TED, TED X and Ted-Ed


I wonder if you -- like me -- have used the various TED talk videos for your own continuing education, professionally and for other purposes. If so, please share what you have found to be especially interesting for yourself, and possibly for your students. To get the ball rolling, here are four TED talks I have found useful and inspiring:

  1. At a TED X Boston talk in June, 2012, Noah Wilson-Rich, the President of the Best Bees Company, did a presentation on the successful beehives that are found on the tops of Boston buildings, including the convention center in South Boston. Through this talk I learned that honeybees are thriving in cities in the U.S. and throughout the world while, as you may be aware, honeybees are vanishing in rural areas because of a widespread phenomenon called Beehive Colony Collapse disorder,  “a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear.”  They are not just dying, but disappearing. What do you think the explanation might be? I wondered if  there are pesticides that are used on farms that are not used on building tops in cities? http://video.ted.com/talk/podcast/2012X/None/NoahWilsonRich_2012X-480p.mp4
  2. Recently I watched a two-year old TED talk by a Stanford University professor and inventor named Manu Prakash. He talked about his invention called the Foldscope, a rugged, so-called “origami microscope” designed especially for poor countries.  It has 2000 times magnification; it can be assembled in under ten minutes and, once commercially manufactured, it may cost under a dollar.  When I saw this, I searched the web for other information about it and it led me to the Foldscope web site and Prakash’s contact information. I emailed him to find out if adult education science teachers in the U.S. could participate in the beta test because most do not have access to microscopes. As a result we now have a few U.S. adult education teachers who have applied and at least one that I know who is part of this beta test..  http://www.ted.com/talks/manu_prakash_a_50_cent_microscope_that_folds_like_origami   and http://foldscope.com
  3. Our colleague, Daphne Greenberg, Director of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy at Georgia State University, did a TedX talk on adult literacy in Atlanta earlier this year that I -- and other colleagues -- have found useful in advocating to adult literacy. You will find it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGad2PKUhbE
  4. Bill Strickland is a community educator and activist in Pittsburgh. In his February 2002 TED Talk he describes how the arts saved him when he was in high school, and how the arts are integral to the success of the community job training center he helped to create in Philadelphia and that has influenced job training centers in other cities such as L.A. https://www.ted.com/talks/bill_strickland_makes_change_with_a_slide_show

What are your favorite TED talks? What do you recommend to your colleagues here?

David J. Rosen



I love TED talks!  I can't wait to check out your suggestions.  

I know many people have seen Amy Cuddy's body language talk, but if you haven't, you've got to check out:  http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

I also enjoyed The Myth of Average by Todd Rose.  Important concepts for educators to think about.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4eBmyttcfU4

Thanks Connie, I hadn't seen either of these TED talk videos. They are fascinating and deeply moving. Every adult education  education teacher can benefit from watching them.

I hope everyone here will recommend their favorite TED Talk videos.

I have two more to suggest, for everyone, but especially for those who may teach science. These are two talks by photographer Louis Schwartzberg

  • Mysteries of the Unseen World


7 mins 23 secs

  • Gratitude

Time lapse photography


10 mins.


David J. Rosen








The time lapse video is so beautiful it made me want to cry.  An inspiration for the start of the school year.  He has been on supersoulsunday with Oprah



Thank you all so much for these great suggestions!  I can see how they would be ideal prompts for discussions and for writing.  Please continue to add your favorites to this discussion thread. 



Susan and other colleagues,

TED talks relevant to adult basic skills teaching and learning are archived on the Adult Literacy Education Wiki at http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/TED_Talks As this is a wiki, you can add in other links to relevant TED talks there, too. For easy-to-read and use directions go to the bottom of this page, http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Technology
David J. Rosen