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Team Research Page

Group Member Introduction


                                   Technology, Entertainment, Design



I. History

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It is a private nonprofit organization committed to bringing technology, entertainment and design together while spreading ideas to the world.13 In 1984, Richard Saul Wurman created TED.13 The application is now owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation that was founded in 1996 by Chris Anderson. 

TED's mission is spreading ideas to others which means the creators of the application believe powerful and passionate ideas can change the world.13 They are creating a community of people to share ideas and engage with each other to create change. TED is very open to comments and ideas from everyone, as opposed to other organizations who are only interested in "higher up" people's opinions.14

TED began as a research conference for people around the world, combining Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but has grown to world-wide viewed videos and world events.13 The first TED included demos of the newly released Macintosh computer and Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind.15 Over the years, TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Billy Graham, Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, and Bono.15 Yet, often the real stars have been the unexpected: Li Lu, a key organizer of the Tiananmen Square student protest, Aimee Mullins, a Paralympic competitor who tried out a new pair of artificial legs onstage, and Jennifer Lin, a 14-year-old pianist whose 6-minute improvisation moved the audience to tears.

TED talks are the video talks that were originally not available on the web for anyone to view. However, after some of the video talks were posted online, the talks themselves became very popular. Now TED video talks are online for everyone to watch and listen to for free. The majority of TED videos are in English, but there are translations available for many of the videos recorded in a different language.15
Viewers can translate either from the original language to their preferred language, or from their preferred language to a language they want to explore. To enhance the viewing option of the videos, TED has an Associate Membership Livestream program.15 When you become a member of the program, you can view any of the TED conferences live from any location around the world.  It also gives you access to a "virtual DVD" online archive of all TED videos and speakers.

TED hosts an annual conference in California, and a global conference in the UK where speakers from different organizations, companies, or research projects discuss topics important to technology, entertainment, design, and current events.16

Currently, TED has two new programs. One new program is called TEDx, which is a community based program that allows schools, businesses, and local organizations to create, organize, and host their own TED-like events. The most recent program added to TED is the TED Prize which is an awarded to three individuals whose talent is exceptional. They are awarded $100,000 and are granted “One Wish to Change the World.”16

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II. How TED works

TED is an excellent web tool that incorporates learning with global access to conferences and video posts. TED allows you to access videos over thousands of topics with speeches of educated and well-known speakers.

TED is open to all viewers; however, membership is what really gives individuals the full benefits of the TED website. With a membership, live stream of conferences and events can be viewed. Otherwise, conference viewing can only occur when that conference is uploaded to the general public at a later date. TED can be accessed at

Conferences occur all over the world. For this very fact, TED can be translated into several different languages so it is internationally friendly. Conferences are by invitation only, so that is even more of a motivating factor to become a member.

Classrooms would benefit from using TED because it is a great way to broaden the horizons of the students. Not only would students be getting great information, but it would be from well-known speakers teachers would not have the ability to get information from otherwise. Also, TED could be used in the workplace to do on-the-job training. As you can see, TED is a great program that has several uses and would be beneficial in any way applied.

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III. How TED Relates to other Applications

TED is a major form of communication for people all over the world. Thousands of people view TED throughout the year creating new ideas or designing new innovations or programs. Word of mouth through the Internet can spread like wild fire causing more people to be aware of not only TED in general, but also ideas, innovations, and programs. Along with communication, TED can function as a common networking tool, such as Facebook and Twitter. People's voices and ideas are expressed through video presentations allowing presenters their right of opinion. TED also allows a sense of voice to people across the world as people can comment on videos and communicate through discussions with others concerning the video.

TED is somewhat comparable to YouTube; however, TED is much more focused. TED not only wants to entertain the people who watch their videos, but they also want to educate them. This is different than other video sites that mostly exist for the spreading of videos from user to user. When comparing TED to YouTube, an important difference is that anyone can upload a video of themselves, others, etc onto the YouTube website. However, on the TED website, random people cannot upload their own video onto the website.The TED website hold "old" TED talk videos that have already been presented at either a TED conferences or event. Within a certain time period, new videos are uploaded by TED employees after very conference and event within a certain.

