The incredible TED, purveyor of fascinating video talks on Technology Education and Development by some of the world’s most interesting people, and a personal online favourite of mine, has announced this week that they are starting up TED Ed, a series of lessons by some of the worlds best educators, which will be available online for free.

As well as a set of “powerful learning tools” that Ted has announced will be launched in April, they have a mission statement which, If the quality of their wonderful talks is anything to go by, will mean some pretty awesome teaching and learning opportunities are on their way.

TED-Ed’s mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos.


Personally, I think that TED-ED is going to be a completely “paradigm changing” addition to the online teachers’ toolkit. It is bound to continue the move away from the traditional paper-based, publisher-centric classroom that iTunes University, the Khan Academy and other similar innovations have started. With pre-made lessons available online, by some of the worlds leading educators, the relatively new idea of the “flipped classroom” is now becoming a reality.

If you haven’t heard of the flipped classroom, it’s basically where teachers do all their traditional input via a recorded lesson which their students can watch as many times as they wish, so the faster students can rush through at their own pace, those who haven’t understood the instruction can re-watch a video as many times as they need until they feel they’ve understood as much as they need. This then frees-up class time for practical, problem-solving types of tasks which, in my opinion at least, are by far the most effective way for learning languages (and most other subjects!)

Roll on April!