Category Archives: 2013 Fall

Week 8 – The Experiment: Flipping

Today’s TED Talks

Meet the McGonigals: Kelly & Jane

For Week 8 we are asking you to view these two TED Talks before you come to class, as part of The Experiment on Flipping.


Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.


Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.


Ginny will lead the discussion, today.

Resilience [pdf]


Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal | Profile on

You found me. | game designer, author, future forecaster

Gaming can make a better world

Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal | Profile on

Where science and compassion meet

The science of willpower



Class Weblog

The Classes

Online Evaluation

The Future…

The Best of TED

OLLI Class Weblogs


Week 7 – “Pick Up” and Recommendations


This week we will use some of the class time to “pick up loose ends” on earlier topics, i.e.,  creativity in education, happiness, personal health information, and online learning,

Also, we are asking you to view as many of the recommended TED Talks (listed, below) as possible before coming to class; we will discuss some of them, but will not view any in class.

Here are the recommendations we received via email:

Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places
Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do
Katie Brennan: Global challenges & social Innovations – TEDx Auburn University
Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence
Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
Amanda Bennett: We need a heroic narrative for death
Rethinking the Bucket List: Kathleen Taylor at TEDx – Tampa Bay

Look for and offer comments on these recommendations under the Replies on the
I Recommend… page.


If you emailed a recommendation, please go to I Recommend… and enter your recommendation with the Leave a Reply option. Be sure to include:

  • the title of the Talk.
  • a link to it, and
  • tell us what you think is special about the Talk.

Week 6 – Online Learning and MOOCing

Today’s TED Talks


Kahn Academy: Let’s use video to reinvent education. Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script — give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

Online_LearningWhat are we’re learning from online education.
Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free — not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. With Coursera (cofounded by Andrew Ng), each keystroke, quiz, peer-to-peer discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed.

Guest Curator:   S. Raj Chaudhury,
                             Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning


How might we extend the pedagogical benefits of a site like the Khan Academy to Higher Education? | A conversation

There seems to be a push for distance learning K-12 education.Should we replace traditional k-12 education with distance learning? | A conversation

What questions do these Talks raise for you?

View the articles linked under Chronicle of High Education, below. What do you think of the arguments?


Khan Academy


Our Supporters


How Parents and Mentors can use Khan Academy


Massive Open Online Courses (Wikipedia)

MOOC List – a complete list of MOOCs (free online courses) offered by the best universities and entities

Coursera – take the world’s best courses, online, for free

Harvard & MIT: EdX

What Are MOOCs Anyway and Should You Consider Moocing?

Chronicle of Higher Education

To MOOC or Not to MOOC

A Catholic Case Against MOOCs

Peer 2 Peer University

Science 11 October 2013
Vol. 342 no. 6155 p. 163
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6155.163-a

EDITORS’ CHOICE  |  EDUCATION  |  Learners As Teachers

Among emerging massive open online courses, the Peer 2 Peer University remains unique. This online learning platform allows members to take the dual role of learners and teachers: All members are able to create courses, which can be accessed by any online user. To understand how this peer-created, peer-led online environment sustains itself, Ahn et al. investigated how members, either as learners or teachers, engaged with open online learning available through the platform. Data describing the nature, history, and activity associated with every project within the platform showed that the Peer 2 Peer University draws a pool of over 40,000 users. However, 85% of members never engaged in the community, and only 18% of the courses were considered to be finished and thus implemented live on the platform. Although the Peer 2 Peer University users actively generate ideas to create courses, they struggle to see these courses through to completion, indicating a need to foster engagement with these teacher and learner users over time. Lack of motivation or community involvement may explain why some teachers leave their projects incomplete. Nonetheless, the data show how crowd-sourced education is useful for small groups with niche interests as well as broad audiences.                                                                                                 – Fanny Bernardon                                                                                                          J. Online Learn. Teach. 9, 160 (2013).

An Early Report Card on MOOCs – Wall Street Journal – 10/8/2013

If the MOOC movement were in college, it would be time for a freshman report card. The assessment: great potential, but still in need of remedial work.

Course Evaluation | Taking the Measure of MOOCs  [Graphic]

MOOCs 101: How They Work   [Video 2:40]

Auburn: Distance Learning

Auburn University – Distance Learning  –  Auburn University Distance Education

Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Week 5 – Personal Health IT

Today’s TED Talks

Dave_deBronkart__Meet_e-Patient_Dave_-_YouTube 2Dave deBronkart: Meet e-Patient Dave. When Dave deBronkart learned he had a rare and terminal cancer, he turned to a group of fellow patients online — and found a medical treatment that even his own doctors didn’t know. It saved his life. Now he calls on all patients to talk with one another, know their own health data, and make health care better one e-Patient                                                                   at a time.

Healthcare should be a team sport. When Eric Dishman was in college, doctors told him he had 2 to 3 years to live. That was a long time ago. Now, Dishman puts his experience and his expertise as a medical tech specialist together to suggest a bold idea for reinventing health care — by putting the patient at the center of a treatment team.


