Friday, January 04, 2008

TED: Ideas worth spreading in your classrooms

The first TED Conference took place in 1984. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design -- where great ideas come together. I first learned about TED from David Pogue, NYTimes Circuits author/technology columnist, when he was a keynote speaker at the IL-TCE Conference last February. (Pogue was a TED speaker in 2006.) Over 150 talks from the TED archives are now available online at, with more being added each week.
"TED is devoted to giving millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers.

If you're a teacher, consider incorporating TEDTalks into your classes. They are distributed under a Creative Commons license, and are freely available for such use, so long as you credit the source and do not distort the speakers' intended meaning."
Explore the TED Talks website by theme, talk title or speaker. Talks are usually 20 minutes or less, and can be downloaded in full resolution video, MP3 audio, or embedded on your website, or class Edline page. You can freely subscribe to the TEDTalks Podcasts in iTunes in either the video or audio format, and watch many of the talks on YouTube.

Here are just a few that would be great for your classroom:

Social Science: Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, explains how we are all born with the capacity for empathy -- but we sometimes choose to ignore it.

LecturesHans Rosling's presentation at the TED-conference was an Internet success. His 2007 TED talk, "The Seemingly Impossible, is Possible" shows that a good world is possible.

Math: Ron Eglash talks about his work exploring the rigorous fractal math underpinning African architecture, art and hair braiding.

Science: Watch medical animator David Bolinsky's 3 minutes of stunning animation that show the bustling life inside a cell. Tune into environmental scientist David Keith's talk about a cheap, effective, shocking solution to climate change. Juan Enriquez offers a glimpse of some ground-breaking research to explore the potential of bioenergy. UC Berkeley biologist Robert Full explains his goal of creating the perfect robotic "distributed foot." Nobel Prize winner Murray Gell-Mann drops some knowledge about particle physics, asking questions like, Can the fundamental law, the so-called "theory of everything," really explain everything?

Communication Arts: Lakshmi Pratury talks about the lost art of letter-writing, and shares a series of notes her father wrote her before he died. This short talk may inspire you to set pen to paper too. Steven Pinker looks at language, and the way it expresses the workings of our minds. By analyzing common sentences and words, he shows us how, in what we say and how we say it, we're communicating much more than we realize.

Applied Arts: Seth Godin's views on "Sliced bread and other marketing delights" spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.


1 comment:

  1. I just recently was aware of and it blew me away. What a wonderful resource and I love all your links from the site. Thanks:)