TEDed…Lessons Worth Sharing!

This week I scrolled through a few of the OERs on the class list. I found Merlot to be interesting and full of resources. I know Lynette wrote a great review on it already! I have heard a lot about Khan Academy so I scrolled through its resources but I didn’t totally dive into it. Then I came across TEDed. I enjoy watching the occasional TedTalk so the name caught my interest right off the bat. Once I got into the site and started scrolling around I was hooked. I knew this was the OER I wanted to spend a little more time on. I still feel I need to spend some more time exploring the site to really understand what it is capable of but I will share what I found so far.

Evaluation:

Overall, I found the site easy to navigate and appealing to the eye. When I was on Merlot I felt like I was at a Ivy League school and was a little intimidated. Seems odd but that was my initial response. Khan I found was really basic and did not pull me in. TEDed was more my style. Simple, but still catchy. I liked that it asked if I was a student, teacher or parent right off the start. That was it. From there my path would change. I checked out both the student and teacher side of things. First, I explored as a student. I liked that the home page was full of lessons that might catch your attention. It reminded me of Netflix and how it has a bunch of titles/images to choose from. I felt interested in some of the videos on the page and hadn’t even begun searching yet. I channeled my inner student and thought about how some kids might open this up and say “Hey, Look! Babies playing video games!” Then they would click on it and the lesson would begin. As you can see there is a variety of videos that can be found. The next student might get more excited about learning about bugs!

The one thing I did find in my short experience of looking, is that the content is for various ages. This means it might include some topics that aren’t exactly school appropriate. The age of students searching might affect the response to the videos that come up on their homepage. I found that once I created a profile as an educator I was able to change my settings to primary aged students.

Setting up a profile as an educator was fairly simple and was completed easily. I then was trying to figure out how to add students to my profile. This was a little more challenging. I ended up googling it because I could not figure it out. This is what I found:

I guess my understanding is that anyone can comment on your lessons not just those in your own personal classroom. This didn’t appeal to me as much. I wanted to be able to track the students in my classroom and the lessons they were looking at. Maybe I am misunderstanding this. Once I get the chance to try this with a few of my own students I may realize this isn’t as it seems. I am hoping that once the students I work with are done swimming lessons in another week, I will be able to give this a go.

How I Would Use it:

As Curtis mentioned, these lessons might only be a hook or part of a lesson. It might not be the whole lesson. It does give you a starting point and with the videos being so engaging, hopefully it can generate some really great discussions. As a student support teacher I find my approach to using this may be a bit different than if I were a classroom teacher. Direct instruction on a topic might be one way to approach this. So look for a video on landforms or a specific topic in history could be one way to do this. With guided reading or reading intervention books you may ask students to find a video on a topic that matches the book we are reading. They could focus on compare and contrast or maybe make connections to self, text and world using the videos. Another option might be to use it as a writing prompt for journals, blog posts or other writing activities you might use. In my browsing I found that a lot of videos would fall under social or science outcomes. I love that the multiple choice questions are provided and so are discussion questions.

The dig deeper portion also provides more resources to expand on their thinking and help driving higher level questioning and discussion. I think the more routine these become in the classroom the students might end up guiding the direction that the discussion goes. You might end up taking the lesson in a completely different direction that intended.

Overall Grade:

I am excited about finding this tool to use in my classroom. I do have some questions that I need to clarify with some more exploration of the tool. I think the way I utilize this in my classroom will determine how well the learning is achieved. It isn’t as simple as just giving them something to do on their own. There still needs to be some two-way communication happening. I do think there is a lot of potential here and monitoring what students are watching would be interesting. I loved how Leigh took this for a test drive and used it with her own class. I didn’t have the opportunity to do that but I plan to use this moving forward. In fact, I have already shared this resource with some of my staff members. I enjoyed this little exploration of TEDed and I hope to find ways to use it in my own classroom very soon. I see the potential here and I hope it can be something I use regularly.

One thought on “TEDed…Lessons Worth Sharing!

  1. This OER definitely sounds a lot better than the one that I had explored in terms of using it in my middle grades classroom. I have used it in the past, but definitely not to its full potential. Like you, there is still a lot that I have to learn, but maybe that comes with time and more practice? I too like how Leigh tried it out in her classroom. Being able to put things into practice while or shortly after learning about it can be so helpful for working through the learning process.

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