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TED-Ed Releases Flipped Classroom Tools

news story by 360 Education Solutions | April 26, 2012

Related Topics: TED, TED Ed, YouTube, education, teachers, educational technology, lesson planning, flipped classrooms

Inspired by recent trends in flipping classrooms, TED-Ed has announced the second phase of their initiative releasing tools that allow teachers to take YouTube videos and create customized lessons around them.

Late last year, 360 Education Solutions reported on the flipped classroom, where the teacher uses class time to work on assignments while having students view lectures and videos as homework. However, while the prospect of one-on-one time with students seems like a teacher’s dream, the logistics of getting a flipped classroom up and running can be a daunting task. TED-Ed’s new tools seek to remedy that.

“Our goal here is to offer teachers free tools in a way they will find empowering,” TED Curator Chris Anderson said in a statement.

In March TED launched the first phase of their TED-Ed initiative, when they started their new YouTube channel that has video lectures, animations and mini-lessons designed for students. The new tools and website, however, actually allow teachers to build an entire lesson plan around these videos.

“This new platform allows them to take any useful educational video, not just TED's, and easily create a customized lesson plan around it,” Anderson continued in the statement. “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.”

Teachers can now create multiple choice quizzes that can be tracked, write up explanations on certain topics or concepts, and create spaces for students to explain concepts as well.

For example, on one lesson created around the video, “How Pandemics Spread,” starts by having the student watch the video, then take a short multiple choice quiz. The lesson then has the student answer essay questions designed to get the student to think and explain concepts. Afterward, the lesson then provides links to other websites on the subject.

All this can be completed as a homework assignment, freeing the class time up to have a discussion on the topic or work on projects.

Logan Smalley, TED-Ed’s director, explained to The Chronicle of Higher Education that the flipping tools are truly open to a wealth of possibilities as they will allow teachers to use more than just TED-Ed videos. This means instructors could flip their own video lectures or even the latest viral video if they wanted to. He explained that they wanted to leave the possibilities of flipped videos up to the people building the lessons.

“We didn’t want to limit what people might want to use to teach,” Smalley said to The Chronicle.

Additionally, one of the goals of TED-Ed is to spread great lessons and lectures to other educators. One of the new tools now allows users to nominate outstanding educators, lessons and lectures to the TED-Ed team. The TED-Ed team will then work to ensure that these educator’s lectures are paired up with professional animators to be shared with teachers around the world.

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