Students are asked more and more often to evaluate a wider range of media. I am always looking for tools that not only I can use in the classroom, but students will use effectively. I found that tool: TED Talks.
My students search TED.com for talks that interest them. Their assignment is to intently watch the talk they selected and complete the Google Doc assignment I give them. It’s a simple assignment that has become quite insightful, for me and for my students. I am pleasantly surprised at how eager my students are to do this assignment. They even ask when we will be doing it again!
The assignment allows me to easily assess their engagement and media evaluation skills, allows for student choice, and provides frequent and meaningful student interaction with visual media. Here is the document I use. Feel free to copy and change it to suit your needs.
Kenny Silva teaches eighth-grade English Language Arts, US History, and technology at Easterbrook Discovery School in San Jose, Calif. He is a site technology lead and member of the Moreland School District Technology Committee. Silva is also a trainer for the KCI MERIT program, presenting at various teacher conferences and workshops instructing and training educators on the implementation of technology in the classroom. Connect with Silva online, via email or follow him on Twitter at @eye_B_a_teechr.
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