What Does TED Do That Profs Don’t

If you could, would you replace lectures in your composition courses with TED Talks?  How much would you replace?

Describe how TED talks would or would not address the five canons of rhetoric and the Triad better than a lecture from your professor?


15 thoughts on “What Does TED Do That Profs Don’t

  1. I would like TED talks being in the lecture, however, I wouldn’t want the class to be all TED talks lectures. I feel like just watching a video the whole class takes away the physical connection with the professors and students. Having the professor speak in front of the class, sometimes, helps me feel more comfortable asking them questions and having meetings with them after the lecture. I would like to incorporate TED talks into lectures as long as it is not the whole lecture. I think that TED talks would address the 5 canons and triad very well, but you can’t stop and ask them a question in the middle of the lecture so that you are caught up and understand. If there was a topic that TED talks does very well then I think it would be nice to watch a segment of it and then have the professor finish the lecture and take questions.

  2. i think having a TED talk video as a learning tool rather than a teacher lecturing is really up to the teacher. TED talks does a great job of grabbing the viewers attention and keeping it; they have somewhat of a story aspect to them that seems inviting. Now teachers, or professors, can either be mundane and boring, or engaging and interesting. I do feel that TED talks should be used much more often in classrooms, but i don’t feel they should take over the teacher or professor themselves; you still need the human engagement for questions or discussions.

  3. I believe that, in theory, TED Talks could replace lectures in our composition course. The videos are interesting and would probably practiced more than a lecture. However, TED Talks should not completely replace lectures. Videos do not leave room for interactivity, and there would need to be interactive lectures.

  4. As much as I love watching TED Talks, I don’t think that it would be a good idea for them to entirely replace lectures in an academic environment. While they can be helpful learning tools, TED Talks don’t give students the opportunity to ask questions about the video if there is something that they don’t fully understand. We watch TED Talks i many of the courses I’m currently taking, and I definitely agree that they are helpful when it comes to understanding different topics. I feel like the way TED Talks are being used right now in learning environments is the perfect amount. They shouldn’t completely replace lecturing, but they definitely should be viewed.
    As far as the use of the five cannons of rhetoric go, I believe that TED Talks are very effective in building a sense of rhetoric. Their use of all five cannons is truly remarkable and helps keep a captive audience throughout the video. Pathos, Ethos, and Logos are also effectively utilized to speak to the audience’s sense of emotion, rhetoric, and logic. However, while TED Talks are very effective in addressing all of these aspects of rhetoric, it just wouldn’t be the same as having a professor in front of you speaking. There’s a huge difference between the two. I do not see TED Talks replacing live lectures anytime in the near future, but I do believe that they are helpful learning tools and should continue to be used in learning environments.

  5. In some respects, yes I would. Some of the reason being that TED talks are much more interesting and engaging than lectures that come from college professors. Not only this, TED talks don’t necessarily take up an entire class, so you have more time to analyze and comprehend the information. If you were confused, you could also go back and watch the video over to get clarification and conformation on the questions that create the confusion. However, as awesome that the TED talk videos are, they may not cover what the professor wants covered. So I think that there are reasons to not replace lectures. I think that professors, depending on the professor, can be just as effective as the TED talks in engagement and interests. Their lectures also may not take up the entire class either, so if you had questions, you can write them down and ask at the end of the lecture for the clarification that you require. I feel that the presenters in the videos are very rhetorical, but I also feel that people might think that they lack ethos because they are in a video. The presenter’s profession may be unknown, so we wouldn’t know if they have years of experience like the professors that sit in front of us.

  6. I believe I would love for lectures to become TED Talks. They would show memory and arrangement. The delivery of TED Talks are great because they show gestures and other rhetoric cannons. TED Talks have people with microphones so the acoustic are pleasant. This will help hear professors better. They will have great ocular appeal because it isn’t a boring lecture. They will make it interesting. TED Talks make you feel like you are talking one on one with the person on stage. I believe students would pay attention more because of the visual cues and everything that goes into a TED Talk.

  7. Professors and TED talks both try to get similar points across via different methods. A professor is an employed academic professional who is paid by a university/association to teach a specific/set of classes.

    Professors topics are usually broad but specific, such as Calculus (Mathematics subset), World History (History subset), or English Composition (Literature subset) for example. The course is usually extensive, lasts several weeks, and tries to include all the material possible in a memorable way. TED Talks attack the issue with a different approach.

    TED Talks are volunteers who project to an audience about a very specific topic in a short amount of time. Their purpose is to get you up to speed and knowledgable on very wide-reaching subjects in a matter of minutes rather than weeks, and they do this by combining a variety of techniques including, but not limited to, examples and showmanship.

    If you’re an architectural engineer, you’re more than likely a bit weak on nuclear/aeronautical engineering (for good reason), but it might interest you to know a bit more about it than airplanes and atomic bombs. TED Talks are great for things like this, where you want to get a general idea of what something particular in those fields are about in easy to understand language. You aren’t bored by large academic jargon needing a thesaurus to comprehend, it’s plain and simple X does Y because Z.

