Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Problem with TED Ed

by Shelly Blake-Plock

The problem with TED Ed is the problem of what we define in traditional education as a "lesson".

In life, we learn lessons by trial-and-error. We burn our hand on the stove as children and therefore learn that the stove gets hot. Over time we realize it gets hot because its purpose is to cook food. Some of us learn how the stove works and become mechanics or industrial engineers; others of us become chefs. Most of us just realize to keep our hands out of hot stuff.

But we all learn by doing and by making mistakes.

And I emphasize "doing".

TED -- in the form it is presented online to the masses -- is not about doing. It is about watching. Listening. Consuming. Maybe leaving a comment or sharing a link to improve your TEDCred score. Yes, there is a wealth of interesting information and lots to think about. Personally, I find many of the lectures to be inspired. But we shouldn't confuse an inspiring lecture and provocative ideas with "learning".

And much of what we have called "lessons" over the decades really aren't lessons at all -- they are consumables. They are short narratives consumed by students who are then asked to fill in bubbles that demonstrate that the student either was paying a modicum of attention or that the student has good natural deductive skills in parsing the quiz-maker's craft.

And so we added the essay, the brief constructed response, the formal answer. And we said it was good because now we had brought qualitative and subjective response and the skill of argument to the assessment of learning. And we judged it objectively. And we kicked the poets out of town.

None of this led to "learning" for the overwhelming majority of students. If it had, we would not be at the crisis stage in education and culture.

And so, I was interested though skeptical of TED Ed when it was announced. And now, in seeing where it is going I am depressed.

Let's consider the things that TED Ed asks the learner to do: watch a video, take a multiple-choice quiz, write brief constructed responses, and read through a bibliography. If I took the name TED out of this scenario, I would suggest that many educators would say that this format is exactly the type of traditional assessment that project-based, inquiry-driven, personalized learning is at odds with.

It is perfectly fine to watch a video. It is perfectly fine to view a lecture. It is perfectly fine to quiz yourself on what you remember from the video or the lecture. It is perfectly fine to write a brief response about a big question. But let's not call that a lesson. That's just a starting point.

Lessons come from doing.

Our mother told us the stove was hot. She told us not to touch. If we were asked what mother said, we would say: "She said not to touch the stove. The stove is hot."

But we didn't learn a lesson until we touched the stove and got burned.

Lessons worth sharing are lessons that come from out of doing. And if we are going to bring education to the online space what we need right now is a platform that exists to help us do a lot more than flip the classroom. We desperately need a platform that exists to help us learn lessons by doing.

Will TED Ed evolve into that? Will MITx? Will any of the current rage of MOOCs?

Therein may lie a lesson.

40 comments:

  1. I think there is power in vocal performance. I love plays. I love verbal story-telling. I love a well-crafted speech. I think there are lessons to be had in those formats, but they are more likely to be themes. A slight encouragement. Maybe some catharsis. A broadening of one's worldview.

    We learn from reading, from listening, from speaking and interacting. We learn from speeches and movies and novels. We learn from all of those things that we experience - even if the experience is vicarious.

    However, the deepest lessons are often learned by doing. The value in all the cheap counterfeits that we have gone for throughout the millenia is this: we need catharsis. We need to know we are not alone. We need to express. We need the aesthetic.

    I'm not sure when it becomes a lesson. Is it when it becomes interactive? Can that interaction occur in a dialogue? Is it when it becomes experiential? Can that be formalized into a "lesson?" What if the only way to push it from the aesthetic into education is through relationships?

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    1. John stole my thunder when he said, "We learn from reading, from listening, from speaking and interacting. We learn from speeches and movies and novels. We learn from all of those things that we experience - even if the experience is vicarious."

      That was going to be my point: we don't EXCLUSIVELY learn by doing, and we can't therefore immediately shun TED-Ed for using video to teach.

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  2. Ted Ed is one of the most downloaded apps on Android, though. Going back, I never really looked at education as a lesson in life. Nothing compares to real life experiences where you know the right from wrong. Sure, you'll learn a bunch of stuff from school but when you set your foot in the real world, your experiences define how you deal with situations.

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  3. Perhaps the answer here is "there is no app for that."

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    1. But there could be. I see much of the problem in edu apps in general in that they usually work with an eye towards the edu systems we already have in place rather than with an eye to the future. Even the majority of blended learning, flipped learning, etc models are driven by a need to demonstrate success in measurements that were defined before the social tech era.

