TED Ed – Lessons Created & Curated

What I’m about to tell you about is a work of genius and a gold mine.  It can prepare kids to read, watch, and answer questions online (PARCC), it will engage them in higher-level thinking, it allows them choice in what they discover, and it invites them into a discussion with other students beyond their classroom.  It is incredible.  I’m excited.  You are warned.  🙂

So. . . I may be late to the TED-Ed game.  I’ve been familiar with TED Talks for a few years now, but this new(ish) TED-Ed resource will blow your mind.

What is TedEd?

from the website: TED-Ed is a free educational website for teachers and learners. We are a global and interdisciplinary initiative with a commitment to creating lessons worth sharing. Our approach to education is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas.

Within the growing TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.

Check out the “About” tab to know more about how lessons are created and how teachers can customize lessons.

TED Ed

Under the lessons tab, you can filter by category (check out that list – there’s even “Literature and Language”!), content, student (you can choose high school so things are the level you want), or duration.  It’s quite user friendly.

So browsing lessons is the first great thing about TEDEd (some designed around TED talks we know and love).  They’re done in such a way that you could take students to a computer lab with headphones (they can bring them . . . they all have them) to watch, answer questions, and explore the resources in the “Dig Deeper” tab OR they could be done in home.  Students could choose which they want to learn more about (something like this might work great if you want to work on inquiry-based learning or #geniushour. . . more about that soon).

So a lesson would look something like this:

TED Ed screenshot 2

As you move through the tabs on the right, something new appears on the left.

The “Think” tab includes multiple choice and open-ended questions that usually check that students watched the video but also extend their thinking:

TED Ed screenshot 3

Each lesson was created by someone else, so the nature and number of the questions will vary.  Notice on the right-hand side that you can also choose to “customize” this lesson.  That’s pretty rad.

Can you tell I’m excited yet? It’s not even over.  Check out the “Dig Deeper” and “Discuss” tabs:

TED Ed screenshot 4

The “Dig Deeper” tab provides additional resources with links.  This would be great if the TED talk inspires a student to learn more or start an inquiry-based project.  In fact, couldn’t the product of their inquiry-based project BE a TED-Ed lesson? (featuring them in the video?! or simply created/curated by them . . . at least in this format, if not published on TEDEd . . . not sure how that works yet)

The “Discuss” tab allows students to respond to a prompt that other students already have, so they’re writing for and responding to a global community (hello CCSS technology standards!)

TED Ed screenshot 5

You can change or modify lessons or create your own based on a TED Talk!  Students could complete something you designed or go and explore something another educator/animator did.  This engages students in TED Talks in a way that simply watching it couldn’t.  And the options for TEDEd-inspired performance assessments and projects after a student-directed research assignment are exciting!

This is only the tip of the TEDEd iceberg.  Check out the site, including the “Series” and “Community” tabs. You can also subscribe to the TEDEd Newsletter here.  (I recommend you use your personal email address, as the confirmation email may never come through our Groupwise.)

I actually thinking using these as part of a student-directed research project might be just the solution for PARCC testing disturbances.  It would mean smartphone use and maybe some after school and at home work for internet access though.  But of course, you can use them anytime!

As always, if you want to brainstorm other ways to bring this to your classroom and./or want to flesh out an idea presented here, don’t hesitate to let me know.  I would love to collaborate with TedEd!

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