Best TED Talks for Homeschoolers

TED talks graphicDoes your homeschooling family enjoy TED Talks? TED talks are available free online and feature thought provoking conversations on topics including technology, education, art, design, health, and global issues. There are so many homeschool TED talks it can be overwhelming to dig and find your favorites but they can be a useful resource. Watch as a family and discuss these ideas together. Here are my suggestions for must see talks related to homeschooling and education.

Two TED talks by Homeschool Kids
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante
13 year old homeschooler Logan describes his vision for learning and life in this TED talk titled Hackschooling Makes me Happy.  Logan interweaves his interest in skiing with creativity, innovation, and above all happiness. There are great ideas for how to interweave hobbies, work, nature, and spirit of adventure with home education.

What’s Wrong with our Food System: Birke Baehr
11 year old homeschooler Birke is cute as a button but watch out: he’s fierce in his criticism of our corporate food system. In the talk What’s Wrong with our Food System, listeners are challenged to consider where their food comes from and understand the hazards of our big box industrial food system.

Three TED talks on Education Reform
One of the most watched videos in TED history is Schools Kill Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson. This 2006 talk has over 70 million views worldwide. Robinson reviews the history of education and provides a compelling case for how schools undermine learning and creativity. While this talk has been widely circulated you may not have seen Robinson’s follow up talk Bring on the Learning Revolution. In this talk Robinson advocates a radical restructuring of our educational system to allow for more individualized and personalized education including homeschooling.  Daphne Koller’s What We Are Learning from Online Education discusses  Coursera”s plan to improve educational access by making college courses from top universities available free to anyone with Internet access.

Three TED talks on Child Led Learning
One of my favorite education talks is The Child Driven Education by education scientist Sugata Mitra. He was inspired by the reality that so many of the children who most need access to education live where they do not have access to many resources. He sets up a series of experiments with kids in developing areas of the world where he sets up “Hole in the Wall” access to the Internet. He finds that with no instructions kids are able to self-direct their own learning using the Internet.

Homeschooling dad and math teacher John Bennett takes on traditional math education in his talk Why Math Instruction is Unnecessary.  Bennett teaches middle and high school math and argues the traditional mandatory approach to teaching math has been a failure. He advocates instead that students learn relevant problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Unschooled until the age of 16 Callie Vanderwiele shares her experience in her Ted talk “Learning Through Unschooling.” She discusses the experience she and her siblings had as unschoolers, the history of public education, and research about career outcomes for un/homeschoolers.

I’d love to hear more about how your family uses TED talks as part of your homeschooling.


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