OK, let’s just send all our students to this site, tell them to choose a dozen interesting talks, and call it a day. I am referring, of course, to TED Talks. TED is an acronym for a nonprofit whose mission is to spread great ideas about technology, entertainment, and design. At two conferences each year, one in Edinburgh, Scotland and another in Long Beach/Palm Springs, the brightest and most articulate people in the world are given 18 minutes on stage and asked to give “the talk of their lives.” Wow.
TED graciously allows common usage for classroom and noncommercial blogs like this one. Here, in fact, is a talk by Paul Bloom on the origins of pleasure. Dr. Bloom’s book was actually the stimulus for our NH presentation and subsequently this blog.
My current favorites include Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity and Carl Schoonover: How to look inside the brain. There are over 1100 talks on the site, and you can browse by criteria. All are brief and fascinating. If you need a prompt for an assignment on almost any topic, or if you just need a daily dose of inspiration and education yourself (and who among us does not?), then surf over to TED Talks. It’s like the best book store and cocktail party you ever visited rolled into one deliciously intriguing experience.
We would love to hear from you! Which talks are your favorites? Which talks could you use in your classes?