free.
From an education perspective, Sir Ken Robinson is a must-watch and my favourite of his, ‘Changing Education Paradigms’, is an animated trip through controversial thinking about the reform of public education across the world. It looks at the role of education in preparing children to enter an uncertain global economy and multicultural society and charts the need for fundamental change in an education system which was designed, conceived and structured for the needs of a different age – gripping and highly entertaining: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html
Another Ken Robinson presentation worth watching is ‘Schools Kill Creativity’, originally presented live back in 2006, which demonstrates Ken’s innovative thinking, much of which is mirrored by the Foundation’s beliefs. You can see it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
Other interesting speakers, this time from outside of education, include Simon Senik. Simon talks about leadership using Apple, the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King to punctuate his points: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html
And, for a little light relief, everyone should watch Derek Sivers’ ‘How to Start a Movement’: http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement.html