Surround yourself with thousands of beautiful minds and bright ideas when you visit TED.com. Free knowledge is yours for the taking within this global community that revolves around short videos on topics in technology, entertainment, design and more. Prepare to be inspired by our five top education-related TED Talks.
By Stefan Dubowski
The Key to Success? Grit
After five years of teaching math, Angela Lee Duckworth came to the realization that her top performers weren’t always those with the highest IQs. To determine what factors into an individual’s level of success, she went back to school, became a psychologist, and discovered that “grit” (a.k.a. stamina and perseverance) is the better indicator. During her talk, Duckworth discusses Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset” theory and how teachers can apply it to boost their students’ abilities.
Views: > 5 million
Length: 6:12 minutes
Experience the late Rita Pierson’s talk on the value of human connection, the key to boosting student confidence and achievement. The 40-year teaching veteran reminds us that “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” She calls on teachers to be honest in the classroom (for instance, apologize if you make a mistake) and points out that difficult students come to school for a reason — to connect. “Is this job tough? You betcha,” she says. “But … we’re educators. We’re born to make a difference.”
Views: > 3.6 million
Length: 7:48 minutes
When education researcher Sugata Mitra left an Internet-connected PC in a New Delhi slum, he found that the children in the area began interacting with it. The 2013 TED Prize winner’s research showed that young people are driven by curiosity. Given the proper tools, they’ll learn through peer-shared knowledge and self-instruction, or what Mitra has coined “minimally invasive education.” Download his toolkit for self-organized learning environments (SOLEs) at bit.ly/1A1Xgl1 and test his theories out.
Views: > 2 million
Length: 22:28 minutes
Chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam discusses how a heart aneurysm led him to question his approach to teaching science and embark on a quest to improve his practice. During his journey, Musallam developed three rules to encourage engagement. His first is that students’ questions should drive instruction. The second is that although trial and error can be messy, they’re crucial to the process. The third is that teachers must take the time to reflect on their practice, if they want to create a better education system.
Views: > 1.5 million
Length: 6:29 minutes
Peter Norvig, a renowned computer scientist and Google Inc.’s research director, outlines the lessons he learned from creating online classes on artificial intelligence for California’s Stanford University. Norvig shares his top takeaways from teaching such a global classroom and creating material that was ultimately free to anyone interested in tuning in. He suggests infusing instruction with videos (be sure to keep them between 2–6 minutes long) to hold your students’ attention. He recommends quizzing learners throughout each lesson to increase their levels of information retention. He supports imposing deadlines for all assignments — to keep your students focused — and proposes fostering classroom collaboration. When individuals work on a subject at the same time, they have the opportunity to participate in rich web discussions about what they’re learning as a group.
Views: > 850,000
Length: 6:08 minutes
Explore the recently launched TED-Ed lesson series (ed.ted.com), a vast collection of educational videos that have been curated to help teachers from around the world get their students excited about new subjects in a visually engaging way.