Use TED Talks To Ignite And Inspire

I'm always inspired when I watch TED Talks. They are so provocative and encourage me to look at ideas through a new lens. Almost always I walk away with a new perspective and some nugget of learning. Why not incorporate that culture of thought exploration into the classroom?

The TED Ed website is a treasure trove of valuable resources that leverage short, high-interest TED Talks and other content-related videos to examine, explore, and analyze. It also allows teachers to create their own TED Lessons and walks them through the process.

Beyond just using these videos, I believe it's time to start teaching our students how they can improve their presentation skills and I can't think of a better framework than following the TED Talk style of presentation. Click here to view a fabulous project developed by Kate Petty to accomplish this task. An adapted version of this can be found here by Marina Boeder. 

While I have several favorite TED Talks, there were a couple I wanted to spotlight here as examples of inspirational videos to share in the classroom. The first one, I believe, would be a great introduction video if you were going to initiate a TED Talk presentation project with your students to develop their presentation skills. I can assume most will be like..."I'm not a good presenter; I get too nervous!" This video could inspire them to adopt a new framework of thinking...

Another video I feel our students need to hear is one about the importance of leadership and how we view it. A short, but powerful leadership video I love is this one:

Maybe our math students might like to hear Dan Meyer discuss the makeover of math class. That, coupled with Carol Dweck's video might encourage some "non-math" students to take a second look at the possibilities available in that content area...It's just a thought...check this video out.

So as you begin to think about ways to integrate TED Talks into your curriculum, expand your thinking beyond just observing or consuming these resources, and look for ways to get your students diving in and integrating these skills needed to pull off a TED-style presentation. The embedded standards that would be covered in doing so could be mind-blowing...and you might just discover your own version of Thomas Suarez sitting in your classroom!

These are just a few of my ideas I thought were worth sharing...what are yours?
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