TED-Ed's New Video Tool Allows Anyone To Create Video Lessons Online

TED-Ed’s new free platform allows anyone to "flip" any video on YouTube by adding custom content to play alongside it, making it possible to turn any piece of video content into a teachable moment.

This morning, the TED conference expanded their TED-Ed initiative with a new set of interactive features, created with $1.25 million of corporate support, designed to make it easier for teachers to build video lessons. What’s cool is that anyone can use this simple platform to pair any video on YouTube—not just TED Talks—with custom content. TED calls this "flipping the video," a clear reference to the idea of "flipping the classroom" popularized by Sal Khan's Khan Academy and others. Basically it means making students responsible for lecture-like content outside of class via video, freeing up classroom time for discussion and individualized work.

Here’s a lesson I created using the video of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s speech at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference earlier this month.

The lesson on TED.com

It takes just a few minutes to pair the video with discussion questions, like this one:

And links to extra resources.

Additional resources

You can then share it via a unique URL or via email, both of which will give you stats on who is viewing and participating in the lesson (though, as you can see, you can’t embed them).

Previously in the initiative, TED created a set of purpose-built TED-Ed videos featuring animations; now they’ve created lessons around those same videos using this new platform, as well as tagging and sorting all the videos in their library by academic subject. Their goal, says TED Curator Chris Anderson, "is to offer teachers free tools in a way they will find empowering."

Considering the vast variety of videos on YouTube, the implications of this free tool are staggering and probably far beyond what TED is picturing. The makeup mavens can link directly to pictures of Kim Kardashian and the cover artists can post chords and solicit audience feedback. Even dancing kittens can pose essay questions about the wonders of … dancing kittens. The educational power of video just got a lot more powerful.

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  • Rita Dawson

    That sounds great. I thin that's going to be very helpful for professors. students get to understand video tutorials better than the traditional brick and mortar classes. I hope, through this platform, the students can understand the best from the professors easily.

  • Anthony Mitchell

    This article uses words I know and understand. Taken together, however, they appear meaningless. 

  • Someonegetsteve

    Man, took so many hoops to jump through to use it, it's not clear where the tool is, and signing up then took me elsewhere, then, finally, it wouldn't accept my password :( ...and its been 20 minutes and no registration email? Seriously? Someone needs to create a TEDed for the creators of TED on how to test and release an online tool.

  • eugenecantera

    cool and powerful - it allows you also to super-impose your own thoughts or POV on to any video.  great stuff

  • Joy Rigel

    Wonderful!  Thank you for sharing!  Do you know if it's possible to link several TED speeches together and add original content?  I'm trying to take the most compelling aspects of TED speeches related to GMO's and add in information from other educational videos in order to offer the viewer a comprehensive understanding of GMOs.  Do you know if this is possible?  Many thanks!  Joy