Thursday, March 23, 2017
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Which TED Talks do students love? We asked TED-Ed Club Members around the world to share their favorites. Below, check out 9 great talks recommended by and for young people:
1. Casey Neistat: High school stories
Californian high school student Nathan Cao says that Casey Neistat’s TEDx talk influenced his outlook on life: “Casey Neistat’s talk taught me that as I am fortunate to live in the United States and go to a great school, I must seize this opportunity to help someone else who does not receive the same luxuries that I do. This has fueled my love for community service and helping others. I often volunteer at the senior home and the homeless shelter. At the moment, I am starting a club at my school that will help the refugees who are in dire need of our support. There is so much that I can do to improve the lives of people who need it most.”
2. Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model
This talk is a great reminder that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Amelia Browne, a student in San Francisco, writes about why it inspired her: “Her story allowed me to further my understanding of the privilege and opportunity I’ve been given by today’s society. I was able to better comprehend how I use those qualities to create change for the generations to come so that there is not inherent privilege, and instead compassion and acceptance.”
3. Takaharu Tezuka: The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen
This TEDxKyoto talk is a top pick among TED-Ed Club Members. An Ji Soo, a high school student from China, says that it made her “think about the nature of education and have a critical view of it.”
4. Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership
TED-Ed Club Members love this funny talk. San Francisco student Isabella Scal believes in the message Drew Dudley is trying to spread, and says: “Small acts of kindness can change someone’s life, and each person in their own way positively affects the people around them. This talk has made me appreciate my peers and elders so much more because I know that they help(ed) to shape me into the person I was, I am, and I will be. I was so inspired by his talk that I told my friends and family how much I value their presence in my life, and I will continue to cherish their love and support unconditionally.”
5. Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: the power of passion and perserverence
Several students recommend this talk. Koshi Joshi from Georgia says that this talk had a powerful impact on her, by teaching that “learning comes with effort and hard work, and that working hard is the key to success.” Meanwhile, Juwon Pade from Connecticut agrees with ”the idea that hard work and determination make a huge impact.”
6. Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen
Julian Treasure’s talk is another top pick by students. High schooler Karol Dobrowolski from Poland says that she took Julian’s advice — and it helped her prepare to give her TED-Ed Club talk.
7. Susan Cain: The power of introverts
Argentinian student Rachel Fan describes how Susan’s talk empowered her to start a TED-Ed Club at her school: “Susan Cain’s talk validated my feelings and experiences and empowered me to embrace my introversion, even if our culture does not. With the understanding of introversion from her TED Talk (and from her book, which I had read before seeing the talk), I gained a new way to understand the people around me, and developed an improved attitude about my own personality. Her eloquent, well-organized and confident presentation further proved her point on the power of introverts, and also reminded me not to use introversion as an excuse for not participating in important discussions and events. Furthermore, a part of why I started a TED-Ed Club at my school was because of my strong positive impression of TED Talks from when I watched Cain’s talk in class.”
8. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
Texan student Alisha Somani explains how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk helped her to realize the power of perspective: “One perspective is what shapes people into being closed minded and ignorant of the world around them. This TED Talk inspired me to learn more about current events so that I would not become one of those ignorant people who thinks that everyone is the same as them and everyone has the amenities and opportunities that they do.”
9. Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids
This talk is a favorite for teachers and students alike, as Adora Svitak reminds us why it’s so important to listen to youth voices.
To celebrate and amplify youth voices in your community, start a TED-Ed Club.
Author bio: Annie Brodsky is a university student and occasional intern at TED-Ed. We at TED-Ed Blog think she’s fabulous. Art credit: iStock.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Recent detentions and seizures of phones and other material from travelers to the United States have sparked alarm. Below, ProPublica details what powers US Customs and Border Protection officials have over you and your devices.
A NASA scientist heading home to the US said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents. Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order. And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the US after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources. These and other recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
The unsettling fact is that border officials have long had broad powers — many people just don’t know about them. Border officials, for instance, have search powers that extend 100 air miles inland from any external boundary of the US. That means border agents can stop and question people at fixed checkpoints dozens of miles from US borders. They can also pull over motorists whom they suspect of a crime as part of “roving” border patrol operations.
Sowing even more uneasiness, ambiguity around the agency’s search powers — especially over electronic devices — has persisted for years as courts nationwide address legal challenges raised by travelers, privacy advocates and civil-rights groups. We dug out answers about the current state-of-play when it comes to border searches, along with links to more detailed resources:
Doesn’t the Fourth Amendment protect people from “unreasonable searches and seizures”?
