When You Want to Learn Something New: Turn to TED

TED TalksThere are times when I fear my brain may be turning to mush. This may be due in part to the new entertainment in my world, like reality TV, my iPod and Facebook. At these times of brain deterioration, I realize it’s time to learn something new…and fast.

This is when I turn to the internet. I have the whole world wide web of information at my finger tips, but where to begin?

Recently, my son who is a senior at Tufts University, told me about a site which has changed how I spend my time. Now, when I feel the need to raise my IQ a few points or at the very least stimulate my brain for a few minutes I go to TED.

Who or what is TED? According to their website, TED is “ideas worth spreading” and “riveting talks from around the world.”

TED’s mission statement begins: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.” The company also lists themselves as, small, nonprofit and free. Awesome.

TED talks are listed by category, such as: jaw dropping, courageous, inspiring, and funny for example. Close captioning is available as are translations.

You can listen to talks on everything from exploring the deepest caves, insights on poverty, piano magic, to a new prosthetic arm.

According to their website, the annual TED conferences are held in Long Beach, California and Oxford, United Kingdom where TED “brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).”

More than 700 TED Talks are available and more added each week. These videos are released under a creative commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. Which means these talks are great for classroom use.

It seems we can now learn more on-line than we can sitting in a classroom. The information available at our fingertips is overwhelming. Every now and then it is nice to have a place to go on the internet where you know you can learn something new in an interesting and concise way…and in a mere 18 minutes.

When you feel the thirst for knowledge, or you need to be inspired or made to laugh, remember TED is there waiting for you.

Interested in seeing something jaw dropping, inspiring or funny? You can begin here…. TED Talks


The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content

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