“Meanwhile, there seems to be an obvious question of economic justice here. The original Kickstarter backers of Oculus Rift might not have been explicitly granted shares in the company, but the company wouldn’t exist without their initial contribution. About 10,000 people gave Oculus $2.5m between them. I for one am struggling to think of a good reason why each of them shouldn’t get a proportional share of that $2bn sale.” — Steven Poole, The Guardian
As the principal license holder for TEDxSBU, I had to attend a full blown TED event in order to raise our attendee and sponsorship caps at our own event. So – I went to TEDActive in Canada. TEDActive is kind of like a regular TED conference wrapped in a makerish package — but more than anything else, it’s a younger and far more of a social crowd. I, myself, am not all that terribly social – so that part was largely lost on me. (Plus, I’m getting older – but let’s not go there.) Also, I’m not looking to network to find a new job and some of that was happening as well.
However, I did benefit from Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman being lured to the satellite location based on the promise of it being more fun – so WIN!
Some other things that I learned about TED… one never goes to TED.com and then searches for a talk about juggling or magic tricks (at least I can’t imagine many people doing this sort of thing, without also picturing them piling out on mass from a VW bug while wearing funny shoes). BUT IF YOU WERE TO DO SO… you would find many talks, including some from these fellows who have been invited to TED 6 times now:
There were however the standard talks of “ideas worth spreading” and I certainly enjoyed those. Some of them have been released into the wild now including:
I’ll post more of my favorites as they are released.
“I want to ask a question. How many of you think the the children from those lower two dots in the united states [high poverty rates], are going to Khan Academy, and, is that going to change if Comcast wires up their households? I think that’s laughable. It’s not enough to put it out there. You have to actively engage the students. You have to do the things that don’t scale.” — Vivienne Ming
Includes a citation add-on that could be very useful. I don’t see it as an option yet here on campus, but it was just released… so perhaps soon!
I recently wrote a blog piece on the Creation Renaissance. One day I tweeted about it and the next day I posted about it on Facebook. I would have guessed that the Facebook posting would have generated more views, but for all three; pageviews, visits and unique visitors, the tweet brought in slightly more people. Of course there is some overlap of users, but I have to say that I don’t think there is a whole lot.
100 years ago and prior, people knew how to do things. Sears, Roebucks and Co. sold kits to build your own homes. They delivered the plans and the materials to your lot, and you built it. People could eat off the land. Even those working in a factory might only bring a bowl and fork for lunch, and eat greens that they would pick off the surrounding property at lunch time.
Up until recently (and really most people still fall into this category), we modern society humans haven’t known how to do much. We would probably starve to death with edible plants growing in our own back yards. If, left in the woods, successfully building a shelter might depend on whether you had watched a season of Survivor or some other “left in the woods naked” reality TV show. (And really, how do you think that would really work out?)
Why has this happened? Why this dumbing down of the people? One reason may have to do with how much money it takes to get by. Another reason may have to do with the manufacturing requirements of an overpopulated society. Consumerism certainly doesn’t help. But something seems to be changing.
Now that all the knowledge of the world is so easily accessible, and answers are all around us – people can, and need to, learn how to do, make, tinker and innovate again. There are so many things to rediscover (not everything is innovation), mechanics, urban/vertical agriculture, textiles, 3d printing, woodworking, electrical engineering, — AND higher education is the perfect time to do it. Before you have a mortgage, while you still have time to explore, find your passion and discover the peers that make you tick! Some of these ideas could be the beginning to something wonderful, and some of those people might be the team that you go forward with to tackle challenges that face the world today. (Anyone interested in space elevators? Anyone have a great idea to remove all that space junk?)
Students don’t need to sit down and listen anymore for hours on end. They need to hold tools. We need a bit more pre/primary school, the scissors, work benches, glue, and mess. If given the chance, we will amaze ourselves with what we can accomplish. There is a renaissance coming. Let’s make higher education be a part of it.
“The shift continues towards becoming a creator society. Today, society is increasingly mobile and continues to demonstrate evidence that creation is gaining traction over consumption. The Maker movement, user-generated videos, self-published eBooks, personalized domains, and other platforms have all seen steep increases in recent years. Higher education is now in a position to shift its curricular focus to ensure learning environments align with the engagement of creator-students and foster the critical thinking skills needed to fuel a creator society. Courses and degree plans across all disciplines at institutions are in the process of changing to reflect the importance of media creation, design, and entrepreneurship.”