Itâ€™s been a long time since anyoneâ€™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 theyâ€™re at it. The TED-Ed website, which launched yesterday, offers terrific educational video content in many different fields from many talented educators. But itâ€™s the technology theyâ€™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 â€œflipping.â€ 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 studentâ€™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 â€” hereâ€™s the big kicker â€” you can create a lesson around any video on YouTube. TED-Ed could easily have locked you into their siteâ€™s content, but theyâ€™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 itâ€™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!