This is another entry in a series of blog entries on using multimedia in the BM classroom. School and classroom is all about ideas and the BM classroom even more so. There is a great resource that teachers can use (and maybe many do already) in the BM classroom to spark discussions and help students understand challenging topics. This resource are the inspirational TED talks where you can find talks on different subjects. TED talks can help teachers bring ideas to the classroom, students can hear diverse voices, debate different ideas and some of them even challenge the traditional knowledge most of us live by. It is all about “everybody’s story” and not only our own “single story”.

A very interesting TED talk is the one by Derek Sivers. In a very brief talk he manages to bring out cultural differences and challenge assumptions we usually make based on our own perception of the world. This kind of talk can easily be used to discuss the challenges businesses face when they invest or market their products in a new country and customers of different cultural background: Weird or Just Different .

Another TED talk which is one of my favourite is Itay Talgam’s “Lead Like the Great Conductors”. I have used this TED talk to spark a conversation about leadership styles and managing people in the organization. The association between music, conducting an orchestra and leadership styles may look distant at first but Itay Talgam brings it close to us with his lively, inspirational personality.

Pink’s motivational theory, as part of the current syllabus, presents a very different approach to motivation compared to the traditional theories. In one of his inspirational TED talks he debunks the myth of the carrot and stick approach as a tool to motivate employees in the 21st century. In the TED talk ‘The Puzzle of Motivation” Dan Pink makes a case about intrinsic motivation and the need of creative tasks in today’s workplace to keep people motivated. I guess that the successful stories of the Apple and Google companies can be good examples of this new approach to motivation.

Another good talk is Jacqueline Novogratz’ talk “A third way to think about aid”. This talk is probably more suitable for the Economics classroom but as it relates to the role of businesses in developing countries it presents a useful starting point for discussion.  Jacqueline Novogratz proposes a middle way which she calls patient capital, with promising examples of entrepreneurial innovation driving social change.

These are only few TED talks that stand out for me as good examples to initiate interesting discussions in the BM classroom but the TED talks website is a rich resource that can be used in the BM classroom and is worth every minute spent on selecting suitable ones. Stephanie Lo, Director of TED-Ed Programs, advises teachers to use TED videos as a way to get students thinking. She recommends that teachers check out, which is packed full of short, animated lessons created specifically for students. And she recommends that, whether they are using a lesson or a talk, teachers prepare discussion questions to get students thinking before they get to class. Here is a fantastic talk by Stephanie Lo, “Harnessing Crowd, Light and Desire“, in which she talks about spreading innovation in education and the role of TED Ed with some ideas on how to inspire your students.

When TED talks are used in the classroom in a meaningful way they can help students better grasp challenging topics, develop their critical thinking and discuss ideas other than just theirs or the ones presented in class.