Last week, I received the sad news that I was not one of the one hundred Edmontonians selected to attend the uber-cool TEDxEdmonton conference.  For those of you who are not familiar with the TED organization, it is a yearly conference that brings together the best and brightest minds in technology, education, and design (as well as entertainment and humor).  The sessions are captured and streamed free from the TED website.

I use TED as a resource regularly in our classroom.  The talks cover a wide range of topics that we can use as springboards for class discussion and engagement.  In fact, our classroom is now known as the one that “watches videos and has discussions everyday.”  I want my classroom to be that classroom…the noisy one with the crazy ideas.  I know that most educators reading this may not see this as all that “crazy,” but in our school it is uncommon for students to really come together as a whole class and talk about something, so I am very happy to see students coming together the way they are.

I like to be active in the communities I discuss in class, so when I found out that Edmonton was going to hold a TED event, I went crazy trying to get into it.  There are only one hundred seats available and these must be applied for.  As I said before, I was originally told that I was not selected.  However, luck has prevailed for me in this case and I have been invited to go in place of another person who could not attend.

The lineup of speakers looks pretty interesting (and happily very Albertan).  I’m most interested in seeing Cameron Herold and Sean Stewart as their fields of expertise (youth entrepreneurship and alternate-reality gaming, respectively) are interesting to me.  I’m also interested to see other applications for smartphones as presented by Shawna Pandya and, of course, the wunder-kind wizardry of Grant Skinner (no cutting-edge Edmonton seminar would be complete without that :0).

At the end of the day, I hope I can share some of the inspiration with the youth at our school.  If nothing else, I will have a good reason to be up early on a Saturday.

I will definitely post a review of the conference here.  Stay Tuned!