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Akron Beacon Journal Spotlights ICF Institute/TED-Ed Collaborative Education Project

What's New, 2013-02-13

Click here to read the Akron Beacon Journal Article: Educators in Stark will Receive Bright Ideas by TED-Ed; Walsh University Seniors Involved in Pilot Project.

On Tuesday, February 12, over 230 community educators, school administrators, business leaders, and teacher candidates attended a special presentation on new methods of engaging students in the classroom by the director of TED-Ed, Logan Smalley, and the TED-Ed team. The event was sponsored by The Walsh University Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) Institute.

Through the support of the Herbert W Hoover Foundation, TED-Ed will be working with Walsh University and the Stark Educational Service Center in a 2013-2014 county-wide project that will be piloted this Spring by 25 Walsh student teachers.

Logan Smalley coordinates the concept, design, outreach strategy, and overall execution of TED-Ed, the education initiative of TED, a nonprofit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading" and famous for its TEDTalks. TED-Ed is the newest global initiative of the TED video series and conferences that are evolving collaboratively to assist educators in the delivery of the world's most awesome ideas and lessons. TED-Ed is an online forum that assembles an archive of educational videos designed to catalyze learning around the globe and repurpose the current archive of TEDTalks to make them more accessible in learning environments, both formal and informal.

The ICF movement in Ohio

The Walsh University Institute for the study of the Intelligent Community was created as a resource for local and regional communities in Ohio interested in the ICF movement to connect with over 114 international partner communities. The ICF Institute is a venue for thought leaders from around the world to share ideas, solutions and explore new models for the preparation of educators for the creative economy. The Walsh Institute will serve as a place where Ohio communities can gather to teach themselves and the nation how to prosper in a post-industrial environment by leveraging education and the ICF Way of building communities.

On January 23, the ICF formally announced the world's Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year which included Columbus, OH. The Top7 list includes three from North America, two from Taiwan and two from Europe, all with a track record of new jobs and innovative development. The Top7 demonstrate what can be accomplished by embracing information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture.

Drawn from the Smart21 of 2013 list, the Top7 communities were selected by a team of independent academic experts. The ICF 2013 Top7 are:

  • Columbus, USA
  • Oulu, Finland
  • Stratford, Canada
  • Taichung City, Taiwan
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Taoyuan County, Taiwan
  • Toronto, Canada

Among its accomplishments, Columbus created 29,000 new jobs in the last two years. With an economically and racially diverse population, the city trails the US average in terms of per capita income, but has America's highest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies per capita. The city has led in job creation over the past decade adding 15,000 net new jobs while much of the rest of the state has struggled with industrial decline and home foreclosures. Being the state capital has helped, but the success of Columbus has been forged through collaboration among city government, academic institutions, businesses and nonprofits. Government has reduced spending in the recession but also raised taxes to fund development. That includes investments in workforce development to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing, logistics and information technology companies. Business and institutional leaders have created nonprofits that engage in downtown development, education, healthcare and cultural projects.

Columbus has traditionally struggled to commercialize technologies created in its schools and universities, but a public-private venture called TechColumbus is working effectively to leverage the region's research and technology assets into startup companies. Ohio State University has re-energized its technology transfer office and holds monthly forms for entrepreneurs, while joining forces with Ohio University to create a venture capital fund. Manufacturing remains challenged: regional employment in that sector declined 30% from 2001 to 2011. But manufacturing productivity has increased 43% per employee and the region is seeing a dramatic rise in job openings for advanced manufacturing, automation, electronics, robotics and industrial design.

Columbus is also reaching out to neighboring municipalities, including previous Top7 community Dublin OH, to collaborate on building a broadband ecosystem serving the entire region. Having added 29,000 jobs from 2010 to 2012, the Columbus metro region is one of few old industrial regions to reverse a "brain drain" and show net in-migration for the first time in decades.

The ICF awards program concludes in New York City in June 2013 during ICF's annual Summit, where one of the Top7 will succeed Riverside, California, as 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year.