5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators

Posted by Sydney Myers

October 24th, 2017

Why is it that the smartest kids are not always the best performers? Is the new age of technology in the classroom a blessing or a curse? How can teachers motivate difficult students and make a difference? As an educator, you may have asked one of these questions. The following TED Talks for educators answer those questions. Watch as these five educators inspire other educators by sharing lessons they’ve learned in their career.


1. Every Kid Needs a Champion – Rita Pierson

Rita Pierson doesn’t sugar coat anything in this rousing talk. “Will you like all your children? Of course not.” Despite that, Rita emphasizes the importance of relationships and connection. “Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

The talk is a little over seven minutes long and will have you laughing off your chair. It’s inspiring and real.

'Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them.' 5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators Click To Tweet


2. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Lee Duckworth

As a teacher, Angela Lee Duckworth made a realization. She says, “What struck me was that IQ was not the only difference between my best and my worst students.” The difference? Grit. After studying thousands of high school students, the results showed that grittier kids were more likely to graduate.

In this fascinating and unexpected talk, Angela describes what grit is and how vital it is for students.

'We need a better understanding of learning from a motivational perspective.' 5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators Click To Tweet


3. Let’s Use Video To Reinvent Education – Sal Khan

Technology in education can be a powerful force, if used wisely.  Sal Khan of Khan Academy proposes the idea of a “flipped classroom” through the use of video.

In this 20-minute talk, he explains that some teachers have started assigning TED Talks as homework. They now use classroom time to work on worksheets or projects that would normally be assigned as homework. This “flipped” method allows the teacher to work with the students during crucial activities and makes the lecture session more flexible because students can watch at their own pace.

It’s a method that might not be for every classroom, but it highlights the possibilities that open up when technology is introduced in the learning process.

'Our goal is to use technology to humanize what's happening in education.' 5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators Click To Tweet


4. 3 Rules to Spark Learning – Ramsey Musallam

Speaking of technology in the classroom, Ramsey Musallam stresses something that is often overlooked when new edtech is introduced.

“Questions and curiosity…are like magnets that draw us toward our teachers, and they transcend all technology or buzz words in education.” Curiosity is the key that unlocks an engaged learning process. “If we place these technologies before student inquiry, we can be robbing ourselves of our greatest tool as teachers: our students’ questions.”

Ramsey discusses three rules to follow to engage students.

'Questions and curiosity transcend all technology or buzz words in education.' 5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators Click To Tweet


5. How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries – Adam Savage

This 7-minute talk builds on Ramsey Musallam’s push for curiosity. Adam gives three examples that show that discovery and knowledge are within the reach of everyone, if we dare to explore even simple questions.

“What happens when you look at what the discoverers were thinking about when they made their discoveries is you understand that they are not so different from us. We are all bags of meat and water. We all start with the same tools.”

Watch as he enthusiastically illustrates how simple curiosity, something that is available to all students, can change the world.

'Science is an open field and we are all explorers.' 5 Inspiring TED Talks for Educators Click To Tweet


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