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TEDxDublinFor me accidental learning has always been a good thing, as it can be a great prompt to go and do even more learning. At least that is what I have found as a result of TEDxDublin this year.
I attended courtesy of Stephanie O’Neill, my project manager and good friend at SFI Discover. It has taken me ’til now to post about it, not because I have been thinking great thoughts about it, but because the learning it prompted me to do was action learning, and I didn’t get the necessary time-space continuum correctly aligned until this morning! As in – because the Science Gallery ambassadors in the corridors of the TED conference actually demonstrated and explained qauntum locking to us (a true ‘woohoo’ moment), and I took a short video on my phone to show our Physics students, I needed to learn how to get it from the phone to a YouTube channel in order to link it to a blog post or Edmodo .
(Quantum locking, a form of magnetic levitation using superconductivity, is one of those things that looks like magic but is pure science. I believe but don’t fully understand it outside of those moments it is being explained to me. I used to worry about this belief V understanding conundrum until I (accidentally again) came across Chinn & Samarapungavan, and realised it was fine to do one, either, both or neither as long as my reasons are based on real science!)
So now it’s done…choose from a 2s video or a 10s video. Or to learn about it properly go directly to the original TED video where it is all gracefully presented and explained.

Now, back to the rest of the TEDxDublin experience. Mmm – maybe I have been to so many really good active events recently but I’m not sure anymore about sitting in a big theatre for one-way lecture after one-way lecture, even if some sessions are punctuated with audience interaction. Most of what I saw and heard I could experience right now by dialling up a TED talk online. That said, some of our speakers were superb on stage and it was a treat to watch and listen – Sean Love was mesmerizing on the power of storytelling with students at Fighting Words, and Fergus McAuliffe charmed us with the story of his FameLab ‘storytelling science story’. They are the two I remember with feeling now almost three months later.

Two strange things to note…
1.One “talk” was actually a TED video, the quantum locking one referenced above. Surely the point of TED live is – TED ‘live’?
2.Being asked at the start NOT to tweet out – seeing as the wifi was non-existent in the theatre it wasn’t gonna happen anyway – but there were many I know who have appreciated following along on a hastag at home / on the train etc. (Does anyone know what is the thinking in TEDland for a twitter embargo?).

Anyway, I am very glad I went – but would like to see far more interaction in the next TEDxDublin. (And many thanks to Dave the 3D printer man for my charming little red X, made before my very eyes as we chatted!)

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