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Using Humor to Learn

Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes to the TEDxSummit stage in Doha, Qatar to take on serious issues in the Middle East -- like how many kisses to give when saying “Hi,” and what not to say on an American airplane.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:18 AM

This comedian sure does his best job at showing that the Middle East is not the chaotic war zone we see on American television every day, and what a better place to do it in than Qatar, a place where he would have a very diverse audience.  He made light of each race in the audience, drawing laughs instead of slander. He made jokes about Lebanese, Qataris, Saudis, and Iranians, amongst others.  This really broke many of the stereotypes that exist about people of Middle Eastern descent in our society. Instead of seeing them protesting or fighting amongst themselves, we see them enjoying each other’s company just as every race in America does every day.  

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 14, 11:45 AM

This comedian is very funny and he is right middle easterners are not seen t be funny in western media.  It is important to see that everyone like to laugh and that we are all the same.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:20 PM

This is actual comical. Learning can be boring to some people while learning in fun ways can be awesome. He uses funny ways of telling people what to do and not to do and it works for the crowd.

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The Global Food Waste Scandal

TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

 

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.


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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 10:39 AM

It isn't surprising that the more a country has developed, the more wasteful they are. I just think that we need to change this standard. We can not keep this up if we want to sustain ourselves for centuries to come. If we are going to change our consumption culture, we need to look at why it has become the way it is. Why do we see food as unappealing? This is an interesting video and certaintly makes you think twice about throwing anything away. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 PM

Ted explains it well how we all waste perfectly good food that people would like to eat. Also it was amazing how much food was in the dumpsters that was just a day or week old. That meat could feed hundreds of people that are struggling to eat and all that meet to waste. 

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:51 AM

Ted talks about just how wasteful our planet is. How we just ignore the issue and act like it will  not affect us in the future. When he shows you video and pictures of massive piles of the ends of a loaf of bread or all the food that Stop and Shop throws out because it does not "look" good for the customer. How every little bit of help counts you can try to make a little bit of an effort to be less wasteful. We have so much unnecessary waste. Like when he uses the example of how many people throw away the ends of a loaf of bread then he shows the waste of the ends of bread in massive piles it makes you sick. Especially with all of the hungry people in the world we need to be more resourceful.

 

 

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Photos that bear witness to modern slavery

TED Talks For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery.

 

This is a chilling glimpse into the worst and darkest side of the economic systems of geography and labor in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 25 million people who today live in state that can be described as modern-day slavery. We should not discuss slavery only in the past tense, and yet it conflicts with how most people conceptualize the world today.

 

Questions to Ponder: How can this even be happening in the 21st century? What geographic and economic forces lead to these situations portrayed in this TED talk? What realistically could be done to lessen the amount of slavery in the world today?

 

Tags: TED, labor, economic, class, poverty, South Asia, Africa, video.


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Kyle Toner's comment, November 6, 2012 12:17 PM
This video truly opened eyes into the conflict of modern day slavery. I had no idea just how prevalent, global and horrible this situation is.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 6, 2013 10:51 AM

This is a chilling glimpse into the worst and darkest side of the economic systems of geography and labor in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 25 million people who today live in state that can be described as modern-day slavery. We should not discuss slavery only in the past tense, and yet it conflicts with how most people conceptualize the world today.


Questions to Ponder: How can this even be happening in the 21st century? What geographic and economic forces lead to these situations portrayed in this TED talk? What realistically could be done to lessen the amount of slavery in the world today?


Tags: TED, labor, economic, class, poverty, South Asia, Africa, video.

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Selling condoms in the Congo

TED Talks HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why?

 

This video highlights why some well-intending NGOs with excellent plans for the developing world don't have the impact they are hoping for. Cultural barriers to diffusion abound and finding a way to make your idea resonate with your target audience takes some preparation. This also addresses some important demographic and health-related issues, so the clip could be used in a variety of places within the curriculum. FYI: this clip briefly shows some steamy condom ads.


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Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:26 PM
AIDs is an epidemic in Africa, so selling condoms in the Congo is a groundbreaking idea. In fact, I am surprised that no one had thought of this earlier. In a continent where millions are affected by AIDs, it is essential that measures be taken to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:45 PM

Marketing is not something I would have thought about when trying to get people in the Kongo to use condoms. Her research into the brands they use and why may save many lives.

Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:27 PM

I was surprised actually that it took this long for someone to think of this, given the fact that the AIDS crisis in Africa is practically a pandemic.However it is a good idea that someone had finally started to do something about it.  

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Public Spaces Worth Caring About...

http://www.ted.com In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good....

 

Kunstler impassionedly argues that American architecture and urban planning are not creating public places that encourage interaction and communal engagement.  We should create more distinct places that foster a sense of place that is 'worth fighting for,' as opposed to suburbia which he sees as emblematic of these problems.  How should we design cities to create a strong sense of place?  What elements are necessary?  Warning: He uses some strong language.   


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Mary Burke's comment, April 15, 2013 12:24 PM
I appreciate what this guy is saying. I wish we could build places worth caring about. We need more people like Mr Kunstler. But I don't things are as bleak as he depicts. He picked some of the ugliest places there are. We do need a sense of place. Right now we get that in our homes. I think what Mr Kunstler is talking about is a community based sense of place that could be created just with the kind of buildings we make in the space. Maybe we could create a friendly atmosphere with well designed buildings. We need to start somewhere to make people not so afraid of each other.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:44 AM

Everyone in the world should care about places if it is small or not known but a place has it own character that some people enjoy while other do not want to know about. Every place has it significance that many people have not noticed because they are blinded to it. People should really have an open mind when it comes down to experiencing new places and learn about its history or anything that you did not know about it.

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TED Talk: Readings of the Qu'ran

Lesley Hazleton explores the Quran and finds much that is quite different from what is reported in commonly cited accounts. A psychologist by training and Mi...

 

An excellent reading of the Qu'ran that situates what some well quoted (and misquoted) verses mean in the original Arabic. 


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Food, Nutrition and Geography

Peter Menzel's beautiful photography and our Hungry Planet...

 

This video is a fascinating portal into global food systems and how globalization is impacting local foods.  He traveled around the world to see what families eat in a given week, and how much all the food cost and where it can from.  Many wealthy countries exhibit poor nutritional habits (eating food high in fat, sugar and salt) while some in poorer people have a very balanced diet.  This leads him to describe the 'Nutritional Transition.'  Warning before showing in class: there are brief instances of non-sexualized nudity in the video. 


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Asia's rise -- How and When?

"TED Talks Hans Rosling was a young guest student in India when he first realized that Asia had all the capacities to reclaim its place as the world's dominant economic force."

 

Regions, cultures and economies are not static in this era of globalization.  However, in the United States we are accustomed to a position of prominence that is assumed to be a 'birthright.'  The data presented here shows how countries such as India and China might "catch up" to the United States and United Kingdom later in the 21st century (2048?). 


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cookiesrgreat's comment, April 12, 2012 1:54 PM
India could out pace China in the Global Market, but it needs to address its infrastructure, Islam-Hindu conflict and become a first world country not a third world sidekick.
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TED Talk: Wade Davis on endangered cultures

TED Talks With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

 

This is a fantastic look at indigneous cultures around the world.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, December 8, 2012 5:21 PM
The first thing that struck my attention in this video was when the speaker said that other cultures teach us about alternative ways to orient ourselves, as humans, on Earth. I never thought about cultures in that sense. When I would look at another culture that is much different from my own culture I just couldn’t comprehend their way of life. But, each culture is just using the Earth’s resources in many various ways, making us not so different in the end. It also makes it much easier to comprehend stranger cultures than our own.
Don Brown Jr's comment, December 10, 2012 10:27 PM
This video brings to light a real dilemma concerning the “plight” of indigenous cultures in the modern world. The forces of globalization has been accelerated by improvements in communication and transportation technologies which have made interaction seem almost instantaneous compared to previous centuries. Yet, this globalized world is changing our notions of significance and attachment to place due to this relative ease of mobility. I have to acknowledge that this is something the indigenous cultures haven’t lost. As Davis clearly explains, the relative isolation that these societies adapted to is becoming increasingly difficulty to maintain, as the forces of global economic integration is binding the world closer to gather (whether people like it or not).
Also another issue that concerns me revolves around the unintended consequences of trying to preserve these cultures. It is possible that we may be accelerating their extinction as external pressure from us may cause these indigenous cultures to become specialized areas which eventually become subject to “exotic” tourism and research, inevitably changing the culture of what was intended to be preserved.
John Caswell's curator insight, February 6, 9:59 AM

Important watch.

