TED 5/2/12

This week a tablet, or smart, device isn’t required to access TED talks and there’s a bonus for those flipping their classroom.

TED Conferences started in 1984. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The presentations are recorded from their two annual conferences and the TEDGlobal conference. TED’s mission “Spreading Ideas” is plain and simple.  900 TED Talks videos, and counting, are posted to their website . Videos can be accessed from several different methods:

I downloaded the TED app for iOS and compared it to the website I was accessing on my PC. The app is OK, but I wish it included the categories they show on the bottom left column of the website. I want to screen videos by ‘category’. That’s what the website offers. Categories like technology, entertainment, design, business, science and global issues. I can still do a keyword search with the TED app and sift through ‘All Talks’. They list ‘Themes’ on both the web and the app, but I’m not sure how this fits into typical organization. For example, I chose the theme “Art Unusual” and nested inside this category are 50 videos. There are currently 48 Themes with titles that are very unique. Rather than sift through the themes, I’m more apt to use the search feature so I can enter a keyword to be as broad or specific as I like.

The website indicates that the videos are subtitled in English. Reviews about the iOS app indicate that the subtitles don’t appear. I confirmed this by comparing the two. The video player on the iPad doesn’t allow me to choose subtitle but the website version does. One video I chose ‘Yves Rossy: Flying with Jetman had 27 languages to choose from for subtitles. When you choose a language the text on the website is also translated. This was a pleasant surprise that Foreign Language teachers may be interested in using.

One word of caution to educators. These videos are recorded from conferences where the audience is primarily adult.  I came across a three minute video through the ‘Inspire Me’ feature. In the presentation the speaker used a sign with a curse word that would cross the line if being viewed in a  K-12 environment.

 A tip to you just browsing videos out there with the TED app, if you watch a video and want to find it again later either book mark it or download it. I wanted to return to a three minute video, the one with the curse word sign, and since I had come upon it through the ‘Inspire Me’ type search I was clueless on how to get it back. The Inspire Me search has a list of topics like: “You want to see something… courageous, funny, persuasive, etc. Each time you choose a topic a new, and different suggested video appears. So, rather than waste your time, bookmark a video you think you may want to watch later, or download it so it’s available offline to watch without wi-fi.

 Lastly, while comparing the TED app to the TED website http://www.ted.com I learned about TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing. This is a bonus for those of you reading this article. If you are experimenting with the ‘Flipped Classroom’ this is a great resource to tap into. 62 videos have been turned into 1,355 Flips. Videos have been animated and the lesson includes a Quick Quiz, Open Response questions (Think) and additional resources (Dig Deeper). They are even offering the ability to Flip any video from YouTube so you can make your own lesson. Students can come in and take your ‘Flipped’ lesson and you can track their scores. To learn more about the TED-Ed  watch this TED-Ed Tour