There is More to Learning than TEDTALKS







I like TED TALKS. I even have the channel loaded on my Roku Box. However, lately I have noticed people think TED TALKS is not just a source for inspirational summaries, but is in fact all they need to watch in order to understand a topic.

TED TALKS are only a beginning step. They are a good medium for getting people interested in a topic. Used for entertainment purposes, TED TALKS can be watched back-to-back, and discussed among friends. Used in a classroom setting, they need to be planned, connected to other material, and be seen as the first 10 minutes of day-one of a project. TED TALKS should not be the project, nor should they be considered a legitimate source.

Any speaker who is doing a TED TALK, will have some original source for their information. Students should be encouraged to find the origin, and in fact, make certain the TED TALK is authentic. After all they are called TED TALKS not TED TRUTHS.

Last year I read a book called Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam. This is a Pulitzer Prize winning book by Fredrik Logevall. The book is over 800 pages. To be honest, I had to read some parts of it multiple times. I read this book while I was traveling through Vietnam. The entire experience is something I will never forget, and my understanding of the Vietnam War shifted. The medium is not just the message, it is the roadmap and sometimes the vehicle. 

Educators looking at TED as a resource should be asking, where does this medium go, and how can it be used to form an experience that students will never forget? The experience the TED speaker has had, is not the same as the one the students should be striving to find.

Tony DePrato

Preview the book mentioned in the article:

Podcast Episode 59 – O-Mail! – March 14, 2013


We have another humdinger of a show for you people. First off congrats to Preston Spradling for receiving the teacher of the year award for our school. Great job man. Check out the agenda below to see what is in store today.

  1. Google Apps for Education Summit Middle East
    1. What was good?
    2. What was not so good?
    3. Pros/Cons
    4. Why not just use Google straight up? Why use GAfE?
  2. Video conferencing in the classroom and possibilities
    1. Skype in the Classroom
    2. Google Hangouts
      1. Education on Air
  3. Open Educational Resources
    1. Getting away from the textbooks
    2. Can we do this at all?
  4. Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall – Great article from Audrey Watters
    1. Do we put too much emphasis on TED talks
  5. Txtr e-reader update
    1. Was supposed to be $15, now it’s $70!
    2. Just get a Kindle

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Educational iPhone Apps – December


It’s back! The monthly segment of educational iPhone apps. The reason for the break was not a choice but due to circumstances that were totally in my control. My iPhone was lost (or stolen) at a restaurant back in May and was not recovered 😦 Though an early Christmas present from my wife (don’t worry folks I returned the favor) this month help remedy that and now I am ready to start posting those fun educational apps that you can use with your students, your children or yourself.

This month we have some good ones. They’re all free (which are the best kind) and hopefully there is something there that you can dig. You will find some updated apps (always good to mention those important updates). There are a few straight up educational apps and some good Christmas themed apps. If you’re as excited as I am hit on past the break to get all the goodness that your iPhone can bring you this month.

Continue reading “Educational iPhone Apps – December”