TED.com is a series of conferences that provide innovative and inspiring way of learning. Speakers from across the world deliver speeches on a variety of topics such as technology, medical research, the arts and also education. After receiving its billionth view online last year, this revolutionary way of teaching is growing in popularity. The non-proft organisation began in 1984 and since then has developed “Ted-Ed”. This is a website that is specifically designed to present lectures and lessons in a motivating and attention grabbing way. So far they have 73,791 lessons and also 1,825,230 questions answered. Here is a brief video about Ted-Ed from the website itself:
The site is completely free and can be used by not only students, but teachers as well. There are two styles of TED-Ed lessons. One of these is the original lessons that display “collaborations between expert educators, screenwriters and animators. Each collaboration aims to capture and amplify a great lesson ideas suggested by the TED community.” The other form of lessons can be produced by “any website visitor, and involves adding questions, discussion topics and other supplementary materials to any educational video on YouTube.” This means that viewers themselves can participate and increase their knowledge in a variety of subjects. By having professionals occasionally giving speeches, they are also accessing world-class education for free.
Some lessons have been made into animations which give the lessons a more fun and light-hearted feel. According to Clough (2013, p.191) “All sorts of technologies fascinate students and have the potential to grab and maintain their attention in ways that interacting with a teacher, reading a book, seriously discussing ideas with other students, and thinking about their own thinking cannot. One only has to look at the hours children are willing to spend spellbound in front of a television or computer surfing the web to see how rapidly changing sensory information plays to our biological bias attending us to changes in our immediate environment.” The rise in online use worldwide has led to teenagers spending an increasing amount of time on the internet. Ted-Ed has clearly identified that children can spend this time productively and can use all the technology on offer in a way the will greatly benefit their education.
This is an example of a Ted-Ed video that I particularly enjoyed:
The video was interesting in the way it was animated and how visually appealing the style was. It is easier to engage with the lesson in an animated way rather than listening to the teacher simply explaining it. It means that it is easier to pay attention and focus is better which will allow learners to gain more information.
Clough, Michael, P. (2013) The Nature of Technology: Implications for Learning and Teaching [e-book] Available from: RGU library online http://library.rgu.ac.uk/