Showing posts with label TED Ed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TED Ed. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2015

How Sound Is Produced Through Brass Instruments

How Brass Instruments Work is a relatively new TED-Ed lesson. The video provides an overview of how sound is produced and changed through trumpets, trombones, and tubas. The lesson within the video is rather basic but it does do a nice job of clearly conveying how a musician makes music on a brass instrument.


After students learn how brass instruments work, they can visit SFS Kids to learn how brass instruments fit into symphony orchestras. In the "performance" section of SFS Kids students learn about the instruments commonly heard in a symphony orchestra. After learning about how the instruments are played it is time for students to jump into the "composition" section of SFS Kids where they'll work through a series of lessons on the basics of composition and begin writing their own pieces.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What Does Your Thyroid Do? - A TED-Ed Lesson

How does the thyroid manage your metabolism? is the question driving a TED-Ed lesson about the importance of the thyroid in the human body. The short video provides a good definition of metabolism then goes on to explain how the thyroid influences metabolism. Explanations of and examples of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism conclude the lesson. The complete lesson and guiding questions can be found here.


Applications for Education
I've added this video to a playlist of five other TED-Ed lessons about how the human body works. The playlist could be helpful as introductory material for a middle school or high school biology class.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How a Dog's Nose Works and How Dogs Observe the World

Morrison and Max sniffing their
way around the world. 
If you read this blog regularly, you've probably picked up that I love dogs. So of course I was excited to watch the new TED Ed lesson about how dogs "see" with their noses. How Do Dogs "See" With Their Noses? provides a great explanation of how dogs noses work. The most interesting part of the video is the explanation of how dogs' senses of smell allow them to identify friends, foes, and potential threats. The video is embedded below. You can find the full lesson here.


Click here for more resources for teaching lessons about dogs.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Retail Businesses Open Next to Their Competitors

Have you ever wondered why coffee shops, car dealers, and fast food restaurants tend to be clustered together? Sometimes it is due to local zoning ordinances, but there are other reasons why retail businesses tend to be clustered together. The TED-Ed lesson Why do competitors open their stores next to one another? students learn why retail stores are found next to each other.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Story of Photosynthesis and Food

A few weeks ago I suggested having students use the Crash Course videos as review materials to view before the end of the school year. There are Crash Courses in Biology and Ecology. As a supplement to those videos consider the TED-Ed lesson, The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food. The video could make a good review of or introduction to photosynthesis.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Short Course on the Origins of Writing

Hieroglyphics? Sanskrit? What are the origins of written language? Some answers to that last question are presented in the TED Ed lesson Who Invented Writing? The video is embedded below.


Applications for Education
This video could be part of a short lesson on the development of civilizations. The video might also be of interest to art teachers to share with students learning about typography and calligraphy. 

H/T to Brain Pickings

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blubbr - Create Interactive Quizzes Using YouTube Clips

Blubbr is a neat quiz creation service that I recently learned about on Danny Nicholson's blog. Using Blubbr you can create interactive quizzes that are based on YouTube clips. Your quizzes can be about anything of your choosing. The structure of the quizzes has a viewer watch a short clip then answer a multiple choice question about the clip. Viewers know right away if they chose the correct answer or not.


To create a quiz on Blubbr start by entering a topic for your quiz. After entering your topic enter a search for a video about that topic. Blubbr will generate a list of videos that you can select from to use in your quiz. When you find a video that works for you, trim the clip to a length that you like then write out your question and answer choices. Repeat the process for as many video clips as you like. Click here to try a short Blubbr quiz about the human heart.


Applications for Education
I think of Blubbr as being like TEDEd but with short video clips. In that regard, creating a quiz on Blubbr could be a good way to develop review materials for your students. Students can take quizzes on Blubbr without signing into the service. Unfortunately, to create a new quiz you do have to use your Twitter or Facebook credentials. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Teachem - Another Way to Comment on Educational Videos

Teachem is a new service that is using the TED Ed model of creating lessons based on video. On Teachem teachers can build courses that are composed of a series of videos hosted on YouTube. Teachers can write questions and comments in "flashcards" that are tied to specific parts of each video and display next to each video. Students can take notes while watching the videos using the Teachem SmartNote system.


I created a sample course in Teachem. That was a straight-forward process of adding a video URL then typing out questions. When you create a Teachem course you can make it public or private. Public courses can be accessed by anyone that has address for your course. Public courses are supposed to be discoverable on Teachem, but I had trouble locating any courses that weren't created by me.

Applications for Education
Teachem isn't a revolutionary tool by any stretch of the imagination, it's basically another way to flip your classroom (read my concerns about flipped classrooms here). That said, Teachem it could be useful for organizing short review or introductory activities for your students.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Thought or Two About TED Ed

TED made headlines this week with the launch of TED Ed. TED Ed is a new platform through which teachers can build short lessons around short videos that have been given the TED stamp of approval. Like most TED videos, the videos in TED-Ed that I have watched so far are good. From a production standpoint the videos are better than the blackboard and narration that you get with Khan Academy. But that's about where my excitement ends.

After and or while watching the videos on TED Ed students answer multiple choice and short answer questions about what they're seeing and hearing. Which is exactly what many teachers (myself included in my first years teaching) do or have done by handing out question lists for students to complete while watching film strips, reel-to-reel movies, VHS tapes, and DVDs. TED Ed does have one slight advantage here in that students do get instant feedback on their multiple choice answers on TED Ed.

TED Ed provides a place for teachers to "flip" lessons which is TED's way of saying build their own quizzes around the TED Ed videos and link to related resources that they select for their students. I gave it a quick try and found it easy to do this. But I also know that I could do the same thing with other tools. The assessment tools that TED Ed provides didn't strike me as anything more than what you can do with a tool like Flubaroo. And before you flip your classroom, please consider these questions.

One of the things that I would like to see added to TED Ed is a place for real-time conversations about the videos that students watch. This would allow students to ask questions of each other and of their teachers while watching the videos. This allows the students to take a bit of the lead in determining what is thought-provoking in a video. I know from experience of showing video clips in social studies classrooms  that giving a forum for that kind of response to videos can mean the difference between watching and thinking about what is being shown and simply hunting for answers in a video. Here are three tools that have the required kind of technology in place now.

Overall, TED Ed seems like it could be handy for creating quick introductory or review lessons, but it's not going to revolutionize how education works. I welcome your thoughts in the comments.