TED Talks You Need to Watch if You Care About Learning

Whether teacher, trainer, or instructional designer these are 5 TED talks you need to watch. They all provide insight into the way we learn and what’s wrong with how we currently ‘deliver’ learning. They all think big when envisaging how we might design and create engaging and meaningful learning experiences.

My key takeaways:

  • Creativity should have the same status as literacy.
  • Solving problems sparks curiosity and creativity.
  • Conversely giving the learner too much information can kill that buzz.
  • We need creative problem solvers for our future.
  • Learning happens best when it is social, collaborative, has meaning and is on the learners terms.

1. Sugata Mitra

Sugata Mitra’s research shows children are capable of learning complex concepts on their own, posing the question do we still have the need for teachers of content? Or is a nurturing grandmother more effective?

2. Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer is the math teach I wanted. He creates problems that students want to solve and asks ‘What would you prefer ‘Two and a Half Man’ or ‘Dead Wood

3. Dan Pink

Dan Pink outlines three key ingredients for engaging learners of any age. Mastery, Purpose and Autonomy.  Watch his talk and then buy the book ‘Drive’.

4. Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller Free education? That the learner can choose? Sounds good to me. As does hearing that procrastination could be a global phenomenon. I prefer to think that deadlines stimulate creativity.

5. Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson. Everything this man says is brilliant. And funny. Watch this one and then watch the rest.


What’s the most inspiring TED Ed talk about learning that you’ve seen? How did it change the way you think about teaching and learning?


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, tedx.montevideo.

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