Student TEDx talks represent an exciting new avenue for promoting and developing critically important skills for our students, including public speaking and storytelling, and digital video production and communication.  (See my previous post on this:  TEDxYouth: A great opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate 21st c. capacities).

Last November for the first time our students participated in what was the second TEDx event of our regional association, ISAS, Independent School Association of the Southwest, and we are greatly proud of their performances.  I want on behalf of our students and school to thank the ISAS Tech Directors who managed this, and Albuquerque Academy for hosting.

The two talks by our St. Gregory students are below, (click “more” for the second one); they are short and I know you will enjoy them.   I am very pleased with and proud of their presentations, and I am struck by the particular topics they chose, topics gratifyingly aligned with our educational initiatives at St. Gregory.

One of our strong new themes at St. Gregory, and our “tag line” motto, is  Creating Leaders and Innovators, so it is wonderful to hear two of our students speak on the importance of youth entrepreneurship; another major focus here has been on using our new laptop program and a project based learning initiative to support the ongoing development of student-centered and highly interactive classrooms, the subject of the second talk.

Youth Entrepreneurship:

Quotes from the talk:

Why is this change toward youth entrepreneurship happening?  The world is getting smaller, thanks to technology and the internet;  people are now communicating with people they

That this Renaissance is coming should not be a surprise.   Technology is changing every day that hasn’t changed in a hundred or more years.   Books are becoming e-readers; Calculators and slide rules are giving way to a new software called Wolfram-Alpha that does complex mathematical problems over the internet in a matter of seconds.

Young people are changing the face of entrepreneurship, instead of just trying to get money they are following Steve Jobs in trying to change the world.  They are idealistic, they are using the internet to better themselves and their communities.

Youth entrepreneurship is ideal for a group of young people determined to change the world for the better.

When innovation and new ideas come together and new products enter the marketplace, the world becomes a better place.

Quotes from the talk:
What is the interactive classroom?   An enviroment in which students interact dynamically with the information they are learning creating an entire new dimension of learning.
The role of the teacher is changing to a partner who is there to guide you.
Students are always asking the question why are we learning this and when we will use this?  For interactive classrooms with real life scenarios, we can see more clearly the answers to these questions.
Learning will become fun.  Because students are part of the learning process, they will want to learn more.   It creates the desire to learn more, because you are actually seeing how what you are learning impacts the world around you, you want to learn more about how you can influence the world.
Our primary goal is to make learning fun  by incorporating real life scenarios and making it more meaningful.

Quotes about the experience:

Grant (’14)

The experience was extremely memorable. I admit, when arriving in the wonderful city of Albuquerque, I was nervous. I was scared that I would choke or that it wouldn’t be a good experience after all. But I was wrong. After giving my presentation, I made friends. I learned how to give an effective presentation and how to be awesome at the game “Ninja.” It was fun – I would gladly do it again.
Noah (’14)
I think that the TedxYouth event was a fantastic learning experience that made me a better quality speaker, while put me into a learning environment with my peers.  The presentation itself pressured me to perform and create and present a quality presentation.  Meeting new people was also a highlight as we “networked” with others and enjoyed ourselves with these new friends.  Overall, I would be delighted to be able to participate in this wonderful experience and I had a great time!
Wulf (’12)
When I first arrived at the convention I was not sure what to expect. I thought that each presentation would be very professional and not as fun as it was. I met a lot of interesting people and we got along very well. By the end of the talks all the presenters (including ourselves) were hanging out and having a great time together. I would definitively do this again, when given the opportunity.
Gabriel (’13)
The experience of the TedxYouth day is one I will remember for the rest of my life. From the constrictions of gender to the state of Afghani schooling I have gained an immeasurable amount of information about myself and the world around me. TedxYouth gave me the opportunity to share my views with the community at large which is something I have never been able to do, my only regret is that  I didn’t learn about the program until my senior year.