Last week I wrote about bringing blended learning into the classroom and how this can aid with making the classroom a more interesting and exciting place – For both teachers and students. One of the tools I mentioned was Ted Talks and it’s more recent Educational development, Ted-Ed.

Ted Talks has fast become a website that can boast hundreds and thousands of views as well as being known for quality content and its ability to make people sit down and listen – and then think.

When looking at these videos from an academic perspective, sometimes the topics can be quite high level and go over student’s heads or the whole fact that you watch a 20 minute video without any kind of prepared exercises, warm-ups or follow-up activities can make using these videos in class a bit aimless.

Introducing Ted-Ed. It really doesn’t need an introduction, but perhaps you haven’t heard of it and in that unlikely case, meet Ted-Ed.

The format of Ted-Ed is a lot easier to navigate in terms of looking for specific subjects and the whole layout of the page makes it a lot more student friendly, especially if you have younger students.

One of the clinchers, and this is something I found to be of great importance, is that the videos on Ted Talks are just of a person standing in front of an audience talking, hence the name. But with Ted-Ed you get a mix of different videos, from the original Ted Talks concept to cartoons and explanative videos where a person will be doing something in front of the camera like a science experiment or similar.

I found that the cartoons kept the attention of the students the best.

What makes this whole idea great for classes is they link each video to some ideas for the classroom. Each video will have a few links that you can click on after or before viewing to make the video a supplement and not just a cop-out of a class. The options include;

  • Think – This comes with some pre-prepared questions that either have answers within the video or get the students to continue their research after watching the video.
  • Dig Deeper – A comprehension that is added to the video with a greater explanation of the content, as well as facts and some background on the topic.
  • Discuss – Basically a guided discussion on the topic of the video.

It is often hard to know exactly what students will enjoy so do some research beforehand but it’s good to know that in case you are trying to add some media and blended learning into your classroom that there are options out there and good ones at that.

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