This weekend I had the incredible opportunity to spend Saturday at TEDx Victoria!  I spent the whole day with my good friend, Jess, who is also a teacher.  Jess and I thought the entire experience was engaging and inspiring and we took pictures, Tweeted, ate good food and chatted about TED related things all day long.  TED stands for: Technology, Entertainment, Design (many of you likely have watched, or at least heard of, TED talks).  The “x” in TEDx stands for: independently organized TED events.  The energy in the audience was tangible and I felt so fortunate to be part of such a fun event.

A snippet of the great weekend Jess and I spent together at TEDx Victoria.
A snippet of the great weekend Jess and I spent together at TEDx Victoria.

The TEDx talks from this weekend will be posted on YouTube in the coming weeks, so until then I can really only describe some of my favourite presentations.

Adam Kreek: Adam is probably most commonly known to the public as an Olympic rower (gold and silver medals in Beijing and London, respectively).  Adam is hilarious, entertaining and full of amazing positive energy and his presentation on “Seeking Failure” caught our attention because the title of his presentation is exactly what most people don’t seek.  Adam presented right before the lunch break and he had the entire theatre engaged and laughing.  We were able to connect with Adam throughout the day via Twitter (oh glorious, glorious technology, what did we ever do without you?) and now I am in the works of planning to get Adam in to speak to my class about leadership and community. Yahoo!

Tiffany Poirier: Tiffany is an elementary school teacher, and an author, with a background in philosophy.  Tiffany presented an incredible speech concerning student inquiry and its role in the classroom.  Naturally, Jess and I ate this right up.  Tiffany provided samples of her students’ “Big Questions” and ideas via voice recordings and images and my goodness, do I ever feel inspired to dig deeper into the benefits of learner inquiry after listening to her speak.

Angela Moran: Angela is one of the farmers at the Mason Street City Farm here in Victoria, BC.  This presentation was a personal favourite for both Jess and I because of our shared interest in sustainable, local, organic food and farming.  What piqued my interest the most during Angela’s presentation was the idea about aquaponic farming – a technique using fish ponds, water pumps and raised garden beds to create a self-sustaining garden that belongs smack-dab in the middle of the busiest of any city.  Angela’s speech made me long for spring time; I can’t wait to get our garden going again!

Bob McDonald: Bob is the host of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and is also a renowned science journalist (you can see where this is going, I know…)  Of course, I was super excited for this presentation because I am teaching science this year and ANY additional interactive science material I can get my hands on is definitely going to benefit my students’ learning.  Bob provided us with an engaging and entertaining presentation (he even used props!) I’m excited for his TEDx talk to be posted on YouTube because I know my class will love watching/listening to what he had to say about the world, galaxies, population, etc.

There were many other speakers at TEDx Victoria (we enjoyed all the presentations), but these four presentations in particular really stick out in my mind because I can relate them directly to my personal passions and teaching practice.  If you’ve never been to a TED event before you really should consider checking it out!  The annual TED conference is coming up during Spring Break 2014 and it’s in Vancouver this year!  I’m considering attending…anyone want to join me?

Karley