Top 10 TED Talks on Education

Aarchit Malhotra June 30, 2021

TED Talks is a place where technology, education, and design converge. 

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to making ideas accessible and sparking conversations in communities worldwide. We gathered a list of what we believe to be some of the most insightful, eye-opening talks on education. These experts discuss faults in our current education system, what needs to change, and how we can improve schooling for future generations with the resources and technology we have.

Top 10 TED Talks on Education:

1. Nora Flanagan: What COVID-19 Revealed about US Schools – and 4 Ways to Rethink Education

As we all know, the overnight shift to online learning due to COVID 19 surfaced many inequalities and flaws in the United States education system. The unexpected was a wake-up call: change must take place. In this TED Talk, Nora Flanagan shares four ways schools can reinvent themselves in a post-pandemic world: engaging parents, demanding equity, supporting the whole student, and rethinking assessments.

2. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, shares a powerful call to educators to believe in their students and connect with them on an actual, human, and personal level. Throughout her talk, Rita emphasizes the value of human connection. According to Rita, no significant learning can occur without meaningful relationships. Therefore, we should never undermine the link between students and teachers.

3. Bill Gates: Teachers Need Real Feedback

With no feedback and no coaching, there’s no way to improve. Bill Gates suggests that even great teachers can get better with smart and effective feedback. He lays out a program from his foundation that provides teachers with the tools they need to be the best teachers and instructors possible.

4. Ramsey Musallam: 3 Rules to Spark Learning

It took Ramsey Musallam, out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching,” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. Musallam gives three rules to spark imagination and learning: curiosity comes first, trial and error can be informative, and we must practice reflection.

5. Sir Ken Robinson: How To Escape Education’s Death Valley

“Education is not a mechanical system, it is a human system, and there are conditions under which people thrive and which they do not,” says Sir Ken Robinson. He outlines three principles on which human life flourishes: human beings are naturally different if you can light the spark of curiosity; they need no further assistance in learning, and human life is inherently creative. He explains how each is contradicted in our current education system and highlights how we can fix it. This is one of the most-watched TED talks.

6. Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

Leaving a job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating her best and worst students. Here, she explains her theory of “grit,” how passion and perseverance for long-term goals, having stamina, and a growth mindset can change a kid’s ability and effort to learn.

7. John Maeda: How Art, Technology, and Design Inform Creative Leaders

Where do Design and Technology intersect? Design makes solutions, Technology makes possibilities, Art makes questions, and Leadership makes actions. John Maeda shares his thoughts on learning from creators, designers, and technology to gain practical leadership skills.

8. A Delightful Way To Teach Kids About Computers

Computer code is the next universal language. Linda Liukas is helping to educate problem-solving kids, encouraging them to see computers not as boring and complicated but as tools to build with. Programming can no longer be foreign, and our education system must be more approachable and inclusive to adapting to teaching these skills and lessons.

9. Geoffrey Canada: Our failing schools. Enough is Enough!

Why does our education system look so similar to the way it did 50 years ago? So many years have gone by, and it is still a one-size-fits-all system. Education advocate Geoffrey Canada encourages the system to look at the data, think about the parents and students and make systematic shifts to help kids excel. We can not suffocate innovation in our education system.

10. Gabe Zicherman: How Games Make Kids Smarter

Effectively integrating learning into a gaming environment generates more engagement and deeper involvement. Gabe Zichermann explains how gamification can be a form of training for kids. He shows how the continuous process of learning and moving forward in games can make kids more productive and better problem-solvers.

If you found the videos above interesting, here are some additional educational TED Talks:

Aarchit Malhotra

An inquisitive EdTech professional currently working in the educational technology solutions industry with a strong passion for making education accessible, sustainable, and affordable.