10 Terrific TED Posts On Education

For educators, parents or students who want to learn or be inspired TED Talks are an extremely valuable resource. TED talks are available on many different topics and are accessible and free to the public. Below are ten essential TED talks on education.

1. What’s We’re Learning From Online Education – Daphne Koller

Koller touches on the promise that online education can bring. Koller praises how accessible the online format makes education, as well as the cost-effectiveness. Koller suggests that universities use free online classes as a way to research the effectiveness of the classes. Koller points out that online learning allows short module units of eight to twelve minutes that each present specific concepts. Online learning also allows differentiated learning because students that require more background knowledge can watch or complete assignments that students with a base knowledge do not need.

2. The Child-Driven Education – Sugata Mitra

Mitra discusses how the best teaches and schools don’t exist in the places where they are most needed. He discusses an experiments that have been done across the world in places like New Delhi, South African and Italy where he has given kids self-supervised internet access. He talks about how the findings from these experiments can dramatically change the way we think about teaching. He argues the case the children are curious, and even in the absence of supervision can teach themselves and teach peers. He emphasizes curiosity as a motivation for learning.

3. Let’s Use This Video to Reinvent Education – Salman Khan

Khan talks about his creation of Khan Academy, a curriculum made up of videos. Khan originally created a series of videos teaching math but has since expanded to other subjects. Khan describes how “flipping” the classroom to reverse the order of homework and teaching, giving homework first then instruction can be a powerful learning tool. Students can watch lectures at home, and then do homework at school where there is help available from teachers.

4. Changing Education Paradigms – Ken Robinson

Robinson addresses the three problem causing trends of rising drop-out rates, the dwindling presence of the arts in schools, and ADHD. Robinson challenges the current systems and ways we are educating children, advocating an overhaul that acknowledges multiple intelligences and fosters creativity.

5. Teaching One Child at a Time – Shukla Bose

Bose argues that educating the poor isn’t just about mass statistics but each child should be viewed as an individual. She uses stories of her foundation, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, and how it has brought hope to children in India’s slums. Bose discusses the impact of looking past daunting statistics to help individual children.

6. Teaching With the World Peace Game – John Hunter

Hunter talks about his World Peace Game. The game involves laying the problems of the world out on a piece of plywood and letting fourth grade students attempt to solve them. In his talk he describes how the game engages kids and teaches complex lessons. It is a means of going further than classroom discussion, he argues. Hunter talks about how the game is always spontaneous and surprising when he plays it with groups of students.

7. Math Class Needs a Makeover – Dan Meyer

Meyer discusses how today’s math curriculum focuses heavily on classwork that shortchanges children on experiencing the problem solving and forming process. Meyer proposes various math exercises that he has tested in classrooms that promote learning that is heavy on student thinking instead of rote learning.

8. The 100,000 Student Classroom – Peter Norvig

Norvig, an American computer scientist, talks about what he has learned teaching a global classroom. He once taught 100,000 students over a webcast, while giving a lecture to 175 students who were physically present at Stanford. Norvig raises good points about teaching to a large, global audience.

9. Hands-on Science with Squishy Circuits – AnnMarie Thomas

Thomas gives a demo of how homemade play dough can be used to show electrical properties. Her talk is a fast-paced engaging demonstration of using the material and hands-on work to make kids circuit creators. Thomas shows that engineering can have a playful side and creativity with a hands-on approach can be a valuable tool.

10. How Games Make Kids Smarter – Gabe Zichermann

Zichermann shows the positive effects that games can have on kids. These effects include making kids better problem-solves and multi-taskers. He argues against the idea that kids have short attention spans, instead proposing that the pace of the world just moves too slowly for kids to stay engaged. Zicherman suggests that we should embrace and use video games, because they actually have the potential to make kids smarter.