An amazing array of freely available, quality educational videos, just waiting to be used by educators in our schools, is nothing short of awesome!
As with anything new, it can take a while to get the hang of it. For teachers, feeling familiar and comfortable with new tools is an essential factor to ensure its use in the classroom. TED-Ed is no exception. On the surface, it is a YouTube Channel with a host of videos freely available for use by teachers in the classroom. But, as we’ve come to know, TED offers a standard that far surpasses the norm. The depth and breadth of each video is impressive, a feature that has characterized TED videos since its inception some 25 years ago.
TED-Ed aims to present engaging videos that inspire lifelong learning. Using top quality educators as presenters, the videos, which range from just a few minutes to a maximum of ten minutes, are backed up by top quality animators. Both presenters and animators are being sourced from across the world so that great lessons can be presented to anyone anywhere in the world. The TED-Ed channel is part of the youtube.com/edu offering – a collection of half a million educational videos. It is intended that the initial bundle of 12 videos launched on March 12th this year, will be added to on a weekly basis, building rapidly to an archive of several hundred. Aiming to supplement rather than replace traditional curriculum, the aim of the TED-Ed team is to provide teachers with new tools to inspire curiosity and bring lessons to life.
The announcement on PRNewswire explains the TED-Ed mission:
TED’s core mission is to spread ideas,” said TED Curator Chris Anderson. “By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity. We want to show that learning can be thrilling. Because they are only a few minutes long, they can readily be used by teachers during class time. But we also envisage them being viewed by learners of all ages.”
It must have been apparent to the designers of TED-Ed that there is a need to teach the teachers, as just a couple of weeks ago they launched this video: TED-Ed Website Tour which gives a really clear explanation of how much more than just videos is packed into this service. Apart from being able to watch a video, teachers can have their students take a quiz, ponder deep probing questions and/or research the issue further. But best and most powerful of all, is the possibility to edit the lesson. Just see what can be done by selecting the “Flip this lesson” tab. It’s both powerful and amazing to be able to modify content in this way. And if that isn’t enough, just keep watching to the end of this short video for an explanation of a major feature available on the TED-Ed platform! You’ll be amazed!
While TED-Ed is a powerful and valuable tool, the challenge now is for educators is to use it!