Yes. The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution articulates the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” However, those protections are lessened when entering the country at international terminals at airports, other ports of entry and subsequently any location that falls within 100 air miles of an external US boundary.
How broad is Customs and Border Protection’s search authority?
According to federal statutes, regulations and court decisions, CBP officers have the authority to inspect, without a warrant, any person trying to gain entry into the US, and their belongings. CBP can also question individuals about their citizenship or immigration status and ask for documents that prove admissibility into the country.
This blanket authority for warrantless, routine searches at a port of entry ends when CBP decides to undertake a more invasive procedure, such as a body cavity search. For these kinds of actions, the CBP official needs to have some level of suspicion that a particular person is engaged in illicit activity, not simply that the individual is trying to enter the US.
Does CBP’s search authority cover electronic devices like smartphones and laptops?
Yes. CBP refers to several statutes and regulations in justifying its authority to examine “computers, disks, drives, tapes, mobile phones and other communication devices, cameras, music and other media players, and any other electronic or digital devices.”
According to current CBP policy, officials should search electronic devices with a supervisor in the room, when feasible, and also in front of the person being questioned “unless there are national security, law enforcement, or other operational considerations” that take priority. For instance, if allowing a traveler to witness the search would reveal sensitive law enforcement techniques or compromise an investigation, “it may not be appropriate to allow the individual to be aware of or participate in a border search,” according to a 2009 privacy impact assessment by the US Department of Homeland Security.
CBP says it can conduct these searches “with or without” specific suspicion that the person who possesses the items is involved in a crime.
With a supervisor’s sign-off, CBP officers can also seize an electronic device — or a copy of the information on the device — “for a brief, reasonable period of time to perform a thorough border search.” Such seizures typically shouldn’t exceed five days, although officers can apply for extensions in up to one-week increments, according to CBP policy. If a review of the device and its contents does not turn up probable cause for seizing it, CBP says it will destroy the copied information and return the device to its owner.
Can CBP really search my electronic devices without any specific suspicion that I might have committed a crime?
The Supreme Court has not directly ruled on this issue. However, a 2013 decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — one level below the Supreme Court — provides some guidance on potential limits to CBP’s search authority.
In a majority decision, the court affirmed that cursory searches of laptops — such as having travelers turn their devices on and then examining their contents — does not require any specific suspicions about the travelers to justify them.
The court, however, raised the bar for a “forensic examination” of the devices, such as using “computer software to analyze a hard drive.” For these more powerful, intrusive and comprehensive searches, which could provide access to deleted files and search histories, password-protected information and other private details, border officials must have a “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity — not just a hunch.
As it stands, the 2013 appeals court decision legally applies only to the nine Western states in the Ninth Circuit, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. It’s not clear whether CBP has taken the 2013 decision into account more broadly: the last time the agency publicly updated its policy for searching electronic devices was in 2009. CBP is currently reviewing that policy and there is “no specific timeline” for when an updated version might be announced, according to the agency.
“Laptop computers, iPads and the like are simultaneously offices and personal diaries. They contain the most intimate details of our lives,” the court’s decision said. “It is little comfort to assume that the government — for now — does not have the time or resources to seize and search the millions of devices that accompany the millions of travelers who cross our borders. It is the potential unfettered dragnet effect that is troublesome.”
During the 2016 fiscal year, CBP officials conducted 23,877 electronic media searches, a five-fold increase from the previous year. In both the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years, the agency processed more than 380 million arriving travelers.
Am I legally required to disclose the password for my electronic device or social media, if CBP asks for it?
That’s still an unsettled question, according to Liza Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “Until it becomes clear that it’s illegal to do that, they’re going to continue to ask,” she said.
The Fifth Amendment says that no one shall be made to serve as “a witness against himself” in a criminal case. Lower courts, however, have produced differing decisions on how exactly the Fifth Amendment applies to the disclosure of passwords to electronic devices.
Customs officers have the statutory authority “to demand the assistance of any person in making any arrest, search, or seizure authorized by any law enforced or administered by customs officers, if such assistance may be necessary.” That statute has traditionally been invoked by immigration agents to enlist the help of local, state and other federal law enforcement agencies, according to Nathan Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. Whether the statute also compels individuals being interrogated by border officials to divulge their passwords has not been directly addressed by a court, Wessler said.
