I’m so excited that the TED-Ed site has officially launched today! I had the amazing opportunity to work with the TED-Ed team, led by Logan Smalley, at the TED conference early March. I got to test-drive what they were working on, as well as provide some feedback and suggestions. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and was incredibly impressed by how eager the team was to get feedback from teachers. The site has amazing potential.
What is the site all about? The most obvious thing might be the library of videos that have been scripted and recorded (audio) by teachers and then animated by the TED team, organized by subject. In addition, “series” of videos have been put together on related topics. But the thing that excited me most is the ability to make these videos more interactive and to put your own individual spin on videos that have already been created. I think of this as “remixing” pre-made videos. Let me explain a bit more…
When you go on the TED-Ed site, you’ll see that you have the option to “watch the full lesson”. This lesson includes a “quick quiz” (multiple choice), “think” questions (short answer), and “dig deeper” (additional resources for the student to explore, including links, etc). One of my favorite features is the “quick quiz”, which isn’t meant to be an assessment, but instead a learning tool. If the student answers a question incorrectly, it immediately says that the answer is correct and gives the option to “try again” or go to a “video hint”. Yes, a “video hint”!!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! If you choose this option, you will be taken to the part of the video where the answer can be found. And then you get to try again.
In addition to this pre-made lesson, the teacher can “flip this lesson”. This gives the teacher the ability to put their own ‘voice’ to a video that somebody else has made. Take a video, either from the library of animated videos, or directly from youtube, and “remix”. The website provides the teacher with the tools to drive the focus and individualize the take-away lessons from the video.
Here’s a link to an article talking about the site in a bit more detail, featuring a couple of quotes by me :)
I can’t wait to see this site really take off. It will surely be a powerful tool in the classroom. I’m beyond excited. Happy teaching, everyone!