      I'm concerned that if we don't push what education "looks like" and "feels like" online, we're going to miss out on a) what great teachers bring to the table in favor of what corporations can put on the table and b) what students can do with the type and format and structure of education we offer them.

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    2. While I don't necessarily disagree, I have to wonder why this argument is only applied to online learning.

      Why are the expectations there higher than with the current system?

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  4. "in seeing where [Ted Ed] is going I am depressed"

    Ok, Ted Ed are sharing videos openly with others. They claim that lessons are meant to be supplements to what teachers are currently doing in class - they say something like Ted Ed lessons don't replace good teaching. Learners can schematically search videos or search by subject. Learners receive instant feedback and prompts with questions related to the video, and may answer open questions that require deeper thought. And lessons include further reading on the subject of the video for learners who wish to learn more. Learners can complete questions anonymously or may sign in so they can keep track of their process. And educators can "flip" not only Ted Ed videos but any YouTube video (including any videos teachers wish to upload themselves) by creating lessons in Ted Ed that are more relevant to local contexts.

    The direction Ted Ed is taking does not depress me at all - I applaud what they are doing. What depresses me is that some teachers will mistake these lessons for good teaching.

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  5. When I was reading this I began thinking about teaching and learning history which has been my passion since I can remember. Teaching history is really just telling stories about our memories, our past. Learning it is the same--a pure act of imagination based on scrapes of evidence in the present which we re-arrange into new patterns and pictures as we discover more or gain new insights from what we have. We cannot touch the stove any longer to see if it is hot. We have to trust our memory for where the stoves are. Unless we simulate the past we cannot really learn from it. We have to find someway to "re-heat" the stove. These thoughts remind me of Jane McGonigal's incredible book, Reality is Broken, which reminded me that Reality is constructed and can be re-constructed through gaming, which re-heats the stove. Games allow us to re-do the past in terms of our present and learn about who we are as human beings. Games allow to re-heat the stove without real burns. Games allow us to practice for life!

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    1. I think you are really on to something in thinking of the narratives available through games as opposed to the "gamification" of things.

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    2. I strongly agree with you on this point. A very good book that investigates this idea is "What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy" by Paul McGee. Well worth the read even if only to improve more traditional lessons by considering the motivations that video games tap into.

      There is a lot said about introduction of games into education but many of these games just follow a traditional method of quiz, etc. Rarely do they require the player to think about the background to that point, their actions and the consequences. And to me this is the essence of learning whether it be philosophy, history, mathematics or science. True learning occurs not when you can just replicate somebody else but when you understand the reasons/motivations behind that principle or concept and then you can take that further or consider it in a different light. Then, and only then, does advancement of knowledge occur.

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  6. There is nothing stopping us from taking what TED begins to the next level. Let's stop waiting for someone to give us the next platform. I see TED ED as a simple starting point. What happens before, after, and during is up to us... Let's not wait for someone else to give us permission. That is why we are teachers and librarians.

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    1. What we need to be doing in that regard is linking teachers, students, and technologists to work on new open source edtech that comes directly out of the experience of the classroom and thrives on collaboration and openness. I agree with you and that's a focus of what I've spent the last several months on here in Baltimore.

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    2. @Shelly Blake-Plock, so you are saying that TED Ed should link teachers, students, and technologists to work on new open source edtech that comes directly out of the experience of the classroom and thrives on collaboration and openness? Or, who are "we" that needs to be doing this? Are you arguing against TED ED or arguing how others might use TED ED - two distinct arguments. Your post seems to be related to the former argument while your comments (reply posts) seem to relate to the latter argument. If you are arguing against TED Ed, offer TED Ed solutions; if you are arguing against how others might use TED Ed, discuss solutions with regard to curriculum, assessment, and instruction in using TED Ed.

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  7. Your post is well intentioned, but you are essentially wrong. If we leave aside the preconceptions and ideology (like what teachers think that a lesson must be) and look at the evidence, we see that solutions such as TED-Ed have great potential.

    You say that we learn by doing and criticize TED-Ed for not allowing this. Ok, doing is perhaps the best way we learn. But in the classrooms where students we learning by doing? Outside the socialization and feedback (both very important), What is the difference between a lecture a popstar teacher with a video a popstar teacher ?
    About MOOC: I completed a class of Udacity and I am now doing other courses (from Udacity and Coursera). My personal evidence is: I learned a lot and I would never have educational opportunities like this in my country.

