TED-Ed Lessons in New Video Site
TED videos have always been educational. For years, the non-profit group behind the thought-provoking TED Talks that touch on issues in Technology, Entertainment, and Design has fulfilled its mission of spreading ideas and inspiration through conferences, media and research fellowships.
With the inexorable shift from creating, curating and consuming content offline to online, TED’s newest initiative, TED-Ed is an affirmation of video as a 21st Century vernacular and its evolutionary role in the modern multimedia classroom.
TED-Ed gives educators a toolkit to rethink the traditional notion of teacher and student by sharing lessons and inspiration with anyone willing to learn or teach, within or outside the classroom. Still in beta test stage, TED-Ed.com was launched last week. It is the second phase of a project that started in March with an education channel on YouTube to combine exceptional teaching with eye-catching animations to make captivating lessons available to anyone on the Web:
Test Driving TED-Ed
The videos are impressive enough. But it’s the tech driving them that wows. The elegantly simple Website offers a structured avenue for repurposing content by allowing teachers to “flip” any video from TED-Ed and YouTube into a sharable lesson ripe with quizzes, links to additional info and animations.
This means teachers can customise lessons around any embeddable video and pipe the information onto a private Webpage whose access permissions could be individually set to track that lesson. The best lessons may be showcased on TED-Ed, contributing to a collection of multimedia teaching best practices as more users take advantage of it.
The Future of Online Education?
Think Khan Academy on steroids (Salman Khan is a TED-Ed advisor), and you’ll have an idea of what TED-Ed is shooting for, and why it could become a game-changing platform for education. Online videos of “TED Talks” have attracted a global following, with TED presenters bringing brain power to mind-tickling spins on concepts as weighty as climate change or as playful as dance and music.
Now, teaming talented educators with talented visual storytellers to create fun multimedia, TED-Ed has set out to make learning irresistible by empowering educators to transform a passive academic experience into an interactive one. The open source platform lets instructors incorporate pre-made videos from TED with any clips from YouTube into their lessons. This means any video from YouTube can be turned into a lesson – completely free. The implications of this for online education bear watching.
We want to show that learning can be thrilling. By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity. Our longer term dream is that we will be able to aggregate the best lessons that teachers create and share them with a wider audience.
Chris Anderson, TED Curator
Views of educational content on YouTube doubled in the last year, according to the leading video sharing service. TED-Ed videos join more than a half-million education-themed videos on dedicated pages of YouTube. TED is gearing up for a full launch of TED-Ed, timed with the new school year in September. Directed by Logan Smalley, a former TED Fellow with a background in documentary work, the project is backed by a US$1.25 million commitment from American department store chain Kohl’s.