Sunday, July 10, 2016

Using TED-Ed Lessons to Build Community

This summer I am taking the TED-Ed July Challenge and watching a lesson a day for 31 days.
Each lesson consists of a 3-5 minute video, 5-8 questions, resources to learn more a discussion.
I just finished lesson 10 and I feel smarter already! Topics have included the earliest Olympics, how to grow seeds and oddities of the first American elections.

This has started me thinking about ways to use TED-Ed lessons next year. I am a new principal for a small, K-8 school in rural northern California. I plan to share a lesson a week with my students, families and staff so they can watch them together and have discussions about the topics. These lessons are excellent replacements for traditional homework packets and inspire more learning and investigation. I envision all of us having discussions about cool new ideas and facts we learned each week from TED-Ed! This is just one small way I hope to build shared experiences and community at my little school.

With a TED-Ed account you can build a lesson around any TED-Ed original, TED Talk or YouTube video. You can create your own lesson or customize one of the hundreds of lessons available from TED-Ed. Here is the first lesson I created: What's an Engineer?

That nose! Image via

If you would like to join the challenge it is not too late. Start with today's lesson (on Narcissism) or start from July 1st and work your way to the most current lesson.

The best thing so far about taking part in this challenge is that the lessons are sparking interests in me and I find myself googling terms and people to learn more. With 10 lessons under my belt, my favorite so far has been The Scandalous Life of Tycho Brahe.  I would love to know if you take on the challenge and what is your favorite lesson.  Feel free to comment below.