TED: Ideas worth spreading

Last week, I gave a presentation on Incorporating 21st Century Skills in the Science Classroom at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) in Hershey, PA.   At the start of the conference, Sir Ken Robinson gave the keynote presentation entitled “Finding your Passion Changes Everything.”  The main point of the presentation was that each of us has an “element” which Sir Ken identifies as the point where the activities we enjoy and are naturally good at come together.  When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels.  For those of you who may not know his work, Sir Ken is renowned in the areas of creativity development, innovation and human resources and has gotten a fair amount of attention lately after a rousing presentation at TED in 2006.  After seeing his keynote address, I wondered how many people follow TED or use TED videos in their classes, which brings us to this week’s post.

TED started in 1986 as a conference bringing together creative minds from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design.  Each year, invitees meet in Long Beach, CA to hear presentations on a variety of topics.   Over the years, the conference has broadened to include other fields such as science, education, business and global affairs (just to name a few).   The greatest part of TED is that when speakers come to give presentations, they must focus on ideas and projects without promoting products or services.

For the last few years, TED has slowly transferred its library of presentations to streaming videos and offered them online (and on iTunes) for FREE at www.ted.com.  The library can be searched by subject or by speaker.  I use a number of the videos with my students both in the face-to-face and online courses I teach.  The presentations are tremendously thought-provoking and can be great discussion starters.  Instead of including a tutorial this week, I decided to feature two of my favorite TED presentations on the blog.  Be sure to check out Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO on the relationship of creativity and play, and Larry Lessig, a Stanford law professor and creator of Creative Commons on how copyright laws are choking creativity.

Tim Brown on creativity and play

Larry Lessig on laws that choke creativity


2 thoughts on “TED: Ideas worth spreading

  1. Hello ollidre,
    Your post was forwarded to me by Dean Short, and I was excited to find out there was someone on this campus that even knows what TED is! I also use their videos in my classes. My class – Intro to Careers in the Music Business – was required to write a paper on an aspect in the music business and one of the aspects was to find a couple of “innovators” in the business. To give an example, I gave the students the link of the Lessig video.

    When I am in Aspen, CO in the summers, I’m part of the Aspen TED group, and I had wanted to start a TED group either in Baltimore or Millersville. Is there one around that you know of?


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