Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Ted Challenge

Note: I tried to send this Friday night around 10:15PM. It never left the IU.
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Imagine my excitement when I opened an email and it began...

"Hi Jim,
This is Natasha Dantzig for the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference. "

I know you're a big supporter of TED (I really like your blog), and I'm writing to let you know that organizers of the TED Prize have ..."

Yes, in fact I DID swallow my heart a few times at that point. And then I realized that she was reminding me of a challenge that was issued a while back. I had meant to write aboutit, and I know that several others already have. But for those whose blog explosure is limited to my blog, here's the rest of the story, in Natasha's words.

"...announced an open challenge in support of author and philanthropist Dave Eggers and his 2008 TED Prize wish to collect 1,000 stories of private citizens engaged in their local public schools. Each year, three individuals are granted the TED Prize, which provides winners with a wish to change the world, $100,000 in seed money, and the support of the TED community in making the wish come true.

As an extension of Eggers initial wish, the open challenge asks individuals to design and implement new projects for local public school students. The three winning entries will receive a pass to the sold out TED2009 Conference to be held in Long Beach, California on February 4-7, 2009. Additionally, Eggers asks local citizens to support 826 National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, with expository and creative writing at six locations across USA. Eggers co-founded the original 826 chapter, 826 Valencia, a nonprofit tutoring center and writing school for children, in 2002.

Entries are open to the public and may be submitted by visiting and will be judged by a panel of educators, entrepreneurs, and creatives from the TED Community. Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

• Innovation: Was a new model used? Is the approach creative? Were the students provided with access to something new?
• Collaboration: How well did the project leaders work with the teacher/school? Did the project address a specific challenge or need of the students?
• Impact: What changed in the life of the students, teacher, and school? Was the community affected? Did the work inspire other private citizens to get involved?

The Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2008.

For more information, please visit:
For more information on the TED Prize, please visit
For more information on Dave Eggers' wish, please visit
For more information about 826 National, please visit

We're reaching out to the education community with the hope that you'll help us get the word out about this initiative.

Have a great weekend.


Here's your chance. This is a WONDERFUL opportunity to share your creativity and get a chance to go to TED 2009. I KNOW that MANY of you are doing amazing things. TELL THEM ABOUT IT!! This could be YOUR moment!

BTW - I gets LOTS of sites emailing me with information about their site in hopes that I'll write about it. I rarely do. But this is just too good to keep a secret.

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