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4 innovative educators share their visions for creating better classrooms

By Emilie Soffe on July 21, 2022 in News + Updates, TED-Ed Innovative Educators



If you’ve ever had a conversation with an impassioned educator, you know that they are overflowing with brilliant, resourceful, innovative, and – in all likelihood – extremely under-circulated ideas.

We celebrate and elevate educator ideas for the sake of improving the experience of students and educators around the world. Over the course of the past year, participating educators hone in on their most important idea in education and develop it into a TED-style talk.

Below, four educators share their big ideas, covering topics from simple apps that promote classroom equity to an impassioned plea for more teacher collaboration in the classroom.


How to use simple tech apps to support ALL learners

When Stacey Roshan was in high school, she feared the moment she might be called on in class. A self-described introvert and perfectionist, she needed time to process and formulate a response before she was ready to share. Now, as a math teacher, Stacey leverages technology to create more equitable and empowering forums for discussion in the classroom—shifting away from a culture that praises the first person to raise their hand to one where every individual has a platform to make their ideas seen and heard.

LISA WINER (TED-Ed Innovative Educator)

How to create lessons that showcase students’ diverse cultures

For so long, the norm in teaching has been to assimilate students: instructing each individual in the same way, regardless of their cultural background. Culturally sustaining pedagogy challenges that narrative, arguing that preserving student backgrounds and embracing diversity causes students to feel more comfortable, relaxed, and willing to learn. In this talk, Lisa Winer shares several lessons she uses in her math classroom that combine the principles of culturally sustaining pedagogy with self-determination theory to engage and energize her diverse group of students.


Why teachers are just like YouTubers

In a 2019 survey of US kids aged 8-12, one third cited being a blogger or YouTuber as their top dream job. In another survey of high school students, only 5% indicated that they wanted to become a teacher. But 2020 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Takeru Nagayoshi believes that great teachers and great YouTubers are cut from the same cloth, and the more we treat educators with the same respect and prestige that we show to YouTubers, the better chance we have of attracting new talent to the profession.

KIM PRESHOFF (TED-Ed Innovative Educator)

How teacher collaboration strengthens the classroom

When COVID-19 hit schools, many parents and educators worried about the isolating effects of quarantine on students. But longtime educator Kim Preshoff notes that, for decades, teachers have been isolating themselves in their classrooms—often creating lessons, refining skills, and thinking in silos. In this talk, Kim draws on her background as an AP environmental teacher to make the case that the health of an ecosystem is its diversity—and that collaboration between educators in the classroom strengthens outcomes for teachers and students alike.


Each educator featured here participated in TED Masterclass — a professional learning program that helps people identify, develop and share their ideas with each other … and the world.

Want to bring the TED Masterclass program to your school, district or organization? Learn more here:

Tags: Education, Learning, Teachers, Teaching, Teaching & Education, TED-Ed Innovation Projects