By Polly Conway,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Inspiring, entertaining videos from the world's brightest.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn a little bit about nearly anything here. Approximately three- to 10-minute videos delve into detailed subjects such as "What Is Verbal Irony," "A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome," or "Pruney Fingers: A Gripping Story." The list goes on. Although you won't find basic, comprehensive videos, these fun and informative tidbits can be a great supplement to nearly any study. Kids also can learn discussion skills as they process TED-Ed information; the site is all about a sense of wonder and encourages debate. Arts, science, technology, math, health: TED-Ed most definitely has an outstanding video that will correlate to any kid's interests.
TED-Ed features some of the smartest, most interesting people in the world, sharing their stories and experiences; it's super inspiring for kids to see top minds at work.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that TED-Ed offers short video lessons on an incredible variety of topics. Kids might get bored or frustrated if they watch videos that are a bit too advanced for their age levels, but the site generally does a great job of presenting sometimes complex content. For example, "The Basics of the Higgs Boson" describes the implications of this newly discovered fundamental particle using funny, kid-friendly animation, making a dry science subject simple and fun to learn. If you have a hard time explaining string theory to your kid (that's almost everyone, right?), turn to TED-Ed.
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What’s It About?
TED-Ed is a website featuring a curated series of educational videos on a huge variety of subjects. From the folks at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), whose TED talks have featured some of the world's brightest minds, TED-Ed is a place where kids can get some of that same inspiration. Videos are primarily geared toward a high school audience, but motivated middle schoolers can get a lot of their offerings, too. Along with all this free video content, the site allows users to take any educational video, not just TED's, and easily create a customized lesson around it. They can then teach that lesson in a classroom or share it with others.
Is It Any Good?
Between the excellent-quality videos and the extensive flipped-classroom lesson plans, TED-Ed is a great resource for kids looking for education, inspiration, and fun. Animations are super engaging and well done (just as good as anything kids'll see on Nickelodeon); "The Contributions of Female Explorers" is done in a retro watercolor style and colorfully depicts the journeys of three Victorian women traveling the world. Important lessons are tucked into silly premises; one video asks, "Can geography save your life in case of, say, a zombie apocalypse?" TED-Ed is all about quality, and, just like the content for grown-ups, these inquisitive, encouraging videos are absolutely addictive.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what kinds of learners they are. Do you learn best by watching a video? Hearing someone talk? Or reading?
TED-Ed videos are pretty fun for adults to watch, too. Spend a few minutes every morning watching one with your kids. They can ask questions, and so can you!
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, forming arguments, Math: money, patterns, Science: engineering, biology, energy, Social Studies: cultural understanding, events, history, Arts: film, music, theater
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, asking questions, thinking critically, Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, personal growth, Emotional Development: perspective taking, Communication: asking questions, listening, Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints, Tech Skills: social media
- Genre: Educational
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: October 19, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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