Inspiration Through Education: 12 TED Talks Every Online Student Should Watch

Known for its short, powerful talks, TED conferences have become a go-to for those looking to get inspired. Part of their appeal is also that there’s something that will interest just about anyone or apply to any subject, and online learners are no exception. Whether you’re struggling with making progress, interested in the future of online learning, or just want to get inspired by the very process of learning itself, these talks have you covered.

The Nerd’s Guide to Learning Everything Online You don’t have to be enrolled in an online course to take advantage of the Internet as a super awesome learning tool. In this talk, author John Greene shares how he found a life-changing community of learning outside of the bounds of traditional classroom.

What We’re Learning from Online Education: Daphne Koller, co-founder of MOOC provider Coursera, shares how and why she’s asking some of the world’s biggest and best universities to offer content online for free. The reasons go beyond just providing free educational resources, as you’ll learn from this talk.

4 Pillars of College Success in Science Taking a science course as part of your degree here at COD? In this talk, you’ll hear the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County discuss the methods he uses to get even those who traditionally struggle in college-level math and science courses to excel.

A Visual History of Human Knowledge This talk from infographics expert Manuel Lima is a feast for the eyes, offering a visual history of how our knowledge has grown over the past three thousand years. From the evolution of languages to our networks of information, it’s a fascinating look at what we know and how we share that knowledge.

How Technology Evolves You use technology in a hundred different ways in your everyday life, from turning off your alarm clock to logging into Blackboard, but have you ever thought about how that technology got to the point it’s at? What drives it to change in the ways that it does? Here, you’ll get to explore how and why technology has evolved over the past few centuries.

The Lost Art of Democratic Debate Many, if not most online courses will require you to take part in an online discussion board. Do you know how to have a civil and engaging debate with your fellow classmates? Political philosopher Michael Sandel explores this lost art in this short talk.

The 100,000 Student Classroom Can you imagine being a class with more than 100,000 other students? It might sound impossible, but in this talk computer scientist Peter Novig shares how it happened and what it means for the future of learning online.

This Virtual Lab Will Revolutionize Science Class How much cooler would your online course, or even your face-to-face course be, with the addition of some really cutting edge virtual reality. It’s not just sci-fi anymore, as this talk shares how virtualization could just be coming to a classroom near you.

The Power of Believing You Can Improve Struggling in your courses? Feel like you’ll never catch up? Many feel this way, but the solution might be simpler than you think. In this talk, you’ll learn about the power of adopting a growth mindset, and how it can help you change how you think about failure and success.

7 Ways Games Reward the Brain Gamification is a huge trend in education right now, with many instructors jumping on board and sometimes entire companies being built around the idea. But why does gamification work for helping us to learn? In this talk, gaming theorist Tom Chatfield explains the science behind the power of games.

Smart Failure for a Fast-Changing World Failure isn’t a bad thing when you’re trying to learn, but as this talk discusses, there’s a better way to do it that will help you more quickly recover and keep up with the increasingly fast-paced world we live in.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Getting through college can be tough, but it’s more than pure intelligence that may make the process easier for some than others. In this talk, you’ll hear psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth discuss the importance of grit in success or failure of students.

Is there a TED talk that has really inspired you? Share it in the comments.