Monday, April 24, 2017

TED Talk Units (How and why I created TED Talk units for my Alt-Ed students)

This school year I have been using workbooks and interactive notebooks more than I ever have before. I can't believe it took me so long to utilize these types of resources in my classroom. As an Alt-Ed teacher, I often have eight or more courses I am either teaching or monitoring throughout the day.  Keeping everything organized can sometimes be a challenge. Workbooks and interactive notebooks are a prefect remedy to organizational "issues."

Another challenge I face is providing engaging, meaningful, and interesting lessons for students for multiple courses (sometimes going on simultaneously) in my classroom. The past few years I've infused TED-Ed, TED Talks, Khan Academy, podcasts (especially NPR and WPR) and Crash Course videos (in multiple content areas) in virtually all subject areas. My students love them. They are engaging, high-quality resources that my Alt-Ed students both enjoy and learn a tremendous amount from! (I've had former students write me years after graduation to "confess" their addiction to TED Talks and National Public Radio/Wisconsin Public Radio- and "blame" me for it!)

Although Khan Academy and TED-Ed already have high-quality courses, units, and individual lessons ready to go for students, Crash Courses and TED do not. I've been developing lessons for both the past few years. I've developed quite a few TED lessons focusing on the topics of race, gender, mental health, and education and have recently started putting them together in "units." This month I finished two TED Talk Units (one focusing on Education and the other on Mental Health). I anticipate using these units with my Independent Study students as well incorporating them into my Life Skills and English courses.

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