TED Talks for Teachers – Volume 7

My seventh annual collection of TED Talks for teachers has something for every educator: from using hip-hop to explain biology to the myth of average. These five talks will inform, inspire, and perhaps challenge your thinking.

TED Talks for Teachers Volume 7 - Nick's Picks


How Hip-Hop Helps Us Understand Science

Danielle N. Lee

This incredibly entertaining talk appeals to both the science teacher in me and my love of 90s hip-hop. It also combines the arts of explaining complex ideas in simple terms with engaging students through a medium they already know and love.

“ I use hip-hop to frame and communicate science because I’m intentionally communicating science to broader audiences that public science outreach has traditionally overlooked.”

Danielle N. Lee

A Teen Scientist’s Invention to Help Wounds Heal

Anushka Naiknaware

I’ve always liked this quote from George Couros, “You don’t have to wait until you’re out of school to change the world. Go lead today.” This short, inspiring talk takes this idea to a whole new level. It’s also a great example to use when teaching the design thinking process.

“ What’s more important than the actual thing I designed is an attitude that I had taken on while doing this. And that attitude was, even though I’m a 14-year-old working in her garage on something that she doesn’t completely understand, I could still make a difference and contribute to the field.”

Anushka Naiknaware

Creative Ways to Get Kids to Thrive in School

Olympia Della Flora

Principal Olympia Della Flora shares some very realistic and pragmatic approaches to helping students manage their emotions. Even better, her creative strategies require no additional funding or resources.

“In reality, when you’re in a classroom full of 30 students and one of them’s throwing tables at you, it’s far easier to exclude that child than to figure out what’s going on inside of his head.”

Olympia Della Flora

 You don’t need bigger budgets or grand strategic plans, you simply need smarter ways of thinking about what you have and where you have it. 

Olympia Della Flora

Play With Smart Materials

Catarina Mota

Catarina Mota’s open-source approach to innovation through tinkering with smart materials shifted my thoughts about the future of the maker movement in schools.

“So the interesting thing about makers is that we create out of passion and curiosity, and we are not afraid to fail. We often tackle problems from unconventional angles, and, in the process, end up discovering alternatives or even better ways to do things.”

Catarina Mota

The Myth of Average

Todd Rose

Todd Rose, a high school dropout turned Harvard faculty member beautifully illustrates the fact that we typically design learning environments for the average student, but since there is is no such thing as an average student, we’ve essentially designed them for nobody.

“You probably know, that we have over 1.2 million drop-outs every single year in high school in this country. What you may not know is that at least 4% of those dropouts are known to be intellectually gifted. That means we’re losing over 50,000 of our brightest minds every single year.”

Todd Rose


More TED Talks for Teachers

The Original 5 Ted Talks That Changed My Classroom (2013)
5 More TED Talks That Changed My Classroom (2014)
5 TED Talks for Teachers (2015)
5 TED Talks for Educators (2016)
5 TED Talks for Teachers (2017)
TED Talks for Teachers – Volume 6 (2018)

What are your favorite TED Talks for Teachers?

Share in the comments below or on Twitter.


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