Using TED Talks in School
TED Talks are “Ideas worth spreading”. Let me first explain the idea of what TED Talks are all about. They are relatively short and deal with the most pressing issues of the day, packed with interesting ideas containing information to be shared. It’s no wonder that they’re embraced by all kinds of learners in every stage of life across the world. Just explore the net and you can find them on almost every possible area of learning. TED Talks can make teachers think differently and can encourage the same in their students. Good TED Talks make us laugh, touch our hearts or even inspire us.
How can teachers use TED Talks to their full advantage? Let’s take a look at a few creative ways I’ve used to do just that. I find that using TED Talks to convey an important message or spark creativity to be more effective in teaching students than giving a lecture or presentation.
To Spark Conversations
The most obvious way to use TED Talks in the classroom is to show talks that relate in some way to the subject material you’re currently covering. They can be used to capture student attention, reframe understanding, and spark a high calibre discussion amongst students which won’t be quickly forgotten.
Love the TED-Ed Platform
TED is well aware of its potential utility to the world of education — so aware, in fact, that it has an entire website, ed.ted.com, devoted to using TED in the classroom. TED-Ed is a powerful platform that helps you create entire lessons around specific TED Talks, so do go through these websites and learn the art of TED.
Make Your Own TED-Ed Club
It’s not just adults that have good ideas; in fact, if you browse through any number of TED Talks, they often hold up young people, who see fewer limits than adults do, as the creative ideal. So why not feature student ideas by giving them a platform of their own in your school?
Have Students Give Subject-Specific TED Talks
So far, we’ve discussed the ways students can benefit from hearing or discussing big ideas in the most general sense. But there’s no reason you can’t use the TED Talk model as inspiration for more specific curriculum activities. Let’s say, for example, that you are a history teacher and you’re currently focusing on the Mughal Dynasty. Why not have each student pitch their own big theory about this famous dynastic family? Certainly this would beat the typical presentation style!
No matter what route you take, the idea here is to take the TED Talk format and apply it specifically to whatever subject or unit you’re currently teaching.
In Short TED Talks make for a great base for so many different kinds of educational experiences. Whether you’re simply using a talk to spark discussion or you’re creating a TED series of your own, TED Talks make a creative, exciting, and rewarding teaching lens.