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VIDEO: TED Talk by Hans Rosling on global population growth

TED Talks The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth.

 

TED talks are great resources, and this one about global population growth, is a great link with Hans Roslings trademark data visualizations that simplifiy complex data and 'tell the story,' but this time using far more common visual aids.


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 9, 2012 9:25 PM
The question that he seemed not to address in this presentation is how many people the earth can sustain? Is it not true that the wealthiest countries consume a disportionate amount of the world resources contributing to the anguish of the impoverished? The question perhaps should be centered on not preventing the population from exceeding 7-9 billion but equalizing and properly allocating the resources of the planet.
Ken Morrison's comment, September 29, 2012 10:01 PM
Hello. Sorry about the suggestion. I thought I was posting that to my site. Have a great day. I really like your site.
Ken Morrison's comment, September 29, 2012 10:01 PM
Hello. Sorry about the suggestion. I thought I was posting that to my site. Have a great day. I really like your site. Ken
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TED Talk: Wade Davis on endangered cultures

TED Talks With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.

 

This is a fantastic look at indigneous cultures around the world.


Via Seth Dixon
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Jesse Gauthier's comment, December 8, 2012 5:21 PM
The first thing that struck my attention in this video was when the speaker said that other cultures teach us about alternative ways to orient ourselves, as humans, on Earth. I never thought about cultures in that sense. When I would look at another culture that is much different from my own culture I just couldn’t comprehend their way of life. But, each culture is just using the Earth’s resources in many various ways, making us not so different in the end. It also makes it much easier to comprehend stranger cultures than our own.
Don Brown Jr's comment, December 10, 2012 10:27 PM
This video brings to light a real dilemma concerning the “plight” of indigenous cultures in the modern world. The forces of globalization has been accelerated by improvements in communication and transportation technologies which have made interaction seem almost instantaneous compared to previous centuries. Yet, this globalized world is changing our notions of significance and attachment to place due to this relative ease of mobility. I have to acknowledge that this is something the indigenous cultures haven’t lost. As Davis clearly explains, the relative isolation that these societies adapted to is becoming increasingly difficulty to maintain, as the forces of global economic integration is binding the world closer to gather (whether people like it or not).
Also another issue that concerns me revolves around the unintended consequences of trying to preserve these cultures. It is possible that we may be accelerating their extinction as external pressure from us may cause these indigenous cultures to become specialized areas which eventually become subject to “exotic” tourism and research, inevitably changing the culture of what was intended to be preserved.
John Caswell's curator insight, February 6, 9:59 AM

Important watch.

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Making Sense of Maps

TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.

 

This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).

 

Tags: transportation, urban, mapping, cartography, planning, TED, video, unit 7 cities.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:42 PM
When trying to graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your particular audience, you will have a lot to take into consideration. How familiar are the travelers with the area you map out? Are there visuals to precisely mark on the map so that will they accurately correspond to the area?
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Archeology from Space

TED Talks In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archeology" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.

 

The uses of geospatial technologies is NOT limited to studying geography, but it is the bedrock of many research projects that involve spatial thinking (as demonstrated in this TED talk).  Geographic principles and geographers can be very important  members of interdisciplinary teams.

 

Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, TED, MiddleEast, historical. 


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Joshua Lefkowitz's curator insight, January 15, 11:13 PM

This sounds really intruging to me; I have heard of astroarchiology before in the aplication of finding undiscovered large objects (cities, towns sttlements) by using satellites to map deviations in teh earths surface accurately enough to distingush structures like a building foundation. I just find this sort of thing fascinating. I am still in awe that this dort of thing is possible.

