Monday, March 12, 2012

Animators Amplify TED-Ed Teachers' Lessons

What would education be like if designers worked with schools and teachers to amplify the curriculum through the design of images, objects, spaces and experiences? Animators, architects, exhibit designers, game designers, graphic designers, film makers, and others could all contribute to transforming education for the 21st century that has relied for too long on words and numbers as the primary communication tools.

The non-profit foundation behind the TED conferences has launched a YouTube education channel called TED-Ed. Consisting of animated videos less than 10 minutes long, the channel is an "invitation to teachers around the world to submit their best lessons."

After an entry has been accepted, staff will work with the teacher involved to compress and refine the information. Once the educator records the lesson in its final form and uploads it to TED's servers, it's assigned an animator who gets to work on making an engaging yet informative clip. Each lesson includes captions for the hard of hearing and an Interactive Transcript that lets you click on text to jump to the relevant point in the video.

"Right now there's a gifted educator somewhere out there delivering the life-changing lesson. The TED-Ed team hopes that anyone that's passionate about education will help us find that teacher, capture that moment, and amplify it the way it deserves to be amplified."

At launch, the channel consists of seven lessons on subjects ranging from Alien Life to Symbiosis, and that count will increase with time. You can get involved by suggesting a lesson, an educator, or an animator — and you're welcome to put yourself forward too. The idea that students everywhere will be able to benefit from the concise and engaging lessons is certainly encouraging, and we hope that the service will be as popular as the videos uploaded from TED's conferences.

Click on the heading above to go to the TED-Ed YouTube sight.

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