    For example, one of my more rememberable TED talks is on the topic of Thorium as a sustainable nuclear fuel source that could last thousands of years. I attribute this one as the most memorable as the guest speaker was Taylor Wilson (for those of you that don’t know, he’s a literal “Genius” who’s an expert in Nuclear Science at age 20.) I’m not a nuclear engineer, nor do I claim to be, but understanding that Uranium and Plutonium aren’t our only options for nuclear energy gives me a sense of relief about the future.

    TED Talks are engaging and entertaining without being overbearing. They can be positive or negative, depending on the topic and speaker. If I could replace monotonous lecture halls (or even “fun” classes) with engaging TED Talks who are passionate enough to volunteer and speak to the world about it, I think that would be a no brainer. Obviously, that isn’t realistic, as obtaining real knowledge and experience in minutes isn’t feasible by most people, it takes weeks of training, and that’s why higher education exists. Jack of all trades, master of none.

    Is knowledge power, or is ignorance bliss? Why not both?


  8. TED is different than college professors because the talks that are given by TED speakers are much more entertaining and energized. Most professors take the class time seriously and do not like to spend too much time entertaining the students. Professors role is to teach and that is the only role they want to have. TED speakers tend to have two or more roles. They like to be the speaker and the audience at the same time. They like to entertain the audience and not put them to sleep. As for the topics, TED speakers go deep into the details of the topics while professors like to briefly talk about topics.

    If I could replace lectures with TED talks in composition classes, I would. I would replace a lot of lectures to be honest because I would want my classmates/students to understand the topics being discussed in class easier. We students would then not fall asleep or get bored.

    TED would definitely address the five canons of rhetoric because TED speakers know what they are doing before going on that stage. They have to invent their ideas, arrange them, memorize them, and then deliver them. Everyone of them would most likely have their own styles.

  9. I really like the way that TED talks function. They appeal on a more personal level than a lecture. They involve the viewer by keeping it relatively informal and relatable, a pretty heavy contrast to the strict and formal setting of a traditional college lecture. If I were to replace any of my composition class with TED Talks, I would make it about a 50/50 ratio. While it’s very important to keep the students engaged and interested, having the professor there to answer questions and bring up issues and situations that will be unique to your class is also important as well.

    Invention; Since TED Talks are hosted by a huge number of different people, there will be countless opinions, viewpoints, qualifications, and backgrounds on whatever subject is being discussed. No two people are the same so every person is going to have something unique to bring to the table.

    Arrangement; TED Talks are usually very well arranged because each one is done by a person who has prepared for it enough so that they can deliver it comfortable and effectively in a rhetorical arrangement. They know exactly how they’re talk is going to go because they’ve prepared it beforehand,

    Style; Because the speakers at TED Talks are so comfortable and rehearsed with their presentation, they use a lot of body movement and cues that help the experience be more immersive for the audience members.

    Memory; TED Talks must be memorized before hand in order to be rhetorically effective. Nobody wants to see a nervous, sweaty guy read shakily from a teleprompter. This is why TED Talks can be iffy when it comes to the rhetorical canon of memory. They are often very effective in this regard, but they do have the potential to crash and burn if the speaker is unprepared.

    Delivery; This follows the same rule as memory. A well prepared and comfortable speaker will address the audience effectively, and be confident in themselves and their work via their body language and behavior, while a nervous speaker will be painful to witness.

    Logos; TED talks by nature tend to appeal to logic with evidence and reasoning behind most arguments, making them logically effective.

    Ethos; Most speakers are well versed and qualified to speak about their issue they are addressing. This appeals to ethos well.

    Pathos; TED Talks aren’t usually very emotionally driven. Pathos is mostly addressed when a speaker cracks a joke or makes a witty comment to loosen the audience up a little bit.

  10. I would replace 35% of lectures with TEDTalks,
    Well you hear different people talking instead of the same instructor.

  11. I wouldn’t replace the entire lecture with a TED talk, though I would use the talks to supplement or reinforce what is being taught in class. Using them to show how a certain aspect of the class can be used in the real world can help reinforce what you are trying to get across to the students, and seeing all these new and ground breaking innovations is a good way to do that.

  12. Ted talks force the speaker to face his or her audience, make eye-contact, and show the audience that they are valued. Professor’s tend to face the board or sit on their high-horse lecturing and talking down to students. Some however, do face the room and provide a more friendly environment. Ultimately, I feel Ted talks create a sense of unity between the speaker and his or her audience, that sometimes get’s lost in the classroom.

  13. I feel that TED talks can be used to build upon a previous lecture, but they’re not substantial or comprehensive enough to replace lectures. They can be used to build on lectures, but lots of talks rely too much on being entertaining to convey their point. Whereas a lecture may be more boring it’s guaranteed to contain all the content the teacher wants. So TED talks are fine to supplement a lecture, but not replace it

  14. TED provides a different perspective that isn’t always given by a professor. It usually goes into depth about the topic in an easy way that everyone can understand. Also many of them are quick and get their points across quickly and efficiently.

  15. I would enjoy seeing TED Talks replacing some lectures in composition courses. The conference has a definite place in course studies, just as the professors in your major courses are experts in their respective field, using these talks brings expert opinions from people that can not or do not wish to teach students across the world.

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