Have you ever sat in a classroom and listened to a fantastic lesson that piqued your curiosity, and wished you could share the experience with other students that may not be as lucky as you? Or, conversely, have you sat in a really boring class and thought that physics would be a lot more interesting if your teacher was that guy from Mythbusters? TED may have found the answer.
The global non-profit organisation recently took another step into the world of education when it announced its new TED Education (TED-Ed) YouTube channel in March. Now the organisation has launched a shiny new full scale TED-Ed website that allows teachers to customise their videos with follow up questions and assignments.
The TED-Ed videos are being branded as “lessons worth sharing” and are essentially partnerships between animators and educators that produce shorter, 3-10 minute videos that are more suited to younger learners than the standard 18 minute TED Talk. Because really, wouldn’t you rather watch a cool video than read about something like symbiosis from a text book?
Users can nominate inspiring educators to the TED-Ed team, who will then evaluate the submission and ensure that amazing teachers are found, recorded and matched with an animator who can create a visual explanation of their lesson.
Teachers can ‘flip’ TED’s videos to use them as a basis for a lesson plan, then draw up multiple choice quizzes, write up detailed explanations and suggest further related resources their students could find useful.
There are already quite a few videos on the website, all categorised conveniently by subject and asking intriguing questions. Because really, wouldn’t school be more interesting if you could watch videos with titles like “The Cockroach Beatbox”, “The Secret Life of Plankton” and “Why Can’t We See Evidence of Alien Life”, or a lesson by Mythbusters’ Adam Savage and TED’s own Chris Anderson?