A Compelling Argument for Using Comic Books in the Classroom

I’m going use this blog post to bring awareness to a event I founded and recently put on with the help of a very talented and dedicated group of planning team colleagues.  TEDxPeachtree is an all-volunteer group devoted to developing and sharing the TED experience on a local level.  The event, which brings
together inspirational leaders, innovators, artists and entertainers in metropolitan Atlanta for a day of networking and sharing of ideas that shape our future, was held on December 4, 2009 at the Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta in the heart of midtown Atlanta. 

When I took out the license to organize a local TEDx event, my objective was simple:  bring a “TED-like” experience to the Atlanta community and expose the community to something they could not possibly imagine.  It was an incredible day, and all I did was plant the “seed.”  My experiment in human nature showed unequivocally that a diverse of people who never met before could collaborate and build something truly special.  It was an honor to work with such a talent group of individuals.

One talk is very relevant to  this blog, and unexpectedly hit the radar screen of TED curator, Chris Anderson, to the best of my knowledge.  While all of our talks were given exteremely high marks, it was clear that this one found a special niche in the heart and minds of both the local TEDx community and the TED community as a whole.  Elizabeth Glibert talked about finding your creative genius, your “ole” moment, and Josh certainly had his on Friday.   The talk will be posted very soon, but he made a very compelling case for how comics does a far better job at teaching kids how to read.  When the talk is uploaded, I will let my resders know.  To read more about this very talented presenter, please check out his bio on our website and also his interesting nonprofit, Reading With Pictures.

I will expand on his excellent points soon, but one thing is crystal clear:  if we do not change our definitions of what is considered appropriate learning tools for the classroom, we will fail to close the global achievemetn gap, but most importantly, fail to prepare our children for a digitally-driven world.

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