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10 Must-See TED Talks for Educators

TED Talks are a source of inspiration, knowledge, and motivation for countless educators. Dig deeper to find more, but here are ten presentation teachers may find most useful and informative.

Reimagining Classrooms: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders

North Dakota teacher Kayla Delzer seeks to change how technology is viewed in the classroom. Instead of a force for distraction, she believes students and teachers can learn more by utilizing common apps and technology in the classroom. (For more on Delzer, check out “Farewell Desks, Here Come the Starbucks Classrooms”)

Teaching Teachers How to Create Magic

Dr. Christopher Emdin of the Teachers College at Columbia University argues that we need to transform how teachers are trained if our schools are going to reach and engage all students.  (Read NEA Today’s interview with Emdin)

Forget the Pecking Order at Work

Management expert Margaret Heffernan argues that working together, asking questions, and helping others is the key to the most successful and productive workplaces. These are lessons educators of varying experience can bring into their workplace to help create the best learning experience for their students.

Prepare Our Kids for Life, Not Standardized Tests

Standardized testing isn’t preparing our kids for their futures and is driving the joy and real learning from our classrooms, says innovation expert Ted Dintersmith. It’s time to empower those who own the consequences of what happens in the classroom — our teachers and students. (Read “In Teachers We (Should) Trust,” NEA Today’s interview with Dintersmith)

Why Do We Sleep?

The mental and physical wellness of educators is integral to the success of our schools. In this TED Talk, neuroscientist Russell Foster urges everyone to check their health by prioritizing sleep.

Sleep deprivation affects educators as much as it does the students they are teaching. Wendy Troxel, a sleep researcher, believes sleep deprivation among teens is a serious public policy issue. Troxel believes that middle and high schools should not start before 8:30 am for fear of severely impacting adolescent health. You can find her Ted Talk here.

“How to Make Stress your Friend”


Stress and burnout are pitfalls many if not most educators face in their careers. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, doesn’t want your stress to hold you back, but says it can, believe it or not, be a positive force.

“How to Get Better at the Things You Care About”


Every job is important and has room for improvement and change. Whether it’s your professional or personal life, your box only exists because you let it, according to Eduardo Briceño.

The Economic Case for Preschool


Author of “Investing in Kids,” Timothy Bartik, offers a unique perspective on why preschool and education are important. There are economic benefits along with bettering the lives of young children.

“What Adults Can Learn from Kids”


Educators have the unique and powerful opportunity to empower youth. This TED Talk by child prodigy Adora Svitak is a fun look at how working with and uplifting children can change your perspective on life and education.

“Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson delivered what would become the most popular TED Talk of all time – a plea to reverse the standardization and rigid compliance that has drained creativity out of our schools. Unfortunately, more than a decade later, Robinson’s diagnosis remains relevant today.

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