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TED-Ed: A Little Back Story on: “How Small is an Atom?”

I may be the last person to blog about TED-ED and their Lessons Worth Sharing, but I feel like I have should weigh in on their new site.

I had the privilege of working with the team at TED-ED (Logan Smalley, Stephanie Lo, and company) as they were designing and the envisioning the new site.  They have created a site, which can be used by teachers in classes.  They have taken the idea of the flipped class and designed something teachers can use to help them flip their classes.  I want to use this blog post to talk about their vision for making great lessons available to teachers. 

First of all:  TED’s is mission is: “Ideas Worth Spreading”, and TED-ED will bring us “Lessons Worth Spreading.”  They are looking for great teachers to make audio files of their best lessons and they in turn will animate them and spread them. 

I am honored they chose one of my lessons for their first video.  It is interesting how this lesson was chosen. 

This past January I had a conversation with Logan and Stephanie about the possibility of making one of these recordings and we got to talking about what I should do the video on.  My first thought was to do a lesson on gravity and some of the misconceptions surrounding it.  I remember chatting to them on my commute home from school (with a hands free headset I might add).  Once I got home I told my family about the conversation and my sixteen-year-old daughter, Kaite said:  “Dad, you should do the ‘thing’ on atoms.”  You see, Kaitie sat in my flipped class for two years and she felt that the video Aaron Sams and I did on atoms was the one that popped the most for her.  If you are at all curious as to the original “version” of the video that the TED-ED video it is below.  

After I had decided on discussing the size and scale of the atom I spend a Saturday working on the script and then began the recording.  I probably recorded it eight times until I felt I had done it to my satisfaction.  In an effort to make my house somewhat sound-proof, I had to turn off my furnace and even kick my dog out of the house.  My family was out shopping so that I could get it done. 

Now:  I want to encourage you all to either nominate an amazing teacher to do their best lesson, or if you are a teacher to simply nominate yourself.  To do this go to:  http://education.ted.com/get_involved#/nominate_an_educator

2 Responses to TED-Ed: A Little Back Story on: “How Small is an Atom?”

  1. Shanu says:

    Good explanation

  2. I love that you had to shoo the family out to get the lecture recorded to your satisfaction. Excited to be following your lead on the Flipped Class movement!

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