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Technology Teaching Tools

Technology Teaching Tools are short, online, asynchronous modules highlighting a technology teaching tool along with relevant pedagogical implementation strategies. Some of the CIRT Technology Tools discussed below rely on freeware downloads. Prior to utilizing these technologies, you are encouraged to understand the potential risks associated with freeware; see the article "Why Free Software Downloads Aren't Always Safe" for an overview of key considerations.


  • https://www.ted.com/
  • TED is a nonprofit organization who hosts conferences of short talks from leading speakers, researchers, and professionals in their field. These talks are individually video recorded and organized for free viewing based on genre such as science, global issues, education, or business. Several TED talk genres are now available for viewing through Netflix as well.

Pedagogical Ideas

In the classroom, TED can be used in a variety of ways. Some ideas include the following based on main goal of its inclusion:

  • Increase opportunities for individualized learning – Instructors can promote students to expand on their knowledge through challenging them to find a TED talk of their choice that relates to the concept being discussed that week in class. They may then be asked to write up some sort of summary of the talk and provide a rationale for its relation to the discussion topic that week.
  • Encourage students to review information - A TED talk for some courses can serve as another way for students to gain additional exposure, review, and rehearsal of those concepts and ideas presented outside of the e-book or discussion forum. A TED talk for these purposes could be included as an additional supplemental material within the announcements, the instructor’s add-ons tab, or as an additional resource posted by the instructor in the discussion forum.
  • Promote synthesis of information – Students may be asked to review information from a TED talk, their e-book, and another credible resource in order support their answer to a discussion question or instructor follow up CAT within the discussion forum.
  • Enhance the efficiency of instruction – A TED talk may cover additional details about course content in a clear and concise way. This could then save the instructor time from having to make their own lecture-video or other type of supplemental material to further explain that particular content component within the course.
  • Enhance independent interaction with course material – A TED talk may be provided by the instructor to students with a request for students to compare and contrast information provided in the e-book or other course materials that week of class with information presented in a corresponding TED talk.

How do you utilize this technology in your classroom?

Please share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for utilizing this technology to foster effective teaching and learning.

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This page is managed by Sarah Robertson.

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