Video on demand for teachers

TED, a nonprofit known for its annual ideas conference, will provide free video lessons of 10 minutes or less on TED-Ed, reports the Washington Post.

Imagine you’re a high school biology teacher searching for the most vivid way to explain electrical activity in the brain. How about inserting metal wires into a cockroach’s severed leg and making that leg dance to music?

Starting Monday, that eye-popping lesson, performed in a six-minute video by neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage, is available free online.

“Right now there’s a teacher somewhere out there delivering a mind-altering lesson and the frustrating thing is, it only reaches the students in that class,” said TED-Ed project director Logan Smal­ley. “We’re trying to figure out how to capture that lesson and pair it with professional animators to make that lesson more vivid and put it in a place where teachers all over the world can share it.”

In contrast with many of the free lessons now available online, TED-Ed uses “sophisticated animation, professional editing and high-quality production values,” according to the Post.

Teachers also can find free lessons on YouTube Teachers, a new channel whose slogan is “spend more time teaching, less time searching.”

Here’s a clip of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.


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