News Flash: TED Ed

This week marks the launch of TED-Ed, a new branch of the TED website entitled “Lessons Worth Sharing.” You know about TED, right? If not, stop right now and head to to begin exploring one of the most fascinating (and, OK, addictive) sites on the web. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It began in 1984 as a conference that brought together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. While it hosts multiple other activities, TED is probably best known for its website, offering a seemingly endless collection of video-talks from great thinkers of all varieties.

TED is all about ideas, and using ideas to spur more ideas. Now they are trying to build a site that will help teachers link to outstanding lessons, by capturing lessons on video and amplifying them via added animation. And all this is managed in 10-minute intervals designed to fit neatly into school schedules.

TED-Ed is hoping to recruit outstanding teachers (you??), as well as interested animators, to help create the lessons. Here is a chance to start using interesting videos, or to get in on the ground floor creating them. Of course there are multiple opportunities here for enhancing both creativity and curiosity.

My favorite so far—at least so far as enhancing curiosity goes–is the section on Questions no one (yet) knows the answers to. Why can’t we see evidence of alien life? How many universes are there? These brief videos present unsolvable questions, along with attempts to solve them. As models of curiosity, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Of course only time will tell how TED-Ed will evolve, but given the TED track record, I have high hopes!

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