Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Online TED Talks for Global Awareness

A guest post from Aniya Wells:

Teaching at an international level is just as challenging as it is rewarding. Some days the differences between your own culture and your students' cultures can seem insurmountable, while other days remind you that there are really no differences at all. Most of us teachers are more than a little obsessed by history and human culture, and this is definitely a very important thing to share with students in all parts of the world. Many of us have stumbled upon TED lectures in the past, but it's always good to remember how great they can be as course resources. The nature of TED Talks in general make them especially apt for international students.

Applicable to a huge variety of disciplines, the following TED Talks provide a wealth of information and inspiration for students and teachers on some of the biggest questions facing humanity. This is only a sample of the available talks. They can be a great way for any teacher to add some fresh air to a class lecture or simply get inspiration for new class activities. For more TED talks visit the website.

Here are some excellent global awareness resources in the TED library:

David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes
David Christian teaches a world history course that extends from the theory of the creation of the universe to present day. Encapsulated in only 18 minutes, the story is a broad look at the existence of humanity and a quick and fun classroom video.

Jean-Baptiste Michel: The mathematics of history
Jean-Baptiste Michel explains how mathematics can be applied to history to uncover important facts. He discusses the use of math in studying language to war, bringing to light revealing historical patterns.
Aaron Huey is a photographer and storyteller who has been documenting poverty in America. The project brought him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the native Lakota people living there. After five years, the images reveal the intense poverty and struggle resulting from the history of Native American abuse in the United States.

Ivan Krastev, a researcher based in Bulgaria, discusses the various modern day revolutions that have helped shape a new look at the effectiveness of our current democracy. He speaks about the global cultural turn in the 1960's and advancements in science that have brought scrutiny to trust in democracy.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum and writer and presenter of the BBC Radio series, "A History of the World in 100 Objects," brings a 2600 Akkadian cuneiform script to light in this engaging lecture. The Cyrus Cylinder was a symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism thousands of years prior to modern day society.

Spencer Wells is a geneticist and researcher of human diversity and the basic human genetic structure. In this talk, he examines the common DNA shared by all humans passed down from Africa. He speaks here about how, in the living example of human DNA, we are more connected than separate.

Nate Silver, a well-known statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist and writer, speaks about race in politics and to what extent President Obama's race hurt his votes in the 2008 presidential election. Nate Silver first became recognized for developing an almost no-fail predictor of Major League Baseball player careers and has been names among the World's 100 Most Influential People by Time. He was able to predict the presidential election down to the winner of all 50 states and is the author of FiveThirtyEight, a New York Times best seller.

Aniya Wells is a freelance blogger whose primary focus is online education and education technology. She is passionate about increasing international connectivity and expanding education opportunities for students across the world.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the links! Something to look forward to this weekend!