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Thursday, May 3, 2012

TED to the Rescue

TED (technology, entertainment, design) is coming to the aid of teachers who want to use the educational resources on YouTube in their classrooms. TED, a nonprofit organization that promotes ideas through conferences and free online video, has developed a web site that helps instructors find educational videos and provides a tool for “flipping” them.

“Flipping” refers to a blended learning method that makes use of technology to allow instructors more time to interact with students rather than lecture. Students are encouraged to move around the room, helping each other, while teacher-created videos keep the lesson going outside the classroom.

The new site, the second part of an effort called TED-Ed, is a portal that organizes the videos by themes and tags them to traditional subjects taught in school. The site also offers additional material, including multiple-choice questions, open-answer questions, and links to more information.

The site allows instructors to “flip” the videos, or edit them in a way that customizes the lesson. Each flipped video creates a web link for the instructor to distribute the lesson and track student answers.

There’s also a special tool that allows teachers to create a lesson from any video on YouTube that permits third-party embedding. These enhanced videos can be offered for wider distribution and the best will be featured on the TED-Ed site.

“We didn’t want to limit what people might want to use to teach,” Long Smalley, TED-Ed director, said in an article that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education

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