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TED Talks Unveils New Interactive Education Website Tonight

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TED has just unveiled a new education website tonight, TED Ed, different from the YouTube channel with the same name that they launched last month (actually, the domain name of today’s new site is ed.ted).

This new site, using the videos from that new education initiative and perhaps other TED videos, is supposed to let teachers create interactive quizzes that can be tracked. TED appears to have been seduced by the fashionable word of the day — “flipped classroom” — and is framing these teacher-created interactives as tools that can be used in that venue. But for the majority of us who have serious reservations about the feasibility of this strategy, this kind of site can be useful in the classroom.

Unfortunately, the creating tool wasn’t working for me tonight — I’m assuming that it just has a few bugs in the system that I’m sure that TED will work out quickly.

Where the creation tool could really be a valuable learning asset, though, would be by having students take the videos and create the quizzes that, in turn, could be used by their classmates and other students. Nothing on the TED site gives even a hint that they’ve considered such an idea, but once they have fixed the creation tool I wouldn’t think there would be anything to stop a teacher from having their students register and go at it. Of course, since I can’t access that tool, I can’t be sure.

You can read more about this new site at Tech Crunch. The Atlantic also has a good article.

Chris Anderson from TED has written more about it here, as has Karl Fisch.

I’m adding this info to The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations).

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

2 Comments

  1. I love that TED is doing this. I think there is a clear correlation between teachers that assign TED talks (or videos of similar academic quality) and teachers that are flipping their classroom…whether formally or informally.

    I have to imagine, though, that TED talks are only a portion of a teacher’s flipped material. Why would you invest your time and ener to the behind-the-scenes material at TED? What we need is a site to bring it all together (Moodle? Schoology?)

  2. Your post yesterday led me to the website tutorial video on techcrunch yesterday. I’m of the mind that a great foundation has been created here. I was able to use the creation tool without bugs. It was quite nice, though I did have to create a TED profile to do it. I teach Phsyics and my students make videos quite a bit. I agree that this could be a great tool for them creating videos and supplementary materials for each other, and I think we’ll try it. That’s certainly the ideal scenario! But actually I found the site to be very inviting to students to do this, and in general—the animations, the user friendly design, etc. Feels VERY far from a “teacher only” site to me. Now, had they called it “customize a lesson” instead of flip a lesson, I think my students would be turned off. I’ll try to post back about how this goes in my class. Thanks for the information!

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