Entertainment, Inspiration, and Education, Oh My! by Emily Pierce
Students gather in a dark classroom with all of their attention on a screen where a young man shares his brilliant ideas from within a red circle. Many educators incorporate videos into their lessons in order to create a better understanding of the lesson or to inspire their students. Some of the video’s teachers may employ are TED Talks. These videos inspire and enrich an individual’s knowledge on specific topics. TED Talks are even utilized by teachers at Lake Gibson.
One teacher at LG, Mr. Rodney Kretzer, has been applying TED Talks in his classroom for almost four years. He presents the videos to his students with a viewing guide. He believes TED Talks benefit his students in a variety of ways. “Speakers introduce new information, review topics introduced in my class’ text, and often give new insight to our studies,” Mr.Kretzer explained. He highly recommends that more teachers apply TED Talks in their lessons, for they are a good educational as well as entertainment source for students.
Mrs. Shalisa Muehlberger also uses TED Talks in her classroom here at LG. She incorporates them into her lesson to present new material to her students but also has students create their own TED Talks. She believes watching these informational videos aid her students into having a better understanding of the material she presents to them. Having her students write their own TED Talks allows her students to write stronger essays because they have great examples of how to present their information. Mrs. Muehlberger absolutely recommends that teachers employ TED Talks in their classroom.
Another teacher, Mr. Andrew Stephens is taking the use of TED Talks to a whole new level. This semester, he is employing TED Talks in two different ways in his AP classes. The first being a bi-weekly assignment analyzing the ideas and arguments in a specific TED Talk. Each week, each student will choose one they are drawn to, watch it, and then answer a list of various questions dealing with the speaker’s main argument and ideas. Students will have the freedom of watching a TED Talk of their choice in order to enhance their background knowledge on a topic they show interest in. This assignment has been done in Mr. Stephens classroom ever since he started teaching AP. The second assignment is a project called 20-Time, where students will make their own TED Talk. Students will use their knowledge they have attained throughout the year to form their own argument on a topic of choice, convincing their peers on whatever the argument may be. This year is the first year Mr. Stephens is doing the 20-Time TED Talk project with his AP students. He is using these assignments to benefit his students in a number of ways: “ Students are learning how to formulate their own arguments, identify arguments and support them with evidence without using fallacies, and how to speak publicly with confidence,” he explained. He recommends that teachers use TED Talks in their lessons, and he hopes to inspire them to do so. “Almost every topic has a TED Talk about it. They are interesting, humorous, educational, and a great way to engage students,” Mr. Stephens shared.
TED Talks’ popularity continues to increase as more and more individuals are drawn to them. If teachers are looking for a new way to entertain while still educating their students, they should highly consider the use of TED Talks.