Aging Parents, Boomer Children, Lifelong Learning – TED

I am planning to share a site that features lots of intellectual content with my 86-year-old father, a retired college professor and minister, the next time I visit.

During the past several months an occasional posting on this blog has linked to a video presentation on the TED site. This organization, devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” sponsors conferences where high-achieving people give short talks or lectures (in plain English). The TED website then freely shares these lectures with rest if the world. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.

This is a stimulating technology activity to share with an aging parent whose mind is still eager to absorb new ideas and who misses the every-day stimulation of professional work.

Talks by leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, authors, artists musicians, mathematicians, and others are riveting and can be watched right on the TED site. I have listened to Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Bobby McFerrin, JK Rowling, Steve Jobs, Oliver Sacks, and theologian Karen Armstrong, as well as many more lecturers who are less well-known, but every bit as interesting. As many women present lectures as men.

The TED organization (learn more at this About TED page) is continuously adding to the video lecture collection. Most presentations are 18 – 20 minutes long. TED also uploads outstanding speeches, delivered at other venues (the Steve Jobs lecture was delivered at a university). There is so much to learn, no matter how old you are, and this organization makes it possible to listen to people who we might never have an opportunity to hear.

The videos open and play right in a TED website window. If one chooses to download the videos, it may be necessary to download the right video player, usually Windows Media Player or Quicktime (be sure to click only on the Free Download button), but that is it. I have taught quite a few people to use this site, and once it is bookmarked, one only needs to point and click to get started.

Technology and lifelong learning at its best.

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