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    1. I'm not anti-TED or anti-MOOC. As I said in the post, I've been inspired by lectures on TED and elsewhere.

      My point is that they had the opportunity to do something groundbreaking and instead, what they gave us on their end is really more of the same. Some good, some meh, but nothing really all that earth-shattering... and considering the capacity of TED, that's disheartening.

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  8. (Consider this version with grammatical errors corrected)

    Your post is well intentioned, but you are essentially wrong. If we leave aside the preconceptions and ideology (like what teachers think that a lesson must be) and look at the evidence, we see that solutions such as TED-Ed have great potential.
    You say that we learn by doing and criticize TED-Ed for not allowing this. Ok, doing is perhaps the best way we learn. But in today classrooms where are students learning by doing? Outside the socialization and feedback (both very important), what is the difference between a lecture from a regular teacher and a recorded lesson from a popstar teacher?
    About MOOC: I completed a class of Udacity and now I'm doing other courses (from Udacity and Coursera). My personal evidence is: I learned a lot and I would never have an educational opportunities like this in my country.

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  9. Everybody learns, but maybe not in the same way.

    I learn by doing and doing and doing. I get to the same point, but it is not the most efficient way to learn.
    I always hated labs in Physics and Chemistry. The environment are so structured, but that is what you are supposed to be learning really. To get the expected results you have perform the tasks in the right order and in the right proportion.
    I think ted ed is a great way to present material. This material can be a tool to an instructor.
    It is up to the instructor to use the tools to create the environment where learning can occur.

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  10. Ok so what now? All learning needs to be 100% authentic? According to the blogger, the only why I’ll ever learn about the Arctic is to visit there? I can only solve linear equations by trial and error? Having someone (either through a video or in person) show me how to do something isn’t learning? Doesn’t leave too many options for classrooms...unless I can take my 6th graders on tour with me!



    I wish I had time to blog about education all day instead I actually get to put ideas into action; a little different...

    Videos are only tutorial tools anyone who uses them knows this and they are always reinforcing the ideas with activities.

    There are no silver bullets.

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    1. Yes, all learning needs to be 100% authentic. That has nothing to do with a red herring like going to the Arctic; it has to do with looking with open eyes at the structure of pedagogy and the systems we have in place to limit student access and discourage inquiry and creativity.

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    2. I'm not sure your Ad Hominem attack was necessary. Shelly is critiquing an educational technique, and you've chosen to critique Shelly because you feel some sort of offence?

      Surely you are able to more mature than that. Shelly puts his ideas out there, and whether we agree with him or not (I happen to agree with him, you do not), you should treat him with respect.

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  11. TED ED, like all TED, is conservative structuring of technology to prevent change, built within a highly hierarchical structure designed to preserve the power structure. "Just sit down and the Gates Foundation will tell you who to listen to."

    Who might have imagined, as the internet exploded early in this century, that the biggest things educators would throng to are the lecture (TED) and the video reading of a textbook (Khan)? So many possibilities for shared, collaborative, non-hierarchical breakthrough learning platforms, but the money, and the attention of the education community, takes the tools of today and rushes to turn it all into filmstrips. "Beeep!"

    So, really, the best use of your time, or your students' time, is to watch canned lecture+powerpoint presentations, with no feedback, no conversation, no interruption?

    No wonder we need to make it illegal for everyone up to 18 to leave school. If it wasn't, the buildings would be empty.

    - Ira Socol

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  12. This conversation is just what I needed now. In writing about personalizing learning (http://barbarabray.net) along with Kathleen McClaskey, we have been interviewing thought leaders around the world. The perception of what personalization means is just as confusing as the idea of what learning and the learner means. Is learning just doing something?

    The 2010 US EdTech plan describes personalization as instruction not learning (http://www.ed.gov/technology/draft-netp-2010/individualized-personalized-differentiated-instruction) . We created a chart to explain that personalizing learning starts with the learner (http://barbarabray.net/2012/01/22/personalization-vs-differentiation-vs-individualization-chart/) - it is about learning not teaching. We then realized that moving to an environment that really starts with the learner is unique.

    Teachers are still creating lessons -- still following pacing guides -- still teaching to the test, that is, at least mostly in the US. Maybe teachers use videos like Khan or TedEd to flip the classroom. It is usually teacher-centric. Project-based learning (PBL), in most cases, is teacher-centric with some learner voice and choice. PBL has learners doing. Are learners co-designers of their learning? Did the teacher design the project? Are learners driving and owning how they learn? Do learners understand how they learn best?