TED is more than just a website. With the tool outlets, like the TED conferences and TEDx events, the website,, is just one aspect of TED.

A video application similar to TED is a company called Polycom. Polycom uses the term "unified collaboration" to define their use of video conferencing among companies and organizations throughout the world.6  It is meant to help these organizations and companies collaborate on ideas, investments in the world, etc., therefore improving the world and society.8 TED and Polycom both aim at improving our world through collaboration with others, but Polycom is just for video conferencing among companies and does not post the conferences for the public to view. 7

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IV. Real World Application 



Using TED in this lesson plan will bring in one of the best device hackers in the world right into your classroom. It will give the students a chance to discuss the ethics of hacking, how using a little ingenuity can make a big difference, and how simply technology can be exploited for educational gain. All by using something the students will be very familiar with, Wiimotes, from the Wii gaming system.2

Elementary Technology Lesson Plan.docx

Elementary Technology Lesson Plan.pdf


TED can be used to exemplify different aspects of science in the world we live in. This lesson plan uses a presentation about Redwood trees to ignite a discussion about environment and habitats. Students can learn from a different source than they are used to while learning facts about a new area of science.1

Elementary Science Lesson Plan.docx

Elementary Science Lesson Plan.pdf


In the elementary level math, it may be difficult to incorporate a large amount of videos. However, if you search all themes of the videos on TED, instead of just math, you can find videos to combine with your math lesson. For example, the following lesson plan incorporates a video about brain puzzles into the practice of addition and subtraction of whole numbers. The students can watch the video before or after the lesson and then participate in a class activity with a math puzzle game.2

Elementary Math Lesson Plan.docx

Elementary Math Lesson Plan.pdf



 Social Studies:

War Keeping the Peace.docx

War Keeping the Peace.pdf


TED can be used to share ideas about agriculture from different parts of the world. Students can compare and contrast the different types that they are able to grow in there region of the world. They can compare different yields, the affects that weather has on their crops. They may also be able to provide do's and don’t's when growing certain crops. They will also be able to see the progress that their pans are making through video. They can also look at the different types of livestock that are produced throughout the different parts of the world. Compare what livestock grows best with what type of food and can also compare market prices.#2

Secondary Science Lesson Plan.docx

Secondary Science Lesson Plan.pdf

Secondary Science Lesson Plan.docx

Secondary Science Lesson Plan.pdf


Teachers can improve their teaching methods after watching certain TED speakers and their informative presentations. Secondary math teachers can learn new ideas about math and then introduce the ideas to their students. TED videos can be good examples to show in their math classes. Several lessons can be created through TED.

Secondary Math Lesson Plan.doc

Secondary Math Lesson Plan.pdf


TED can be used in secondary engineering classes to enhance the learning capacity within the classroom. There are several ways that TED can be effective. The lesson plan below includes a simple concept of having the class watch a TED video involving engineering.The students would then break up into small groups of approximately four students, they then would discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the engineering and presentation styles. Last, the class would regroup and share a pro and con of the video. The students would also be evaluated on a one page summary of the video. This is one example of how to take an ordinary lesson and turn it into something that will engage and entice the students one step further.

Secondary Engineering Lesson Plan.docx

Secondary Engineering Lesson Plan.pdf

Secondary Engineering Lesson Plan 2.pdf

Post Secondary:


TED can be used in post secondary engineering course by allotting time for students to watch videos relating to Engineering. Students can compare and contrast videos they watch to what is being learned in their classroom.3

Post Secondary Engineering Lesson Plan.docx

Post Secondary Engineering Lesson Plan.pdf


TED can be used as examples for students in how to write papers or analyze data. Teachers can also assign TED Science videos for their students to critique and discuss their opinion of the video topic.

Post Secondary Science Lesson Plan.docx

Post Secondary Science Lesson Plan.pdf


TED can be helpful in a post secondary technology class as well. This lesson plan involves using a TED talk to exemplify the design of different robots. Students will get into groups, watch the talk, and then design their own unique robot. They will sketch designs using pencils and white paper. The TED talk is a great motivator and gives great ideas for students to design their own designs.

