TEDxKids@SMU 2014 Auditions

Hi, kids!

You all know that one of the best days in G/T has been our day excursions to TEDxKids. I know that you all have super ideas and stories to share, so here’s an opportunity for a “pursuit”.

Ms. C

But first we are looking for a young person to delight us with a short talk or performance! We are holding our second annual Auditions for TEDxKids@SMU!
Boys and girls ages 10 to 18 are welcome to submit a video that is between 60 and 90 seconds. We want your best story, your latest invention, your funniest moment or your talented performance. Almost anything goes and the winner will be invited to perform during TEDxKids@SMU on October 31st!
Submissions will open July 21st and close on September 3rd. After submissions close, a panel of judges will review every video and select a group of finalists. Those videos will be posted on our website and open to the public to vote for their one favorite, one vote per email address. Voting will open September 8th and close September 12th and we will announce the winner on September 15th.For more information, guidelines and to submit your audition application click here:

If you have any questions please email us at tedxsmu@gmail.com or call 214-768-1558.

Best of Luck,

The TEDxSMU Team

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9 ways that sound affects our health, well-being and productivity

** If you can hear someone talking while you’re reading or writing, your productivity dips by up to 66%.
** The average noise level in many classrooms is not just associated with impaired learning — but with permanent hearing loss.
** A 20 decibel increase in aircraft noise is enough to delay a student’s reading level by up to 8 months.
** 50% of teachers have experienced damage to their voice from talking over classroom noise.

Read the blogpost here:  http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/24/9-ways-that-sound-affects-our-health-wellbeing-and-productivity/

from”  “The 4 ways sound affects us”:

“The third way in which sound affects you is cognitively. You can’t understand two people talking at once (“If you’re listening to this version of”) (“me you’re on the wrong track.”) or in this case one person talking twice. Try and listen to the other one. (“You have to choose which me you’re going to listen to.”)

We have a very small amount of bandwidth for processing auditory input, which is why noise like this — (Office noise) — is extremely damaging for productivity.”

Moments in Lettre Writing

From TED Blog:

Before Twitter, before Facebook, before Gmail and AIM, there were ink and paper. There were people who dedicated time to writing correspondences, and then waited for a reply. After the jump, excerpts from five of the most delightful, beautiful or simply intimate letters we’ve come across.

* In 2009, after Barack Obama was elected for the first time, Bill Adler published a book of kids’ letters to their president. So much of the writing in this book is moving (or hilarious); one example comes from Kiana, a 12-year-old from Anderson, South Carolina.

As a Black female, I’m going to try to be the first woman president, and the first Black woman president at that—that is, if no one beats me to it.

* In an 1897 editorial in New York’s Sun, journalist Francis Pharcellus Church (anonymously) replied to a concerned eight-year-old, who had written to ask whether Santa Claus exists. This letter has rightly become famous—and inescapable during the holidays, when it’s printed and posted every year.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. […]The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. […]Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

* On a book tour in 1942, the writer Vladimir Nabokov wrote letters to his wife, Vera Nabokov. In November, on a stop in St. Paul, Minnesota, he wrote:

Yesterday after the trip into the country I went, having got awfully bored, to the cinema and came back on foot—I walked for more than an hour and went to bed around eight. On the way a lightning bolt of undefined inspiration ran right through me—a passionate desire to write, and to write in Russian. And yet I can’t. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced this feeling can really understand its torment, its tragedy. English in this sense is an illusion and an ersatz. In my usual condition, i.e. busy with butterflies, translations, or academic writing, I myself don’t fully register the whole grief and bitterness of my situation.

I am healthy, eating plenty, taking my vitamins, and read the newspapers more than usual now that the news is getting rosier. St. Paul is a stupefyingly boring city, only owls at the hotel[…]but my apartment is charming.

FISD Student Shares Message on Philanthropy With the World

I can’t believe that I haven’t shared this link and article with you!

“Amit Banerjee, a freshman at Heritage High School, invited the world to listen to his thoughts about philanthropy on Friday, November 30, at the TEDxKIDS@SMU conference at the Dallas City Performance Hall.

Banerjee’s message was simple. You don’t have to be old or rich to be a philanthropist.”


(Amit’s TED Talk begins at about 1:21:50)

Here is an earlier article about Amit and his pursuits:


TED Talk Tuesdays

When I first introduced this, I selected a TED Talk that connected to the unit of study. The connections were thematic, conceptual, skills practice, elaboration/extension of a “big idea”, etc.  I’d have the kids listen and write down how the talk related to the unit. Then we’d have a share-aloud Q and A.   After I did a few of these, the kids started to ask if they could “present” a Talk, which was always the plan, but I figured it would take them a while to want to facilitate the discussion from the Talk. When they first asked to do these, I left it open-ended; they could choose whichever Talk they felt presented an “idea worth spreading”.


TED Talk Tuesdays:

**Student has a week to find and prepare.

  1. Choose a Talk that relates to the current unit of study.
  2. The Talk has to be between 8-12 minutes. This made the students have to “edit” some Talks  since some of the Talks lasted the entire 18 minutes that TED allots to its speakers.
  3. Create two facilitating questions.

**OPTIONAL: I had the student send me the questions and the link to their Talk by Monday morning for review and to post to the blog after the presentation. **

  1. Present the questions to the class prior to viewing the Talk.
  2. Have a short 5 minute Q and A.
  3. Give me a six word summary of the Talk, which could also be posted to the blog.
  4. At the end, student draws a name for the next week’s Talk.
  5. They received a grade for the quality of the questions and the accuracy of the summary.

Students Going Places…

Dear Mrs. Caskey,

Imagine my surprise when I went to my scout meeting in August and was handed a copy of the DMN NeigborsGo. I saw my picture on the cover and the article inside the magazine. We were out most of summer visiting Norway and India, so I was totally unaware of this. Thank you so much for working with the Frisco ISD Media relations and getting the article published!!! Here is a link to the article:


I wanted to give you an update on the TEDxKIDS – I met with Sharon Lyle a couple of weeks back and am currently working on the presentation. I hope to see you on November 30th.


 Amit Banerjee