6 Great TED talks for the ITGS classroom

TED Talks for ITGS

TED now offers nearly 2000 videos for free online, covering a wide range of technology and information technology topics. Here are 6 great TED talks that directly relate to topics in the ITGS syllabus, are great for starting classroom discussions, and are also very accessible for second language learners.

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

Eli Pariser’s TED talk links not only directly to ITGS but also to the IB Theory of Knowledge course. Online companies increasingly tailor our exposure to news items, deciding what is interesting for us and what is irrelevant. Often these decisions are based on personal data such as our relationship with the poster, our location, or our viewing history. In this video Pariser argues that this exposure to limited information is bad for our critical thinking skills and for democracy itself. A great video for discussing technology in conjunction with the TOK Ways of Knowing – in fact, one of the November 2013 TOK essay questions specifically dealt with the idea of technology limiting our knowledge.

Peter van Manen: How can Formula 1 racing help … babies?

During the average Formula 1 race, each car sends over 750 million data points back to its team’s garage, detailing everything from tyre pressures and suspension travel to engine temperatures and fuel consumption. This data is rigourously and automatically analysed by computers and engineers looking to improve the car’s speed. In this video, Peter van Manen talks about using this technology in children’s hospitals – not just to monitor children’s health, but to turn data into knowledge and to make predictions about potential complications before they happen. Data about patterns in the data can then be used to learn about the health of all patients.

Todd Kuiken: A Prosthetic Arm that Feels

Before Dean Kamen’s “Luke Arm”, developments in the field of prosthetic arms had been scarce, changing little in the past 50 years. In this TED video Todd Kuiken describes an evolution of that concept: a prosthetic arm that ‘feels’, and that connects to the body’s muscles, so they are controlled much as a patient’s own arm. Like Henry Evans’ video below, this TED talk is an extremely useful resource when teaching the ITGS Health topic.

Abha Dawesar: Life in the “digital now”

Abha Dawesar’s story about life in Manhattan post hurricane Sandy, blacked-out and disconnected, offers an insight into our digital addiction: a fixation which, she argues, increases the gap between ourselves and our environment. A great video to watch in class when discussing dependence on technology and the psychological impacts of constant connectivity.

James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime — and what you can do about it

In this entertaining video, James Lyne examines the current state of cybercrime, busting a few myths along the way. The latest attack methods and motivations are discussed in detail, with many clear links to the Strand 2 Business & Employment and Politics & Government topics. To demonstrate the ease of such attacks, Lyne demonstrates several techniques live on stage, including using infected USB devices and compromising vulnerable web servers.

Henry Evans and Chad Jenkins Meet the Robots for Humanity

This TED talk about how robotic technology can help the severely disabled improve their quality of life is presented by Henry Evans – himself a quadriplegic. Taking to the stage using a tele-presence robot and a voice synthesizer, Evans explains how he communicates with a computer using minute head movements that are transformed into words by software. The video is an inspiring insight into cutting edge technology that clearly raises many impacts related to People and Machines and Equality of Access. THis is a great video for students studying both Health and the Higher Level Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Expert Systems ITGS topic.

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