Teaching With YouTube Just Got Easier Thanks to TED-Ed

Filed in: Media Literacy, Schools

Filed by Kelsey Herron


5.4.12 | Ever wanted to make a lesson plan out of a YouTube video? Now you can, thanks to TED-Ed, a new platform developed by TED, best known for its videos of innovative people with “ideas worth spreading.”

TED-Ed, now available for public beta testing, allows teachers and professors to access hundreds of lessons based around TED and TEDx talks, as well as devise lesson plans around any YouTube video.

“The goal of TED-Ed is for each great lesson to reach and motivate as many learners as possible,” said TED-Ed catalyst Logan Smalley. “The new TED-Ed website goes a step further, allowing any teacher to tailor video content, create unique lesson plans, and monitor students’ progress. 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.”

The TED-Ed library is searchable by both series and subject. Browsing by series is perfect for learners because it groups each video by theme, whereas browsing by subject is ideal for educators looking to find the perfect video to show in class or assign as homework.

Every video on TED-Ed is accompanied by a lesson recorded by an educator and visualized by a professional animator.

“These lessons don’t replace good teaching, but they can be supplementary resources for students and teachers around the world,” TED-Ed representatives said during a video tour explaining the lessons and site logistics.

Each lesson contains three sections:

TED-Ed tour

• “Quick quiz” contains multiple choice questions that measure the basic comprehension of the video. This section gives real-time feedback on your answers, and provides a “video hint” if users are stumped.

• “Think” encompasses open-ended questions that encourage the use of critical thinking skills.

• “Dig Deeper” provides additional resources for exploring the topics in the lesson.

There is also a “flip this lesson” option, which enables educators to edit a lesson on the site and customize it based on their students’ needs.

For example, you can edit the title of the lesson, add specific instructions, choose which quiz questions you’d like to use, add additional open-ended questions, and edit the resources in the “dig deeper” section.

After you flip the lesson, you can also track the progress of the learners you share it with, monitor their participation, and measure the accuracy of their answers.

Lessons can be completed anonymously, or you can create a username in order to save answers from previous lessons and track activity. Using the TED-Ed platform, you can also “flip” any video from YouTube—a neat feature that enables you to customize a lesson out of any educational video or original content of your own.

Currently, there are 63 TED-Ed lesson videos and 1,623 flips. The website boasts the enormous opportunity for learning brought about by this new innovation and posits that “through flipping these lessons, together we’ll create a free and remarkable library of lessons worth sharing” – a prospect that should excite both educators and students.


ted, ted-ed, video, youtube


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