Lessons Worth Sharing
TED-Ed: Resource for Educators & Learners
In addition to offering thousands of informational and inspirational talks, the organization TED now offers resources specifically for educators and learners. TED-Ed (ed.ted.com), a new platform developed by the organization (whose acronym name stands for technology, entertainment, and design), offers educational videos that differ slightly in structure and purpose from the internationally known TED and TEDx talks.
Written by educators and animated by professional animators, TED-Ed videos provide lessons on a wide variety of topics in every typical school subject. Families can use TED-Ed resources to supplement studies done in school, to help with homework, or to explore new and exciting topics together. Each video is designed to offer specific information that is presented in a way that makes for easy listening, and the narrative is accompanied by visuals that illustrate the main idea and details of each topic.
In addition to TED-Ed’s videos are resources for creating lessons based on the topics presented in each video. While such resources are likely most often used by teachers, others using the TED-Ed platform to share information can easily utilize the lesson planning resources offered on the site in order to support their teaching. Whether you’re a homeschooling family, a parent trying to help your children add to their school education, or someone charged with running an information session on a specific topic, TED-Ed can help. Planning questions, discussion topics, and activities to help solidify or contextualize the concepts presented in a shared video helps to ensure that real learning is taking place. In order to commit information to memory, our brains need a reason. Stimulating discussion, critical thinking, and hands-on experience help to provide what videos alone cannot.
Don’t have the time to plan a lesson yourself? TED-Ed offers lessons designed by other users as well. Once you’ve created a user account, all of the sites tools and libraries are available. In addition, the TED-Ed Pinterest board shows lessons sorted by topics and disciplines.
While video alone is not the best way to learn, videos can beautifully supplement studies of any topic. Information presented in video form can help many different types of learners find meaning in information. Young students with limited reading skills, students who prefer to see things presented visually, and auditory learners can all benefit greatly from the presence of video in their education.