Chief innovation officer to be TED speaker

Ector County Independent School District will soon receive some international notice with an appearance by Chief Innovation Officer Jason Osborne at a TEDx event in Ashburn, Va., April 6.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and is broadcast on National Public Radio Stations. The theme will be “Catching the Tale of Lighting/Igniting Change.” Osborne will be one of eight speakers from a variety of professions and backgrounds in Ashburn.
Osborne said he will talk about innovations and novel approaches to education that uses real data in the classroom. He will also speak about partnering with universities, institutes, industries and other districts so students can have authentic learning experiences via data collection.
He said he wouldn’t go into detail about expansion or the PICK Education initiative, which he has used to bring real-life experiences to the classroom. At the end of his presentation, he said he would talk about the quote: “It takes a village to raise a child” and how each can benefit from the other.
Osborne noted that students have so much information at their fingertips these days and educators should take advantage to challenge youngsters to push the limits of their minds and take ownership of their education.
“ … The more opportunities we can give kids, the more chances they’ll have at finding that inner passion and we can inspire the uninspired,” he said. “That’s actually going to be the talk title is ‘Inspiring the Uninspired.’”
“We’ve got to break down some of these barriers,” Osborne said. “Everything should be cross- curricular and cross-disciplinary. When you’re out in society, it’s not like everything is broken down in segments. You’re blasted with everything at once. If you have to problem-solve, you have to take … all your pieces and put them together to try to solve a problem. We need to teach kids this early in life.”
The April 6 TEDx talk will be short, Osborne said, probably 12 to 18 minutes.
“The way TED talks are set up, it’s about high impact right out (of) the gate; catching the audience’s attention and giving them an inspiring story, so they leave feeling like they have some ownership in your discussion. … I kind of like the idea of a quick talk. Usually, I do 40 minutes to an hour presentations, so getting the message out in a short period of time is very challenging. It gives you some butterflies and gets you geared up,” Osborne said.
Along with the speakers, Osborne said there will be breakout sessions and a question-and-answer period.
He also has presented at Google and the White House, but this will be his first TED talk and he is a fan. Osborne will be presenting at a conference called EdFoo March 31-April 2 at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Ed stands for education and Foo is Friends of O’Reilly, as in O’Reilly Media.
Google covers conference cost. Around 200 people from around the world attend the invitation-only conference to collaborate and make a global positive impact on education, Osborne said. Conference organizers are Google, Macmillan Learning, O’Reilly Media, Scientific American, and Sesame Workshop, he said.
“I love TED talks. Greg Gage, he’s a four-time TED speaker and a TED fellow. He said something to me about signing up for the TED fellowship, so I’ll probably try to sign up for that, as well.
What that does is it gives you more exposure, more speaking engagements,” Osborne said.
Along with being a veteran TED speaker, Gage is one of the co-founders of “Backyard Brains,” a Do-It-Yourself neuroscience initiative for students that uses off-the-shelf electronics in kits that give insight into the workings of the nervous system.
Having a chance to speak on the TED stage will put ECISD in the spotlight.
“It opens up even more doors to bring professionals from around the world here, so our kids can see these people, see what they do, experience their professions and it gives them an opportunity to see a pathway for something that interests them,” Osborne said.
He added that it can also help recruit teachers and make Odessa attractive to businesses.
ECISD Public Information Officer Mike Adkins will be attending the TED talk with Osborne.
Adkins said his plan is to document the experience and show that an ECISD employee is on an international stage.
Adkins said he’s not sure he can quantify what Osborne’s appearance will do for the district. He noted that it will help students see beyond the boundaries of Odessa, Ector County and even Texas.
“The same type of thing is already happening with some of the partnerships we have through PICK Education and Jason’s work other universities in other parts of the country, other school districts, businesses that are noticing the things that we’re doing and really trying to engage kids and get them excited about school and learning science, technology (and) math, but it’s a lot broader than that. It goes a lot deeper than that, too,” Adkins said.