NORTH CANTON: This semester, 25 student teachers from Walsh University will become part of a TED-Ed lesson.
The seniors are involved in a pilot project for the nearly year-old TED-Ed website, part of the larger TED Internet movement.
And starting next school year, the pilot project will spread across Stark County as teachers will be encouraged to go to the TED-Ed website to use concepts promoted there to enhance education and to engage students more fully.
TED, a nonprofit devoted to the concept of “Ideas Worth Spreading,” stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.
On Tuesday, Logan Smalley, founder and director of TED-Ed, spoke to a few hundred people at the Walsh Barrette Business and Community Center on campus.
Rather than focusing on 18-minute talks, as TED generally does as its model, TED-Ed works toward three- to five-minute video lessons that can help teachers in the classroom, Smalley said.
“It is a way to amplify the voice of a great teacher,” he said, citing a Colorado biology teacher with seven years of experience who had taught a particular lesson over his career to about 1,000 students.
When the same lesson was put online, he reached 13,000 students in a matter of days. That audience has now grown to nearly 900,000.
On the TED-Ed website, there are 199 original videos and more made by teachers and developed by TED staff members and animators.
The 120 videos (to date), all teaching tools, have been viewed 16 million times, Smalley said.
Also on the TED-Ed website are instructions on how to “flip” a video to be used in a classroom, Smalley said.
“A lot of transformative things are happening,” he said.
Jacqueline DeGarmo, director of the Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community at Walsh, the organization that put on the program Tuesday, said the hope is to better connect with students and to help educators create confidence in young people “to thrive in a very different economy, a very different world, a blazing, fast-changing world.”
She called TED-Ed a “tremendous resource with tremendous promise.”
In essence, DeGarmo said, TED-Ed can take the best of TED talks “and put them in a format that becomes a very valuable and inspiring lesson” and that students themselves can create.
Rachael Tossell, 21, from Jackson Township, is working as a student teacher at Marlboro Elementary in the Marlington distinct this semester. She is part of the pilot project and said TED-Ed will help connect students to subjects.
“As a future teacher, it is really important to involve technology in the classroom,” she said. “It is meant to engage the students.”
Sam Falletta, co-founder of the local TED group called TEDxAkron, praised TED-Ed as a way to help teach educational lessons. “It’s a great tool,” he said.
TEDxAkron is planning its third local event, scheduled for Nov. 1 at the University of Akron campus.
An example of a TED-Ed video, about fresh water, can be viewed at http://ed.ted.com/lessons/where-we-get-our-fresh-water-christiana-z-peppard.
For more on TED-Ed, go to http://ed.ted.com.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.