TED Conversations

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: 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.

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