Sunday, April 1, 2012

TEDx Waterloo 2012

On March 21st I was fortuante enough to be part of the audience at TEDx Waterloo at the Centre in the Square. I was joined by two of my colleagues, Kellie Grant and Micheal Redfearn. Kellie teaches grade 7 & 8 at Our Lady of Fatima and Micheal is the Board's ICT Consultant. You may have heard of TEDtalks - if you haven't, I urge you to visit the TED site where you can watch riveting talks by remarkable people.

From left to right: Rolland Chdiac, Michael Redfearn, & Kellie Grant

"TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize." (

TED started out with the focus being Technology, Entertainment, and Design but has since branched out into Education, Creativity, and Innovation. As an avid viewer of the TEDtalks videos I am constantly moved by the ideas I am exposed to. As an audience member I was in complete awe as I listened to a fantastic group of people and their ideas/experiences. One of the amazing speakers was Mathew Ho, a Grade 12 student at Agincourt Collegiate Institute in Toronto, who is one of the two teens who sent a Canadian Lego man into space and video taped it - for fun! Here is the video:

Matthew's message (from my perspective) was about not limiting yourself in what you do or what you want to do. Matthew has said “I have given up on trying to find my niche, and rather accepted the fact that there are just so many interesting things in this world, it would be futile to focus on just one.” Matthew is just one example of the many inspirational speakers that day but what really impressed me about him is the fact that he is still in high school. His talk reminds me that anything is possible. As an educator, this is very important to me. It brings me back to the core of why I teach and the power within all of us to excel within certain facets of life. Matthew Ho reminds me that the students we work with are sponges that soak up what we say and the experiences that we provide them with. I am re-energized and re-focussed about what I do with my students. Aside from the fact that he is still a high school student, the technology he used to do what he did is remarkable. Cell phone GPS, Video Camera, Weather Balloon, etc - all common technology today and cost less than $500 to do. Talk about being a digital native. As my students and I continue to use technology as a tool for their learning I can only hope that they transfer the skills that they are learning in class to make their lives easier and more fun as they get older and progress in our society.

Another highlight of my day was being interview by Michael regarding my insights around the main theme of this year’s TEDxWaterloo event ‘Dis Connected’ and how it relates to my students’ lives. Michael has been kind enough to provide me with the audio of that interview, enjoy!

If you are not able to play the audio I have provided, please head over to Michael's blog to check it out (at the bottom of his post write after the end of his text).

1 comment:

  1. Kudos on such a great blog Rolland! TEDxWaterloo was a blast, especially hanging out with you and Kellie. Looking forward to future posts. - McLuhansghost