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
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.
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