Educational publishing has gotten a lot of attention in the recent past, from controversy over rising prices to digital advances. Another trend is the proliferation of tools for educators to create and publish their own content.
TED brings us one such tool, launched at the end of April: TED-Ed , “lessons worth sharing.”
Educators can submit videos to TED and work with animators to make them as digitally powerful as possible. The videos are all under ten minutes long and designed to deliver knowledge in an engaging and inspirational way, encouraging lifelong learning. They hope teachers will use these videos as supplemental resources in the classroom, so they feature built-in learning tools:
- Quick Quiz section: multiple choice questions with real-time feedback
- Think section: open answer questions
- Dig Deeper section: additional resources on the topic
- Optional ability to track your learning
One of the most powerful features is the ability to “flip” a lesson. Anyone can edit any TED-Ed video and quiz – publish the custom video to a new, unique URL for their students – and track student views and comprehension.
However, perhaps most exciting is that educators can use the TED-Ed platform to “flip” any other video on YouTube – customizing it for relevant use in their own classroom.
“That’s the central mission of TED-Ed -
to capture and to amplify the voice of the world’s greatest teachers.”
- From the ‘About TED-Ed video’  (below)
It seems like TED-Ed has successfully capitalized on an emerging ed tech formula of sorts – facilitating the production of content that is visually interesting, sharable, customizable, specific and engaging. As we all become publishers, it’s another tool to try.
TED-Ed hopes that “…together we’ll create a free and remarkable library of lessons worth sharing.” Their website lists 63 videos created and 1,713 flips so far, on topics ranging from “Insults by Shakespeare”  to “The Secret Life of Plankton.” 
Have any of you used this tool yet?