TEDx@American International School Hong Kong
Recently, I had the opportunity to give a presentation with my Grade 3 teammates at the 21CLHK conference. The passion to present and speak in front of an audience was something I wanted to do for a long time. I thought to myself, “I love talking. I can connect with people when I speak. How difficult can this be?” Unbeknownst to me, it was very difficult and challenging.
Now, a couple of weeks after a successful presentation, I had time to reflect. I think about all the aspects of speaking in front of an audience. A successful presentation requires you to make a connection with the audience while delivering a message about a specific topic. If that wasn’t enough, you have to worry about the length of your presentation and whether or not you are successful in keeping your audience engaged.
Speaking in front of a crowd of people is NOT easy. It is challenging and nerve-wracking at the same time but a necessary skill to learn. At AIS, we want our students to have the confidence to use their voice to share ideas. This was the goal of Mr. Josefino Rivera when he offered high school students the opportunity to join a well known community of TEDx presenters. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Rivera to find out more about TEDx at American International School. Read on to find out more about this special event.
Why TEDx? What is the benefit of delivering a TEDx Talk?
I first got involved with TEDx when I was working in Bonn, Germany in 2012. A colleague of mine in primary had the license to organize a TEDx event, but she needed support from a HS teacher to get older kids involved. I immediately jumped on board and joined her team. What I found in the process of helping students develop their talks was the following: the skills I wanted my students to learn in my English class were being developed on their own. Because students were interested in their chosen topics and they knew they would have a larger global audience, they were invested in their ideas. They learned how to research, outline, draft, revise, visualize, present, and more.
Since then, I’ve organized four more TEDxYouth events in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sofia, Bulgaria; and coming this April 27, in Hong Kong as well. All the talks are professionally filmed and uploaded to the TED-Ed YouTube Channel. Three of my students have been invited to the TED-Ed in New York City and delivered their talks on the TED-Ed stage. What was once an idea they wanted to simply share among their peers are now talks that thousands of people around the world have seen. That is the power of TEDx. It amplifies student voice.
What is a TEDx Event?
The “TED” brand originated with the convergence of ideas around “technology”, “entertainment”, and “design” in 1984. Since then the company is now known for its slogan “ideas worth spreading” through their TED.com website that features thousands of talks on a wide range of disciplines. Every year, TED organizes a conference in the Pacific Northwest that features ideas worth spreading.
Instead, the “x” in TEDx represents an independently organized event in the same spirit as the TED conference. Anyone can apply for a TEDx license with the purpose of creating a TED-like experience for their local community to foster and discuss new ideas that affect a more local audience. TEDxYouth events, like the one that will take place at AIS on April 27, does just that, except it puts youth on the stage.
During the event, the audience can expect a wide range of talks about various disciplines under this year’s theme of “Finding Ourselves”. There will also be guest performers, interactive breakout sessions related to student talks, light hors d’oeuvres, and gift bags.
How did students develop their talks?
In order to develop their talks, all speakers participated in our TED-Ed Club, a new after school club at AIS that supports students in discovering, exploring, and presenting their big ideas in the form of short, TED-style talks. In the club, students work together to discuss and celebrate creative ideas. Students delivered their TED-Ed Clubs presentations in front of a larger audience through our homeroom advisory time, and then the best of these presentations were invited to speak at the TEDx event.