On March 26, 2015, the third edition of TEDxAmsterdamED explored The Education (R)evolution. Our target audiences reached far beyond those working in education, and we focussed on (lifelong) learning, innovation, and building a better future through education.

Watch the talks back on the TEDxAmsterdamED youtube channel free from wherever you are.

Meet the Speakers of 2015

André Haardt
Session 2: How I stumbled on education’s most powerful weapon: Play
In 2008, Andre was working for an Italian printing company and during that time he read an article about how most children spend their time after school - two hours of instant messaging and playing games. And this was even before Facebook and social media entered out lives. Even his own son, Gijs, was spending his time after school behind a computer. Andre came up with an idea: why don’t we create a game that children can play after school, a game that actually supports their learning? Now, Andre owns a company that creates engaging games for children that they can play after school. Instead of being on Facebook for two hours, or chatting away on social media, kids are given the opportunity to play and learn.

Deborah Carter
Session 2: Watch out, Silicon Valley. We’re coming for you.
Deborah created an after-school academy aimed at making children fall in love with technology and computer science. NewTechKids focuses on teaching technology and scientific concepts and then letting kids discover, design and experiment around them. Her aim is to expose all children to the world of technology, thus it's appropriate that the title of her talk is: Watch out, Silicon Valley. We’re coming for you!

Dylan Hyman
Session 4: Higher order thinking in the classroom
Dylan wants to inspire teachers and students to create their own world and practice the sort of thinking skills they will need to make their wildest dreams a reality. To achieve this, she incorporates activities that encourage higher-order thinking in the classroom. Asking 'what is the similarity between a fishbowl and an apple tree?' she can engage this type thinking. But why is this important? Simply because higher-order thinking is what allows us to make sense of the world around us!

Graham Brown-Martin
Session 4: Learning (Re)Imagined: How the connected society is transforming learning
Graham Brown-Martin founded Learning Without Frontiers (LWF) in 2004, a global think tank aimed at sharing thought-provoking ideas about the future of learning, which he left in 2013 to focus on other education-related projects. Graham is a great believer in the idea that in order for education to change we need to get more people involved. His talk has the same title as his recent book, Learning (Re)Imagined.

Hanna Jochmann-Mannak
Session 2: Why Google is not the solution for kids
Google can't help a child decide what search results are relevant or from a reliable source - but that doesn't mean we should filter those results. Hanna believes that we should provide children with relevant, reliable sources and comprehensible, age-specific content. Hanna works at WizeNoze, an IT startup with a mission to make the online world more suited for children.

Ingrid van Rossum
Session 2: Changing the face of education
Ingrid believes that students need 21st-century skills to create real impact in these complex times. These are not skills learned sitting behind a desk – they are learned through practicing professional competencies in a real setting. For this reason, Ingrid founded the Team Academy to empower young people to develop their ideas and become entrepreneurial spirits. Students thrive when they can define their own approach to learning, gain confidence in taking risks and work out how to do business by doing business.

Jaap Versfelt
Session 1: Why Some Schools Become Great and Others Don't
According to Jaap, the state-run Dutch education system needs a major remake: teachers must get more involved in the process of change so that innovation can occur. Which is why Jaap created Stichting leerKRACHT, an initiative that aims to transform the outdated Dutch education system. Having consulted with 200 schools and 150,000 students, Jaap aims to widen the horizons of millions of pupils within the next five years. His ultimate goal is to give the new generation the education they need and genuinely deserve.

Jan de Lange
Session 2: Curious Minds, Serious Play
Jan is an emeritus professor of mathematics who focused on curriculum design and high-stakes assessment throughout his career. Research has shown that it is necessary to facilitate the development of children's minds toward logical reasoning, creative problem solving and out-of-the box thinking. He believes that stimulated play gives parents and educators the opportunity to play a vital role in this process.

Joost Uitdewilligen
Session 3: I Am You. How Immersive Learning Can Help Us.
What would the world look like if we could feel empathy not just for the people we know, but also for the stranger, the anonymous person in far away countries. Joost believes that experiencing life through the eyes of ‘the other’ will change the extent of empathy we allow ourselves to feel and will therefore change our behaviour. An assumption that Joost, with sufficient funding, hopes to validate. In collaboration with the TU Delft and the experimental lab of his own company, Joost has started a project called ‘I am You’. Their goal is to build the first immersive learning experience, using the Oculus Rift to train empathy. Journalists, storytellers and educators like Joost, use immersion to remove you from where you are (which most likely is in a chair) and take you on a journey that deeply involves your senses. By using recent tools and technology, such as the Oculus Rift, a high-end virtual reality experience becomes a new way of learning.

Lisanne Vriens
Session 3: Putting the system upside down
Fifteen-year-old student Lisanne dreams of changing the education system. In order to stimulate children to think differently, she argues that schools should adjust to the individual instead of moulding students to fit the system. Rather than encouraging students to adapt to society's ideas of success, education should promote students' personal definitions of success - however big or small.

Lital Marom
Session 4: Morse Code and the Future of Leadership
Lital is passionate about helping the next generation thrive, not just survive, in a complex and unpredictable world. She strongly believes in the importance and power of a 'hacker' mindset for young people entering the new, ever changing world of work. Lital defines this mindset as the combination of curiosity (learning as a way of life), tinkering (learning by doing) and grit (having the resilience to go for something and not fear failure).

Sandra van Aalderen
Session 1: Teachers, know your brain!
We all know that we don’t remember everything that is said in class. We also know that just sitting in a class, listening to a teacher, doesn’t always activate curiosity or stimulate higher-order thinking. The more actively we learn, the more we remember!
Cognitive neuroscientist Sandra van Aalderen believes that by gaining a greater understanding of how the brain works, teachers can help students learn more actively and retain more of what they learn. And since education is about stimulating the brain, Sandra is convinced that helping teachers to be more aware of brain science will improve education as we know it.

Sarah Woods
Session 3: Identity: How Fear and Change Intersect
What is personal identity, and can it change over time? A decade ago, Sarah Woods had long blond hair, but then she lost all of her hair over a two year period to Alopecia. She spent the next 8 years reevaluating her identity and learning how to embrace her new state as a bald woman. For her TEDxAmsterdamEd submission, Sarah addressed how her newfound identity has helped her to develop insight and gain a unique perspective on how to bridge the technology gap with teachers who could have never imagined themselves as “techies”. By embracing the change, a happier and more fulfilled educator may emerge.

Yong Zhao
Session 1: Every Child Is Rudolph
Yong Zhao is a world-renowned scholar, author and speaker. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including Who’s afraid of the big bad dragon, and the award-winning World class learners: educating creative and entrepreneurial students. He has designed schools, has founded research and development institutions to explore innovative education models, and is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education, among his many accomplishments. Dr Yong Zhao’s work focuses on the implications that globalization and technology have on education. He is convinced that teachers need to focus on developing children's strengths instead of trying to fix their deficiencies. The globalized world demands a new education paradigm – more relevant, highly individualised learning with emphasis on the child’s passion and natural skills. Our current standardised education systems suppress children’s talents to produce employable competencies. But do we still need the same skillsets in today’s global economy?

Yoram Mosenzon
Session 3: Vulnerable honesty
How is it possible to resolve conflicts between arguing parties on a personal, organisational or international level? Creating dialogue where it never seemed possible? As a nonviolent-communication trainer, Yoram Mosenzon aims to connect people to form true collaborations. To do this, he believes that people must first understand the difference between two kinds of honesty: one which tends to create distance, conflict and misunderstanding, and the other which creates connection and genuine compassion.