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There is More to Learning than TEDTalks

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There is More to Learning than TEDTalks

I’m very keen on TED TALKS. I learn a lot from them. I even have the channel loaded on my Roku Box. However, lately I have noticed people think TED TALKS is not just a source for inspirational summaries, but is in fact all they need to watch in order to understand a topic.

TED TALKS are only a beginning step. They are a good medium for getting people interested in a topic. Used for entertainment purposes, TED TALKS can be watched back-to-back, and discussed among friends. Used in a classroom setting, they need to be planned, connected to other material, and be seen as the first 10 minutes of day-one of a project. TED TALKS should not be the project, nor should they be considered a legitimate source.

Any speaker who is doing a TED TALK, will have some original source for their information. Students should be encouraged to find the origin, and in fact, make certain the TED TALK is authentic. After all they are called TED TALKS not TED TRUTHS.

Last year I read a book called Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam. This is a Pulitzer Prize winning book by Fredrik Logevall. The book is over 800 pages. To be honest, I had to read some parts of it multiple times. I read this book while I was traveling through Vietnam. The entire experience is something I will never forget, and my understanding of the Vietnam War shifted. The medium is not just the message, it is the roadmap and sometimes the vehicle. 

Educators looking at TED as a resource should be asking, where does this medium go, and how can it be used to form an experience that students will never forget? The experience the TED speaker has had, is not the same as the one the students should be striving to find.

More from Tony here.

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it's not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.

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