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Running Head: TED Ed 1

Multimedia Critique Paper #2

TED-Ed- How Computer Memory Works

George Warriner III

18 March 2018
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Students and teachers are constantly learning and ingesting new and changing

information on a daily basis. When new information is introduced and is expected to be taught

to students, a debate ensues that strives to determine the best methodology for disseminating

that information to the student population. Gone are the days of simple lecture type

instruction, and a new age has ushered in that involves the incorporation of new types of

technologies into the learning process. While some teachers resist the temptation of

integrating technology into their instruction out of habit and ongoing debate over its

effectiveness, many teachers readily embrace the new technology and incorporate it into their

instruction for best practices. There has been a widening divide between those who believe

that engaging students with new technologies is a positive element to the learning process and

those who seek to resume status quo and not utilize new engaging technologies that students

would potentially benefit from. Much of the research tends to favor the idea that technology

integration, in the learning process, aids students to engage the content to a greater extent and

creates a feeling of achievement when it comes to learning content for the student as opposed

to than those classrooms that elect to neglect the use of technology in the learning process.

The process of assimilating the use of technology into the learning process has been a subject

of debate in recent years, but many educators have been able to incorporate the use of

technology into their already established pedagogy. Richard E. Mayer, leading authority on the

use of technology in the learning process and effective pedagogy, presents his 12 Principles of

Multimedia Learning that provide a framework for determining the process by which educators
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need to determine how they intend to incorporate technology into their instruction, along with

how best to incorporate such technology.

There is an immense amount of resources available to teachers when it comes to

integrating technology into their instruction. One of these resources is an extension of the

highly popular and highly acclaimed TED Talks called TED-Ed. Launched in 2012, TED-Ed aims to

empower learners with the tools and resources to promote the effective and thorough learning

of content ranging and spanning a variety of topics in a student-friendly format (TED-Ed, 2018).

In combination of all of TED associated projects such as TEDx, TED Books, the TED Fellows

Program, and the TED Translation Project, along with TED-Ed, these projects are designed with

“the intention of supporting teachers and sparking the curiosity of learners around the world”

(TED-Ed, 2018). By having this resource available, TED-Ed hopes to empower the youth to be

able to investigate and learn a vast library of information very similar to services such as Khan


Review of Multimedia Learning Object:

Link to Multimedia Learning Object(s):



The TED-Ed video that will be specifically dealt with, in this analysis, is a video that

teaches students about “How computer memory works.” This video lesson is just over five

minutes long and is hosted on the video uploading service YouTube. This is the video portion of

a full lesson that can be easily accessed on the TED-Ed website along with other reinforcement

and enrichment resources that accompany the video lesson.

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The Good:

First of all, the first thing that one notices when starting to view the lesson is that the

visuals are very visually pleasing and very kid friendly. The narrator initiates the discussion on

the concept of memory and how human memory works to prompt the discussion and then

transitions into discussing how computer memory works. This relation of the concept of human

memory connecting with computer memory makes the concept more relatable. This is a great

activation of prior knowledge, along with bridging the gap between something that is personal

like our memories, and something that is more abstract to the average person like the memory

processes that occur in a computer. This instantly puts the learner into the mindset and makes

the connection with something more relatable. The narrator’s voice is one that is very friendly,

as a result, this video conforms to Mayer’s Voice Principle (Mayer, 2016, p. 8). The entire video

is almost entirely narration with onscreen graphics and animation. With that said, this video

conforms closely with Mayer’s Redundancy Principle, as there is no onscreen text visible to

distract the viewer, overloading cognitive load (Mayer, 2016, p. 8). Mayer’s Coherence Principle

is applicable to this video object in that it takes a minimalistic approach to how it presents the

content, in that it is simple narration accompanied with graphics and animations that are

related to the concepts being presented at the same time (Mayer, 2016, p. 8). This also enables

this video to conform to the Temporal Contiguity Principle since concepts are being discussed,

the related graphic or animation is on the screen at the same time (Mayer, 2016, p. 8). Finally,

returning to the topic of the speaker, one would note that the speaker is never seen a single

time, yet the video provides a solid and effective background in how computer memory works.

This makes the video conform to the Image Principle presented by Mayer (Mayer, 2016, p. 8).
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The Bad:

Upon viewing the video, one would note that much of the video is a very clean and

concise explanation of how computer memory works. There is only one potential modification

that could be made to the video in terms of its compliance of Multimedia Learning Principles.

Some of the animations selected could be mildly overwhelming to some viewers. A couple of

the animations fly towards the viewer and there are many objects flying around the screen on a

couple of occasions during transitions in the action and transitions to a different topic. While

the video does favor a minimalist style when it comes to the graphics and animations, some of

the animations are over the top and can split the attention of the viewer. While the actual

content of the video is presented in a minimalistic way, there is some extraneous detail in the

transitions between the content.

The Conclusion:

TED-Ed does a great job of presenting information for learners that is very engaging and

easy to understand and digest and conforms to many of Mayer’s Principles of Multimedia

Learning. While a couple of modifications could be made to make the flow of the video much

cleaner and more concise, overall, TED-Ed effectively conforms to the vast majority of the

principles of multimedia learning. Upon the evaluation of the video, the video to be a great

learning object for all learners to be able to learn about the basics of how computer memory

works. I would recommend TED-Ed to both teachers and students as a resource for great

instructional videos on a variety of topics. These videos could be used in conjunction with a

blended classroom, interactive quizzes or other independent work during a blended classroom

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Works Cited

Mayer, R. E. (2016). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

T. (n.d.). About. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://ed.ted.com/about