Showing posts with label TED Talks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TED Talks. Show all posts

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Using Mindfulness to Break a Bad Habit

In this week's Ed Tech Fitness Challenge newsletter I included the video of a TED Talk given by Dr. Judson Brewer. His talk is titled A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit.

My big take-away from Dr. Brewer's talk was the idea of thinking about why we engage in a bad habit while we're doing as a means to breaking that habit. For example, my bad habit is eating potato and tortilla chips when I'm stressed out. Brewer's suggestion is to think about why I'm doing that when I do it and I'll be less likely to do it again. I actually watched this talk back in January and started to employ that technique of using mindfulness to break my stress-snacking habit. It has worked...most of the time. I've lost over 30 pounds this year. I'm now using that strategy to curtail my Facebook habit too.



Applications for Education
The concepts and examples that Brewer shares in the talk are ones that high school students can relate to. For that reason, with the exception of one “PG word” in the talk, you could use this video to create a mindfulness lesson in a high school classroom.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Quit Social Media - Do Deep Work

Last night I watched Dr. Cal Newport's TEDx Talk titled Quit Social Media. In this thought-provoking talk Dr. Newport presents the case for quitting social media. He presents the case from the standpoint that social media fragments our attention and prevents us from doing deep work. To help people come to grips with the idea of quitting social media Dr. Newport gives rebuttals to the three most common reasons for not quitting social media. 



Applications for Education
This video could be a fantastic discussion starter in a middle school or high school classroom. And as Monique Bakken stated on Facebook, ironically, the video was a good example for her students of a professional oral essay.

Monday, January 1, 2018

An Alternative to New Year's Resolutions

It's the first day of 2018 (second day for some of you) and the time when many of us create goals and make resolutions for the 365 days ahead. A year, 365 days can seem like a long time to do anything consistently let alone do something new for that long. Matt Cutts, formerly Google's head of webspam, has an alternative to making New Year's resolutions. That alternative is the 30 day challenge. Try to do something new for 30 days and see if it sticks. As you can see in Matt's TED Talk, sometimes the 30 day challenge creates lasting lifestyle improvements and sometimes it just helps you make a change for 30 days.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Five Inspiring TED Talks for Teachers

The beginning of the school year is full of anticipation and promise. Our students come back to school in the fall excited to learn and we cannot wait to share new ideas and lessons with them. However, as the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, the condition we refer to as October Slump can set in. We are tired, irritable, and might even begin to question our ability to make it to Thanksgiving break.

These five TED Talks were the ones I would listen to when I needed a reminder of why I went into education. I hope they provide you with some inspiration as well.


  • How to Learn From Mistakes Diana Laufenberg shares her insight about how to learn from mistakes.
  • What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection Jia Jiang shares his story about spending 100 days of seeking out ways to get rejected and in the process discovered a world of possibilities.
  • Bring On the Learning Revolution! Sir Ken Robinson makes a case for shifting from standardized schools to creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish.
  • School is Broken  Chris Lehmann passionately discusses that schools should encourage students to pursue what they care good at instead of making them do more of what they are bad at.
  • The Surprising Truth About Learning in Schools Will Richardson shares what he has discovered about learning during the last decade while working with schools from all over the world. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

TED Playlists - A Little Organization for Your TED Talks Viewing

TED Talks have provided the spark for a lot of interesting conversations in my current events classes and in my homeroom meetings over the years. Sometimes I would simply show them in the classroom as discussion fodder and other times I would post them on a classroom blog to have students watch and respond with written comments. I found talks either through searching the TED website or by having them appear in the TED Blog feed. Now there is an easier way to find good talks, that is by looking at TED Playlists.

TED Playlists are sets of talks organized around a topic or theme. You can search for playlists and videos by selecting a topic from the playlist homepage then entering a keyword search within a chosen topic. It's a quick and easy way to find interesting talks to share with your students.
If you would like to a see a list of more than 1700 TED Talks, take a look at this spreadsheet that contains speakers' names, talk titles, talk summaries, and links to the talks.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TED Introduces TED-Ed Clubs to Get Kids Talking About Big Ideas

TED recently introduced a new initiative called TED-Ed Clubs. TED-Ed Clubs provide a framework for getting students together on a regular basis to talk about their big ideas. As it is a TED initiative, TED-Ed Clubs have a component for students to deliver TED-style presentations to fellow club members. TED provides club facilitators with a framework and materials for leading students in a collaborative process of developing, sharing, and presenting ideas. In reading through the FAQs about TED-Ed Clubs you might notice some similarities to the Toastmasters concept.