    Kathleen and I believe that everyone is a learner. A student is being taught. A learner is anyone, anywhere, any age. In a real personalized learning environment, everyone is a learner learning from each other and from experiences. Maybe a video sparks a conversation, to write in a journal, to do an experiment, to investigate further.

    It is all of the above and more...not just doing -- IMHO.
    - Barbara Bray

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  13. Do I really want to learn by doing that spitting on the sidewalk is a punisable offense in Singapore?

    TED-Ed is an improvement over completely passive video. If authors pose the right questions, they might inspire viewers to move from learning to doing (well maybe not the spitting).

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  14. The power of TED Ed will be realized when students start using it. They construct the lessons, and drive the learning around their interests... A lot of potential here!

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  15. Aren't you just blaming a platform for not using it in a way that you could in fact use it?

    What I'm saying is that this post feels a little half-baked and the more I read the title, your comments and see it in my twitter feed, the more it feels a little like link-bating. Big apologies if that isn't the case, but I don't really see you being constructive, and this post was far more "depressing" than the groundwork laid what I found to be a pretty dern impressive BETA site.

    You can't make a single sweeping generalization about Education. It's too complex a system. Just as "lessons" (taglines be damned) are more than videos and questions, so is learning more than "doing." It's all one big process, full of "red herrings" and this line of debate leads nowhere positive. Call them lesson starters if you want. I seriously doubt TED would care. Use the tool to customize the lesson around an antarctic video so that it links to something who is interested in it can "do." And if you can't find a video that is a good lesson starter, then make one yourself, upload it and customize it.

    In other words, you don't blame twitter or facebook for what's in our feed, or youtube for the videos we don't see, or the internet for not providing physical experiences don't blame a platform for not using it a way that you could use it.

    But that's just my two cents.

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    1. Well, if "link baiting" is writing about current events in education, then I guess I'm guilty.

      But beyond that, two things are immediately interesting to me in what you are saying: first is the idea that TEDEd is a platform akin to Twitter or Facebook or YouTube. It's not. They are content agnostic platforms (at least in terms that the majority of what goes on content-wise is user-driven); TEDEd is by definition content defined. It's an important point, I think; because much if not most of what will wind up on TEDEd is curated by TED in one way or another. That could be good, it could be bad. I prefer a more open platform where collaboration is messy and beautiful -- even if that occasionally means wading through kitten videos and twittercasts of Mets games.

      Second is the idea that TED doesn't care what you call what they've put together. I think they know exactly what they are doing. They are giving language and credence to a way of thinking about systems of teaching and learning. And that language they are suggesting is one that's been around in education for a long time.

      See, my problem with putting multiple choice questions after a video is that it schoolifies (to borrow a term from Clay Burrell) the video. In suggesting that the primary thing is to "remember correctly" is to -- as Ira Socol says above -- "preserve power structure". I've used TED Talks in classrooms both at the 9-12 and grad level; they're great discussion starters and many are inspiring. But once you create a platform and demonstrably call it an "ed" platform and then the first thing you do is present it akin to the comprehension section of a language arts test, you've demonstrated that you are making vast assumptions as to the audience or the purposes.

      Teachers have been using TED both via TED Talks and YouTube for years. One would think for making such a big splash with this debut, TED would be doing something a little more to push the envelope of teaching, collaboration, and meaningful "doing" in education -- otherwise don't gussy it up as an "ed" thing; we already know where to get the content.

      As a sidenote, we generally like smart people like yourself -- and I mean that in terms of people who challenge me or any of our other writers to think more -- to post un-anonymously. That of course is up to you, but I'm just saying that we appreciate the debate and it's hard to debate "anonymous".

      Shelly

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    2. You bring up some fine points about schoolification, that i generally agree with, but I think you're off point about the platform. The website, from what I've seen and used it for so far, is not in fact purely content-defined. You--meaning anyone--- can customize a lesson [starter] using any video on Youtube. So, it's leveraging the openness of that platform, but saving us teachers (and students) the trouble of wading through the kitten videos. You're right, that could be a bad thing or a good thing, but it's hardly a thing either way because I can still use it for my network. I personally think they have a cool opportunity to show user made lessons, but I'm not sure exactly where they would put them. Maybe a feed of sorts? Like twitter or FB? Could be cool. Anyways, you can choose not to include the multiple choice questions when you're building the lesson. You can also title it "lesson starter." It's all optional--presented in the raw. Some may want what's there. Some may not. Glad the platform didn't decide for me!All I'm saying is that considering the site allows me to edit the parts you logged as troubling, I would rather read a post on and be discussing how it could be made better than one on how semantics make it fundamentally flawed.

