Multimedia Mash Up

It’s time for teachers to greet their new students, review their syllabi, create routines, and complete team builders. These methods lay the foundation for a fantastic school year, building safe and inclusive classrooms.  Secondary teachers often delve right into their content, but even in high school, creating a positive classroom culture encourages students to participate actively in our classrooms and grow as learners.

This year, I am adding TED Talks to my community building toolbox. In today’s electronic environment, multimedia literacy, an essential 21st century skill, is more important than ever before, and I know it sparks student interest.

With this in mind, I am sharing a few that may be meaningful at the beginning of your school year.  These TED talks are for my high school English classes but also communicate messages about overcoming obstacles and being productive students that could appeal to teachers of all content areas.

Lots of people, including our students, are afraid to speak in public – even if that’s just in the classroom.  This talk by Australian singer Megan Washington may inspire more willingness in your students to speak up.  In the talk, Washington shows that she turned her disability, stuttering, into her success.

Motivate your students to seek out “wonder” in the reading of books with this funny, entertaining talk by children’s author Mac Burnett.  He reminds us that reading provides avenues for imagination, art, fiction, and reality.

How much of what you say do your students remember? In a world that often assaults our senses and distracts our attentions, Julian Treasure argues that we are losing our ability to listen to one another.  In this talk, he offers strategies to improve our listening skills, and most importantly the listening skills of our students. 

Do you want to help students practice with their listening and viewing skills?  Use my Video Analysis Toolbox to aid students’ understanding, analysis, and evaluation of the complex messages presented in video, television, internet, and other media forms.  

Of course, it’s important to preview these talks to ensure that they will be appropriate for your students.  

Now that I’ve shared some of my favorites, do you have TED talks or other videos that you recommend for BTS?  Please tell us about them in the comments below.

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