…Is a TEDTalk.
I’m sure that most everyone who reads this is familiar with TED. The TED (Technology Entertainment Design) organization holds two conferences each year, one in Long Beach/Palm Springs and the other in Edinburgh. At these conferences experts from all areas of science, education, entertainment and the arts present a short (18 minute) presentation on a topic in their specialty area. Attending the conferenxce itself is limited to a select few, at a cost of $7500 for standard membership; however, through Internet distribution the talks have become available to all and many have been widely distributed and shared. Many lesser-known thinkers have become Internet celebrities through viral distribution of their talks. A slightly less prestigious TEDX younger sibling has also emerged, bringing a similar experience to a wider number of cummunities and a greater number of speakers.
As with any well-intentioned humanistic pursuit, there has been criticism of TED as being elitist, reductionist, and glitzy. I suspect that all of these criticisms are true. However, I have been more than once moved by an effective speaker to learn more about a subject or think about an area I had never considered before. I know that TED talks have been the entry drug for real progress in the lives of many.
Obviously with only two talks each year the speaker list is very exclusive with world leaders speaking beside Nobel Prize winners and music and movie stars. To be invited to speak on such an exclusive (yet worldwide) stage with the cache of a the TED organization represents true acknowledgement that one’s ideas (whether good or bad) are worth consideration and attention.
So I confess to you, my online Santa, in a moment of undisguised ambition that my fondest wish as a small-potatoes speaker and blogger would be to have an opportunity to prepare and deliver a talk at the TED conference (I would gladly accept a TEDX, though I admit it would be with some slight disappointment). Every time I write or speak, I work to put into words this wild and changing world of educational technology and try to say something new about it. A TED talk would give me the opportunity to find and express that one key idea with which I want to be connected, and the idea of getting that room laughing would be the last item on a bucket list (the next to last item on the bucket list is to stop using words like bucket list).
I even have the idea ready. I would be talking about…no, I’m waiting for a call.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.