It’s been a long time since anyone’s done anything truly revolutionary when it comes to online video, but leave it to the folks at TED to buck that trend, and to revolutionize online learning while they’re at it. The TED-Ed website, which launched yesterday, offers terrific educational video content in many different fields from many talented educators. But it’s the technology they’ve created that attaches to the videos that is really innovative.
From the official press release:
Each video featured on the site is mapped, via tagging, to traditional subjects taught in schools and comes accompanied with supplementary materials that aid a teacher or student in using or understanding the video lesson. Supplementary materials include multiple-choice questions, open-answer questions, and links to more information on the topic.
But the most innovative feature of the site is that educators can customize these elements using a new functionality called “flipping.” When a video is flipped, the supplementary materials can be edited and the resulting lesson is rendered on a new and private web page. The creator of the lesson can then distribute it and track an individual student’s progress as they complete the assignment.
Yes, that means that anyone can create a lesson around a video, and then track that lesson for their students and/or publish the lesson so others could benefit from it. And — here’s the big kicker — you can create a lesson around any video on YouTube. TED-Ed could easily have locked you into their site’s content, but they’ve chosen instead to open their tools up to the whole wide world of YouTube videos.
The implications of this for online education are amazing: Any of the countless videos on YouTube right now could be made into a lesson, and of course you could upload a video of your own for the purpose as well. And it’s all completely free! How much easier has TED-Ed just made the lives of parents who homeschool?
This is all available right now, so check out the video above and then dive right in on the TED-Ed website!