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Exposing Students to Cutting Edge Ideas With TED Talks

8 November 2007 4 Comments

Once a year…1000 remarkable people gather in Monterey, California to exchange something of incalcuable value, their ideas.

This opening line starts off every one of the 18 minute videos that appear on Ted.com. What are they? They are presentations from some of the greatest minds this world has to offer, covering a vast array of topics. They take place once a year in Monterey, California and are then shared via the web. The value in this is huge.

Teachers often infuse current events into their curriculum. It helps to alleviate the “life under a rock” syndrome that some students suffer from by giving them material that is relevant to real life. TED Talks are perfect for this. They are the most cutting edge of ideas provided by extremely talented presenters.-that actually know how to really use PowerPoint :).

The talks can be filtered by subject area.(They cover most topics from arts, science, global issues, technology, and more.) And provide great current event style information. Beyond that they simply show students how to present like a pro.

The downside? There isn’t one, really. The talks may be more suited to older students since they are not the typical educational video. By that I mean that they aren’t trying to water things down for easy basic understanding. But, some students will be more enticed by the “adult treatment”, and appreciate the fact that what they are hearing are ideas that are fresh and alive.

Used Ted Talks in your classroom? Have ideas for how students can respond to them? Let us know in the comments.


  • nabin said:

    TED !
    it is a really nice place to be.


  • Andy said:

    I am really excited about this site. I believe that this can also be used for discussion starters in faith-based settings (a youth group, adult Bible Study, etc.) Good Illustrations are often difficult to find, but this site seems to offer plenty.

  • Scott Walker (author) said:


    I trust you checked out their “is there a god?” section. I noticed that were seven videos that would appear to be a valuable youth resource. http://www.ted.com/themes/view/id/21

  • Andy said:

    I didn’t even see that category, but I will check it out. Thanks.