by Jill Heinerth – Into the Planet
The world came to Bell Island today or vice versa I suppose. Today we created an amazing global collaboration with the help of TED. TED Ed has over 2000 clubs in 120 countries. During TED’s Connect Week, clubs were asked to write a short essay or send a picture that answers the question, “Why explore?” The best responses were granted coveted camera spots in our pilot virtual classroom experience. As preparation for our online meeting, the participants have been studying the IntoThePlanet.com website and reading the Newfoundland blog as well as watching my recent TED Talk. I gave a short presentation and then we opened the mic for questions that ranged from “how do you handle the pressure of deep diving?” to “what was it like the first time you went underwater?” with lots of questions about the mine and wrecks too.
In our first session, we welcomed students from Mumbai India from Podar School (it was really, really late for them). WH Morden School in Oakville, Ontario tuned in from very close to my hometown. Mrs. Smith’s class from White Oak Elementary in Georgia enthusiastically waved from their classroom. Case Middle School might have been the closest to Newfoundland at the time of the call and Crossroads Intermediate got the recognition for the biggest delegation with Ms. Debreuill, Ms. Zufelt, Ms. Croke and Mr. Vasquez all bringing groups online. There were other viewers that I was not able to see on my screen.
Our second invited groups from Turkey, Spain, California, Massachusetts and Anchorage Alaska. North High School members got to skip 6th period class for the session and I was really happy to see my friend Chelsea Ha in that group. She and I shared the TED stage together last November and discovered a common passion for protecting our planet’s resources. South Anchorage high School and East Bridgewater School in Massachusetts tuned in and all groups shared some of their own personal goals and TED talk ideas.
We’re working on ways to keep the conversation alive and will further this venture in the summer when I return with more diving adventures on the shipwrecks offshore of Bell Island. I will post links to today’s efforts soon!