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  16. Thanks for the thought-provoking debate.

    OK, so we learn through experience. But as others here have said, we also learn through many other means. A video is just a form of media, a neutral container for content - instruction, stories, barrage of facts, cats, whatever. Last week I learned how to attach a ceiling rose by watching a Youtube video, and I did it...maybe not as well as a pro (that's what experience is for) but I did learn enough to get a basic clue in ceiling rose installation. Tonight I looked up a recipe online and I made the dish. We apply theory to life all the time, without having experienced it first hand.

    I've just tried out, at random, the franchising lesson on TED-Ed and it's good (http://education.ted.com/lessons/the-real-origin-of-the-franchise). A fast-paced five-minute illustrated story, followed by a quick quiz, more for retention than anything else, then onto some open-ended questions. I learned something I didn't know, and I didn't have to open a franchise. But had I gone ahead with the last couple of questions, I would have looked up and interviewed a local franchisee - probably the closest thing to starting one, unless they invited me to work for them. Or maybe I could have found a 'day in the life of a franchisee' video.

    My point is that here the medium is not necessarily the message. The good teachers use the tools at their disposal well. Good storytellers tell engaging stories, and vice versa.

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  17. @Shelly Blake-Plock - thanks for a thought-provoking article. My main issue with it though is that, whilst you are at pains to stress the shortcomings of TED ED and other platforms that help us 'flip our classrooms', you stop short of explaining how you think it could be improved.

    You say, "We desperately need a platform that exists to help us learn lessons by doing" but at no point do you suggest what that platform might look like.

    You say, "TED Ed should link teachers, students, and technologists to work on new open source edtech that comes directly out of the experience of the classroom and thrives on collaboration and openness?" but it all sounds rather nebulous to me. Perhaps you'd like to explain what you mean so we can start a dialogue that lead actionable changes rather than pure discourse?

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  18. You raise some great points Shelley. Thanks for your article.
    However, I'm not as 'depressed' about the direction as you. Everyone is innovating in different ways, and TED Ed have taken a very impressive crack at it.

    For me, I still imagine education as something greater than a knowledge-imparting exercise. Something greater than a lesson with a summary.

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  19. Shelley, thanks for your post... and what an interesting discussion around it. The one consideration I'd urge you to think about is TIME. One way of viewing TED-Ed, and flipped teaching generally, is that it opens up more classroom time. If you think of it as a platform, not as a content library, it allows any teacher to assign basic learning on video at home, and thereby spend more time in class learning-by-doing. One of the most important parts of the site may turn out to be the "Dig Deeper" section in which we're encouraging teachers to suggest follow-up activities relevant to what was just learned. (And yes, we will be making the best of these visible on the site with teachers' permission.)

    At the same time, I wouldn't be too dismissive of what video can do. We know from our TED Talks experience that it can do at least three things (if done right): explain, spark curiosity, and inspire. We see our job as being to spark a little excitement over learning in kids' minds. If that's successful, it opens up huge possibilities for every other form of learning you correctly believe in.

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    1. Chris,

      As far as flipped classrooms go, I see many a positive, many a negative. The positive is generally along the lines of what you describe; whereas the negative lies in three aspects 1) access 2) reliance on what I often think of as "branded curation" -- Khan is the best example 3) the schoolification of interest and discovery. It's this latter point that frustrates me in terms of TED Ed.

      I've got no beef with video. I've used TED Talks videos as discussion starters in class for years. I'm very fond of the TED project in so many ways. I think some of the anti-video sentiment perceived here is an extrapolation of something not actually criticized in the original post. My concern has to do with the schoolification of the TED videos into what every school kid would recognize as a "typical" school homework assignment.

      I think we can go farther than that -- and in fact must -- quickly.

      What would I like to see? 1) a move towards using the TED Ed platform as a place for project collaboration to arise between big thinkers and Learners 2) a place to challenge the design of learning itself 3) a place to make learning itself as important as the teaching and storytelling TED is so good at.

