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