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A global culture to fight extremism

TED Talks Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold?

 

Globalization cut both ways.  Maajid Nawaz discusses how social movements use ideas, narratives, symbols and leaders through borderless technologies, to create transnational identities.  This has lead to highly sophisticated extremist organizations in Muslim-majority societies (and the speaker was a participant in that for 13 years).  Isolated extremist are now globally connected.  Given the Arab spring, how can these tools strengthen democratic social movements? 


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Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!

TED Talks Every day, we use materials from the earth without thinking, for free. But what if we had to pay for their true value: would it make us more careful about what we use and what we waste?

 

Companies derive economic value from the environment without paying the true environmental costs of their enterprises.  Sukhdev call this the 'Economic Invisibilty of Nature.'  Many countries are mortgaging their environment's future for economic growth today.  This also disproportionately impacts the developing world and rural people more adversely.  Key to his argument is that we need to identify negative externalities on the environment that produce private profits and acknowledge them as public losses.  


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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, December 10, 2013 7:13 PM

This a very interesting topic. Most of the time we take our earth for granted imagine if we need to pay for every time we use our earth I don’t think we would to afford it. Is very important for us to take care of it. It so sad that we have to force to protect it; for example here in providence we get punish with a fine if we don’t recycle. Taking care of our world should be a feeling from within people shouldn’t be made to do it.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:15 AM

Nature is very important because everyone in the world depends on it because that is where we can get the oxygen that we need to live and also we can hunt for food because many people in this world do not have access to a supermarket because it is to far or they just don’t believe in the existence of a supermarket. I wonder why some people would decide to live so far from civilization because I could not do that. I would get depressed very quickly because there would be nothing to do there.

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TED Talk: The danger of a single story

http://www.ted.com Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authen...

 

To gain a global perspective inherently requires understanding multiple perspectives.  Africa is frequently portrayed as 'the other' but also homogenized within a single narrative that 'flattens' truth.  How do we teach about other places that develop geographic empathy and show the many stories of places?  


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Parag Khanna maps the future of countries

TED Talks Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.

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Dovid's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:24 AM

Move on from border conflicts by using infrastructure that allows for the economic independence of every region.  

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 8, 2013 9:25 AM

This TED talk focuses on political geography, specifically, borders of the past and the present.  Parag Khanna proves that borders matter because they explain conflicts between spaces that made these spaces sovereign nation-states and countries.  Borders explain who was in power at certain times in history and what resources and materials were sought after at that particular time.  With 200 countries represented on a political map today, the borders separating all of these countries were formed for particular reasons.

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Why cities should dismantle highways

Why cities should dismantle highways | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
At TEDxPhilly, Next American City editor at large Diana Lind explains why cities should rethink their highway infrastructure.

 

For generations, the prominent model of urbanism accepted in the U.S. has placed the automobile as the top priority for public places, placing massive highways right in the middle of key downtown areas.  Some cities (including Denver, DC, NYC, Providence and Dallas) are rethinking the relationship between urban spaces and the transportation networks.  


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How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

"http://www.ted.com We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart..."


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Urban Density and Design

http://www.ted.com How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we wa...

 

Urban density and design connected with energy usage and climate change. 


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Samantha Fuller's curator insight, September 27, 2013 1:44 PM

We think that the climate change has to do with using fossil fuels. And althogh creating a clean sourse of energy is a good plan it doesn't solve everything. Soon we will not be able to create enough energy for everyone who uses it.

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Alisa Miller shares the news about the news | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs.

 

The U.S. News is remarkably USA-centric, so in the era of globalization and the fragmentation of information, most American TV viewers know less about the world than they did 40 years ago.


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LMullen's comment, February 2, 2012 5:28 PM
I really don't find this surprising.
Tejahne Malone's comment, May 18, 2012 4:47 PM
Our world is messed up. just because something is cheaper doesnt mean it is better. we should take actions in to our own hands and find out about global issues to increase our own knowledge for our own benefit
Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 19, 2013 11:30 AM

The U.S. News is remarkably USA-centric.   How does the media influence our perception of the world?