I was introduced to TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) in one of my first library school classes. We watched a TEDTalk (‘Jimmy Wales on the birth of Wikipedia’ on the all-volunteer nature of the website and the implementation of fact-checking) and I thought it was wonderful that a place exists where free access is given to intellectual presentations and discussion. There is an impressive array of lectures available on the site, but until recently the TED community has been somewhat limited. Two things developed recently that I hope will improve the site’s visibility:
1. TEDTalks for Netflix! I was browsing movies a few weeks ago only to be pleasantly surprised at finding a number of TEDTalks added to the instant library. I found 14 categories with 12 to 20 talks each, opening up the possibility of enjoying a lecture from the couch rather than uncomfortably at a desk. Of course if you don’t have a Netflix account all of the talks are also available for free on the TED website.
2. TED-Ed. This is a new project for educators to build lesson plans around TEDTalks, or use templates that include a video, short quiz, and discussion questions. Browse by subject or choose a series to teach from.
You can also subscribe to the TEDTalks RSS feed to be notified when new videos are added, choose a theme to subscribe to, or browse videos via tags. There’s also a community of users and a forum for ideas, questions and debates (which strikes me as a Yahoo! Answers for intellectuals).
Here are a few library-related videos I found intriguing:
Brewster Kahle builds a free digital library
What we learned from 5 million books
Joshua Prince-Ramus on Seattle’s library
Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.
(PS, WordPress makes it very easy to embed TEDTalks. Just find a video, click ‘Share’ and paste the shortlink [ ted id=# ] directly into your post, voila!)