TED.com As An Academic Resource Part 1

TED.com and TED Talks have been an incredibly valuable academic resource for me this school year. Here are the TED Talks that we have shown in our middle school Digital Literacy classes this year and why we chose them. (I co-teach Digital Literacy with Allendale Columbia School Librarian, Judy Van Alstyne.)

Hackschooling makes me happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada

Courtesy of TED.com

“When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.”

I used this talk to introduce project ideas to the 8th grade. For the most part, they struggled with the concept of self-guided learning.

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Courtesy of TED.com

“A prolific short story writer and blogger since age seven, Adora Svitak (now 12) speaks around the United States to adults and children as an advocate for literacy.”

I showed this talk to 6th graders to inspire them to “do” what they are passionate about. Too often we hear adults say things like “you aren’t old enough.” I want our students to know that they aren’t too young to affect change and make an impact.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story

Courtesy of TED.com

“Inspired by Nigerian history and tragedies all but forgotten by recent generations of westerners, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels and stories are jewels in the crown of diasporan literature.”

We were working with the 6th grade on an interdisciplinary project with University of Rochester, Professor of Geophysics, Dr. Cynthia J. Ebinger, which involved trying to understand another culture. I love the powerful message in this talk. It relates directly to one of our school initiatives, the “Global IQ.”

TED Ed – Lessons Worth Sharing

TED-Ed’s commitment to creating lessons worth sharing 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.

To learn more about TED Ed, got to http://ed.ted.com/about

How have you used TED.com in the classes you teach or at the businesses for which you work? What are your favorite talks and how have you used them?

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