12 reasons to start a TED-Ed Club in 2015

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Just one year ago, TED-Ed launched TED-Ed Clubs – a flexible, school-based program that supports students in discussing, pursuing and presenting their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. Over the course of the year, nearly 1,000 TED-Ed Clubs have formed across the globe. To celebrate the one year anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of quotes from TED-Ed Club Members and Facilitators that may inspire you to start your own club in 2015!

1. “I got to meet really interesting people and every club meeting was a moment to share and discuss ideas. The best parts were when everybody understood what was being talked about and everyone was adding on to each other’s ideas — it just brought a richness and a depth to the conversation that was so nice. As a result, we really got to learn about each other and know each other better.”
-Marrec Selous, Lycée Français de New York TED-Ed Club Member

2. “Not every student is eager to speak in front of large audiences. And that’s absolutely fine. The purpose of our TED-Ed Club was not to create public speakers, but to create empowered students who can voice their opinions in their communities and beyond. It was great. I was able to get to know my teachers and engage with the curriculum in a meaningful manner. I was able to empower my peers and help them speak up on issues big and small.”
-Arjun Mehrotra, United World College of South East Asia TED-Ed Club Student Facilitator

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3. “I’ve definitely become more confident, and now I can talk about my passion and what I stand for without thinking of the possibility of making a mistake. I’m more passionate about the things I love and feel ready to share them with the rest of the world.”
-Georgia Loui, ESL Creative Learning TED-Ed Club Member

4. “I learned a lot about myself as an educator. And I learned what students care about. It made me want to give students more of a voice in their education and to completely tear down the classroom walls and allow learners to facilitate global connecting opportunities. If you give students the freedom, they will run with it and inspire you and each other.”
-Jimmy Juliano, Daniel Wright Junior High School TED-Ed Club Facilitator

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5. “I’ve always liked public speaking. Presentations for my classes are a highlight for me. However, one thing my talk for TED-Ed forced me to do was research it. I thought much more about the structure than before and really experimented with techniques I haven’t used before.”
-Hunter Callaway, Homewood Middle School TED-Ed Club Member

6. “One of my favorite moments I’ve experienced as a club member this year was when Mrs. Scheffer had each member in our club go up on the stage in our auditorium and practice the beginning of our TED-Ed Club presentations. We had no idea she was going to have us do this, and since it was early in the year, none of our talks were done. It was basically a “do as much as you can” kind of thing. I struggle with stage fright, but I was feeling brave for the day so I volunteered to go first. I got up on the stage and started talking about my topic (which is empathy) and I couldn’t stop talking. My typical beet-red face and shaking hands that came with public speaking never happened and I didn’t feel nervous at all. Our TED-Ed Club helped me find something that I am passionate about and when you are truly passionate about something, stage fright just doesn’t happen or is at least drastically reduced.”
-Cat Hoyt, Burlington High School TED-Ed Club Member

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7. “I have five students that participated in the [club], and you know – you read about passion-driven education, self-directed learning, and independent thinking – but [when they gave their presentations], I saw it. I just felt very privileged to be watching these kids…it’s hard to articulate. I was talking to a colleague, and she said, ‘How did you get them to stay after school?’ And I said, ‘I didn’t!’ They just had that passion. From the get-go, the students that gravitated toward this experience were the ones who already had a passion for something.”
-Jenn Scheffer, Burlington High School TED-Ed Club Facilitator

8. “I like being in a room where you’re free to say whatever you want, and you’re not going to be judged. I feel like there’s a huge lack of that in this day and age, especially in schools. If you say the wrong thing, you’re not considered ‘in this group’ or people look down on you. But in the TED-Ed Club, I can present my opinions, argue against other people’s points, maybe present my own idea, and everyone is supportive. Everyone understands. And even if we argue, it’s just out of the fun of challenging someone — it’s not out of ‘I think your opinion is stupid.’ It’s more like ‘That’s a very valid point, but let me bring up my idea.’ I love that sort of feeling.”
-Stephen Kalinoski, Middletown High School South TED-Ed Club Member

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9. “When we first met, we were shy and maybe a little scared. But as soon as the bravest of us started to introduce ourselves, we soon realized we had many things in common, especially our dream: to help the world be a better place. I believe that it was my favorite moment. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t speak a lot when encountered by strangers, but I feel really comfortable when I am to speak in front of my TED-Ed Club colleagues.”
-Ioana Niculescu-Caranfil, George Cosbuc National Bilingual High School TED-Ed Club Member

10. “We mainly spoke English during our meetings. We listened to original talks without translations, and that was very helpful. Some students translated some talks together with me into Lithuanian. The material offered for facilitating the club was also in English, so through reading, listening, talking and preparing final talks, their language definitely improved. [But I most enjoyed watching the] final speeches, when we invited the principal and some classmates to listen to the talks. The principal was surprised that the students talked and cared about the same things that he and the teachers talk and care about.”
-Neringa Šakinienė, Trakai r. Lentvaris Motiejus Simelionis Gymnasium TED-Ed Club Facilitator

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11. I think the reason kids like this club is because they have found other people like them. A lot of these kids, when you walk through the hallways, they’re in groups of two and three. And they are hiding in the music room. Or they’re off at their own table in the cafeteria. And all of a sudden, they’re in a group of forty, and they’ve never been in a group of forty before. Forty people who are like them. I think that’s the biggest part of this whole project. This is not just a random group of kids in the school. Actually, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a random group of kids in the school! But it’s not kids who want to put stuff on their resumes. It’s kids who truly want to make a difference, and have their voice heard. And they’ve just never had a place to do that.
-Marc Seigel, Middletown High School South TED-Ed Club Facilitator

12. It was amazing to witness the process evolve. No homework, no memorization or regurgitating of information. I gave them freedom to create and produce. Their work is original and is about their passion. The trust between the facilitator and the students is essential. It was magical!
-Angela Mitchell, The Lovett School TED-Ed Club Facilitator

Want to start a TED-Ed Club in your school? Apply here now. >>

4 Comments

  1. Amy Padgett-McCue

    I teach at a local community college. Could we start a TED Club?

  2. This is a great concept. What is the process for schools outside of the US?

  3. I’m 18, last year in college, can I start a TED club at my high school

  4. abhaykurgod

    good but not getting the member ship

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