Applications for Education
TED-Ed Clubs can be formed by students, teachers, and school administrators. There is an application that must be completed in order to become an official TED-Ed Club and gain access to the facilitator materials. Of course, you could certainly organize your own "big ideas club" without getting the TED seal of approval. The club environment could provide a comfortable setting for students to practice and develop presentation skills. The club environment could also be a good place for students who tend to prefer to work alone to get practice in collaborating with others on the development of ideas.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The History of Timezones - A TED-Ed Lesson

Today, I am traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to work with some teachers there tomorrow and on Friday. The more I travel and the more I work with people outside of my home area the more I find myself asking, "what time is it there?" My friend Angela often asks me the same thing when we plan conference calls. Where did timezones come from? What is "standard time?" The answers to those questions and more can be found in the short TED-Ed lesson How Did Trains Standardize Timezones in the United States? Watch the video below.


Applications for Education
To extend the lesson take a look at some of these resources about daylight saving time and ask your students if they think that daylight saving time is still important today.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Teenage Life in Ancient Rome - A TED-Ed Lesson

A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome is a new TED-Ed lesson developed by Ray Laurence from the University of Kent. The video and its associated questions feature the story of seventeen year old Lucius Popidius Secundus. Watch the video below.

Applications for Education
After completing this TED-Ed lesson I might have my world history students research what life was like for teenagers in Ancient Rome who did not come from wealthy families.

H/T to Open Culture

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Thought or Two About TED Ed

TED made headlines this week with the launch of TED Ed. TED Ed is a new platform through which teachers can build short lessons around short videos that have been given the TED stamp of approval. Like most TED videos, the videos in TED-Ed that I have watched so far are good. From a production standpoint the videos are better than the blackboard and narration that you get with Khan Academy. But that's about where my excitement ends.

After and or while watching the videos on TED Ed students answer multiple choice and short answer questions about what they're seeing and hearing. Which is exactly what many teachers (myself included in my first years teaching) do or have done by handing out question lists for students to complete while watching film strips, reel-to-reel movies, VHS tapes, and DVDs. TED Ed does have one slight advantage here in that students do get instant feedback on their multiple choice answers on TED Ed.

TED Ed provides a place for teachers to "flip" lessons which is TED's way of saying build their own quizzes around the TED Ed videos and link to related resources that they select for their students. I gave it a quick try and found it easy to do this. But I also know that I could do the same thing with other tools. The assessment tools that TED Ed provides didn't strike me as anything more than what you can do with a tool like Flubaroo. And before you flip your classroom, please consider these questions.

One of the things that I would like to see added to TED Ed is a place for real-time conversations about the videos that students watch. This would allow students to ask questions of each other and of their teachers while watching the videos. This allows the students to take a bit of the lead in determining what is thought-provoking in a video. I know from experience of showing video clips in social studies classrooms  that giving a forum for that kind of response to videos can mean the difference between watching and thinking about what is being shown and simply hunting for answers in a video. Here are three tools that have the required kind of technology in place now.

Overall, TED Ed seems like it could be handy for creating quick introductory or review lessons, but it's not going to revolutionize how education works. I welcome your thoughts in the comments.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

TED on the Radio

Watching and listening to TED Talks is one of my favorite ways to discover new ideas and challenge my current thinking about various topics. This week I learned that TED is coming the radio in the form of the TED Radio Hour on National Public Radio. The announcement from TED says that the new show will start on April 27, but it did not specify the time. Hopefully, that news will be available soon.

Here is one of my favorite TED Talks from Sir Ken Robinson.



And here are 15 other good TED Talks for educators.

Monday, March 12, 2012

TED Education - It's a Good Start

This morning the TED Blog announced the launch of TED-Ed. I've watched three of the twelve videos in the TED Ed channel on YouTube and would say they're more like thought prompts than they are instructional lessons. I guess when I first saw the headline that I was hoping for a bit more, but this is a good start. I've included one of the videos below.

Applications for Education
The TED-Ed videos could be good for sparking discussion in your classroom about the topics you're teaching. For example, use this video, The Power of Simple, as part of a lesson on writing. Have students watch the video then give them the task of editing wordy passages into succinct messages.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clay Shirky Talks About Why SOPA is a Bad Idea

I've been traveling today and working from a dial-up speed connection at the hotel I'm staying in. Therefore, I'm late to the party on sharing this video, but it's too important not to share even though many others have too. In the video below, Clay Shirky explains why SOPA is a bad idea and what it could mean for the way we share on the web.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Android Apps to Watch TED on the Go

The more time I spend traveling the more time I spend consuming content on my Android devices. Two days ago, thanks to David Andrade I discovered the TED Talks Android Apps. I gave them all a try and settled on the TED Air app as my favorite for Android. The TED Air app allows you to view, favorite, and download TED Talks on your Android device. Using TED Air you can search for talks by title, speaker, tag, and theme. If you're not sure what you're looking for I recommend browsing by theme to find educational and entertaining content. That's how I found this enjoyable talk by Jack Horner: Building a Dinosaur from a Chicken.



