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TED-Ed Lessons in New Video Site April 30, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Reviews, Web Video, YouTube.
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TED videos have always been educational. For years, the non-profit group behind the thought-provoking TED Talks that touch on issues in Technology, Entertainment, and Design has fulfilled its mission of spreading ideas and inspiration through conferences, media and research fellowships.

As we shift from creating, curating and consuming content offline to online, TED’s initiative, TED-Ed is an affirmation of video as a 21st Century vernacular and its evolutionary role in the modern multimedia classroom.

TED-Ed gives educators a toolkit to rethink the traditional notion of teacher and student by sharing lessons and inspiration with anyone willing to learn or teach, within or outside the classroom.

TED-Ed.com, still in beta, was launched last week. It is the second phase of a project that started in March with an education channel on YouTube to combine exceptional teaching with eye-catching animations to make captivating lessons available to anyone on the Web:

Test Driving TED-Ed

The videos are impressive enough. But it’s the tech driving them that wows. The elegantly simple Website offers a structured avenue for repurposing content by allowing teachers to “flip” any video from TED-Ed and YouTube into a sharable lesson ripe with quizzes, links to additional info and animations.

This means teachers can customise lessons around any embeddable video and pipe the information onto a private Webpage whose access permissions could be individually set to track that lesson.

The best lessons may be showcased on TED-Ed, contributing to a collection of multimedia teaching best practices as more users take advantage of it.

The Future of Online Education

Think Khan Academy on steroids (Salman Khan is a TED-Ed advisor), and you’ll have an idea of what TED-Ed is shooting for, and why it could become a game-changing platform for education.

Online videos of “TED Talks” have attracted a global following, with TED presenters bringing brain power to mind-tickling spins on concepts as weighty as climate change or as playful as dance and music.

Now, teaming talented educators with talented visual storytellers to create fun multimedia, TED-Ed has set out to make learning irresistible by empowering educators to transform a passive academic experience into an interactive one.

The open source platform lets instructors incorporate pre-made videos from TED with any clips from YouTube into their lessons. This means any video from YouTube can be turned into a lesson – completely free. The implications of this for online education bear watching.

We want to show that learning can be thrilling. By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity.

Our longer term dream is that we will be able to aggregate the best lessons that teachers create and share them with a wider audience.

Chris Anderson
TED Curator

Views of educational content on YouTube doubled in the last year, according to the leading video sharing service. TED-Ed videos join more than a half-million education-themed videos on dedicated pages of YouTube.

TED is gearing up for a full launch of TED-Ed, timed with the new school year in September. Directed by Logan Smalley, a former TED Fellow with a background in documentary work, the project is backed by a US$1.25 million commitment from American department store chain Kohl’s.

Related reads:

Online Video Increasingly Used as a Teaching Aid
Schools Increasingly Friendly to Online Education Options
Infographic Series on Crisis Facing US Higher Education
Top US universities put their reputations online – BBC 
Screentest for the online classroom – BBC

How The Web Can Change Education July 18, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Essays, News, Reviews, Trends.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
The Web has freed people from the “tyranny of time and distance” and is now poised to create a culture for learning innovation, expanding classroom walls to bring the best learning resources for kids of the world.

No surprise Rupert Murdoch of News Corp has been enthusing about the commercial potential of eLearning, using the e-G8 Forum “The Internet: Accelerating Growth” in Paris to talk up the Web’s power to transform education in his presentation.

Of course, Murdoch lauds commercial educational initiatives and products while ignoring Open Access resources like MIT OpenCourseWare, and many others. While one should beware ruthless tycoons peddling their wares, the point is that even Murdoch sees the future of education, and his words are accurate in many respects.

If schools today have not changed much, and the classroom is still defined by a teacher with a book and a blackboard, what should change? Computers aren’t enough. Software that engage students are also critical. If possible, equip students with tablets to let them become more interactive in their learning.

Digital technology allows for personalized or individualized learning. Students can work at their own pace with online tutors and videos featuring, for example, master teachers from anywhere in the world to monitor each student’s performance.

What does it look like when the Web positively impacts the daily practice of a learning community through communication and collaboration? Some schools have shifted their thinking to transform best practices, utilize project-based learning activities, and implement school communication initiatives that involve blogging, wikis, and social networking tools.

Education and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson also criticized outdated schools in his classical 2008 A Change of Paradigms lecture at the Royal Society of Art. But he addressed technology from the viewpoint of its effect on cognition and culture, and how educational politics should take this into account. Certainly a more fruitful and far-sighted approach than Murdoch’s promotion of exclusively commercial tech solutions.

Animation: Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson

While Murdoch advocates for less government in education as a software seller, Lawrence Lessig advocates socially ethical “less government.” Below is a video of his e-G8 keynote which focuses on his slides.

We should say to modern democratic government, you need to beware of incumbents bearing policy fixes. Because their job, the job of the incumbents, is not the same as your job, the job of the public policy maker.

Their job is profit for them. Your job is the public good. And it is completely fair, for us to say, that until this addiction is solved, we should insist on minimalism in what government does.

The kind of minimalism Jeff Jarvis spoke off when he spoke of “do no harm”. An Internet that embraces principles of open and free access, a neutral network to guarantee this open access, to protect the outsider.

But here is the one thing we know about this meeting, and its relationship to the future of the internet. The future of the internet is not Twitter, it is not Facebook, it is not Google, it is not even Rupert Murdoch.

The future of the internet is not here. It wasn’t invited, it does not even know how to be invited, because it doesn’t yet focus on policies and fora like this. The least we can do is to preserve the architecture of this network that protects this future that is not here.

Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard Law School

Keynote – e-G8 from lessig on Vimeo.

Reads
e-G8 – Rupert Murdoch: Education Is the Last Digital Holdout

Legendary MIT Lectures On The Web December 23, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, MIT5, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video.
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Professor Walter Lewin’s Lectures on Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are legendary for their clear and dazzling presentations. Now they can be viewed anywhere, anytime on the MIT OpenCourseWare site which shares free lecture notes, exams, and other resources from over 1800 courses spanning its entire curriculum.

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The Walter Lewin Video Lectures

8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics
8.02 Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism
8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves

Thanks to the global classroom the university has created to spread knowledge online, Lewin is today a Web guru. The professor is part of the Web generation of academic stars who hold forth in cyberspace on their college Web sites and iTunes U. MIT on iTunes U contains video and audio files of MIT faculty lectures, public lectures, and community events.

And if you’re thinking of homeschooling a high schooler or gifted teenager, here’s an invaluable resource. M.I.T. recently expanded its online classes by opening a site aimed at high school students and teachers. Lewin is among those featured.

Open CourseWare is not an MIT education. It does not grant degrees and certificates or provide access to MIT faculty. Most educators use it to plan and teach a course.

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