The Nature of a Great TED Ed Lesson

The meaningful use of TED-Ed in teaching and Learning

by Marcia Anderson


TED-Ed is a free web-based learning tool that allows teachers and students around the world to access curated educational videos that can be used to supplement subjects/ topics lessons online. Students can complete lessons at their own pace where Internet access is available.
The website is designed for teachers to select a video or create a video and insert into their lesson. After watching a brief how-to video my colleague and I set out to create a lesson to share with students in our higher education class. We discovered it was easier to use than we anticipated.

Getting Started

The key feature of TED Ed is it’s curated video lessons that offer the opportunity for deeper meaningful learning in and outside the classroom. As teachers monitor their students’ engagement they are better able to give feedback. Accessing and creating lessons can be done in other languages, which opens the lessons to a global audience. Here is an English version of how to create your own lesson.

Teaching Ideas

Idea 1 – Create Lesson plans
Teachers are able to create subject/ topic-specific lessons that can be customized to enhance how students learn. The Lessons include videos, questions, discussion topics and other materials such as information for further reading or discussion. These lessons deepen the students’ learning through collaboration with their peers and their authentic responses.

Idea 2 – Provide feedback
As students engage in the lessons, the teacher is able to monitor and provide feedback. Students have the ability to respond to the feedback, which gives the teacher a better understanding of their comprehension of the subject/ topic. Feedback is not limited to teacher and student but can also be shared in the TED-Ed Community for a response from the expert educators and animators who create the original lessons.

Idea 3 – Flipped Lessons
Once a video is identified on YouTube it can be converted to a flipped lesson. A special tool is available which allows the teacher to write free-form questions and create links to other resources. The lesson would have time sensitive questions with video hints and other specific interactions. Students are able to respond to lessons and work at their own pace.

Helpful Resources

Resource 1 – TED-Ed lessons

Resource 2- TED-Ed Frequently Asked Questions

Resource 3 – How TED-Ed site turns YouTube Videos to Flipped Lessons

Cost and Alternatives

Free Version
You can register for free with an email or Facebook account. Register as a teacher, student or other here.

Blendspace is a similar tool that can be accessed for free with a focus on delivering content using multimedia and limited activity. There is a paid version that gives access to Google Docs where teachers can include more activities.


Author: Markiseme

Currently, I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator and pursuing my Masters in Education.

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