Getting Started with TES Teach: A Guide for Creating Digital Lessons
by Gabe Baker (Content team) and Betty Ho (Marketing team)
Teachers use plenty of tools on the web to create digital lessons, but few are as simple, powerful, and versatile as TES Teach. This post will guide you through the creation of your first TES Teach lesson and share a variety of ways you and your students can use this fantastic tool in and out of the classroom. We also have a quick start guide and video if you want a shorter introduction.
In a nutshell, TES Teach allows users to combine content from the web and their computer into one organized, easily modifiable lesson that can be shared with a colleague, assigned to a class, presented, and viewed on any device with a web browser. Educators love TES Teach because it saves time by keeping links, videos, and digital content in one easy place. They use it to differentiate instruction, keep students engaged, and make presentations more playful.
Explore Example TES Teach lessons in the Gallery
Before you design your own TES Teach lesson, take a stroll through the Gallery of popular TES Teach lessons created by our community of active teachers for some inspiration. You can find more TES Teach lessons typing any term into the search bar.
Create a TES Teach lesson
Once you’ve seen a few TES Teach lessons, create your own by first logging into TES Teach. Then click on “Lessons” on the top left of the site, and then “+ New Lesson.”
As you may have seen in the example TES Teach lessons, you can add content from a wide range of sources: your computer, cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, YouTube, Gooru, and more. TES Teach now also allows you to choose from TES resources, a treasure trove of free, original teaching materials created by educators around the world. To browse the different sources available to you, click on the icons listed in the vertical bar on the far right. To add any content to your TES Teach lesson, just drag and drop it into an empty tile.
You can quickly plan and organize your entire lesson by combining PDFs, other documents, videos, images, web pages, and more. It’s easy to rearrange, add, and delete tiles -- just drag and drop! You can also add your own text directly into the tiles (as opposed to uploading a document) and multiple choice assessments. Still not excited? Don’t worry -- we’re only getting started!
Are you aligning to the Common Core State Standards in your classroom and need to show your work? You can drag and drop them right into your TES Teach lesson objectives using the “Standards” button on the top left or the tag icon at the bottom of the vertical bar, so you can keep track of which standards you’re targeting.
Think about the logical progression of your lesson and arrange accordingly. When users “play” a TES Teach lesson, they navigate through the tiles from left to right. To help guide your students through a TES Teach lesson, you can give each tile a title and provide instructions. Want to make sure that your students have watched that great YouTube video in one of your tiles? Put a short quiz after it. Want to give some instructions about what your students should look for on a particular web site? Add text instructions in the tile before the website. For example, you could create a webquest where students sequentially browse various sites in pursuit of answers.
Share your Blendspace
Once you’re done creating a TES Teach lesson, you can share it with a link, adjust privacy settings, embed it in a blog, or share it with a class or multiple classes. You can track your students’ comments, quiz results, likes, and help requests by creating a “class” or multiple classes in TES Teach. You can create multiple classes and share as many TES Teach lessons as you’d like with each of them. To create a class, return to the homepage (tes.com/lessons) and click on “Classes” at the top. You can name your class and then invite your students to it with a unique link.
More ideas for using TES Teach
Teachers often present a TES Teach lesson in front of class or break students into small groups to work on the same or different lessons independently. By breaking students into groups, you can assign differentiated TES Teach lessons that accommodate any learning styles and achievement levels you want to target without singling anyone out. You can also flip your classroom by having students go through differentiated TES Teach lessons at home and come back to class to discuss what they’ve learned. TES Teach is also a great tool to pair with other classroom activities and can be used as a full lesson or a supplement to another project.
Another increasingly popular way to use TES Teach is to have students create their own TES Teach lessons, either as individuals or as collaborators. These student-created TES Teach lessons can then be shared with the class or presented. By having your students put together a compelling TES Teach lesson about a topic, they’ll have to demonstrate subject knowledge, the ability to use and explore the web, and the ability to thoughtfully compile different kinds of media. As such, it’s a great project for students and fosters knowledge exploration, digital literacy, and composition skills. Many teachers and students agree that using TES Teach is also fun. TES Teach makes creating and combining rich content easy, and the tile layout is as visually appealing as it is practical.
Your students can also use TES Teach as a “digital locker” or online portfolio for content that they create in your class. Whether that content is blog posts, papers, videos, or more, TES Teach is an elegant and simple way for them to gather their accomplishments in one easily-accessible format. You might want to use a TES Teach lesson for your own digital locker or online portfolio. Lots of teachers use TES Teach for other purposes, such as professional development presentations or as a web-based alternative to PowerPoint.
These ideas are just a few possibilities -- we love when teachers and students surprise us with their well-crafted TES Teach lessons! Do you use TES Teach in a way we haven’t mentioned, or do you have other tips or tricks? We’d love to hear about them on Twitter at @tesusa or @tes_teach.