TED also offers an iPad and iPhone app. I have not had time to try those apps yet.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Map of the Brain

In the TED Talk below Allan Jones explains and shows how he and his team are creating a map of the brain. This is a great talk for biology teachers, biology students, and anyone else interested in learning a bit more about how the parts of our brains work together. One word of caution, as always, if you think you might show this in your classroom preview it ahead of time because there are a couple of images that might not be for the faint of heart.



The talk above pairs nicely with Jill Bolte Taylor's TED Talk, How It Feels to Have a Stroke.


A couple of related items that you might go nicely with this talk are BioDigital Human and Healthline Body Maps.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Squishy Circuits - A Hands-on Electricity Lesson

Squishy Circuits is a project developed at the University of St. Thomas for the purpose of creating tools that students can use to create circuits and explore electronics. Squishy Circuits uses Playdough-like to enable hands-on learning about conducting and insulating currents as well as creating circuits. The Squishy Circuits website provides directions for creating the dough and offers ideas for lessons using the dough. Watch the TED Talk below for an explanation and demonstration of Squishy Circuits.



Applications for Education
Creating Squishy Circuits could be a great hands-on science activity for elementary school or middle school students.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doodlers Unite! The Positives in Doodling

In the TED Talk embedded below Sunni Brown, author of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, presents the case for encouraging rather than discouraging doodling in the classroom and in the boardroom. Her talk might give you some new ideas about why your students are doodling in your classroom.


Warning: Ms. Brown does use one analogy in her talk that is not appropriate for the classroom.

If you're interested in learning more about using sketches and doodles as thinking exercises, I also recommend Dan Roam's The Back of the Napkin.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Watch Sir Ken Robinson Speak Live on September 17

Tomorrow, September 17, TEDxLondon will be streamed live on the web. The theme of TEDxLondon is The Education Revolution. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers scheduled. The "headliner" of the event is Sir Ken Robinson who is best known in education circles for his 2006 TED Talk Schools Kill Creativity.

I'm looking at the TEDxLondon streaming page in the eastern timezone of the US and it says that the stream will start at 2pm. I'm not sure if that is 2pm US ET or 2pm GMT. Please check the streaming page for yourself to make sure you have the right time to catch the live stream.

To spark your imagination before TEDxLondon I've embedded two of Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talks below.




Friday, August 26, 2011

All Kinds of Minds - A Nice TED Talks Playlist

I have my first day of school today (yes, on a Friday) and my students return next Tuesday. Just as I was scanning my RSS reader for the last time before bed last night, I came across a TED Talks playlist titled All Kinds of Minds. I had watched three of the four in the playlist before, but it was a great reminder for me that the world really is made up of all kinds of unique minds that have great things to offer. These TED Talks provide powerful reminders of that. And that is something that I will strive to remember the next time I'm working with a "difficult" mind.

Temple Grandin's TED Talk is embedded below.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

TED Talks Vacation Playlists

The TED bloggers are on vacation for the next two weeks. While they're away the TED Blog is publishing a new playlist for each day. The playlists are arranged around a theme. Monday's theme was nature. Tuesday's theme was "be here now." Watch the TED Blog for the next educational and entertaining playlists.


Jackie Gerstein started a great wiki about building lessons around TED Talks. The wiki is called Teaching With Ted. The pages of Teaching With Ted are organized to feature a TED Talk(s) followed by links to related resources and ideas for teaching the concepts/ideas discussed in the TED Talk video. For example, there is a wiki page featuring Jill Bolte's talk about brain science and strokes. Following the video is a link to a page of activities about neuroscience. If you have a PB Works account you can edit the wiki and add your contributions for other educators to benefit from. I just edited it a few minutes ago myself.

Applications for EducationTeaching With TED is a good place to find thought provoking videos and discussion questions for use in your classroom. Teaching With TED is a wiki so if you have ideas about teaching with TED Talks submit your suggestions to Teaching With TED

Sunday, August 7, 2011

TED Talk - Five Ways to Listen Better

Julian Treasure, whose work I've previously highlighted, recently gave a talk at TED Global in Scotland. His talk, 5 Ways to Listen Better, reminds us of the need to slow down and listen to the people and the world around us. At the end of the talk he provides a simple framework for becoming better listeners. That framework is called RASA. You'll have to listen to his talk to learn about RASA, it will be worth the seven minutes of your time.



Applications for Education
This could be a great video to show at the beginning of your new school year to set the tone for class conversations. Julian Treasure's RASA framework for listening is one that could easily be used as the model in your classroom. In fact, I think that I'm going to introduce it to my new students in a few weeks.