Posts Tagged ‘TED talk’


So Long Sir Ken

August 25, 2020

The world loses an incredible voice for creativity and the Arts

In 2006 the first six TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) were published online. One of them called Do School’s Kill Creativity was presented by author and educator Sir Kenneth Robinson. During that talk and ever since Sir Ken’s life has taken on twists and turns, and his voice and message have been cherished around the world. In fact his TED Talk has been seen more than 65 million times, more than any other.  He has inspired educators and worked with governments, corporations, and cultural organizations helping them unlock their creativity. He has influenced classrooms, schools, districts and country’s.

He encouraged all who listen to change the way we do business while criticizing the educational system which he believed was about teaching students to “become good workers, rather than creative thinkers.” For over 20 years Robinson’s message was clear: “A top-down focus on math, reading and testing, at the expense of the arts and creative pursuits, stifled their (children’s) abilities.”

In an 2018 interview with the head TED Chris Anderson Robinson said: “The best evidence of human creativity is our trajectory through life. We create our own lives. And these powers of creativity, manifested in all the ways in which human beings operate, are at the very heart of what it is to be a human being.”

“We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”

Sir Ken authored and co-authored several books including The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, (New York Times bestseller, translated into 23 languages), Creative Schools, Out of our Minds, and You,Your Child and School. Sir Ken was born in Liverpool and led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, which looked into the significance of creativity in education and the economy. For his achievements he was knighted in 2003.

Sadly Sir Ken Robinson died at the age 70 on Friday, August 21, 2020, after an extraordinary life as one of the world’s leading thinkers on creativity and innovation. He influenced my thinking and was an inspiration to the work I’ve done as an arts educator in my classroom and beyond. I’ve watched (and shared) his TED Talk over and over – delivered with humor, grace and filled with wonderful stories. My favorite is the one about Twyla Tharp. I’m so grateful for his offerings and the messages that will live on into the future. I bow down to you kind sir – Rest in Peace Ken Robinson!

“The best evidence of human creativity is our trajectory through life. We create our own lives. And these powers of creativity, manifested in all the ways in which human beings operate, are at the very heart of what it is to be a human being.”


TED Talk

June 29, 2018

Reshma Saujani

We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. “I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”


Listen to Kids

March 4, 2016

Adora Svitak

This is taken from the TED talk link:

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

Adora says: “You must lend an ear today, because we are the leaders of tomorrow”. She gave this TED talk in 2010 at the age of 12. Since that time she has gone on to speak to thousands of educators.

Excerpts from her speeches and blog posts have been included in writing textbooks around the world. She is a 2011 recipient of the National Education Association Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, an honor previously bestowed on luminaries ranging from Bill Clinton to Billie Jean King. In 2014, she served as a Youth Advisor to the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Adora is majoring in Development Studies and minoring in South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley.

To learn more and hear Adora in a more recent time than the TED talk below, please go to


Change the Composition of the Soil

August 18, 2015

Ron Finley: gardener/artist

Ron Finley is an artist and a gardener. He is committed to making a difference and encouraging people to take back their health by planting their gardens where space is available. People come together and plant gardens, sometimes in spaces that are not used by anything or anyone else. He is known as the guerilla gardener in South Central LA. He is an inspiration! As you start your school year this week (being from the County) or getting ready for your first day back, consider how you can “change the composition of the soil” using the arts as the vehicle. If you are engaged in something that y0u want to share please send me an email at

Check out Ron’s TED Talk at


Every Kid Needs a Champion

May 9, 2015

Rita Pierson on relationships


Embrace the Shake!

July 19, 2014

Ya gotta see this!

Recently I had a lovely conversation with the Maine Art Teacher of the Year, Allison Price. We brainstormed about a collaboration on altering books, how our memories from childhood come alive with smells and sites, how as we grow older the importance of family in what we do is evident, how fortunate we are to watch the art work of young students grow and change as they mature and many, many other topics.

We mentioned how great it is to have the internet to inform our thinking and  provide educational experiences that didn’t exist during our younger learning days. She reminded me of this TED Talk done by artist Phil Hansen. It is a GOT TO SEE talk. And, also worth going to Phil’s website.

This is part of Phil’s bio:

As an art student, Phil Hansen’s intense style of pointillism led to a tremor in his hand and a diagnosis of nerve damage. Devastated, he dropped out and lost his way … until a neurologist suggested he “embrace the shake.” That piece of advice tweaked Hansen’s point of view and sent him on a quest to invent different approaches to making art by embracing personal and universal limitations.

On this beautiful Saturday morning in Maine, I share them both with you. TED Talk below and CLICK HERE for Phil’s website. (Hint: listen to the talk first and be sure you have time to meander when you go to the site). My apology I can’t find the embed code so you can just watch it in the blog – please click on the link below for the talk.


Thanks to Allison Price, art educator and the 2014 Maine Art Teacher of the Year, for sharing this link.


Carrot Clarinet

July 8, 2014

Continue the Creativity conversation

Yesterday I shared a link to Peter Reynolds from FableVision info asking: What does Creativity mean to you? Today, I am sharing a YouTube video that is a TED Talk given in April at TEDxSydney 2014 by Linsey Pollak. Linsey defines creativity as putting together two previously unrelated things, could be objects or ideas, and creating something new. And, Linsey proceeds to demonstrate how to make a carrot into a clarinet. It has a saxophone mouth piece and a funnel for the bell. It might just make you think about what other foods could be used to create an instrument!! And, just what is creativity?

Thank you to Bangor art teacher Kal Elmore for sharing this link.


TED Talk: Mark Ronson

June 13, 2014

Remixing TED talks

Mark Ronson does a TED talk that remixes several TED talks including Ken Robinson’s Creativity talk. It includes 15 TED Talks into an “audio-visual omelette”. The power of music was a driving force for Ronson’s TED Talk idea. Just seeing how he organized his ideas is fascinating. It is a great example to show your students – everyone’s approach to presenting ideas is a bit different. And, music history/information tracing the evolution of “La Di Da Di”. It is very interesting!

Oh, just watch this TED Talk and you will see what I am babbling about. I am guessing you music teachers will absolutely LOVE this!!


Sir Kenneth Robinson

May 16, 2013

TED Talk

imagesKen Robinson presents in his humorous way another TED Talk titled: How to escape education’s death valley. Robinson is an expert on creativity and he has proposed changing education to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

So what is this TED Talk about? “Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.”

Robinson looks closely at what is happening in schools across the United States. He believes that the funding that is going into education is not going into the right places. Robinson is clear about the place for arts education in schools. He believes that they are important because they improve math schools and because they tap into parts of the brain that are otherwise untouched. I suggest you use 18 minutes of your time and listen to this TED Talk.


TED Talk: Power of Introverts

May 2, 2012

Susan Cain speaks on what introverts have to offer

A third to one half of the population are introverts and often they have creativity and leadership skills that are misunderstood. Many environments are built for the extroverts and introverts are not honored. Please listen to Susan’s TED talk and think about your students who are introverts.

Thank you to a former student, Lis Janes, who has an MFA in Art and is now teaching and living in the Portland area.

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