TED-Ed Aims to be a Teacher’s Pet


The newly-launched TED-ED website is TED’s latest delivery on its brand promise of “Ideas Worth Spreading;” a dynamic site with customizable tools for educators.

Enhancing the TED-Ed YouTube channel launched in March whose short videos have garnered over 2.5 million views, this latest platform lets teachers tailor TED-Ed videos with follow-up questions and assignments.

Each short video (three to eight minutes) includes multiple choice quizzes, open-ended questions and a ‘Dig Deeper’ section. When a student answers incorrectly, a ‘Video Hint’ directs them to the point in the video with the correct answer. Teachers can browse content by subject with videos mapped via tagging to curricula taught in schools and access correlative materials that augment with the learning level.[more]

“The new website is all about what teachers and students can do with those videos,” said TED-Ed’s Logan Smalley. “The goal of TED-Ed is for each great lesson to reach and motivate as many learners as possible. By putting this new technology to use, we hope to maximize time in class and give teachers an exciting tool for customizing – and encouraging – learning.”

“But the most innovative feature of the site is that educators can customize these elements using a new functionality called “flipping,”” notes the official press release. “When a video is flipped, the supplementary materials can be edited and the resulting lesson is rendered on a new and private web page. The creator of the lesson can then distribute it and track an individual student’s progress as they complete the assignment.”

Custom lesson plans receive a unique URL where teachers can track student’s viewing and responses and their plans can draw from any video on YouTube.

“Educators who have tested the site applaud it for its ease and intuitiveness, which, they say, will be especially useful for technology-shy teachers. “Some teachers are kind of afraid of videos,” says Jonathan Bergmann, a K-8 technology facilitator outside of Chicago. “They feel like technology is such a huge hurdle. I think this website will make it easier.” Bergmann, who is a pioneer of the flipped class movement, sees the TED-Ed site becoming an essential tool for outside-the-classroom learning.”

Thesite’s Beta launch this week trended on Twitter as soon as it launched, such as Allison Meier’s tweet: “education and tech revolution- out to change the educational world! Props to TED-Ed- great job!”

“Our goal here is to offer teachers free tools in a way they will find empowering,” said TED Curator Chris Anderson of the TEDucation push. “Great teaching skills are never displaced by technology. On the contrary, they’re amplified by it.”

Kudos to Kohl’s stores for their $1.25 million commitment to TED-ED and equal kudos to TED-Ed for opening their tools up further to the world at large — one more sign of a brand that consistently models teaching and learning at their best.


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