Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Love TED (the conference!)

The TED conference started in 1984 to bring people together from the areas of technology, entertainment and design. At this point, the conference has broaden its scope to include the world's most fascinating thinkers from diverse areas that give short presentations. The mission of the TED conference is to spread ideas in order to change the world. You really have to visit the TED website to understand what this conference is all about.

Why am I mentioning the TED conference on a blog devoted to teaching, learning and higher education? I show the video above, featuring Dr. Gregory Petsko from Brandeis University, on the first day of class in my biochemistry courses. This talk is short but it carries a powerful punch! I am convinced that instructors can find TED presentations relevant to their disciplines and incorporate then into class discussions and/or student presentations. I also believe that these types of videos can introduce a multidisciplinary element to courses. The video above is relevant to my biochemistry students but I would imagine that the same video might be useful in a wide array of disciplines including Nursing and Finance.

Below are some TED presentations you might find interesting:

Barry Schwartz (we stopped being wise)

Hans Rosling (debunking third-world myths)

Chris Abani (stories of Africa)

Nalini Nadkarni (rainforest treetop ecosystems)

Please click COMMENTS below and give us your thoughts on the TED conference or how TED presentations can be used in your courses.