TED-Ed

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
TED-Ed Website Poster Image
Inspiring, entertaining videos from the world's brightest.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

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. 

Positive Messages

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.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

What 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!

Website details

For kids who love TED

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