TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Spreading

TED-Ed ScreenshotIf you are one of the lucky ones, you have personally attended one of the conferences hosted by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), an organization that’s dedicated to spreading ideas. More likely, though, you are like the rest of us who have to settle for watching the TEDTalks on TED.com, on Netflix Instant, or anywhere else that takes advantage of the TEDTalk Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons licenses. Even in the online video format, TEDTalks feature some of the most engaging, innovative thinkers including people like Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, and Salman Khan, and each year one of these speakers is awarded a cash prize to help them achieve a wish to change the world.

Wait a minute! Why should only the rich and famous get the opportunity to spread their ideas and win cash prizes? There are a ton of people with great ideas on La Salle’s campus and attending other schools across the world. In the spirit of opening the dialogue, the exclusive TED club is becoming more accessible thanks to the recent arrival of TED-Ed. The folks behind the TED organization led by curator Chris Anderson, former British computer journalist and magazine publisher, have launched an educational website that promises some interesting potential for student engagement.

Taking TED’s mission of spreading ideas into the technology-centered classroom, TED-Ed is combining great educators with talented animators to steadily build its library of useful educational videos. Even better, the TED videos, or any video on YouTube for that matter, can be flipped by anyone interested in creating a customized lesson around the video’s content. These lessons can then be accessed publicly or privately to keep the ideas building and snowballing off each other, sort of like an interactive video library version of Wikipedia.

Here’s a step-by-step walk-through of how you can use TED-Ed to flip your lesson and better engage your students:

Step 1: Create your free account at TED.com by clicking on the “Register” link in the top right hand corner of the screen and log in to the TED-Ed website.

TED Registration Screenshot

Step 2: Choose a video from TED-Ed or a video from YouTube that applies to your class.

TED-Ed Video ScreenshotStep 3: Click the “Flip This Lesson” button in the lower right hand corner of the the screen.

TED-Ed Flip Button Screenshot

Step 4: Customize the beginning of your lesson by editing the title, context, and availability options.

TED-Ed Lesson Edit ScreenshotStep 5: Click on the “Think” button to exclude existing questions or to add your own questions in either multiple choice or short answer formats. Your lesson can include up to 15 questions.

TED-Ed Lesson Edit Screenshot 2

Step 6: Click on the “Dig Deeper” button to include extra resources on the topic for students to explore.

TED-Ed Lesson Edit Screenshot 3Step 7: Click on the “…And Finally” button to add a conclusion of final thoughts for your students to consider.

TED-Ed Lesson Edit Screenshot 4Step 8: Click the “Preview” button to see your lesson and click “Finish Flip” to complete your flip and generate a URL address that you can share with your students.

TED-Ed Lesson Edit Screenshot 5

Step 8: Share the lesson URL with your students in your Blackboard course.

After you get the hang of flipping lessons with TED-Ed, consider a few ways how this concept can be applied to your classroom. Since there is a lot of useful educational content on YouTube and any video can be easily flipped with TED-Ed, you could create an assignment in which students have to locate videos related to class topics and use TED-Ed to flip them. These videos could then be posted to your Blackboard site for the whole class as part of a larger review unit. You could also offer the flipped lessons as optional remedial assignments or for low-stakes formative assessment tools. Since the content is presented in video format, struggling students will be able to review the videos multiple times to help them better grasp concepts presented. Also, if you choose to make the videos available to the general public, you increase the chances of greater collaboration with learners outside your classroom thereby opening up your students to a wider array of new perspectives.

Do you like the flipped classroom idea, but have reservations about interacting with a new website like TED-Ed? Not to worry, you can replicate the flipped model in the more familiar Blackboard environment. Here’s the process for inserting video and quiz questions into Blackboard:

Step 1: Create a new content item.

Step 2: Insert a video into the newly created content item.

Step 3: Create a quiz using the assessment tool.

Step 4: Add feedback options to your quiz.

Step 5: Link your quiz to the video content item.

Step 6: Add additional resources to the content item.

Need Help?

Check out this more in-depth walk-through on TED-Ed from Princeton University’s Ed Tech Center blog and stay tuned to La Salle’s 1900 Tech Blog for future posts. For individualized assistance, you can always contact a member of the Instructional Design team if you need help using TED-Ed or if you have any general questions about the steps described in this post!