Blog Post

Using TED in the Classroom

There were a couple of points this semester when I could hardly talk and needed to fill a few extra minutes of class time to give my voice a little rest.  I have heard about TED in the past, but hadn't really thought about how I could use it in the classroom.  Well, I tried it and it worked very, very well.  I showed Conrad Wolfram's talk "Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers" and then had students write a reaction to what they saw.  I haven't finished reading all the student papers yet, but I can tell that I have opened the eyes of many of my students to see math in a new and positive way.  And it's been a few weeks since I've shown the TED talk in class and I still have students talking about the video and how they see the points in the video as being a positive thing for the future of math education.  I'm truly amazed by the response from my students.

But that's not where it stopped for me.  Now I want to watch more TED talks so that I can find more relevant TED talks to share with my students.  Then it came to my attention that one of my favorite mathematicians, Arthur Benjamin, has given a few TED talks.  I first heard Benjamin earlier this year when I ordered his course "The Joy of Mathematics" from The Great Courses.  He is a delight to watch on the screen and truly does make math come alive.  I am looking forward to sharing his TED talks with my students in future semesters.
By Jon Oaks

College Math Instructor. Tech Enthusiast. Visionary. Creative Genius. But above all, I enjoy what I do. That is why I am a teacher. Because I like to teach.

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