Using TED Ed

Hello colleagues, I've been exploring some resources for use in the class I'll start teaching next week and was reminded about the lesson plans at the TED Ed site. If you are familiar with TED Talks, then you know these are talks given on a wide range of fascinating topics. TED Ed videos are created specifically for teaching and learning and include supplemental materials, i.e., discussion topics and comprehension questions as well as links to additional resources for deeper learning. The site does require registration, but it's free.

The comprehension questions are multiple choice, so I will want to ask students to be prepared to cite evidence for their answers. The questions for discussion can be responded to through an online forum and do lend themselves to higher-order thinking. These questions could also used for both face-to-face discussion and writing.

Here's an example of two questions from a 3-minute video "Democracy, an Introduction"-- 1) Which is more democratic direct or indirect democracy? 2) Are checks and balances needed to make democracy work? For each of these questions, I would want to ask students to supply evidence for their answers. A great feature of TED Ed is that teachers can add their own questions to adapt the lesson plans for their own purposes. They can even create their own lessons from scratch.

Another thing I like about the TED Ed materials is that you can search by content areas such as health, the arts, business, science and technology, etc. as well as by the length of the videos. TED Ed features videos that are from under three minutes to over 18 minutes. 

What do members think about the usefulness of TED ED video resources for standards-based lessons? If you have drawn upon TED ED or TED Talks in your teaching, please share your experiences and words of wisdom here, particularly how you are using these resources to address the College and Career Standards.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, College and Career Standards CoP