Even with this legal uncertainty, CBP officials have broad leverage to induce travelers to share password information, especially when someone just wants to catch their flight, get home to family or be allowed to enter the country. “Failure to provide information to assist CBP may result in the detention and/or seizure of the electronic device,” according to a statement provided by CBP.
Travelers who refuse to give up passwords could also be detained for longer periods and have their bags searched more intrusively. Foreign visitors could be turned away at the border, and green card holders could be questioned and challenged about their continued legal status.
“People need to think about their own risks when they are deciding what to do. US citizens may be comfortable doing things that non-citizens aren’t, because of how CBP may react,” Wessler said.
What is some practical advice for protecting my digital information?
Consider which devices you absolutely need to travel with, and which ones you can leave at home. Setting a strong password and encrypting your devices are helpful in protecting your data, but you may still lose access to your devices for undefined periods should border officials decide to seize and examine their contents.
Another option is to leave all of your devices behind and carry a travel-only phone free of most personal information. However, even this approach carries risks. “We also flag the reality that if you go to extreme measures to protect your data at the border, that itself may raise suspicion with border agents,” according to Sophia Cope, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “It’s so hard to tell what a single border agent is going to do.”
The EFF has released an updated guide to data protection options here.
Does CBP recognize any exceptions to what it can examine on electronic devices?
If CBP officials want to search legal documents, attorney work product or information protected by attorney-client privilege, they may have to follow “special handling procedures,” according to agency policy. If there’s suspicion that the information includes evidence of a crime or otherwise relates to “the jurisdiction of CBP,” the border official must consult the CBP associate/assistant chief counsel before undertaking the search.
As for medical records and journalists’ notes, CBP says its officers will follow relevant federal laws and agency policies in handling them. When asked for more information on these procedures, an agency spokesperson said that CBP has “specific provisions” for dealing with this kind of information, but did not elaborate further. Questions that arise regarding these potentially sensitive materials can be handled by the CBP associate/assistant chief counsel, according to CBP policy. The agency also says that it will protect business or commercial information from “unauthorized disclosure.”
Am I entitled to a lawyer if I’m detained for further questioning by CBP?
No. According to a statement provided by CBP, “All international travelers arriving to the U.S. are subject to CBP processing, and travelers bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States. Travelers are not entitled to representation during CBP administrative processing, such as primary and secondary inspection.”
Even so, some immigration lawyers recommend that travelers carry with them the number for a legal aid hotline or a specific lawyer who will be able to help them, should they get detained for further questioning at a port of entry.
“It is good practice to ask to speak to a lawyer,” said Paromita Shah, associate director at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. “We always encourage people to have a number where their attorney can be reached, so they can explain what is happening and their attorney can try to intervene. It’s definitely true that they may not be able to get into the actual space, but they can certainly intervene.”
Lawyers who fill out this form on behalf of a traveler headed into the United States might be allowed to advocate for that individual, although local practices can vary, according to Shah.
Can I record my interaction with CBP officials?
Individuals on public land are allowed to record and photograph CBP operations so long as their actions do not hinder traffic, according to CBP. However, the agency prohibits recording and photography in locations with special security and privacy concerns, including some parts of international airports and other secure port areas.
Does CBP’s power to stop and question people extend beyond the border and ports of entry?
Yes. Federal statutes and regulations empower CBP to conduct warrantless searches for people travelling illegally from another country in any “railway car, aircraft, conveyance, or vehicle” within 100 air miles from “any external boundary” of the country. About two-thirds of the US population live in this zone, including the residents of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Houston, according to the ACLU.
As a result, CBP currently operates 35 checkpoints, where they can stop and question motorists traveling in the US about their immigration status and make “quick observations of what is in plain view” in the vehicle without a warrant, according to the agency. Even at a checkpoint, however, border officials cannot search a vehicle’s contents or its occupants unless they have probable cause of wrongdoing, the agency says. Failing that, CBP officials can ask motorists to allow them to conduct a search, but travelers are not obligated to give consent.
When asked how many people were stopped at CBP checkpoints in recent years, as well as the proportion of those individuals detained for further scrutiny, CBP said they didn’t have the data “on hand” but that the number of people referred for secondary questioning was “minimum.” At the same time, the agency says that checkpoints “have proven to be highly effective tools in halting the flow of illegal traffic into the United States.”
Within 25 miles of any external boundary, CBP has the additional patrol power to enter onto private land, not including dwellings, without a warrant.
Where can CBP set up checkpoints?
CBP chooses checkpoint locations within the 100-mile zone that help “maximize border enforcement while minimizing effects on legitimate traffic,” the agency says.
