TED launched a new online tool on Wednesday that turns any YouTube video into a lesson.
The conference series is calling the process “flipping a video,” a reference to the idea of “flipping the classroom” that has been popularized by Salman Khan and his YouTube school Khan Academy.
When a teacher flips the classroom, they assign lectures to watch at home and save class time for working on homework together. When a teacher flips a video, they add supplemental content such as questions and additional resources.
Here’s how it works: Users can search YouTube from TED Ed’s new website. When they find a video they’d like to use as a lesson, they hit a “flip it” button. TED Ed’s lesson editor makes it easy to add a brief description, questions, additional resources and closing thoughts to the video.
The lesson editor looks like this:
And the published lesson looks like this (You can also see a live sample here):
Teachers can keep track of participation and responses through a single dashboard.
TED Ed’s new website also features about 40 videos from the Ted-Ed YouTube channel, which launched in March. These videos aren’t TED Talks. They’re typically shorter than TED’s famous lectures, animated and intended to teach a specific lesson. Logan Smalley, who is heading up the TED Ed initiative, tells Mashable the organization plans to produce about 300 videos within the next year.
Adding course features to online lectures is becoming a popular initiative. MIT, which for years has offered video lectures online for free, announced in December that it would be adding course-like features to its online offerings. Meanwhile, startups such as Udacity, Coursera and Udemy all offer online courses.
TED Ed isn’t making courses — it’s just making it easy to package YouTube videos in an educational context. What it’s making look more like video worksheets. But handing that ability to everybody could make for an interesting learning library.
For more Tech coverage:
- Follow Mashable Tech on Twitter
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Subscribe to the Tech channel
- Download our free apps for Android, Mac, iPhone and iPad