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TED Talks Education

TED Talks Education

What should future schools look like? How do brains learn? Some of the world's greatest educators, researchers, and community leaders share their stories and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

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Massive-scale online collaboration | Luis von Ahn

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the web quickly and accurately -- all for free.
2011-12-06
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Feats of memory anyone can do | Joshua Foer

There are people who can quickly memorize lists of thousands of numbers, the order of all the cards in a deck (or ten!), and much more. Science writer Joshua Foer describes the technique -- called the memory palace -- and shows off its most remarkable feature: anyone can learn how to use it, including him.
2012-05-10
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What's left to explore? | Nathan Wolfe

We've been to the moon, we've mapped the continents, we've even been to the deepest point in the ocean -- twice. What's left for the next generation to explore? Biologist and explorer Nathan Wolfe suggests this answer: Almost everything. And we can start, he says, with the world of the unseeably small.
2012-05-21
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Why is 'x' the unknown? | Terry Moore

Why is 'x' the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, Terry Moore gives the surprising answer.
2012-06-06
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Archaeology from space | Sarah Parcak

In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archaeology" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.
2012-06-14
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The electric rise and fall of Nikola Tesla | Marco Tempest

Combining projection mapping and a pop-up book, Marco Tempest tells the visually arresting story of Nikola Tesla -- called "the greatest geek who ever lived" -- from his triumphant invention of alternating current to his penniless last days.
2012-06-20
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The 100,000-student classroom | Peter Norvig

In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ -- and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. He shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.
2012-06-21
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Reinventing the encyclopedia game | Rives

Prompted by the Encyclopaedia Britannica ending its print publication, performance poet Rives resurrects a game from his childhood. Speaking at the TEDxSummit in Doha, Rives takes us on a charming tour through random (and less random) bits of human knowledge: from Chimborazo, the farthest point from the center of the Earth, to Ham the Astrochimp, the first chimpanzee in outer space.
2012-06-26
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Every city needs healthy honey bees | Noah Wilson-Rich

Bees have been rapidly and mysteriously disappearing from rural areas, with grave implications for agriculture. But bees seem to flourish in urban environments -- and cities need their help, too. Noah Wilson-Rich suggests that urban beekeeping might play a role in revitalizing both a city and a species.
2012-07-28
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A teacher growing green in the South Bronx | Stephen Ritz

A whirlwind of energy and ideas, Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York's tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery -- and jobs. Just try to keep up with this New York treasure as he spins through the many, many ways there are to grow hope in a neighborhood many have written off, or in your own.
2012-07-31
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What we're learning from online education | Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free -- not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. With Coursera (cofounded by Andrew Ng), each keystroke, quiz, peer-to-peer discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed.
2012-08-01
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How we can eat our landscapes | Pam Warhurst

What should a community do with its unused land? Plant food, of course. With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.
2012-08-09
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The self-organizing computer course | Shimon Schocken

Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online -- giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks -- they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn.
2012-10-04
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Talk nerdy to me | Melissa Marshall

Melissa Marshall brings a message to all scientists (from non-scientists): We're fascinated by what you're doing. So tell us about it -- in a way we can understand. In just 4 minutes, she shares powerful tips on presenting complex scientific ideas to a general audience.
2012-10-11
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What I've learned from my autistic brothers | Faith Jegede Cole

Faith Jegede tells the moving and funny story of growing up with her two brothers, both autistic -- and both extraordinary. In this talk from the TED Talent Search, she reminds us to pursue a life beyond what is normal.
2012-11-02
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The tragedy of orphanages | Georgette Mulheir

Orphanages are costly and can cause irreparable damage both mentally and physically for its charges -- so why are they still so ubiquitous? Georgette Mulheir gravely describes the tragedy of orphanages and urges us to end our reliance on them, by finding alternate ways of supporting children in need.
2012-11-08
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Your brain on video games | Daphne Bavelier

How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? Step into the lab with cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier to hear surprising news about how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.
2012-11-19
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Kids need structure | Colin Powell

How can you help kids get a good start? In this heartfelt and personal talk, Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State, asks parents, friends and relatives to support children, starting before they even get to primary school, through community and a strong sense of responsibility.
2013-01-23
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Hey science teachers -- make it fun | Tyler DeWitt

High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about his new lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) -- and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations.
2013-02-05
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Let's teach kids to code | Mitch Resnick

Coding isn't just for computer whizzes, says Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab -- it's for everyone. In a fun, demo-filled talk Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just use new tech toys but also create them.
2013-01-29
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Dare to educate Afghan girls | Shabana Basij-Rasikh

Imagine a country where girls must sneak out to go to school, with deadly consequences if they get caught learning. This was Afghanistan under the Taliban, and traces of that danger remain today. 22-year-old Shabana Basij-Rasikh runs a school for girls in Afghanistan. She celebrates the power of a family's decision to believe in their daughters -- and tells the story of one brave father who stood up to local threats.
2013-02-11
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A girl who demanded school | Kakenya Ntaiya

Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father: She would undergo a traditional Maasai rite of passage, female circumcision, if he would let her go to high school. Ntaiya tells the fearless story of continuing on to college, and of working with her village elders to build a school for girls in her community, changing the destiny of 125 young women.
2013-03-07
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Build a School in the Cloud | Sugata Mitra

Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud. Hear his inspiring vision for Self Organized Learning Environments.
2013-02-27
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4 pillars of college success in science | Freeman Hrabowski

At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he's president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students -- specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners -- get degrees in math and science. He shares the four pillars of UMBC's approach.
2013-04-08
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Every kid needs a champion | Rita F. Pierson

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.
2013-05-03
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3 rules to spark learning | Ramsey Musallam

It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of "pseudo-teaching" to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
2013-05-08
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Our failing schools. Enough is enough! | Geoffrey Canada

