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7 TED Talks You Should Watch Before Back-to-School

7 TED Talks You Should Watch Before Back-to-School

TED Talks are great. They can be peppy, informative, impactful and inspiring—usually in about 15-minuted or less. There’s never a bad time to watch a few TED Talks, but we thought it might be fun to gather up a few to help set the tone for the upcoming back-to-school season. We thought these “Ideas Worth Sharing” were worth sharing with you, so you can jump into next school year ready and inspired, share a TED Talk or two with your students, or just have some fun listening to a few experts share their expertise.

Here are a few you should check out before you head back into the classroom:

What kids can teach adults about asking for help

Do you need some help? It's OK to ask, says YeYoon Kim, a former kindergarten teacher who learned from her students how powerful and courageous it can be to reach out for support. Sharing the story of one of the most difficult periods in her life, Kim explores the happiness and joy that can come from leaning on those you love in times of need -- and encourages the rest of us to start asking for help more often.


Creative ways to get kids to thrive in schools

To get young kids to thrive in school, we need to do more than teach them how to read and write -- we need to teach them how to manage their emotions, says educator Olympia Della Flora. In this practical talk, she shares creative tactics she used to help struggling, sometimes disruptive students -- things like stopping for brain breaks, singing songs and even doing yoga poses -- all with her existing budget and resources. "Small changes make huge differences, and it's possible to start right now ... You simply need smarter ways to think about using what you have, where you have it," she says.


Online learning could change academia—for good

Higher education remains rooted in rigid, traditional structures and tracks -- and it's at risk of getting left behind in favor of expanded access, greater flexibility and tailored learning. Educator Tyler DeWitt explains how innovations in digital content and virtual reality are ushering in the future of learning, emphasizing why academia must adapt to this new reality and embrace an approach to education that works with students' needs -- not against them.


How your brain’s executive function works—and how to improve it

You use your brain's executive function every day -- it's how you do things like pay attention, plan ahead and control impulses. Can you improve it to change for the better? With highlights from her research on child development, cognitive scientist Sabine Doebel explores the factors that affect executive function -- and how you can use it to break bad habits and achieve your goals.


The importance of queer allyship in the classroom

School can be an awkward time for nearly everyone, but for queer students, it can be particularly nightmarish. In a heartfelt and personal talk, Coby Everton shares their experiences of isolation in academic environments and explains why allies are essential in these spaces.


How to speak so people want to listen

Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking -- from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.


My year of saying yes to everything

Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God's whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her "year of yes" and find out how she got her hum back.

Want even more must-watch TED Talks? Check out our previous blog full of TED Talks About Virtual Education and 7 TED Talks to Kick-Off The New Year.