How Schools Can Now Get A Virtual Seat At TED Talks

I’m a huge fan of TED talks. The addicting and inspirational lectures always get my mind racing. It’s always been a dream to attend a talk by one of the fantastic presenters at some point in my life. Luckily, I’m now a step closer.

TED Live

Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) just launched ‘TED Live‘ which is a year-long membership that lets you grab a virtual seat at TED and TED Global conferences. Best of all, it’s designed for individuals as well as organizations like schools and small businesses. One caveat, access is to talks that are 18-minutes or less. That seems pretty cruddy but it’s a step in the right direction.

So what else do you get with TED Live? Access to the TED Live online community, extra / exclusive coverage of what’s happening behind the scenes, and the ability to join a private TED Facebook group as well as the ability to send messages on TED.com

Kindle Fire Included In Membership

For whatever reason, the TED Live promotion involves the Amazon Kindle Fire. You’ll get one when you buy the year-long membership presumably so you can watch the videos right from your device. It’s a smart move on Amazon’s part to be closely associated with the brilliant people at TED (from a marketing perspective). Along with watching the videos, you’ll also get a TED Books subscription which includes a couple short e-books sent to you each month. In case you’re not wild about the Kindle Fire, fear not. TED previously released apps for the iPhone and iPad.

What It Costs

There’s a tiered pricing structure that’s built towards letting large groups of people watch the TED talks live. Individual (year-long) membership is $995. Primary and secondary schools pay that price too but can have up to 10 people watching simultaneously. Universities and small business pay $2,500. They can have up to 50 people watch live simultaneously.

It’s a bit pricey but I’m strongly considering purchasing the membership. Would your students benefit from being able to watch the talks live? Is there a difference? In most cash-strapped schools, I’m assuming administrators would simply say to watch the recorded versions for free.