TED as an Educational Tool

Figure 1: Introducing TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing (TED-Ed, 2012)

“TED is a non-profit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks” (TED, n.d.). TED-Ed is TED’s education initiative who’s primary aim is to spark curiosity and generate ideas of students and teachers around the world. TED-Ed us a powerful education tool that students can utilise to achieve lifelong learning. As you read in the previous blog entry, “lifelong learning may be broadly defined as learning that is pursued throughout life: learning that is flexible, diverse and available at different times and in different places” (Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc, 2016). TED-Ed allows students to learn in a flexible and diverse manner and is available anytime and anywhere.

One of the best ways to maintain the attention of students is the use of engaging, visually appealing stimuli (O’Donnell, et al, 2016). TED-Ed’s original content includes all their signature content of short animated videos that spark curiosity in students. TED-Ed has videos that can range from “How to use a semicolon” all the way to “How Adolf Hitler rose to power in a democratic country”. TED-Ed has a Facebook page, YouTube channel and a website where you can access all of their videos. I maintain that TED-Ed can be a powerful education tool for students as they could be doing something as simple as scrolling through their Facebook news feed and a post from TED-Ed could pop-up that could catch their interest and education them in a very unconditional way.

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Figure 1: TED-Ed – How to use a semicolon (TED-Ed, 2017)

TED also has a subsection on their website that allows teachers to construct a lesson around TED-Ed original and TED Talks videos. This subsection, called TED-Ed lessons, allows teachers to create personalised lessons with all the different videos and talks that have been uploaded. TED-Ed lessons pairs up TED-Ed videos with questions and resources that assist teachers to create personalised lessons in an easier fashion that are comprised with material that can engage students.

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Figure 2: TED-Ed lessons (TED, n.d.)

Lastly, TED-Ed has another subsection called TED-Ed clubs. TED-Ed clubs supports students in discovering, exploring and presenting their ideas in the form of short TED-style talks” (TED, n.d.). Students have the ability to join a TED-Ed club and share their ideas with their peers. Twice a year TED invites some of the most compelling speaker to present their ideas at a conference in New York. These groups are a great educational tool as it helps students engage with their peers and express their ideas in a safe and interesting environment.

TED-Ed is comprised of an international network that includes over two and a half thousand teachers (TED, n.d.). Their organisation produces an ever-growing portfolio of original animated videos that provide an international platform for teachers to compose their own interactive lessons that they can then use as an effective educational tool for their students.


O’Donnell, A., Dobozy, E., Bartlett, B., Nagel, M., Spooner-Lane, R., & Youssef-Shalala, A., … Smith, J.K. (2016). Educational Psychology (2nd ed.). Brisbane, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

TED. (n.d.). TED-Ed lessons. Retrieved from http://ed.ted.com/lessons

TED. (n.d.). About TED-Ed. Retrieved from http://ed.ted.com/about

TED-Ed. (2017). TED-Ed – how to use a semicolon. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/TEDEducation/

TED-Ed. (2012). Introducing TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfJ5XG5i2aw


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