March 22, 2012


Posted by Dr. Laura Guertin

Finally, I think my wrist is strong enough where I can get back to posting interesting tech stories from around the world and my classroom!  When I saw the announcement about TED-Ed, I knew this is one of the first postings I wanted to make.  I really enjoy TED videos.  The collection includes videos on topics I would never think of, like Jae Rhim Lee’s mushroom burial suit, or learn from Terry Moore the correct way to tie my shoes.

I like the idea of shorter videos, I like the idea of having videos that explain concepts that can be tricky to understand.  And I appreciate that TED realizes that the videos will never replace the instructor in the classroom but instead serve as a great supplement.

What I see missing is the “other stuff” that goes along with teaching.  Videos are nice, and videos can grab the attention of students.  But what about reviewing that content?  What about the critical thinking questions that should follow after the video, to encourage discussion along the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomic Scale?

Why not have videos that take controversial subjects head-on, like evolution, hydrofracking, nuclear power, climate change… if resources are going to be invested with snazzy graphics, then why not make TED-Ed videos on the most rigorous and challenging topics for teacher to teach that can then develop student conversation and engaging discussion?  If anyone can say, “bring it on!”, it is TED.

I guess I have to wait for more videos to appear.  Right now, I’m not seeing much I would use for introductory geoscience courses.  Yes, images of the ocean are nice, but I would love to see TED create videos that are conversation starters and a challenge for students to get their heads around, just like some of the 18-minute TED talks.

Article – Behind Today’s TED-Ed Launch (LINK)

Video – Introducing TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing