Gotham High Staff Room

The following it's a fragment of the article "25 Best TED talks for the classroom", published by Edudemic on March 21, 2012. These great videos are perfect for the classroom, with inspiring tales of courage and imagination. Enjoy.

Benjamin Zander on music and passion: If you want your kids to fall in love with music, Ben Zander is your best friend. In this video, the very funny and energetic speaker and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic discusses classical music and why everyone should love it as much as he does.

Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food: In this clip, “the naked chef” exhorts for change to the standard American diet and speaks about his fight against obesity. Don’t worry, he’s clothed the entire time.

Arthur Benjamin does “Mathemagic”: Arthur Benjamin is a human computing machine. In this talk, Benjamin displays his amazing ability to calculate figures in his head, then he tells you how he does it. This is about as entertaining as math gets.

William Kamkwamba on building a windmill: William Kamkwamba’s book The Boy Who Harnessed the Windwas his story of building his family a windmill from spare parts to generate electricity when he was just 14 years old. In this video, he is interviewed about the feat that is an inspiring example for kids about what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Amy Purdy: Living beyond limits: In this just under 10-minute video, Ms. Purdy talks about her journey to becoming a pro snowboarder despite losing both her legs. Hers is an inspiring message for kids and adults that urges us to push ourselves past our limits.

Anna Deavere Smith: Four American characters: Calling this a talk is a misnomer; this is a performance. Talented actress Anna Deavere Smith moves from one intricate character to the next, while broaching topics like race relations. This is a fantastic way to show your kids real acting, as well as introduce them to some important social issues.

Bono’s call to action for Africa: This talk is now five years old, but it’s still a good video for your kids to see. U2s Bono accepts the award for the 2005 TED prize and raises the call for more aid to poverty-stricken Africa.

Caleb Chung plays with Pleo: The inventor of the Furby talks about toy design and introduces you and your kids to Pleo the robot dinosaur, his latest project. Chung, who did not go to college, demonstrates the power of creative and original thinking and the success it can bring.

Chris Abani muses on humanity: Counterbalance some of the violence your kids see on TV with TED talks like this one by writer and poet Chris Abani. He shares terrific stories about the compassion humans are capable of showing each other.

J.J. Abrams’ mystery box: If your kids liked Lost, Fringe, Alias… basically anything good on TV recently, then they are J.J. Abrams fans. In this talk the acclaimed writer and producer talks about the simple things that inspired him to become one of the biggest players in Hollywood today.

Julia Bacha: Pay attention to nonviolence: For another vid from the social awareness category, show the kids this talk by documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha. She discusses the importance of peaceful protests in the Palestinian conflict and how it is up to us to give them the attention they deserve.

Jane Goodall on what separates us from the apes: Your kids will know how to greet people in “ape” after watching this talk by the famed ape expert Jane Goodall. But her overall message of using our words to change the world is an important one.

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids: This is a short video featuring Adora Svitak, a 12-year-old writer, blogger, and now speaker. Svitak says the world needs to think more like kids. This is a great one to use to prove to your kids that their voices will be heard if they truly have something to say

Joel Burns tells gay teens “it gets better”: This video is part of TED‘s “Best of the Web” series where deserving speeches from around the Internet are shared. In this moving clip, openly gay Texas councilman Joel Burns assures kids who are bullied for being gay that life will not always be this way.

Edudemic. (2012). 25 TED Talks perfect for classrooms  Retrieved March 22, 2012, 2012, from

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