Video games naturally tap into the way we learn: they focus our attention and track our progress as we head toward a clear goal. Kris Alexander, a professor of video game design and passionate gamer himself, thinks the same elements should be used in traditional education to cater to different learning styles and engage students across the world, both in-person and online.
Educator Sharif El-Mekki advocates for the revival of the Black teaching tradition — a set of educational practices grounded in philosophies, values and actions that stretch from pre-colonial Africa to historical African American leaders. He posits that this tradition can help teachers better serve Black students and create a more equitable learning environment for all.
Names like Bayard Rustin, Frances Thompson and William Dorsey Swann have been largely erased from US history, but they and other Black queer leaders played central roles in monumental movements like emancipation, civil rights and LGBTQ+ pride, among others. In this tribute to forgotten icons, queer culture historian and TED Fellow Channing Gerard Joseph shares their little-known stories, connecting the origins of drag in the 1880s to the present day and exploring the awesome power to choose...
Going to school in a refugee camp can be complicated: students encounter crowded classrooms, rigid curricula and limited access to teachers. Joel Baraka, who grew up in the Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda, is determined to change that for the better. He shows how educational board games can be a fun and effective way to improve access to learning and help kids thrive in and out of school.
A little bit of playtime can have big benefits for a child's developing brain, like a superfood -- but adult participation is a crucial ingredient for best results. Early-education leader Jesse Ilhardt makes the case for you to put down the phone, pick up the make-believe tea cup (or that blanket-superhero cape) and take the time to experiment with imagination during kids' most formative learning years.
"When teachers and families work together, everyone wins," says education technology entrepreneur and TED Fellow Heejae Lim. She shines a light on an underutilized resource in US public education -- a family's love for their children -- and shows that, with the right tools and tech, schools can remove language barriers, foster meaningful connections and help every student thrive.
Forget home economics and standardized tests, education visionary Trish Millines Dziko has a much more engaging and fulfilling way for students to develop real-world skills. Get schooled by Dziko as she shares how project-based learning can transform public education and unlock genius for the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, ideators and leaders.
Black history in the US is rich, profound -- and at risk of being lost forever, if not for the monumental efforts of Julieanna L. Richardson. As the founder of The HistoryMakers -- the largest national archive of African American video-oral history -- Richardson shares some of the unknown and incredible legacies of Black America, highlighting the importance of documenting and preserving the past for future generations.
Even with public trust at an all-time low, Wikipedia continues to maintain people's confidence. How do they do it? Former CEO of Wikimedia Foundation Katherine Maher delves into the transparent, adaptable and community-building ways the online encyclopedia brings free and reliable information to the public -- while also accounting for bias and difference of opinion. "The seeds of our disagreement can actually become the roots of our common purpose," she says.
There are 600 million women in India -- yet they are rarely seen outdoors after sunset because of safety concerns like harassment and catcalls. On a mission to create safer public spaces, women's rights advocate Srishti Bakshi talks about how she embarked on a 2,300-mile walk across the length of India (a distance equivalent to traveling from New York City to Los Angeles), conducting driving workshops to empower women's mobility across the country. "The more women see other women in public...
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has destroyed so much -- including hundreds of schools, where the country's children were forging their futures -- but it has not stopped Ukrainians from pursuing knowledge and curiosity. In a deeply moving talk, education leader Zoya Lytvyn shares her first-hand experience evacuating Kyiv and takes us inside the ongoing effort to continue educating children amid war and destruction. "As long as our children keep learning and our teachers keep teaching -- even...
The wildly diverse, thoughtful and hilarious world of fanfiction -- where writers reimagine favorite stories like "Harry Potter," "Pokémon," "My Little Pony" and more -- is ever-growing and becoming a vital social and learning tool. Author, professor and fanfiction writer Cecilia Aragon has observed how this incredible outlet for creativity encourages and empowers young people to embrace their imagination. Detailing her research into the vast online fanfiction community, Aragon shares its...
For children growing up in refugee camps, education is a powerful tool of liberation. In this inspiring talk, Makhtoum Abdalla, displaced as a child in Sudan and now living with his family in the Otash camp in Darfur, shares his biggest dream: to ensure all children are educated and taught the skills needed to become "captains of their destiny."
Less than seven percent of people worldwide have a bachelor's degree -- and for many, this is simply because the cost of university is too high, says higher education executive Adrian K. Haugabrook. In this barrier-breaking talk, he introduces an innovative approach to expanding access to higher education by driving down costs and rethinking three key things: time, place and how we learn.
In this deeply moving talk, educator Shabana Basij-Rasikh shares the harrowing story of evacuating more than 250 students, staff and family members from the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) -- the country's first and only all-girls boarding school -- to Rwanda after the Taliban took power in 2021. An exceptional story of hope, resilience and dreaming big for future generations of Afghan girls -- and a challenge for the world to not look away.
TED Fellow and education innovator Larry Irvin envisions a world where every child can see themselves reflected in their teachers. With his team at Brothers Empowered to Teach, Irvin is providing pathways to careers in education for Black men, who currently make up less than three percent of all teachers in the US -- offering training, personal and professional development and job placement. He shares how their holistic, people-centered approach is changing education.
Childcare needs a transformation -- but rather than investing billions in new buildings and schools, what if we could unlock the potential of people already nearby? Entrepreneur Chris Bennett offers an innovative way to tackle the shortage of childcare worldwide and connect families to safe, affordable and high-quality options in their own communities.
Karim Abouelnaga is a TED Fellow and founder and CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, a summer school opportunity that helps narrow the education gap for low-income children. Through his work, Karim shows how small business owners can have a big impact.
Racism morphs, spreading and hiding behind numerous half-truths and full-blown falsities about where it lives and who embodies it. In this actionable talk, political scientist Candis Watts Smith debunks three widely accepted myths about racism in the US and calls for a nuanced, more expansive definition to support this new era of anti-racist action.
Dirt biking is more than just a pastime -- it's an opportunity to disrupt the cycle of poverty and provide enriching STEM education, says TED Fellow Brittany Young. In this perspective-shifting talk, she shares how her team is working with students and street riders to create safe spaces, transferable skills and community.
What does gender equality have to do with climate change? A lot more than you might think. Empowering women and girls around the world is one of the most important ways to combat carbon pollution and is projected to reduce CO2-equivalent gases by a total of 80 billion tons. Entrepreneur, scientist and TED Fellow Rumaitha Al Busaidi looks at why women are more likely to be impacted and displaced by climate catastrophes -- and explains why access to education, employment and family planning for...
Colleges and universities in the US make billions of dollars each year from sports, compromising the health and education of athletes -- who are disproportionately Black -- in the name of money, power and pride. Sports lawyer and former NCAA investigator Tim Nevius exposes how the system exploits young talent and identifies fundamental reforms needed to protect players.
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.
Centuries of inequality can't be solved with access to technology alone -- we need to connect people with training and support too, says tech inclusionist 'Gbenga Sesan. Sharing the work behind the Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise in Nigeria that's empowering young people with digital resources and skills, Sesan details a vision for creating life-changing opportunities for generations of people across Africa.
The abrupt shift to online learning due to COVID-19 rocked the US education system, unearthing many of the inequities at its foundation. Educator Nora Flanagan says we can reframe this moment as an opportunity to fix what's long been broken for teachers, students and families -- and shares four ways schools can reinvent themselves for a post-pandemic world.