Better Lessons with the TED Commandments

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is known as an organization with “ideas worth spreading”.  Their videos are recorded at their TEDx events held all around the world.  Some of the greatest minds and famous people attend and share at these conferences. 

 Me at TEDx Columbus.



Their talks are very short.  Most are less than 10 minutes.  Inform, teach, and stop.  Then let the audience do their own research further into the subject.  What a great way to teach.


Also, TED is very strict with their presenters.  Regardless whether it is Bill Gates, Bono, a physicist, or a public school teacher, everyone presents according to the same rules.  They are known as the TED Commandments.

  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out Thy Usual Shtick.
  2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
  3. Thou Shalt Reveal Thy Curiosity and Thy Passion.
  4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
  5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
  6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt Thine Ego.  Be Thou Vulnerable.  Speak of Thy Failures as Well as Thy Success.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Sell From the Stage: Neither Thy Company, Thy Goods, Thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding:  Lest Thou Be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
  8. Thou Shalt Remember all the While:  Laughter is Good.
  9. Thou Shalt Not Read Thy Speech.
  10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Those that Follow Thee.



 These are good rules to follow when presenting.  Think of your last Professional Development.  Did they break some of these rules?  Were you actively engaged in the presentation?  Would you have gone if you weren’t required to go?


Now, let’s take this another step.  What did you do in your classroom today?  Were your students actively engaged?  Did you break any of these rules?  Would your students stay if they didn’t have to?

 For more information about TED, go to

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About DarlaMoore

In short - Teacher, Author, Speaker, and sometimes PopCulture Pirate. In long- Darla's 1st career was in Psychology. For the past 11 years she has taught everything from 3rd grade to college Freshmen in both urban and rural settings. She is a Lead Content Expert and Content Alignment Committee Member in the area of ELA for the Ohio Department of Education and has presented at numerous conferences and workshops. As an author she has contributed to The Gates Foundation, US Department of Education, ETS, AIR, and many other educational communities. Her anticipated series of books, Moore’s Common Core Teacher Guides will be available from Amazon starting July 2012. Follow her on Twitter at darlasays. You can also find her as part of Now2WOW Publishing

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