TED-Ed Clubs: What High Schools Don’t Teach, but Should!
I’ll tell you more about this exciting idea and how you can create a Club; but first, I want to share a Club talk from a high school student named Aliezah Hulett.
Aliezah’s talk, “Preparing Students for the Real World,” addresses the many subjects that students aren’t taught in school but would help them beyond the classroom. It’s a pet topic of mine. In fact, I wrote “Tools for Teaching Financial Literacy to Kids of All Ages” for Learning Liftoff because students do not learn basic finances in high school, but they will need to understand finance as adults.
As Aliezah says, “If educators focused more on our real lives, then maybe that won’t be as scary for students or as scary for parents.”
Aliezah suggests that schools teach the following subjects:
- The metric system, because for “95 percent of the world” it’s the “language of medicine, science, and international commerce.”
- How to do your taxes and understand loans. She talks about a teacher in Georgia who gives a “crash course” in taxes, then has students help low-income residents with their tax preparation.
- How to write a resume; how to cook, do basic home repairs, and understand car maintenance.
- How to perform CPR and basic first aid.
- More controversially, she advocates “safe sex education” pointing out that “one out of five teens has a sexually transmitted disease,” and that this kind of learning would “help prevent unplanned pregnancies and prevent the spread of STDs.”
Watch Aliezah’s five-minute talk:
Creating your own TED-Ed Club
The good people of TED are justly famous for sponsoring thousands of wonderful talks. As you might expect, they are world-class experts in public speaking, or “presentation literacy.”
Being able to present your ideas in a convincing, compelling manner is a critical skill young people can learn. TED-Ed Clubs provide what’s needed to gain competence and confidence in presenting. More than that, it’s a forum that encourages kids to value their own ideas about the world.
Here’s a great two-minute introduction to TED-Ed Clubs:
Generally, these Clubs have at least five students and an adult facilitator who is “affiliated” with a school or educational organization. I confirmed with them that a homeschooling parent will qualify for a Club.
Once you apply and are accepted as an official Club, you gain access to TED’s valuable tools and training to help students practice presentation skills and, ultimately, give talks that can be posted and shared around the world.
Interested? Here’s more about why you’d want to start a Club, plus some FAQs. What a great thing to do: by helping teens express their beliefs and ideas more powerfully, you’re truly preparing them for that “real world” Aliezah talks about!
Michael Solow has worked as a teacher, journalist, and commercial writer/creative director. Michael has also taught high school English and junior high math, gaining his teaching certification from Vassar College and a master's degree in the teaching of writing and literature from George Mason University. His writing has been published in the New York Times, the San Francisco Review of Books, TheMorningNews.org, and the Hemingway Review. He is the proud dad of two grown daughters and the happy husband of an elementary school librarian.