At airports that fall within the 100-mile zone, CBP can also set up checkpoints next to airport security to screen domestic passengers who are trying to board their flights, according to Chris Rickerd, a policy counsel at the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department.
“When you fly out of an airport in the southwestern border, say McAllen, Brownsville or El Paso, you have Border Patrol standing beside TSA when they’re doing the checks for security. They ask you the same questions as when you’re at a checkpoint. ‘Are you a US citizen?’ They’re essentially doing a brief immigration inquiry in the airport because it’s part of the 100-mile zone,” Rickerd said. “I haven’t seen this at the northern border.”
Can CBP do anything outside of the 100-mile zone?
Yes. Many of CBP’s law enforcement and patrol activities, such as questioning individuals, collecting evidence and making arrests, are not subject to the 100-mile rule, the agency says. For instance, the geographical limit does not apply to stops in which border agents pull a vehicle over as part of a “roving patrol” and not a fixed checkpoint, according to Rickerd of the ACLU. In these scenarios, border agents need reasonable suspicion that an immigration violation or crime has occurred to justify the stop, Rickerd said. For stops outside the 100-mile zone, CBP agents must have probable cause of wrongdoing, the agency said.
The ACLU has sued the government multiple times for data on roving patrol and checkpoint stops. Based on an analysis of records released in response to one of those lawsuits, the ACLU found that CBP officials in Arizona failed “to record any stops that do not lead to an arrest, even when the stop results in a lengthy detention, search, and/or property damage.”
The lack of detailed and easily accessible data poses a challenge to those seeking to hold CBP accountable to its duties.
“On the one hand, we fight so hard for reasonable suspicion to actually exist rather than just the whim of an officer to stop someone, but on the other hand, it’s not a standard with a lot of teeth,” Rickerd said. “The courts would scrutinize it to see if there’s anything impermissible about what’s going on. But if we don’t have data, how do you figure that out?”
Monday, March 13, 2017
Brainstorming was invented in the 1930s as a practical idea-generation technique for regular use by “creatives” within the ad agency BBDO. The skill began to gain a wider audience in 1942, when Alex Osborn — the “O” in BBDO — released a book called How to Think Up and sparked the imaginations of his fellow Mad Men.
Since 1942, the method that began life in a New York creative firm has grown into the madness of Silicon Valley. Somewhere near Stanford, an introvert cringes every time the idea comes up of sitting in a roomful of colleagues, drawing half-baked ideas on Post-it notes, and then pasting them to the wall for all to see. (If this is you, watch David Kelley’s TED Talk on creative confidence, followed by Susan Cain’s on the power of introverts.)
I’ve run a lot of brainstorms over the years: with designers at IDEO, with Tom and David Kelley (I co-authored the book Creative Confidence with them), and with innovative educators at TED-Ed. I’ve come to believe that there’s no one right way to run a brainstorm. You have to be willing to modify the format, length and parameters of each session to match the mix of introverts, extroverts and creative confidence levels in the room.
Below, 9 tips on how to run a brainstorm for young introverts (and extroverts, too):
1) Circulate the question or topic before you start. For introverts who generate ideas best without the looming presence of others, knowing the topic in advance is key. This allows them to come prepared with several creative options — and not feel stampeded by extroverts who prefer to riff.
2) Keep the following guidelines in a place everyone can see during the brainstorm: 1) One idea at a time, 2) Encourage wild ideas, 3) Build on the ideas of others, 4) Defer judgment (no criticism), 5) Stay on topic. The goal at this stage of the innovation cycle is to remix and add to others’ ideas — not filter or critique. Thus the default mode for a successful brainstorm is “Yes, and.” As in comedy improv, good brainstormers don’t waste time tearing down silly-sounding ideas. Instead, they either improve on the idea by adding something awesome to it, or generate a new idea quickly. Another way to phrase this is “build on the ideas of others.” This is one guideline I always mention at the beginning of every brainstorm, and reinforce throughout.
3) Seat the group at a round table (or in a circle). Hey, it worked for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
4) Start at your left and go around the circle. Each person gives one idea at a time. No one gets skipped over. This will help you hear from all members of the group — and not just the ones with the loudest voices.
5) Aim for a specific quantity of ideas. 25 ideas, say. Let students know the goal at the start, and don’t stop until you get to that number.
6) Number the group list of ideas as it’s generated. Skip the Post-its and just use big pieces of paper on the table, or a blackboard if that’s what you have. The numbering part helps people feel especially accomplished as they go. A mental pat-on-the-back.