Medicine’s future? There’s an app for that. Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient’s bedside.

Today’s Discussion

Tom will lead the discussion of the TED Talks, Health IT, and personal health records.


Also, he will introduce the new weblog PHR4us, a beginners’ guide and reference for personal health records (PHR). The weblog is designed to inform users about health information technology and to guide them in the use of online and mobile device resources for creating, managing, and sharing more accurate, complete, and accessible personal health information, thereby enabling them to engage more fully in their own health care with improved healthcare and health outcomes.


Changing Health Care from the Outside In

So you want to make health care work where you work. OK, you’ve heard the insider’s ideas and seen their big plans – physicians, providers and politicians. But what if the innovative solutions aren’t coming from inside where the status quo prevails? What if the disruptive new ideas for health care are coming from outside just as they do in almost every other industry?

Eric Dishman: Take health care off the mainframe

Dishman makes a bold argument: The US health care system is like computing circa 1959, tethered to big, unwieldy central systems: hospitals, doctors, nursing homes. As our aging population booms, it’s imperative, he says, to create personal, networked home-based health care for all.

Thomas Goetz: It’s time to redesign medical data

Your medical chart: it’s hard to access, impossible to read — and full of information that could make you healthier if you just knew how to use it. At TEDMED, Thomas Goetz looks at medical data, making a bold call to redesign it and get more insight from it. Goetz is the executive editor of Wired and author of “The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine.”

Google Body Browser & Visible Body


ePatient Dave mentioned the Google Body Browser in his TED Talk. It’s an interesting WebGL application which lets you explore the human body just like you can explore the world in Google Earth. Give it a try?

He also mentioned Visible Body, which you might want to download, install, and play around with.

Week 3 – Happiness

Today’s TED Talks

Dan_Gilbert__The_surprising_science_of_happiness___Video_on_TED.comThe surprising science of happiness.  Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. He says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book.

Michael_Norton__How_to_buy_happiness___Video_on_TED.com_640x480.mp4How to buy happiness. Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people. Through clever studies, Michael Norton studies how we feel about what we buy and spend.

Graham_Hill__Less_stuff__more_happiness___Video_on_TED.com_640x480.mp4Less stuff, more happiness.
Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life. He is the founder of; he travels the world to tell the story of sustainability.


RE: Gilbert Talk

1. Do you think as does Dan Gilbert that we can manufacture happiness?

2. What is synthetic happiness?

3. How does Gilbert define impact bias?

4. Does you think that all have a psychological immune system?

5. When you want something, can not getting it make you as happy as getting it would?

RE: Norton Talk

1. What does Norton mean when he says money can buy happiness?

2. Does money make a person anti-social?

3. What are the right things to spend money on?

 RE: Hill Talk

1. Thirty years ago, are you more happy, less happy, or equally happy?

2. What would it mean to you to edit your life ruthlessly?

3. What does Hill life editing can give us?


TED Talk Topic: Happiness   –  More…

Matthieu Ricard: The habits of happiness. What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of his spiritual community.

Week 2 – Education and Creativity

Today’s TED Talks

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Sir_Ken_Robinson-_Do_schools_kill_creativity___TED_Talk__-_YouTubeSir Robinson expresses his views on the creative potential of our youth and how the current education system doesn’t nurture that but rather suppresses it with the same type educational stiffness designed for producing the workers for the industrial revolution. School causes kids to grow out of creativity. In this talk, he champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

Sir_Ken_Robinson__Bring_on_the_learning_revolution__-_YouTubeIn this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.


Terry Ley, one of OLLI’s Writing Our Lives leaders, will lead the discussion of the topic and TED Talks.

Questions to Guide Viewing of Robinson’s Two TEDs

1. How does Robinson seem to define creativity?  Does his definition match yours?

2. What does he mean by “human ecology”?  How does Robinson think it can be achieved?  Do you agree?

3. Does Robinson think that schools kill creativity?  If so, what should our response be?  Does Robinson seem to be describing schools with which you are familiar?

4. Were you passionate about your career?  Might you have been happier following a different path?


Sir Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Ken_Robinson__How_to_escape_education_s_death_valley_-_YouTubeSir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Sir Ken Robinson’s Blog – How to Change Education from the Ground Up
                                         Posted on August 16, 2013

“If we are to have a revolution in education, it probably won’t come from the top down but from the bottom up. So what will it really involve?”

Sir Ken Robinson –  Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves,” said Robinson, who calls creativity as important as literacy.

Sir Ken Robinson: 10 Talks on Education

TED Talks Education

As a country, how can we better inspire our students — and support our educators? To explore ideas, TED, WNET, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have teamed up for a brand-new one-hour special, funded by CPB’s “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen.” TED Talks Education is an exhilarating night of talks hosted by John Legend.