One of the most exciting aspects of the internet is the vast amount of information it brings to our fingertips. With universities such as MIT, Stanford and Harvard making their curricula available online for public use, the internet is spreading educational tools far and wide. The newest addition is TED-Ed, which makes popular TED talks into animated videos that are perfect for classroom use.
The main concept of TED-Ed is to connect educators with animators to create visually compelling videos that have greater educational value than a simple talking head. Once you create an account with TED-Ed, you'll have access to all of the educational videos produced so far, you'll be able to recommend animators and educators, and also be able to 'Flip a Lesson' to make it your own.
Your profile will not only be your portal to Ted's great educational tools, it will also let you get connected with other educators using the site. You can choose to make your activity private or public, and also make available all of the video lessons you create to other educators. Adding any organizations or educational institutions you're affiliated with is a great way to get involved in the Ted community - you can even specify on your profile what you're interested in discussing.
There are 64 specially created TED-Ed videos so far that have been hand-selected by Ted for their educational merit. The videos are organized by subject for easy browsing, and are also organized into series. The educational series are great for classroom use, as educators can combine media literacy choosing.
Once you find a video you like, you can 'flip' it, which means customizing it to suit your educational needs. To flip a video you can edit the information directly on the TED-Ed website by changing the introduction, quiz questions, discussion questions, and topics for further research. Once you're happy with your lesson, you can publish the video. This will make it easy to access for future use in the classroom, and also let you share it with other educators.
In addition to the wonderful videos on the TED-Ed site, you can make any YouTube video an educational tool with the TED-Ed template. Navigate to 'YouTube' at the top of the page, search for a specific video or subject, and flip it! You'll follow the same steps as flipping a Ted video, but you'll be responsible for creating all of the content.
This tool is a great addition to any lesson plan. To make the experience truly interactive, you can add your own questions, and provide discussion topics and subjects for further research. This awesome tool transforms YouTube into an endless educational resource.
In addition to providing a wonderful tool for educators with many opportunities for communication and idea sharing, TED-Ed lets educators be a part of the collaboration process that makes the videos possible. In the 'Get Involved' section you can nominate an expert who you think would make an engaging TED speaker, recommend an a skilled animator to bring TED talks to life, or draw from your school's curriculum to suggest a lesson or subject that may be missing from the TED library.
The addition of TED-Ed goes to show that TED really is devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading," and opens this initiative up to creative minds and educators everywhere.