Post Secondary Technology Lesson Plan.docx

Post Secondary Technology Lesson Plan.pdf

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V. TED in Business and Industry

TED can influence high demand in business and industries to communicate with others at their own pace and consistency. Relationships can be built, along with future partnerships. TED can build a strong bond between not only business, but also major corporations. Effective and proper presenters can help a major corporation to continue their success while motivating people from around the world.


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VI. Demonstration of Educational Value

The TED videos discuss all kinds of information such as music, Africa, architecture, and much more, making them very helpful in various subjects of education. The videos include speakers ranging from famous people like Al Gore, to people in charge of their organization, or someone who wants their story, voice, and/or idea heard. 15

Majority of TED videos can come with translations of many languages. The translations can also be used for education. By listening to a video, with subtitles, students can become familiar with a language they are studying. Students can also translate videos while teachers
critique the students accuracy. Not only are the students learning, but they are helping the TED community too. Using TED can be a great way to introduce students to new ideas. Some of the speeches are given by famous people, which might entice the students to listen closely and be open to the new ideas, while other videos are by new comers of TED. Some speeches are long while other are shorter than 6 minutes, so there is bound to be a speech that will fit perfectly into any classroom.11

TED can be used in a classroom many ways. One way TED can be implemented into the curriculum is by having students participate in a past TED video conference. By watching a TED video conference, students can study the art of speaking, arguing, and properly addressing controversial topics. Classrooms as a whole can also choose to participate in a live TED video conference as a way to "spice things up" in the classroom, as long as their teacher becomes a member of TED. Another way TED can be used in the classroom is to bring guest speakers into the classroom through TED. This could be help for when a teacher wants a popular individual to be a guest speaker in their classroom. Teachers can simply select a TED video of interest and allow the individual to "speak" to the classroom. TED videos would be useful for all communication classes. TED could be used as a great example for public speaking as well in any speech class.

TED videos can also provide multiple opinions, views, and strategies among an infinite amount of diverse topics. Students can learn from TED videos by seeing other viewpoints around the world instead of just their specific country.

TED can also be used as a tool for students who are learning about navigating through an Internet website. If the teacher gives the student a certain subject, such as Education in Africa, the student can go to the TED website and find how to search through the videos by choosing the first letter of the subject, such as "E", in the example provided. This will give students navigating skills for the Internet as well as learning about their assigned material.

Many of TED's videos deal with current events from around the world and in America.4 Because many students have a low interest in the news, using these videos in the classroom can help keep the students interested in not only the country they live in, but also the world.  These videos can lead students to wanting to help in their community, state, country, etc. which will then therefore help their generation aim to improve the world-creating positive change.

The diverse group of speakers that speak on TED can definitely be motivating for all students and be used as examples in the classroom. There was even a child speaker who spoke about how adults can learn from kids and how students should teach their own teachers.These speakers can be inspirational for those students afraid to speak out or encourage those who tend to hold back their opinions. The passion of these speakers illustrates how different people are fulfilling their duties as citizens and doing what they are not only good at, but what they desire.

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VII. How TED is used Internationally

TED is definitely known and applicable around the world. The TED conferences and talks involve important global issues and people of several different countries around the world.16 TED creates a merging of people from all different and unique backgrounds and culture to discuss important ideas. There have been conferences held in the UK, Tanzania, India, and the US.16

With translations available on majority of the videos on TED by also provide free subtitles making it possible for people all over the world to watch the videos and watch the exact thing people on the other side of the globe are watching. This allows an array of cultures and backgrounds to broadcast their ideas to a global community simply; making TED’s communication easy, effective, and time manageable.17

TED is not only a useful tool for American students, but also for international students.17 Foreign students, who are interested in learning about current events in America, or in other parts of the world, can catch up on important issue. Students can also do research on events through TED videos as a very reliable tool.

TED video conferencing and TED Global could be used for international research as well. For example, if scientists from the United States and Great Britain are collaborating on a science research project, TED is an easy way for them to collect analysis from others by sharing their work around the world.

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VIII. References

During the process of creating this website, we used information, graphics, and history from the following sites:

1. (















16. TED


This site was created by Laila Lemcharfi, Alyssa Miller, Brendan Hack, Morgan Stout, Kasey Randles, and Lauren Crabb from Purdue University along with Jin Wen and Gao Shan from East China Normal University.

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