Every day, very many technology tools are produced. The rapid change of these technologies can be overwhelming at times. An organizational leader needs to be aware of some of these new technologies in order to introduce the relevant ones to their organization. Jane Hart (2016) listed 200 such technological tools in 2016. Many of these tools are useful in leadership and education. For today’s blog, I shall reflect on TED and Ted Ed.
It is said that there is no force on earth as powerful as an idea whose time has come. TED is based on the premise that “ideas have the power to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately the world” (TED Ed, n.d.). TED is a non-partisan and non-profit organization interested in “spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful, talks (18 minutes or less)” (TED, n.d). The acronym TED stand for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED originated from a technology, entertainment and design conference in 1984. Currently, TED organizes talks (TED talks), special events in communities around the globe (TEDx), and online educational lessons (TED Ed). Thus, TED is a platform that allows people to share their world-changing ideas with the world. TED is a Web 2.0 platform as described by O’Reilly (n.d). First, because it is a platform that depends on different people contributing to it, sharing ideas, assessing its repository of knowledge and popularizing the best/better talks and educational uploads. Second, because TED is designed to be assessable in a multiple of devices as well. Third, TED and TED Ed encourage download and reuse of its resources with minimal or no restrictions. Thus, by aggregation of use and view, popularizing and sharing the better and best ideas, the ideas that can shape attitudes and world naturally emerge.
One of the most watched talks on TED is on education. TED Ed provides a platform for teachers who have very good lessons to present their lessons and make best taught lessons accessible, not just to a classroom somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but literarily accessible to the whole world or any student or teacher with access to the internet.
As a trustee of an educational institution, TED Ed provides model lessons for teachers in our institution to learn from. As a matter of fact, the principal of the school I am a trustee teaches chemistry and have found model chemistry lessons from TEDEd both helpful to him and insightful/enjoyable for students. Moreover, TED and TED Ed provide opportunities I can encourage my staff to contribute to, in an attempt to add to its shared repository of knowledge. This will continue to help the internet flatten (Friedman, 2007) the world by seeing that most knowledgeable teachers and lessons are accessible to more students. Furthermore, students from any part of the world, in any university or school, can understand concepts better from the best and most experienced professors, professionals and teachers. TED provides an avenue, for me as a leader and an educational leader, in collaboration with our Human Resource departments to provide on-going formation in leadership and education for staff in our organization. This is because TED has very insightful and cutting edge ideas on various spheres of leadership and administration from some of the most insightful and knowledgeable individuals in this field.
The disadvantage, which is indirect, that I notice, is that there are many parts of the world where access to the internet is impossible. There are many good teachers (and even non teachers) whose lessons will never make it to TED Ed. There are many good ideas, that due to access to the internet, will never be able to share with the world. Furthermore, there are many students who lack access to the internet. As a result, they will never have access to TED or TED Ed and benefit from their repository of knowledge. Thus, invariable, TED Ed continues to encourage and contribute spiky (Florida, 2005) or uneven access to the world’s repository of knowledge. Those with access to the internet and its related technology will benefit from TED and TED Ed. Also, those with access to technology and internet will be allowed to make their voices and opinions heard. As TED explains, these voices and ideas will continue to shape our global values. But the ideas of those whose voices are not heard, will be lost. Their ideas, will fail to affect the world’s values. And some of their beautiful ideas will die with them.
It has been argued that the extremism we see in the world today, and the reactions against globalization in the rise of nationalism, is the result of lopsided approach to globalization. That is, when global values are being affected by those of the few perceived “outside” values. There is a great need for the voices of the many (especially those whose voices are not heard) to be heard so that the values influencing globalization is truly global.
Florida, R. (2005). The world is spiky: Globalization has changed the economic playingfield, but hasn’t leveled it. Atlantic Monthly, 296(3), 48.
Hart, J. (2016). Top 200 tools for learning 2016: Overview. Retrieved http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/
Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
Robinson, Ken. (n.d.). Do schools kill creativity? Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity
TED. (n.d.). TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization
TEDEd. (n.d.). About TED Ed. Retrieved from http://ed.ted.com/about