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10 talks on making schools great

10 talks on making schools great
With just over a month to go before the 2012 presidential election in the US, eyes around the world are on the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The election may well come down to a few key issues. So what matters most to Americans? The TED Blog read this Gallup poll from late July on issues that citizens want the next president to prioritize. Conveniently, these are topics that speakers often address on the TED stage. So, every week until the election, we’ll bring you a playlist focusing on one of the top-rated issues. Among the most important questions in the upcoming election is, “How can we improve the nation’s public schools?” To get you thinking, talking and voting, here are 10 talks from speakers with some very big ideas about how to reshape our school environments. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change Education challenges can be met with design solutions, says Emily Pilloton. Diana Laufenberg: How to learn?

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What a Non-Partisan Plan for U.S. Entrepeneurship Would Look Like - Derek Thompson The Republican National Convention praised small businesses and the Democratic response will praise the administration's role in helping job creators. But what would a non-partisan plan for entrepreneurs look like? The theme of the first day of the Republican National Convention was "We Built It," a rallying-cry from entrepreneurs who insisted that they didn't need government to start their businesses. This week, we can expect the Democratic response to highlight the ways Obama's administration has empowered job creators.

The 20 most-watched TEDx talks so far News X marks the spot: This week’s TEDxTalks Each week, TEDx chooses four of our favorite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community, and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Below, give this week’s talks a listen. ‘This Is Water’: Complete Audio of David Foster Wallace’s Kenyon Graduation Speech (2005) Last month, on the occasion of the author’s 50th birthday, we posted a large collection of free essays and stories by David Foster Wallace. But we missed a rare item: the complete audio recording of the commencement address Wallace gave at Kenyon College, in Ohio, on May 21, 2005–three years before he took his own life. The text of the speech has been published on the Internet and as a book called This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life, but the complete audio version has been hard to find.

6 highly unusual schools At TEDGlobal, educator Eddie Obeng highlighted a disconcerting thought — that the answers we learned in school aren’t necessarily true anymore. Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world“This is what happened to us in the 21st century — someone changed the rules about how our world works,” says Obeng in this energetic talk. “The way to successfully run a business, an organization, even a country has been deleted. Flipped!

TED-Ed website launches in beta, lets teachers customize video lessons TED-Ed Launches Groundbreaking Website with New Tools for Customized Learning TED-Ed Platform Allows Teachers to "Flip" Video Content and Create Tailored Lesson Plans NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TED, the nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading," today launches the second phase of its TED-Ed initiative: a groundbreaking website [ housed on that enables teachers to create unique lesson plans around TED-Ed video content. "Kohl's is committed to kids' education and we are thrilled to partner with TED to provide inspiring educational tools for teachers and students around the world"

New exhibit explores design for the public good Good design isn’t just about making a great-looking colander. Good design can actually improve our lives, both individually and collectively. In the new Autodesk Gallery exhibit “Public Interest Design: Products, Places & Processes,” curators Courtney E. Martin and John Cary showcase 12 projects that were designed with the common good in mind. Of the four objects, four places and four systems on display, many are the work of TED speakers and TED Fellows. (As is the exhibit itself, in fact: Watch Martin’s TEDTalk, “Reinventing feminism.”)

A TEDx playlist: 14 amazing physical feats Not all TEDx presenters speak in the traditional sense of the word. Many sing, dance, contort and do dazzling acrobatics. Since the TEDx program’s launch in 2009, we have seen some spectacular physical performances curated by local organizers. As we celebrate TEDx’s 5,000th event and 20,000th talk — we felt it was only right to highlight some of the best for you in a playlist. A human video game: Siro-A at TEDxTokyoThis performance art group uses their bodies and light projections on cubes and screens to glorious end, in what feels more like a music video than a talk. Acrobatic leapfrog: Stunt Double Circus at TEDxYouthOttawaHow much height can one get from a pogo stick?

5 steps for being an impatient patient, from John Wilbanks In the late 1800s, Cuban physician Carlos Finlay had a theory that yellow fever was spread by mosquitos — rather than by dirty clothing, as was the belief of the day. To test his theory, he asked living, breathing human beings to be voluntarily infected with the disease. It was devastating, potentially fatal work. And yet people signed on to be a part of the research. It’s believed to be one of the first times that subjects in medical experiments were given “informed consent,” a document laying out the risks in order to give test subjects the full picture of what they were getting themselves into.

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal Finding answers to complex questions on the Internet is often a challenge, as a simple search can sometimes lead you down a rabbit hole of impersonal data. In A Haystack Full of Needles: Cutting Through the Clutter of the Online World to Find a Place, Partner or President, Jim Hornthal explores groundbreaking new approaches to discovering the useful insights buried deep within our complex and noisy datasphere. Hornthal, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, introduces us to innovators who are pushing the edges of data science and data visualization by applying the principles of pattern recognition to isolate relevant signals in the noise. Their efforts will have enormous implications for the way we practice medicine, discover music and movies, and even identify our romantic partners. Curious to hear more about the ideas he explores in his e-book, the TED Blog asked Hornthal a few questions over email. What will the search or discovery engine of 2015 look like?

JR’s posters come full circle Art See much more of Sue Austin’s incredible wheelchair art Sue Austin’s first ride in a wheelchair was an exhilarating one. “An extended illness had changed the way I could access the world … I’d seen my life slip away and become restricted,” explains Austin in today’s talk, which was given at TEDxWomen in December. “When I started using the wheelchair 16 years ago, it was a […] Design Susan Cain makes last night’s episode of Jeopardy Business Adam Davidson on the fiscal cliff, cable TV, $4000 suits, the giant pool of money and more The term “fiscal cliff” is controversial. So Adam Davidson, the New York Times Magazine columnist and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money, prefers to call it “the self-imposed, self-destructive arbitrary deadline about resolving an inevitable problem.” In today’s talk, filmed in TED’s New York office on Monday, Davidson explains what the fiscal cliff is and why […]

9 TEDTalks by impressive kids Few scientific papers are written in crayon and begin with the words, “Once upon a time.” But then again, few scientific papers are written by a group of 8 to 10-year-olds. In this adorable talk from TEDGlobal, neuroscientist, artist and educator Beau Lotto shares why he thinks children have an edge when it comes to scientific inquiry — they are able to celebrate uncertainty and ask wonderful questions. An experiment is actually a form of play, says Lotto, who invited a group of 25 students from a small school in the UK to make a useful contribution to science by asking a question of their choice.