Fantastic Find: Ted Talks

This weekend my school held the first of their soon to become annual Learning Conference.

Each year since our new principal started at the end of 2008 we have a Leadership Conference. We go away to a hotel for two days and are fed and get fancy satchels with booklets and free pens and mentos on the table and we listen to speakers share and discuss their ideas on education. We feel like the big wigs in the business industry who regularly attend conferences for two days and it’s really nice.

This year our principal has added the Learning Conference and an Executive Conference to the agenda so that we have three professional development weekends per year. All optional and you take away want you from it.

Anyway, one of the teacher’s who spoke this weekend introduced us to a new website called Ted Talks.

TEDTalks is the sister website of TED began as a series of conferences bringing together people from the world of entertainment, design and technology. Since then it has grown and its scope become much broader and the website now shares the best talks and performances for free.

The non profit groups aim is to share and spread ideas. In doing that, they passionately believe these talks and their ideas are a vehicle in which attitudes, lives and the world can change. The most a speaker can present for is 18 minutes.

It’s an easy site to navigate with the ability to narrow your search down in terms of length, topic or whether or not they are considered “persuasive”, “courageous”, “ingenious” etc.

Whether to inspire yourself or to use as a resource in the classroom, it’s certainly worth taking a look.

I had a bit of a flick around and found something I liked. This talk is by a scientist by the name of Charles Limb, talking about some experiments he did with musicians so as to understand how their brain functions when they improvise. In Drama we improvise a lot too when we’re playbuilding, playing Theatresports or workshopping scenes. What I found so amazing was that your brain is so much more engaged when it’s improvising than when it’s rote learning or playing something from memory. Thinking about it now it seems kind of obvious but it just reminded why it’s important to encourage active engagement in learning because if we just rote learn everything our brains will get lazy!

Image Credits:

hyg-27, Used under the Creative Commons.



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  3. Pingback: 9 Must Watch Ted Talks About The Arts « Drama Teacher's Network

  4. Yes, Karla, I meant to comment on that. I was impressed with the Leadership, Learning, and Executive Conferences your administrator has introduced. How exciting! Wow, three opportunities! Great for lifelong learners. As you pointed out, the conferences really show how valuable the teachers are as professionals. Kudos to your administrator!

  5. Hi Karla,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a crumb trail here. I agree with Denise that your explanation is very clear and I, too, didn’t know it’s a non-profit org.

    I am impressed with your Learning Conference. What a fantastic idea. I’d love to be part of one as I am passionate about learning. Speaking of which, you might be interested in my new post about Follow your Bliss and Follow your Passion.

    I like working with the Drama department. One of my ex-colleagues once walked us through some strategies she learned with Cardboard Citizens Theatre (Boal). It was an awesome experience – I guess stuff you do in a drama classroom!


  6. Hi Karla,
    TED is an awesome website. I just discovered it myself a few weeks ago. I like your explanation of what TED is. I didn’t know it was non-profit or speakers had a max of 18 minutes. I listened to some good talks by Sir Ken Robinson.

    Just yesterday, I read another post about TED. Malyn had a post about a TED video too. It’s by Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet. Excellent!

    Thanks for sharing the new things you are learning!

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