Let your students curate teaching material

grohlI just finished a short “speaker’s course” in 1.g (students are app. 16 ys.), where we looked at different reasoning techniques before students prepared and gave a speech themselves in class.

As an introduction I let the students share links to a video of a favorite speaker before class in a shared Google Doc. They picked some fine examples:



Royal Blues:


(Now that I list them, it strikes me that 7 out of 8 student picked videos are American. Not a single Danish speaker.  I guess this also indicates, that Danish students live in the American cultural hemisphere! – but that’s off topic…)

I haven’t left out any videos. 12 out of 20 students didn’t share a link – maybe they couldn’t think of a speaker or they didn’t do their homework. But the students who did, curated conscientiously. The TED video on non-verbal rhetorics in particular was actually good enough to show in full length.

I threw in a link to a clip from the fiction film “Royal Blues” with a less capable speaker as a contrast.

In class I played 1-2 minutes from each video in a row , and then the students made a list of a speaker’s “do’s and don’ts” in pairs which we discussed and finished afterwards together.



  • You get fresh teaching material, that you didn’t know of (TED)
  • you get to know your students better,
  • and students feel included when they influence what their peers should learn from.


I wonder what would happen if you let students curate teaching material for a french revolution course in history… the teacher would become more of a “peer student” ?

I come to think of one of my favorite quotes on teaching:

I never teach my students. I only provide them with the conditions in which they can learn. (Einstein)

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