I must begin by saying that I love TED Talks. I always have but it was difficult to find time to watch them. The day I figured out that I could watch them on my ipad while on the treadmill was such a happy day for me. It helped me find time to watch TED talks and it motivated me to get on the treadmill.
In the last week or so, I have watched a couple of talks that seem to demonstrate the ideas from the beginning of Who Owns the Learning when Alan November talks about students finding problems in their community and working to try to solve them. I don't think that I would show these talks to my first graders but those who teach upper grades could. My first graders do love it when I tell them stories and I think that I could share the stories in these TED talks with them and that they would understand and enjoy them. I think watching/hearing about these stories could make our students more aware of the possibilities that are open to them. I know that I felt very uplifted and inspired after watching these talks.
The first TED Talk that demonstrates this is one done by Jack Andraka who worked out his ideas for an early detection test for pancreatic cancer - all before he turned 16, using what he knew he could find on the internet.
The next TED talk is by Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao who stumbled upon the problem of finding a bacteria that could break down plastic while they were in 12th grade.
Another TED talk that I want to share is a collaboration between four adults who are working together (and asking others to join them) in working to create a way for other sentient species (dolphins, orangutans, elephants,etc.) to be able to connect to the internet.
The last TED talk that I want to share is by Richard Turere a 13-year old boy from the Masai community who invented a way to prevent lions from attacking his family's cattle. While he does not use the internet, it definitely shows how he noticed a problem in his community and worked on a way to solve it.