Khan Academy has caught the attention of policy-makers, innovators, educators and students around the world. Khan’s ability to take complex academic material and break it down into small, accessible, video-chunks of information have turned the industrialized, cohort model of education – where each student proceeds at the same pace – on its head. Because Khan Academy lessons are offered through video, each student can proceed at their own pace, accessing information on-demand and reviewing lessons or difficult concepts as needed. Khan Academy offers a much more individualized model of education, one where the student determines the pace and proceeds as their understanding progresses.
Now TED – the video and conference group that has long offered interesting lectures on a variety of topics – has taken a cue from Khan Academy is offering TedEd – an online forum where educators can share lessons:
TED-Ed is launching a suite of tools that allow teachers to design their own web-assisted curricula, complete with videos, comprehension-testing questions, and conversational tools. TED-Ed provides a template — think Power Point slides, with populate-able fields — that teachers can fill in with customized content: lesson titles, lesson links, student names, embedded video, test questions, and the like. Once saved, a lesson generates a unique URL, which allows teachers to track which students have watched assigned videos, how they’ve responded to follow-up questions, and, in general, how they’ve interacted with the lesson itself.
TED’s efforts are worth noting because they move the teacher from the center of the education experience and make the student the center of the learning experience. But the content – the learning material itself – is provided by teachers through a variety of formats. As we move from a traditional, industrialized conception of education toward an individualized model where students can proceed at different paces and in their own style, TedEd offers a compelling vision of what might be possible.
Click here to give it a try.