TED, the organization dedicated to making the world smarter in all the coolest ways, announced today the launch of a new website fitted for its education services, TED-Ed. The new site consists of select content that represents the best collaborations between talented educators and animators as well as an inventory of tools to help educators engage students with the videos.
TED-Ed's been around since March when it was launched as a YouTube channel but now educators can do more than simply watch. With tools to tailor lesson plans around the videos, the instructor can publish and share the lesson and then gauge its effect on an individual student, an entire class, or the greater world. Specifically, instructors will be able to assess which students are bunking off and which students are actually doing their homework based on each individual student's level of participation and accuracy of answers.
Each video in TED-Ed's collection is categorized with tags related to traditional school subjects (you will never get away from that chemistry class, youngsters). Additionally, TED-Ed provides supplementary materials such as multiple-choice and open-answer questions plus links to related content that promote both teacher and student understanding of the video's lesson.
Instructors will be able to keep track of students' progress and participation via the new tool offered on TED-Ed's site called "flipping." The feature takes its name from the concept of flip teaching, which is an instruction style that incorporates technology in such a way that teachers spend less time lecturing and more time actually interacting with students. Thus, when an instructor flips a video, it will copy the video to a new and private webpage through which the instructor can distribute the tailored lesson and measure individual students' progress as they complete the assignment.
TED-Ed's intent is to broaden the classroom experience beyond the school day hours of the classroom. "Our goal here is to offer teachers free tools in a way they will find empowering," said TED Curator Chris Anderson in a statement. "This new platform allows them to take any useful educational video, not just TED's, and easily create a customized lesson plan around it. Great teaching skills are never displaced by technology. On the contrary, they're amplified by it. That's our purpose here: to give teachers an exciting new way to extend learning beyond classroom hours."
TED-Ed's new home is launching in beta initially with a full launch planned for the start of the 2012-2013 school year in September. For now, TED says that the site's launch is intended as a way to showcase what TED-Ed will be able to offer instructors in the next school year while content and new features will continue to be added over the coming months.