June 20, 2017

TED Talks for Educators

Are you familiar with TED Talks? Those who know about these short recorded presentations regard them as insightful and thought-provoking. Maybe you have watched a TED Talk before and even shared it with a friend, but have you ever considered how you could use TED Talks in your classroom? 

TED began as conferences that were focused on technology, entertainment, and design (TED), but today they are well known as high-quality recordings of brief presentations by experts on a given topic. The topics they now cover are almost endless. One topic that is well-represented is education. The 218 videos in this category can be roughly viewed as two types: those that are explicitly about education and teaching (Hey science teachers - make it fun or How games make kids smarter) and those that can be used to teach something (Just how small is an atom? or Digging up dinosaurs). Like a lot of education websites, the education category here largely focuses on K-12, but as an adult educator, you know how to translate that into meaningful ideas for you, your colleagues, and your students. 

Some videos can be used to impart knowledge to your students (Photos of endangered cultures or How Argentina's blind soccer team became champions); however, one of the best ways to use TED Talks might be to play to the videos' strengths. These videos are thought-provoking - every single one. Use them to engage your students and to start discussions. Use them to introduce a topic or to gain momentum at the beginning of a lesson (What's so sexy about math?). As fun as these videos can be, they are anything but mindless entertainment. They are easily turned into writing prompts (Teach girls bravery, not perfection or The power of believing that you can improve). 

At times, we in adult education find it necessary to use resources not intended for older students. TED Talks, however, allow you to treat the adults in your classroom as adults, to challenge them with big ideas, and to ask them to react to and learn from great experts in a variety of fields. 

Teaching Tips and Resources
How to use research studies
Researchers in the field of adult education share their findings in journal articles and reports. Often, these articles and reports can be difficult for teachers to use. In an article from a recent issue of the COABE Journal, Cristine Smith suggests that professional development staff use components of research articles during meetings, study circles, and workshops. Discussion about these articles can help teachers to bridge the gap between research and practice and to use the findings to support learners’ progress. For more ways to incorporate research ideas into practice, watch the COABE webinar, Making Connections Between Research and Practice.
GED Testing Service®  webinar: Math "Grab Bag" of tips and strategies
On Tuesday, June 27, 3:30-5:00pm, the GED Testing Service® PD staff will hold a webinar that can help you to reach your math students. If you have tried every strategy that you know to help your students to overcome the challenges they face in learning math, but they still struggle, this webinar can help. Learn more and register online. 
Using "mentor texts" to model good writing
An Edutopia article recently laid out eight tips for effectively using "mentor texts" to teach your students writing skills and techniques. A mentor text is an example of good writing, preferably one that is professionally published. Not only can you use this text to model good writing, but as a teacher, you can model for your students how to interact with and best utilize that text. Once you have read the Edutopia article, "8 Tips for Teaching With Mentor Texts," you can move on to read another article by Christina Gil, "14 Questions for Examining Mentor Texts (Of Any Kind)." 
High School Equivalency (HSE) Updates and Resources
HiSET® General Brochure
Do you have a new student or a new employee or volunteer who wants to know more about the HiSET® exams? The HiSET® General Brochure offers a great deal of information for anyone wishing to learn anything, from why to choose the test and what it covers to how the test was developed and how it aligns with national standards. 
State and National Adult Education News
Career Pathways research survey
A recent survey of 106 adult education providers in Chicago, Houston, and Miami compiled data about the status of career pathways efforts for lower-skilled immigrants in the three cities. Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (U.S. Department of Education), the study, “Career Pathways Programming for Lower-Skilled Adults and Immigrants,” shares detailed information about a variety of focal points, from providers' profiles to student outcomes. Read more...
Grants and Scholarships
Community Partnerships can help you to succeed
GetEdFunding.com focuses on grants and funding sources for K-12 schools generally, but often their ideas can be used by adult education agencies just as easily. A recent article, "How Schools Can Benefit from Community Partnerships," can be looked at from an adult education perspective. By partnering with a community organization or business, you can share resources like manpower, expertise, and even space. In what ways could your students benefit? 
PA Adult Education Resources
Upcoming State and National Conferences
State and National Newsletters
These are state or national organizations' newsletters that may be of interest to you. To receive the most recent editions by email, please subscribe directly to the newsletter
Families Learning News of the Week,  National Center for Families Learning
Features information and resources for family literacy, early childhood education, and parent education  
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World Education/U.S., Features resources and information from World Education projects including The Change Agent, College for Adults, E-Learning, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, National College Transitional network, and many others.

OCTAE Connection,  US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, & Adult Education
Features news and resources for adult basic, career, and technical education

GED® In SessionGED Testing Service®
Features news and information related to the  GED® test

Rural Perspectives, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Features data and research findings related to a variety of topics relevant to rural PA