Christian Long


Step 1: Go to and explore the TED site:


Step 2: Find Talks (aka videos) that interest you by searching the over-650 (current) TED Talks, TEDx Talks, and Best-of-the-Web Talks (recommended by TED) available on the main TED site.

Notice the following search options that visually highlight specific videos (which you can run your cursor over to learn more about the specific topic, speaker, etc):

  • Newest releases
  • Most languages (hence, how many languages they’ve been translated into)
  • Most emailed this week
  • Most comments this week
  • Most favorited all-time
  • Rated jaw-dropping
  • [Rated] … persuasive
  • [Rated] … courageous
  • [Rated] … ingenious
  • [Rated] … fascinating
  • [Rated] … inspiring
  • [Rated] … beautiful
  • [Rated] … funny
  • [Rated] … informative

Notice that you can also go to View all tags that shows you an alphabetic listing of all Talks, letting you know how many Talks exist for each topic. Examples: “Adventure” (15), “Biodiversity” (19), “Happiness” (33), and “Science” (173), for instance.


Step 3: Identify 10 – 30 Talks you’d be interested in “adopting” for this 8-week project.

Since every student must “adopt” 8 different Talks, it is critical that you have a longer list of possible Talks to pick from in case you need to go to your ‘back-up’ choices.

Note that there are a very small # of TED Talks that are not ideal/appropriate for classroom discussion. If you see “Viewer discretion advised” in the summary of the TED Talk you picked, assume it will not be available for class credit/discussion for our TEDxProject. If you select one of these Talks, Mr. Long will suggest that you pick something else.


Step 4: Get to Mr. Long as quickly as possible — by email or in person — to “adopt” your 8 Talks by Friday, April 2nd, 4pm.

This is a first-come / first-serve situation.

There’s a very good chance that you’ll get several (if not all) of your top-choices (on your longer) list if you talk to Mr. Long early. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that your top choices may already have been “adopted” by another student.

In the case of ‘tie,’ Mr. Long will flip a coin (or pick names out of a hat) to ensure fairness.

Any students who have not selected Talks by the deadline will be assigned their 8 “adopted” Talks by Mr. Long.


Step 5: Go to the Syllabus page once you have officially “adopted” your 8 Talks.

You’ll find the exact calendar we’ll be using for the entire 8+ week TEDxProject.

In-class TEDxProject days are Monday, Wednesday & Friday. [Note: We’ll read/analyze Shakespeare on Tuesday & Thursday] Essentially, we’ll do the following:

  • Monday: All TEDxProject analytical ‘papers’ are due at beginning of class. Class discussion.
  • Wednesday: In-class writing/analysis studio. A chance for individual students to write a draft of their weekly papers, get ideas from others, get writing feedback from Mr. Long, etc.
  • Friday: Student presentations to the entire class about specific TED Talks.


Step 6: Pick the order of your “adopted” TED Talks to analyze (based on the syllabus/calendar requirements).

You will watch, analyze, write about, and evaluate (using a class created system) each of the 8 TED Talks you’ve “adopted.”

Next, you’ll submit a digital copy – using Google Docs – by Monday each week to Mr. Long..

At that point, he will review, edit (if necessary) and/or return to you for more development (if necessary), and then publish your writing to the class TEDxProject blog where you’ll get the by-line credit and a global audience of folks interested in your ideas.

Each of your written submissions will be individually graded based on the following elements:

  • Clear introductory paragraph and thesis
  • 2-3 body paragraphs, minimum of 8 sentences for each body paragraph
  • Clear conclusion and recommendation
  • Writing style/voice, sentence flow, vocabulary, evidence (from the Talk and beyond)
  • Ability to help someone make a decision as to the value of the specific Talk related to their own interests


Step 7: Decide which of your 8 “adopted” TED Talks you’ll give a formal presentation in the front of the room.

Each presentation is 1-2 minutes — including showing clips from the video itself.

Preparation and key ‘talking points’ are critical to your grades.


Step 8: Decide on a subject/story for your own “TEDxProject Talk.”

This is the final ‘project’ for each student in the class. Review the syllabus for due dates.

Each student must answer or respond to the “What Matters (to Me)?” question.

Each student will have 5 min and will use 20 PowerPoint/Keynote slides that auto-forward every 15 seconds.

“TEDxProject Talks” will be formal presentations in front of a video camera.

There is the likelihood that several/many/nearly-all of the videos will be posted on the blog.

Step 9: Spread ideas worth spreading.

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