Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Talks are succinct, educational speeches delivered by hundreds of different thinkers since 1984 and are posted online for free (1). TED talks broach a vast variety of subjects such as:
- Technology, Entertainment, Design
- Global issues
Although very distinct, the common thread lacing through each TED talk is a deep sense of wonder and curiosity. Indeed, while not as complete or pedagogic as other free resources like Khan Academy, there is no contest that TED Talks have captured the public imagination. Unlike much attention-grabbing content on the internet, TED Talks ultimately engage people in thought-provoking topics that “spread ideas” (TED’s two-word mission statement) (2). Therefore, TED has its own, unique role to play as one that aims to inspire and excite, rather than teach topics in-depth.
This is a necessary tool. Populations living in remote, developing areas are less often exposed to thought-provoking ideas. Paired with poor access to education, the result is less of these populations in leadership roles and research. Our product, UNI, comes pre-equipped with TED Talks, alongside a wealth of other educational content. This gives students from remote areas the opportunity to get inspired and broaden their horizons.
Consider the preliminary study which interviewed high school teachers in Florida about the role of TED talks in the classroom. One teacher from an underprivileged school said that TED talks give the students “hope, and maybe causes them to dream a little bit, which is important because a lot of these kids, especially in their situations… I don’t know if they really have dreams.” (3). Furthermore, an article from the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education describes how TED Talks may be “ideal springboards” for a flipped-classroom approach: students watch a talk in their own time and class-time is spent dissecting and analyzing its big ideas (3). In short, TED talks have the potential to be a high-impact supplement to student education.
Critically, viewing TED talks traditionally requires access to an internet connection. Grey-Box’s portable hotspot, UNI, surmounts this problem by bringing TED Talks offline. UNI is lightweight, cost-efficient, easy to maintain, and will resist heat, dust, pressure, and humidity. These features make UNI the ideal device to break down the barriers that stop ideas from spreading— notably a mix of environmental conditions and poor infrastructure. Furthermore, although TED Talks are delivered in English, subtitles exist in over 100 languages, including Arabic, Indonesian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and much more (4)! Grey-Box is dedicated to connecting remote populations to TED’s exciting ideas.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ted Talks, visit https://www.ted.com/
- History of TED [Internet] TED: TED Conferences; [cited Mar 4 2022] Available from: https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization/history-of-ted.
- Our organization [Internet] TED: TED Conferences; [cited Mar 4 2022] Available from: [https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization#:~:text=Our Mission%3A Spread ideas&text=On TED.com%2C we’,the world%2C all year long](https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization#:~:text=Our Mission%3A Spread ideas&text=On TED.com%2C we’,the world%2C all year long).
- Banker C, Gournelos T. TED Talks and the Need for a Changing Education System. Florida Communication Journal.Vol. 41(2):39-56.
- Our languages [Internet] TED: TED Conferences; [cited Mar 4 2022] Available from: https://www.ted.com/participate/translate/our-languages.