Introducing TED-Ed: Uniting the World's Great Teachers and Animators to Spread Lessons Beyond the Classroom

Initiative Launches with Twelve Exclusive Videos on TED-Ed YouTube Channel

ALL Teachers and Visualizers Called on to Submit "Lessons Worth Spreading" and Animating

Mar 12, 2012, 00:00 ET from TED

NEW YORK, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TED, the nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading," launches its anticipated education initiative today: TED-Ed.

A permanent initiative, TED-Ed harnesses the talent of the world's best teachers and visualizers, extending great lessons beyond a single classroom to anyone with internet access.

In the first stage of this initiative, TED-Ed launches a new education channel on YouTube today []. It offers up original video content that marries the talent of great teachers with top animators to bring concepts like neuroscience to life in in short videos, typically 5 minutes long.  The channel is part of the offering – a collection of half a million educational videos – available in many schools as well as to the public online.

Through its open submission process, animators and educators from around the globe can contribute lesson plans and video reels on any topic []. Select lesson submissions will be matched with chosen visualizers to create video lessons worth learning, watching, and sharing.

Today's launch sees the first 12 videos released. New videos will be added every week, building rapidly to an archive of several hundred. The TED-Ed video content does not seek to replace traditional curriculum, but rather to supplement it by providing teachers with new tools that inspire curiosity and bring lessons to life with dynamic animation.

"TED's core mission is to spread ideas," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "By turning great lessons into vivid scholastic tools, these TED-Ed videos are designed to catalyze curiosity. We want to show that learning can be thrilling. Because they are only a few minutes long, they can readily be used by teachers during class time. But we also envisage them being viewed by learners of all ages."

TED-Ed Catalyst Logan Smalley added: "TED-Ed has the potential to take a lesson that might normally reach just 20 students and extend it to the world. The topics we can cover are endless, and the more teachers and animators who contribute their lessons and talents, the more impactful this resource becomes. This is an exciting first step for TED-Ed, with more ideas, tools, and announcements to come in the months ahead."

Angela Lin, Head of YouTube Education, said: "Views of educational content on YouTube doubled in the last year. Schools, parents, and lifelong learners are turning to YouTube to help bring topics to life, and the new TED-Ed channel is a wonderful addition to our corpus of half a million educational videos on from some of the world's best teachers."

About the TED-Ed Channel on YouTube

The TED-Ed Channel on YouTube – the first major initiative from TED's newly launched TED-Ed program – launches today with 12 exclusive videos.

TED-Ed video content is optimized for learning and geared towards teachers, students and the classroom – especially high school and college, though content is appropriate for lifelong learners.

The video content is built to deliver a lesson quickly (in 3-10 minutes), in a way that extends beyond the lecture format for which TED is known.

The videos provide teachers with a new tool, which they can use to complement, amplify and expand their existing lessons.

About the TED-Ed Call for Submissions

TED-Ed's open call for submissions invites the world's best visualizers and teachers to contribute their lessons worth sharing.

Teachers and animators can submit proposals online at

The TED-Ed team will review each submission, pairing selected visualizers with chosen teachers to create dynamic, 3-10 minute videos that share a lesson.

TED-Ed Contributors

The first 12 TED-Ed videos were created by the following teachers and animators:

  • "The cockroach beatbox" by neural engineer and scientist Greg Gage and the TED-Ed visualization team (Jeremiah Dickey, Biljana Labovic, Kari Mulholland, and Franz Palomares)
  • "How pandemics spread" by author and journalist Mark Honigsbaum and visualizer Patrick Blower
  • "Symbiosis: a surprising tale of species cooperation" by writer, photographer, and filmmaker David Gonzales and visualizer Sunni Brown
  • "The power of simple words" by Terin Izil, copywriter at Draftfcb and founder of Camp Promise, and visualizer Sunni Brown
  • "How containerization shaped the modern world" by journalist and editor Harold Evans and visualizer Sunni Brown
  • "Stories: Legacies of who we are" by storyteller and educator Awele Makeba at the TED2012 Conference
  • "Questions no one knows the answers to" by TED Curator Chris Anderson and visualizer Andrew Park (three-part series)
  • "Evolution in a big city" by Baruch College Professor Jason Munshi-South and the TED-Ed Visualization Team (Jeremiah Dickey, Biljana Labovic, Kari Mulholland, Franz Palomares)
  • "Deep ocean mysteries and wonders" by oceanographer and scientist David Gallo and the TED-Ed Visualization Team (Jeremiah Dickey, Biljana Labovic, Kari Mulholland, Franz Palomares)
  • "How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries" by special-effects artist, fabricator, and model-maker Adam Savage and the TED-Ed Visualization Team (Jeremiah Dickey, Biljana Labovic, Kari Mulholland, Franz Palomares)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide, and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea originally presented on TED's stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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