Trying Out TED-Ed

I spent a weekend of fabulous learning at the ASCD Conference for Teaching Excellence, and I plan to post some reflections during the next couple weeks...but for now, here's my first follow-up.

In the past few years, we've heard more and more talk about growth and fixed mindsets, and I'm now a fan and believer of Carol Dweck's work.  (If you want to join a great conversation, check out the #eduread chats on Wednesday nights!  Our discussion for July 9th, 2014, will be over Dweck's article "Even Geniuses Work Hard.")  The more recent trend has been about grit, and my first session at the ASCD conference was with Thomas R. Hoerr, who presented on Fostering Grit.

During the past couple years, I've discussed growth mindset with my students, but I've wanted to try something more tangible with them, and after hearing Dr. Hoerr's talk, I knew I needed to give them some more specifics.  Last week at a different staff development, we watched Angela Duckworth's TED talk on grit, and I thought that video was short enough for my students...but how could I get them to do a bit of reflecting?  Enter the lessons on TEDEd.

Without too much time or trouble, I've created two TEDEd lessons this morning: one for my students and one for our faculty.

First, you find any YouTube or TED Talk video, and create an account on TEDEd.  Once you choose your video, the lesson creator for TEDEd allows you to write an "objective" and create multiple choice and short answer questions about the video.  For the multiple choice questions, you even add the exact time where the video refers to the answer, so if viewers answer incorrectly, the video returns to that location to help students find the correct answer.  (You may create up to 15 questions, plus you may edit and re-order the questions at any time.)  Students must create an account with TED to be able to respond on the site and receive feedback; perhaps I'll create a Google Form that mirrors the questions so that they may respond there...still thinking.

Next, you may add additional resources, links, and images that allow the viewers to "Dig Deeper."  For my students' lesson on grit, I found links to Duckworth's grit test, a video on growth/fixed mindset, and a link to Dweck's work on how to change your mindset.

There is also a place for discussion, if you would like to add that feature, but I'm asking my students respond on a protected Google doc instead.  You may add or delete any of these sections for your TEDEd lesson.

And last, there is the "...And Finally" section.  Here, you may type additional reflections, take-aways, and what happens next.  For our faculty's TEDEd, I plan to flip this video and ask that they view it before the first day of professional development.  We'll begin our discussions with the "...And Finally" reflections.  Over the past several years, we've discussed Simon Sinek's Start With WHY, and his latest TED talk is Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.  My TEDEd lesson asks us to reflect how his ideas of leadership, safety and trust look in the school, departments, and in our classrooms.

I loved learning about the lesson possibilities on TEDEd, and for my purposes this morning, the features were fantastic.  I can't wait to try these videos with our students and teachers.  Watching and reflecting on Angela Duckwork's talk may be part of my assignment on day #1!

My stack of reading continues to grow...