Start a TED-Ed Club in your school!

Start a TED-Ed Club in your school! Cover Image

Want to start a Ted-Ed club at your school? Here’s how this Bangalore school went about doing it.

We have all heard Ken Robinson’s fantastic TED talk on whether schools kill creativity. A TED-Ed Club gives a presentation format that allows the speaker to get very investigative with the topic at hand and bring everything into the picture.

TED talk formats are sensitive to all voices and topics—not just those that fit into mainstream education and media. A TED talk can be about wormholes or pets, education or the history of the brain, from the sublime to the delightfully ridiculous. What makes the talk different is the personal spin that a speaker puts on it, which makes it all of his or her own.

In January 2013, TED introduced TED-Ed clubs, which are different from debate or elocution clubs in the sense that there is no competition. They are flexible programs that encourage children to discuss, pursue and present their ideas in the style and format of short TED talks.

TED-Ed clubs are useful because not only do they teach presentation literacy, which is a very important skill today but they also teach a student to harness his or her inner voice, public speaking skills and the ability to process and present ideas in a multidisciplinary and even personal manner.

For instance, Adora Svitak gave a TED talk when she was 12 years old. Her life was a dichotomy of sorts – on one hand the confident 12-year old who gave a TED talk and on the other hand, there was a child who “divided my life into two parts: my tear-stained journal versus my well-practiced speeches. A space to be vulnerable with others, for the larger purpose of sharing ideas? I didn’t have that in high school.” There is no judgment in a TED-Ed club and young people can “bat” around their ideas with ease and courage.

What you gain from a TED-Ed Club

  1. Connect with thousands of other school students in the world
  2. Deliver interesting, informed and ambitious presentations
  3. Attend online TED-Ed club workshops and have access to diverse topics
  4. Be at the forefront of personal discoveries and the evolution of ideas

How Trio World School in Bangalore conducts its TED-Ed Club

Trio World Academy in Sahakara Nagar, Bangalore, has been approved by the TED-Ed headquarter in New York to lead its own TED-Ed club. The facilitator, Dr. Mahalakshmi, has been permitted to lead the club as a facilitator, with support from the TED-Ed team and with access to a lot of TED-Ed material, videos and networking opportunities.

A Chemistry teacher to IGCSE and A-level students in Trio World School, Dr. Mahalakshmi was inspired to start the club because she was familiar with the TED club formats, she enjoyed them immensely and felt that the children could benefit from global awareness and multidisciplinary exposure.

‘Have “English” teachers “teach” Math, Math teachers English, Social Studies teachers Science, Science teachers Art, and so on.’ ~ Neil Postman

“Science students, for instance, don’t know much about economics, which is important when deciding to set up an industry. So I played these talks to the children. They learned about how to link biology to psychology or even chemistry to psychology, about how maths is important and ties in to data analysis in science. Through TED-Ed clubs, they can speak about their interest to the school.”

Many of the students in Trio already enjoyed public speaking, but they were only comfortable with talking in front of their class mates and not their seniors. Dr. Mahalakshmi wanted them to build confidence and enable them to step out of their comfort zones.

7 simple steps on how it works

TED-Ed is for educational institutes and students.

  1. Watch a short video on what a TED club is all about, fill in a free online application, after which you will be asked to join a video call, interact with other facilitators, ask questions and share your ideas for your TED Club.
  2. You’ll have access to TED-Ed club material, including a TED-Ed Facilitator’s Guidebook, which tells you exactly how you should go about your club and the suggested number of meetings, each woven around thirteen TED-Ed lessons, including how to brainstorm on ideas and format and deliver your presentations in an effective and timely manner.
  3. Once you start your club and hold your meeting, you can inform TED-Ed and they will feature you and your presentation on their blog.
  4. Once a TED-Ed club is approved for a school the membership is free to any student of that school between the ages of 8 to 18 years.
  5. When part of an officially approved club, students can use the official TED-Ed membership in their presentations and also in resumes for colleges and job interviews. Their presentations are eligible to be selected for the TED Youth conference.
  6. Additional support in the form of animation and presentation add-ons will also be provided.
  7. The Leader Resources page enables facilitators to access information and books on TED-Ed roster templates and student media release forms.

Here’s a link to Ishita Katyal’s TED talk. She’s the youngest Indian to speak at the TED Youth Conference in New York.

Schools in Bangalore that have an approved TED-Ed Club

Do you know of other schools that have TED-Ed clubs?
If this article inspires you to start a TED-Ed club in your school, do let us know and we’ll feature you!

Featured image courtesy: TED-Ed talk

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