Best TED-Ed Tips And Tricks For Teaching

(Image credit: TED-Ed)

The best TED-Ed tips and tricks for teaching can help you take the video-based education platform to its maximum potential, both inside the classroom and for remote learning.

TED-Ed offers specifically created videos, made to a very high standard, which offer animation to engage students in a subject. It then allows teachers to create questions and discussions from the video to encourage deeper learning.

But how this is used can be the difference between a subject sinking in and leading to wider learning through a sparked interest, or simply plowing through the learning.

Make sure your students get the most out of this with the best TED-Ed tips and tricks for teaching.

Setup a TED-Ed watchlist for students

TED-Ed has all its videos available on YouTube as well as on its own site. While the TED-Ed site offers the lesson-based features, including questions and discussions, the YouTube content has its uses too. One important feature that YouTube offers is watchlists.

This allows teachers to create a watchlist chain of TED-Ed videos, or to include videos beyond the TED-Ed options, to help broaden the knowledge base of students. It can be a great way to set a series of videos that need to be watched, perhaps before a quiz, which students can work through at their own pace using their own YouTube-accessible device.

Google Classroom for students

(Image credit: Google)

Integrate Google Classroom

TED-Ed works well with Google Classroom. While you can easily post a link to a video within the platform, it's also possible to integrate the YouTube versions of the videos directly.

This feature allows you to have a quiz or a discussion right there in Google Classroom. Rather than by doing this on the TED-Ed website, you can save the lesson for future use or for sharing within the Google platform.

You can find lessons already created on TED-Ed, of course, but this is a way to integrate them for enhanced compatibility.

Get students to make their own videos

TED-Ed offers a fantastic example of how an educational video can be when at its very best. This offers students a great template to work from in order to create their own engaging videos.

While the TED-Ed platform offers a space for potential publication, using TED-Ed Clubs, the recording must be done using another platform. Check out our guide on Adobe Spark or WeVideo to find out how this could be used for just that purpose.


(Image credit: TED-Ed)

Customize existing lessons

The TED-Ed website has a whole host of existing lessons available that offer videos along with questions and answers plus discussion points and additional reading. While this might work fine, you can customize these to suit your needs. 

Save time by using these instead of starting from scratch, and you can create a focused and personalized learning experience for the class. Add in informative text, additional resources, and discussion questions appropriate to your class.

Join the TED-Ed Club

For students that want to get more involved it's possible to create your own TED-Ed Club. By doing this, students can upload their own video presentations to the TED-Ed Club platform.

This feature encourages students to do research, explore, and discover ideas as well as work on presentation skills and even video editing. The added incentive of this is to be potentially picked as a stand-out example video piece, resulting in the student being invited to New York to present officially with TED-Ed (under normal circumstances).


(Image credit: TED-Ed)

Create a live discussion platform

One way to widen the video's potential reach within the class is to create an open backchannel in which students can communicate and discuss the video as it's playing live. If watching as a group in the class, you can stop and take points or questions as you go along.

Alternatively, if this is remotely being shared, you can use a video chat platform for discussions and questions. Or you could even use a dedicated debate platform such as Parlay.

Set summaries as tasks

Sometimes a simple summary task can be ideal to help cement learning for a video lesson. Yes, there are questions and discussion topics ideally created within the TED-ED website, but often a summary, written as a follow-up task, can work well to enhance engagement.

A summary gives the student the chance to distill any learning from the video and to potentially discover how these new ideas fit in with pre-existing understanding. This can lead to future areas to explore that may represent gaps in knowledge for the student or across the whole class.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.