7) Write down every single idea that’s mentioned, and take a neutral, respectful stance toward each idea. Consciously or subconsciously, others will cue off your lead. You want everyone in the room to feel heard, to have permission to speak their piece, and to defer judgment during the brainstorm. Pro tip: don’t attach people’s names to ideas.
8) Keep each session short. 10 minutes at the end of class is fine. If 10 minutes is too hard to find, one successful alternative to an in-person group brainstorm is to tape a large piece of paper to a wall near the door, write your question at the top, and include a pen that students can use to anonymously write in their answers. Leave it up for 5 days, then take a picture and transcribe it.
9) Share back the unfiltered ideas list after the brainstorm ends. You never know which kid’s idea might spark something great.
Like other idea-generation tools, brainstorming was invented to make creative success easier — which is why creators are still using this technique 75+ years after its invention. To learn more about how to use design and innovation methods in education, I recommend these three options: take a course at IDEO U, download the Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit, or join the Teachers Guild.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
“Citizen science” projects can boost student engagement by giving kids the opportunity to help solve real-world problems, in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology. One citizen science option that we recommend is GlobalXplorer, a new platform launched by archaeologist (and TED Prize winner) Sarah Parcak. Here’s how it works:
There are millions of lost temples, buried pyramids, and other archaeological sites around the world. Many of these sites contain ancient art, history, and artifacts — precious evidence of humankind’s collective resilience and creativity.
Your mission is to help protect these archaeological sites from looters. To succeed, you’ll need to study satellite images for signs of looting. In GlobalXplorer, these images are called “tiles.”
There are 120 million tiles in GlobalXplorer’s first expedition: Expedition Peru. So, archaeologists really need your help!
Can you examine 500 tiles?
To start your citizen science project with GlobalXplorer’s Expedition Peru, go here.
To learn more about the history of exploration in Peru, start with this 1913 National Geographic article about Machu Picchu.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Theoretical physicist (and TED Fellow) Shohini Ghose has two great passions: physics, and advocating for gender equity in the sciences. “There are still relatively few women in physics — and the higher up the ladder in academia or industry you go, the fewer women you find,” says Ghose. “Yet the laws of physics themselves are gender neutral, and the beauty of the universe is equally accessible to everyone. So why so few women, and how can we change that?” Below, Ghose shares five of her favorite facts about women and their contribution to physics.
1. Marie Curie is the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in two different scientific disciplines. First, Marie Curie won in 1903 for her studies of radioactivity. She shared the prize with her husband Pierre Curie and with the other discoverer of radioactivity, Henri Bequerel. Originally, the Nobel prize committee had only selected Pierre Curie — but he refused to accept it without proper acknowledgement of Marie’s contribution. Then in 1911, Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her discovery and studies of radium and polonium.
2. Only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize in physics. Maria Goeppert Mayer won the Nobel Prize in 1963 for her model of the structure of the atomic nucleus. Goeppert Mayer faced a great deal of gender bias in her career: she had to work in unpaid positions at Columbia University and University of Chicago, where her husband was employed.
3. Austrian physicist Lise Meitner first developed the theory explaining the process of nuclear fission. However, she was overlooked by the Nobel Committee, who instead awarded Meitner’s colleague Otto Hahn the prize in 1944. Meitner came to be known as the “mother of the atom bomb,” although she refused to work on the Manhattan Project after fleeing Nazi Germany. Element 109 is called meitnerium in her honor.
4. Albert Einstein called German mathematician Emmy Noether a creative mathematical genius. Noether’s Theorem is a fundamental idea on which much of modern physics is built. Published in 1918, her theorem states that if an object has symmetry — i.e., if it looks the same regardless of changing locations or times — then this leads to conservation laws in nature. Says Ghose: “A simple example is a movie of the motion of a ball when you throw it. The motion looks the same if you run the movie backwards in time (time symmetry). This means that the total energy of the ball remains the same (conservation of energy) — the energy just gets converted into different forms as the ball moves. This is a simplified example, but the theorem is widely applicable and is a real workhorse of modern physics.”
5. British astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin established that the sun and other stars are all composed mostly of hydrogen. Payne-Gaposchkin later became the first woman to chair a department (astronomy) at Harvard.
Art credit: iStock. Note: The article above has been adapted for TED-Ed from this Ideas.ted.com article. To read daily coverage of the world of ideas, check out Ideas.ted.com. To read more great articles about science in education, sign up for the free weekly TED-Ed newsletter here >>