Ed Tech Leader Delivers Powerful TED Talk on the Role of Families in School

ted talk heejae lim talkingpoints

TalkingPoints’ Heejae Lim was one of 20 change-makers — and the only education leader — selected through the TED Fellows Program

San Francisco, California (August 30, 2022) — Today, TalkingPoints, an education technology nonprofit, shared the release of the TED Talk delivered by its founder and CEO, Heejae Lim. The 5-minute speech titled “The most powerful yet overlooked resource in schools,” argues that the most powerful and underutilized resource in American public education is a family’s love for their children, and schools can remove barriers and facilitate meaningful connections that lead to improved outcomes for students. 


Lim connects her childhood, where her mom served as the unofficial cultural translator for her fellow Korean immigrants in her school, with her vision of creating a technology platform that makes it easier for vital school family partnerships to occur. 


Lim shares how the TalkingPoints platform was inspired by her experience as an immigrant student and the role her mother played as the unofficial cultural translator for her fellow Korean immigrants in her school.


“We’re playing the role my mom had for the school and my friends’ families — the communicator, the explainer, the coach, the translator and the go-between. And, since my mum cannot be everywhere — I mean no parent can, and it’s not for lack of trying — we step in and reach millions of families and schools. When teachers and families work together EVERYONE wins. Students are supported, families are empowered, and teachers’ jobs become easier.”


In U.S. schools, 40 million children, or four in five students, come from underserved or immigrant families. On average, underserved children will fall behind by two school years, costing the US economy nearly a trillion dollars every year. But smart, targeted engagement can turn this trend and support families and students. 


By removing cultural and linguistic barriers, Lim argues that schools can reach all families and work in partnership to support student learning and improve academic outcomes.


“A parent is a child’s first teacher and children spend 80% of their waking hours outside the classroom….Families ARE the game-changer! Still, almost everywhere, education just focuses on how and what schools can do. So here’s the trillion-dollar question: how can we better tap into the incredible potential of families and their universal love for their children?”


Lim was the only education leader selected as part of the class of 2022 TED Fellows Program, which includes 20 change-makers from around the world. 


“It’s been humbling and inspiring to become part of the TED community and connect with so many like-minded leaders who are working to solve complex social problems,” said Lim. “I am hopeful that the large global audience TED provides can help elevate the status of families as a key lever in improving student outcomes not just in the US, but globally,” she added.  


TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit that supports school districts in connecting families and teachers for the success and well-being of each and every student.   They do this through instant, two-way, translated messages in more than 125 languages, powered by human translators and artificial intelligence, for the success and wellbeing of each and every student. 


TED videos on education rank among some of the most popular videos in their catalog. In fact, the most popular TED talk of all time is Sir Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity,” which has been viewed more than 73 million times on the TED website.  


About TalkingPoints

TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit that supports school districts in connecting families and teachers for the success and well-being of each and every student.  TalkingPoints’ multilingual technology platform uses two-way translated communication and personalized content in more than 125 languages in order to facilitate meaningful family-school partnerships. This unique approach is driven by a relentless focus on eliminating barriers to strong family-school partnerships, including language, time, mindsets, and capacity.  For additional information about TalkingPoints, please visit www.talkingpts.org.

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