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Site Review: TED

TED site

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Content:  TED is a video-based learning site that provides lectures and other talks from leaders in a myriad of fields. The talks are designed to inspire thought and promote learning.

Design: TED uses a unique design to present video content. Rather than the typical layout of screenshots laid out in rows, users will find a single image of a speaker within a mosaic made up of images of other videos. Hovering over a given image will reveal a brief synopsis of the talk and the speaker.

Once a visitor has selected a talk, the site becomes fairly familiar. A video player appears, and all of the usual controls are present. TED does a good job of incorporating a new format (the mosaic) alongside the more traditional media player.

TEDReview:  The site is a clearinghouse that offers presentations by the world's most inspired thinkers. It also acts as a community of curious people who are looking to engage with ideas and each other. Interested in what Andrew Stanton, the filmmaker behind Toy Story, thinks are the keys to good storytelling? Hear it from his own mouth. Perhaps you’d prefer to hear what Steve Jobs has to say about accomplishing goals. The Apple visionary’s address on the topic is here, too.

Science, technology, business and other categories provide a starting place to begin exploring the collective knowledge of TED. The site also recently launched a TED-Ed section just for educators.

Rather than trying to cover academic subjects comprehensively, the site posts video content that sparks “curiosity, wonder and mind-shifting insight.” For example, check out cockroach beatbox, an icky (and utterly fascinating) six-minute science demonstration.

A word of advice: Users should preview videos before using any of them in class. Some of the videos on the main site contain profanity and would be inappropriate for the classroom. That said, all of the presentations are worth viewing at least once.

Bottom Line: TED is an educator’s dream. Users will enjoy this vast collection of video-based knowledge presented by leaders in their field.


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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