Why, why, why does our education system look so similar to the way it did 50 years ago? Millions of students were failing then, as they are now -- and it?s because we?re clinging to a business model that clearly doesn?t work. Education advocate Geoffrey Canada dares the system to look at the data, think about the customers and make systematic shifts in order to help greater numbers of kids excel.
2013-05-08
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Grit: The power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.
2013-05-09
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My story, from gangland daughter to star teacher | Pearl Arredondo

Pearl Arredondo grew up in East Los Angeles, the daughter of a high-ranking gang member who was in and out of jail. Many teachers wrote her off as having a problem with authority. Now a teacher herself, she's creating a different kind of school and telling students her story so that they know it's okay if sometimes homework isn't the first thing on their minds.
2013-05-08
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Learn to read Chinese ... with ease! | ShaoLan Hsueh

For foreigners, learning to speak Chinese is a hard task. But learning to read the beautiful, often complex characters of the Chinese written language may be less difficult. ShaoLan walks through a simple lesson in recognizing the ideas behind the characters and their meaning -- building from a few simple forms to more complex concepts. Call it Chineasy.
2013-05-07
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How to escape education's death valley | Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.
2013-05-10
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Teachers need real feedback | Bill Gates

Until recently, many teachers only got one word of feedback a year: "satisfactory." And with no feedback, no coaching, there's just no way to improve. Bill Gates suggests that even great teachers can get better with smart feedback -- and lays out a program from his foundation to bring it to every classroom.
2013-05-08
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Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers | Adam Spencer

They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down -- what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math.
2013-09-03
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The pursuit of ignorance | Stuart Firestein

What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart Firestein jokes: It looks a lot less like the scientific method and a lot more like "farting around ... in the dark." In this witty talk, Firestein gets to the heart of science as it is really practiced and suggests that we should value what we don't know -- or "high-quality ignorance" -- just as much as what we know.
2013-09-24
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The magic of Fibonacci numbers | Arthur Benjamin

Math is logical, functional and just ... awesome. Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin explores hidden properties of that weird and wonderful set of numbers, the Fibonacci series. (And reminds you that mathematics can be inspiring, too!)
2013-11-08
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Why massive open online courses (still) matter | Anant Agarwal

2013 was a year of hype for MOOCs (massive open online courses). Great big numbers and great big hopes were followed by some disappointing first results. But the head of edX, Anant Agarwal, makes the case that MOOCs still matter -- as a way to share high-level learning widely and supplement (but perhaps not replace) traditional classrooms. Agarwal shares his vision of blended learning, where teachers create the ideal learning experience for 21st century students.
2014-01-27
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A new equation for intelligence | Alex Wissner-Gross

Is there an equation for intelligence? Yes. It's F = T ? S?. In a fascinating and informative talk, physicist and computer scientist Alex Wissner-Gross explains what in the world that means.
2014-02-06
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Teach teachers how to create magic | Christopher Emdin

What do rap shows, barbershop banter and Sunday services have in common? As Christopher Emdin says, they all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time ? and it's a skill we often don't teach to educators. A longtime teacher himself, now a science advocate and cofounder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. with the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Emdin offers a vision to make the classroom come alive.
2014-04-08
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A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) | Hamish Jolly

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach ? not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.
2014-04-23
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Comics that ask "what if?" | Randall Munroe

Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions ("what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?") using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader's question about Google's data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer ? in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.
2014-05-08
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What ants teach us about the brain, cancer and the Internet | Deborah Gordon

Ecologist Deborah Gordon studies ants wherever she can find them -- in the desert, in the tropics, in her kitchen ... In this fascinating talk, she explains her obsession with insects most of us would happily swat away without a second thought. She argues that ant life provides a useful model for learning about many other topics, including disease, technology and the human brain.
2014-05-13
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What makes a word "real"? | Anne Curzan

One could argue that slang words like ?hangry,? ?defriend? and ?adorkable? fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make.
2014-06-17
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An ultra-low-cost college degree | Shai Reshef

At the online University of the People, anyone with a high school diploma can take classes toward a degree in business administration or computer science ? without standard tuition fees (though exams cost money). Founder Shai Reshef hopes that higher education is changing "from being a privilege for the few to a basic right, affordable and accessible for all."
2014-08-04
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Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking | Megan Washington

Megan Washington is one of Australia's premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment?from avoiding the letter combination ?st? to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them.
2014-08-08
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The danger of silence | Clint Smith

"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.
2014-08-15
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Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome' | Jill Shargaa

Which of the following is awesome: your lunch or the Great Pyramid of Giza? Comedian Jill Shargaa sounds a hilarious call for us to save the word "awesome" for things that truly inspire awe.
2014-08-29
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Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt

Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Or four. Or none.
2014-09-02
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The magic of the Amazon: A river that flows invisibly all around us | Antonio Donato Nobre

The Amazon River is like a heart, pumping water from the seas through it, and up into the atmosphere through 600 billion trees, which act like lungs. Clouds form, rain falls and the forest thrives. In a lyrical talk, Antonio Donato Nobre talks us through the interconnected systems of this region, and how they provide environmental services to the entire world. A parable for the extraordinary symphony that is nature. 
2014-09-19
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How not to be ignorant about the world | Ola Rosling

How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz ? then, from Hans? son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.
2014-09-11
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What I learned from spending 31 days underwater | Fabien Cousteau

In 1963, Jacques Cousteau lived for 30 days in an underwater laboratory positioned on the floor of the Red Sea, and set a world record in the process. This summer, his grandson Fabien Cousteau broke that record. Cousteau the younger lived for 31 days aboard the Aquarius, an underwater research laboratory nine miles off the coast of Florida. In a charming talk he brings his wondrous adventure to life.
2014-10-23
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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