Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Utilizing TED Talks at the Elementary Level

Utilizing TED Talks at the Elementary Level

In preparation for an upcoming staff development session, I was looking for an inspirational video to show at the beginning. Without hesitating, I searched the TED Talks website for some inspiration. While browsing through some of the videos, I came across a video that made me step back and reflect.

"What Adults Can Learn From Kids" by Adora Svitak made me think about how this concept could be applied in the elementary classroom. Many times, we in the education field are so focused on teaching the prescribed curriculum, that we do not tap into the resource that is our students. Students are passionate about many different topics that may or may not fit into district curriculum as prescribed in the curriculum documents. Just because a topic of interest is not dictated from curriculum documents and the teacher's manuals, doesn't mean it is not worthy of our classroom time. In fact, we need to embrace these interests and utilize them to deliver our curriculum.

Do you want to tap into your student's passions and cover curriculum at the same time? Try this idea.

1. Show your students Adora Svitak's TED talk and probe your students about the following items:

  • What is their area of expertise?
  • What is their passion?
  • How could their passion help others?
2. Use the students' passions as a topic for an upcoming research project. This can be individualized or students with similar passions could work in small groups.

3. While doing this research project in your room, incorporate the following curricular topics:

  • Work in various writing objectives from your curriculum
  • Work on various research skills from your curriculum
4. Give students choice on how they wish to present their finding or what they will be doing with their research.
  • work on oral and written communication objectives from your curriculum
In this example project, students are learning about areas of interest and the teacher is covering their communication arts curriculum.

Students want to learn about items and ideas of interest. Greater student passion leads to higher levels of commitment, work, and hopefully learning. Any time that educators can tap into student interests and cover curriculum at the same time, that is a win-win.

This is technology that actually works!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this inspirational video. Good ideas for application in the classroom.