5 Reasons Why TED-Ed Talks Would Be A Super Hit For Students

Posted on March 15, 2012 in Learning+, The Opinionated

By Anshul Tewari:

TED, a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, has already impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of people with its path-breaking set of talks by innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and those who have been changing the way we looked at technology, entertainment and design.

This week, TED launched TED-Ed, to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. The idea is based on the simple genesis that students must have access to lessons from great educators on high quality video whenever they want.

TED will execute this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. While there will definitely be many comparisons of TED-Ed with the hugely popular and successful Khan Academy, here’s why we think TED-Ed could change the way students approach lessons.

1. Short and precise

Rule 1 about all TED talks are that they are wrapped up within 20 mins. Students hate long and wordy lessons and lose interest mid-way plainly because most lessons get monotonous or are either too time consuming for the given attention span. This is where TED talks fit. A 20 minute focused Geography lesson would any day be better than a 2 hour class about the same.

2. Visual and creative appeal

TED-Ed plans to pain educators with animators. Clearly, the lessons will have a strong visual appeal to them. Imagine listening to a lesson about the World War II and watching an impacting cartoon movie about the same, along with it. It has been proven that important information, if given in the form of creative videos and visuals, appeals more to the audience, and the retention of the same is longer. This is the exact parameter TED-Ed’s videos will be based on. Important lessons delivered in a creative format.

3. Access to best educators

It is very normal for a student to not understand his or her lessons from a particular educator or classroom teacher, but how often do students get a chance to receive the same lesson from another educator, probably with better knowledge, sitting in some other country? Very rarely. This is one gap that TED-Ed would bridge in the best possible manner. Students will be able to access top notch educators from around the world, over creative videos delivering crisp lessons. What’s better?

4. Access to lessons, whenever wanted

Since these are recorded videos freely available in the TED-Ed library and on their YouTube channel, students will have access to the lessons whenever they want, as long as they have an internet connection (well, there are ways around that as well). In the current scenario, if a student misses out on a lecture, or does not understand particular aspects of the lesson, or is not able to retain them, it would be difficult for him/her to get the same lesson again and again by the teacher – another problem that TED-Ed would solve.

5. Fantastic opportunity for educators and peer-to-peer learning

Often, there are students who are fantastic teachers as well. We all  have that one classmate who explains the best – better than the teachers at times. TED-Ed has invited lesson ideas and people to make video lessons and send across via their nomination form. Know of someone who is a rockstar teacher? May be you are too. You can nominate yourself here. The joy of teaching would be amplified.

While TED’s videos are all in English, what would be truly path breaking is if the lessons are made available in localized languages. They would not only be able to cater to a hyper-local audience, but would be a great tool for Indian schools and educators in rural and semi-urban areas. People  are always fascinated by interesting videos – why not use them for social change?

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