Teaching about what really happens to the plastic you throw away

TED Education

Something to think about when planning those first lesson plans for your students. Looking for a topic that is relevant, interesting and intriguing? Look no more!

TED is best known for its videos showcasing its difficult-to-get-into talks from experts and creative thinkers. But the nonprofit also has an education arm with its own YouTube channel filled with animated explainer videos, generally about four to seven minutes long, on topics that may surprise you, such as the “most successful pirate of all time” and the “world’s most mysterious book.”

The organization’s YouTube channel started in 2012 as part of YouTube’s Channels Expansion initiative. Stephanie Lo, director of TED-Ed Programs, tells EdSurge the videos are geared toward people aged 13 to 21, but viewers fall into a broad age range. Currently, the channel has more than seven million subscribers and hundreds of videos, which together have racked up more than a billion views. Lo says the animations started out as an experiment to see if they resonated with learners, and they did. Personally, she thinks they help people see concepts broken-down.

Any educator can either suggest a topic she wants to see TED-Ed create a video on, or pitch a lesson herself, as Preshoff does. The core driver of TED-Ed’s content, Lo says, is the question of how to “best spark the curiosity of learners.” When the channel first began, Lo says there were a lot of science submissions. But lately, the organization has seen “spectacular interest” in history, literature and language. “I think it’s actually topic-agnostic.’. Source: EdSurge Articles. 

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