BRIAN MILLER

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TEDitorials as student writing assignment.

I use TED in my classroom as a means of incorporating more writing into the science curriculum I teach. I ask students to view TED Talks (I pre-select and embed a new TED each Monday on our schools LMS -Moodle). Students are required to view the TED and then write an editorial to support or refute a specific point in the TED. Students must use information from an outside source, point of view from a class discussion, personal experience or counter-example in support of their editorial opinion. Students are assessed on their support for their viewpoint, writing format and grammar, punctuation and spelling. TEDitorials are scored on a 15 point scale (9 viewpoint, 6 writing). Students complete 5 TEDitorials each semester, approximately one every three weeks.
Students find them engaging, enjoy the writing format, like to share their own opinions and often pursue viewing more TED Tallks to expand their knowledge.
Writing in science, helps students retain information, increases science vocabulary, helps make connections to prior learning. Students who write in science tend to be more active learners and are encouraged to increase critical thinking and analysis skills.

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    Oct 23 2013: And the beauty of TED is there is a TED for everyone. There is a way to reach every student in some way.
  • Oct 23 2013: I viewed a TED a few months ago about integrated engineering involving algae and energy off the coast of California (Monterey?). It was fascinating. Integrating different fields and specialities, generally, is a very creative and effective way to solve problems. I think that's an important and exciting approach for budding scientists, doctors, and anyone at all. It fosters creativity, innovention, tolerance, and i'm sure all sorts of other traits and results.
  • Oct 21 2013: So, I am taking orgo chem in high school, and have been very interested in the research of drugs and their complexity, as well as talks about tissue engineering. I find something that I learned in class that relates to research being conducted globally. MY FAVORITE TedTalks would have to be "Nina Tandon: Could tissue engineering mean personalized medicine." It deals with research I am conducting at my local university.

    I think that the videos will definitely inspire many high schoolers to pursue any science, after they see the applications and the awesomeness of it.

    My chemistry teacher shows us great talks that get us critically thinking, and being opinionated like you stated in your question. Recently my teacher showed the class a TedTalk on education reforms, and it got us, students, thinking of how the education system should change to lead to better results. We often type a reflection with our opinion of the debate/issue of the TedTalks video. It's great getting different views/perspectives on current issues.

    That inspiration from the TedTalks is great, because it gets many interested in learning more. It also gives us a greater sense of awareness in society in the fields of science to education.

    I think your idea is awesome! The writing will get the students critically thinking, especially when they consider both sides to their opinions.
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      Oct 21 2013: Thanks Alex, your input is greatly appreciated. Good luck with your research and keep getting inspired by TED.
  • Oct 21 2013: Agreed - sounds great - How about adding debate? Randomly select teams (probably 2 members each) pro/con and let the class vote on who won the debate.
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      Oct 21 2013: That would be an additional way to bring TED into the curriculum in a very effective way. Assigning different TEDs to pairs of students and let them debate or even small groups of students and assigning them the pro and con sides, allowing them to watch at home, form their arguments , and present in class.
      TEDs are just awesome!!!
      • Oct 21 2013: will also help students to present, speak in front of an audience, and argue their points (which happens in industry) - one of my pet peeves - people not being able to speak and argue well. - 8>))
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          Oct 22 2013: Agreed, can kids today, communicate coherently without their thumbs.
          In my classroom I base the process of education based upon 6 C's
          Think Critically - Work Collaboratively - Communicate Clearly
          Develop Creativity - Embrace Culture - Utilize Connectivity
          The debate idea would work very well within my classroom framework.
  • Oct 21 2013: So cool! The TedTalks are very inspiring in the field of science. They get high schoolers (my friends and I) excited. The videos help us think science concepts, research,.. in new ways!