      Shelly

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  20. The biggest TED learning tool, as far as I am concerned, and one that I have not seen referenced in any of the material put out by TED Ed or by anyone commenting on this post, are all of the TEDxYouth Day events that happen each fall in hundreds of locations around the world. During these small TEDx events, students are the ones on stage sharing their ideas, passions, experiences, and visions with the rest of us.

    At the heart of what I think Shelly is getting at is the notion that students should be content creators, not just content consumers. Taking a multiple choice quiz after watching a video is the equivalent of being given a fish instead of learning how to fish (to borrow a popular analogy).

    What TED Ed has yet to fully realize is it's potential to inspire more than just responses to multiple choice questions from students (and, to be honest, there is not much real difference between free response and multiple choice in my view as it related to this post). What if TED Ed became a platform for students to inspire change in the world around them? What if students saw what other students were doing, connected with those who shared their same passions, engaged in real-world problem solving, and then told others how they could change the world too? What if TED Ed inspired action instead of just passive consumerism? What if TED Ed was student-centric instead of teacher-centric?

    We need doers of the word, not hearers only -- and unless we create and promote ways to amplify student voices we are simply (as Ira Socol pointed out) perpetuating the status quo. TED was revolutionary because it helped lead the way in opening up discussions from a lecture hall onto a worldwide stage -- but these discussions have really only ever been one-way. The world has changed since TED began and unless they change and lead the way forward they will be left behind in the past. When it comes down to it, TED Ed in this respect is facing more back in time than forward. It doesn't have to though. Indeed, it shouldn't.

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    1. Andrew, great comment. However, I'm interested in your response to this article in Wired UK about students creating their own lessons using TED-Ed. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-04/27/ted-ed-turns-ideas-into-lessons
      Obviously they could run much further with the functionality, but I'm not sure students can't do some of the things you are mentioning.

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  21. From the perspective that teaching is both an art and a science, no one instructional approach will reach all students.

    TED-Ed has overstated what it can do. But in the hands of good teachers, TED-Ed can be one tool that, combined with other tools, enhances learning.

    Janet | expateducator.com

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  22. Adding a multiple choice test at the end of a video is akin to giving somebody a box of envelopes when they open an email account. I believe that these videos can be really great teaching tools, but tacking on a multiple choice quiz only reaffirms the paradigm that that TedEd seems designed to break. We'll never move away from the broken assessments of the past if we continue to use them.

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  23. Sharon GregoireMay 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Ask your school's Occupational Therapist about research that supports movement as a lost key in helping our kids learn. Get your students up and moving ... improves alertness, focus, learning, behavior, social skills, and participation.

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  24. You make a really good point about how teachers are educated. We are told that we need to diversify our lessons and provide for active not passive learning, yet every conference that I have ever been to is the exact opposite of what we are expected to do in our classrooms. Presenters need to learn to practice what they preach. The next time I plan a presentation to my colleagues, I expect to do just that. Model a diversified active lesson.

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  25. Bravo for a solid analysis, @Shelly. I think you hit it spot on: if the site wasn't branded with TED, it would be easy to dismiss as an outmoded educational resource -- 20th century TV with the quiz built in.

    Lest anyone think I'm against spreading inspiration and ideas, I regularly put on presentation events (my platform is Ignite), and I've sponsored TEDx with money and elbow-grease. I like them.

    But as a teacher, I know it's about getting kids to DO instead of receive and regurgitate. And not just "do what I told you." TED is call to mobilize: always has been. Someone else has already done all the heavy lifting, thinking, and synthesizing. Climb all the way up Bloom's Taxonomy and look back down at it: TEDed is basically a fancy presentation of curated, 1st-level knowledge. It misses a LOT of levels that lead to true mastery.

    If we truly want our kids to become innovative problem solvers, we need THEM to flex those Bloomy muscles up the way to the top. Watching someone else do it for them is a cheat, however cool the swag is when you buy your ticket.

    If they want to be TED-inspire or TED-fancy-new-thing or TED-here's-a-good-idea, awesome. It's where I aim my Ignite events to be.

    Let's just not mistake them for TED-education.

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  26. Jad Abulmrad of Radiolab fame recently made an apt comment that fits this comment thread: Change cannot be planned, it can only be recognized. It is clear that we all have recognized that Ted Ed is not really reform.

    Perhaps we need to acknowledge what Roger Schank has recently acknowledged: "High school is a bad thing. We should stop having them. High school teaches many bad lessons." http://educationoutrage.blogspot.ca/2012/05/high-schools-should-not-exist-50th.html

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