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5 educators share their vision for building a better world

By Valerie Quirk on December 3, 2020 in News + Updates, TED-Ed Innovative Educators



The world is continuing to experiment with virtual events, and to recognize that we need ideas and dialogue that can connect us more than ever.

So in June 2020, we created the TED-Ed Building Together event to celebrate educators’ ideas in the TED-Ed community. District leaders, principals, teachers, organization leaders, program directors, and more joined from all over the United States and all over the world.

To put this event together, we first identified what was most important to our audience during this time and decided our format and platform. We then surfaced important ideas that were submitted by educators through the TED Masterclass course. Next, we came up with a run of show: we decided to highlight Talk clips from five amazing educators, interview the speakers after showing their Talk clips, and create two spaces for breakout discussions during the 90 minute event.

Here are the five incredible educators that presented at the TED-Ed Building Together event. Take a look at their ideas:

What we lose when we stop telling our stories – Harpreet Parhar

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training is vital, but are we missing something when we prioritize standardized curricula over personal storytelling? Harpreet Parhar’s suggestion for finding our way back to the human side of education? Stories.

Impact students by investing in relationships – Quentin Lee

What do we teach our students through the relationships we build with them? Today, as a principal and school administrator, Quentin Lee sees firsthand the impact meaningful relationships can have on students.

4 paths for productive conversations about bias – Amber Cabral

Diversity and inclusion strategist Amber Cabral gives 4 tips to help you have healthy and productive conversations surrounding identity and bias.

When you’re an educator, ignorance is not an excuse – George Iannuzzi

The key to being an educator students can trust? Be proactive in your own learning. Educator George Iannuzzi learned from his own experiences not to wait for students to teach adults the difference between right and wrong.

The real test? Bouncing back from disaster – Lucio Padilla

Principal Lucio Padilla was determined to bring his school’s test scores up, but in the face of a natural disaster he learned what success really looks like.

Leading up to the event, we also collected reflections from community members from around the world to acknowledge and reflect on the difficulties that the year 2020 has presented to students, educators, and families everywhere. We turned these reflections into short videos on the resilience demonstrated by educators teaching during a pandemic and collected educators thoughts on how we can all grow and chart a path forward.

“Giving us a chance to get together on a platform like this can really allow educators to respond to what is happening in the world in real time (as opposed to a conference on a larger scale in which we may have to wait for months to learn or have conversations.) I had a vivid daydream yesterday at one point during the event of TED-Ed creating these kind of “pop-up” type experiences to allow educators to come together as necessary when new challenges arise in our world…I really believe that having different types of opportunities for us to share our ideas…matches up so well with a major concept that educators believe in: differentiation.” 

– George Iannuzi, District of the Chathams in Chatham, New Jersey

The Building Together event was a chance to honor educators, their ideas, and the hard work they do every single day. While different from our usual events, Building Together allowed us to continue sharing ideas to inspire discussion and reflection among our community. We can’t wait to see what your virtual events look like!

To also see how student ideas are being celebrated in the virtual space, check out this blogpost about our TED-Ed Student Talk community’s virtual events.

Tags: Education, Learning, Teachers, Teaching, Teaching & Education