Why TED-Ed Lives Up to the Hype
In a sea of online learning platforms, TED-Ed actually delivers.
It's only been a few weeks since the announcement of TED-Ed, the new platform that combines short lessons from great teachers with high quality animation to create engaging videos for modern learners. But, at a time when it seems like online learning sites are cropping up every week, TED-Ed is proving to be one that lives up to the hype.
The site's user-friendly layout makes it easy for teachers to browse videos either by big pictures themes or traditional academic subjects and decide how to incorporate it into her existing lesson. Once a teacher finds the video she wants, she can assign it to students to watch and can even check student understanding through quick quizzes made up of multiple choice and open-ended questions.
But what really makes TED-Ed special is it allows teachers to "flip"—customize—its videos. Teachers can change the title, add customized quiz questions, and save the video as a new unique URL. This customization option isn't limited to the existing animated videos on the TED-Ed site, either. Through the platform, any video available on YouTube can be flipped into a lesson, or teachers and students can record their own video and turn it into one. That means the possibilities for TED-Ed as a learning tool are pretty endless.
Of course, given the digital divide, not every student will actually have a computer—or an internet connection— at home or at school to be able to access TED-Ed. Until we can get that fixed in schools, teachers and students won't be able to take advantage of the cool learning opportunities that TED-Ed provides.