TED talks and teaching

My Favorite TED Talk

Image of Bonnie Bassler’s TED Talk by jurvetson at flickr.com Creative Commons License

Today, the Toronto TEDx event is happening in Toronto.

What are TED Talks you ask? According to the TED talks website:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design

As a TA and course instructor, I am very grateful these events happen. TED Talks and the associated, local community organized talks (called TEDx Talks), provide an archive of inspiring video materials that may be appropriate for classroom use. Personally, I’ve seen videos with subject matter ranging from nanotechnology to global politics!

In a 4th year course I’ve taught called Integrative Design Project, in the The Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology (ICCIT) at the Mississauga campus, I have frequently paired a reading by Hans Rosling with his TED talk video which “shows the best stats you’ve ever seen”. It is an interesting entry point for students to think about statistics and data visualization in their design practice.

You can tune into TEDx Toronto tedxtoronto.com

And now I must ask, does anyone else use TED talks in their teaching? Please let me know in the comments.