PowerUp Your Use of Classroom Video with TED

Common Core State Standards: 
Make Sense of Problems
Reason Abstractly
Use Appropriate Tools Strategically
Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects
Literacy in History/Social Studies
Informational Text
Foundational Skills
Speaking and Listening
Instructional Strategies: 

We’ve all been there: searching the endless labyrinth that is YouTube for educational material that is great for our students. When we find that perfect video, it’s a treat for our students, and gives us a way to expose our students to information and viewpoints in new and engaging ways.

Using video and multimedia in the classroom has a long history. From the moment it became available, teachers  recognized the power of these tools to demonstrate instead of tell, to help students understand difficult concepts, and to expose them to images and experiences they might not have otherwise. We’ve moved well beyond the age of the VHS tape, however— the TV cart being rolled down the hall for an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy. He moved on to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (and he’s still got it, by the way—just don’t ask the judges!).

There are now over 100 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute. From explosive and engaging science experiments to in-depth lessons on virtually any topic to free, full length documentaries, there is no shortage of video content you can use in your classroom.

The challenge is finding the time to wade through the millions of available videos and then take the time to  to turn a treat into a lesson. Today, the answer to that questionis not simply to make a worksheet to go along with the video. Rather, one creative response comes in the form of TedEd.

TedEd is an excellent website that provides 1)An existing database of educational videos; 2) A more efficient means to search; and most importantly, 3) A framework to support engagement, provide assessment, and provoke further discovery surrounding the material covered.

The reason TedEd is so effective is that it not only provides materials to the educator, but it also asks the educator to create their own content, ranging from uploading and designing the video and supporting content from the ground up. The supporting content added to a video can be accessed by the student in- or outside-of the classroom. The student’s engagement with those resources (in the form of embedded assessment or discussion forums and additional resources) can later be viewed and commented on by the teacher. Think of the opportunities for using and creating rich, wraparound content that is differentiated for your students’ needs!

TedEd takes inspiration from the “flipped classroom” movement, but provides flexible options for using their content in your classroom context. So, whether you’re aiming to use video as an in-class activity and simply blend learning, or as a tool for the flipped classroom, TedEd has the power to help you maximize the power of digital media in learning and can save you from that dreaded YouTube search that somehow drags out an entire hour of your day. Check it out today and let us know what you think of it by commenting below - if you create your own lesson, be sure to share the link!

Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Michael McGarrah for helping to compile this post. 

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