TED Talk Teaching: Part IV

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TED Talks are great teaching tools.  Each is visual, engaging, focused, and contemporary.  I think they make excellent supplements to the readings in Emerging, particularly because many of the text’s authors have been TED speakers.  And the interactive transcript is a bonus feature, letting students work with the text of each talk.

In this series of posts I want to highlight some particularly useful TED Talks and suggest some of the ways to use them in the classroom.


Why It’s Great: Thomas Friedman’s “The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention” is another very popular essay in Emerging.  On its face, his argument feels quite intuitive—the notion that global supply chains have sointerconnecTED countries as to promote geopolitical stability, though these same supply chains are used by terrorists.  Ghemawat argues against the idea of a “flat” world, using persuasive evidence.  He thus usefully complicates Friedman’s argument.

Using It: Friedman’s “Dell Theory” is predicated on a deeply interconnected and globalized world.  If Ghemawat is correct in claiming that our perception of an interconnected world is “globaloney” then on what grounds, if any, does Friedman’s argument still stand?  If globalization doesn’t account for political stability then what other factors might?

About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.