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TED Launches TED-Ed To Help Spread Lessons Beyond the Classroom

TED, the non-profit organization known for its captivating conferences and thought-provoking sub-20-minute videos on a tapestry of ideas, has launched a new education initiative for K-12, college, and lifelong learning. TED-Ed will bring teachers and professors with excellent classroom lessons together with animators to create versions of those lessons for online sharing on a new education channel on YouTube. Organizers said they hope the videos will provide instructors with new, free material to supplement their curriculum.

To kick off the new channel, the initiative released a dozen videos, all under 10 minutes long. The count has since risen to 15 lessons (many culled from TED's archives), and new ones are expected to be added every week. Current topics include:

  • "How Pandemics Spread" by author and journalist Mark Honigsbaum and animator Patrick Blower;
  • "Deep Ocean Mysteries and Wonders" by oceanographer and scientist David Gallo and a team of TED-Ed "visualizers"; and
  • "Evolution in a Big City" by Baruch College Professor Jason Munshi-South and the TED-Ed visualization team.

The organization has an open submission process to invite educators and animators worldwide to contribute lesson plans and video reels on any topic. TED-Ed's team will select the best submissions from teachers and others and provide them with the means to work with animators to create video lessons.

"TED's core mission is to spread ideas," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity. We want to show that learning can be thrilling. Because they are only a few minutes long, they can readily be used by teachers during class time. But we also envisage them being viewed by learners of all ages."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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