A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this youtube.
TED-Ed features a wide variety of informative, entertaining videos that has something from everyone. Topics include health, fitness, sports, math, world history, and scientific answers to simple everyday questions to hypothetical scenarios, such as "what would happen if you didn't drink water?" Many videos also focus on social emotional learning and mental health.
Knowledge is power. It's important to understand as much about the world around you as possible in order to grow. Normalizing difficult discussions about sex education, puberty and mental health. Empowering and encouraging curiosity is the central theme of the channel.
Positive Role Models
The narrator presents information in a fairly objective way. It encourages viewers to embrace a fact-based and science-based approach to the world around them. Student voices are shared in the video series "Student Voices from #TEDTalksEd" and "TED-Ed Weekend Student Talks" as they give empowering talks about topics important to the world and their generation.
TED-Ed frequently features topics from around the world, including events and people from other cultures. In many cases, these videos aim to give more context and a greater understanding of events viewers might think they know, but don't always have the full story, such as the Atlantic slave trade. There are video series focused on hidden figures in Black history, mental health awareness, and impactful women in history. The videos that feature student voices highlight students from different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds discussing topics like inequality, different experiences and struggles growing up, overcoming adversity, ADHD, and so much more. They also have a version of this channel in Spanish.
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Violence & Scariness
World events such as the Holocaust are discussed in some videos, which may be scary to some younger viewers. There's little to no depiction of violence is involved in these discussions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some videos tackle sexual content from a scientific perspective, like the series "Let's talk about sex" which tackles topics like why women get their periods, how pregnancy tests work, how contraceptives work, and sexually transmitted infections. There's also a video about "the wild sex lives of marine creatures".
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Products & Purchases
As is commonplace with the YouTube platform, the channel's videos may sometimes be interrupted by ads that don't necessarily account for age-appropriateness. TED-Ed's YouTube videos and channel page promote the social media accounts, Patreon and merchandise. TED-Ed is a nonprofit, so proceeds go back into the organization's mission: "to spark and celebrate the ideas of students and teachers throughout the world."
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some videos address questions such as the effects of smoking cigarettes and "the science of hangovers."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the TED-Ed YouTube channel shares the same goal of informing viewers as other TED content. The organization is a nonprofit, focusing on education, empowerment and building a community, which is exactly what this channel strives to do for tweens, teens and adults. The channel, which launched in 2011, covers and array of topics like science, technology, mental health, the arts, climate change, media literacy and much more. Some videos may be more suitable for older kids, or require adults to watch with their kids, such as the "Let's Talk About Sex" series, which discusses sexual health, or a series focused on the dark side of history. Viewers of all ages are sure to find something insightful and intriguing on this channel. From riddles and bug science for the younger set, inspirational student talks from peers for teens, and professional development for adults. This channel is well-rounded and a great way to spark discussion and make learning fun.
Is It Any Good?
Most educational content channels stay in their lane, but this diverse and dynamic channel spans an entire highway of knowledge. From the information, to the representation, to the amazing production quality, the TED-Ed YouTube channel sets the bar high. It offers fun engaging content through its riddles series, teaches media literacy and social-emotional skills, and offers a thoughtful look into the insight of young students. The combination of interesting facts with fun animation makes it easy and enjoyable for viewers of different skill levels to learn something from any given video.
Some TED-Ed videos might even help viewers develop a better understanding of who they are, the world around them, and how to process new information. Others simply pose thoughtful hypothetical questions – like "what makes muscles grow?" or "how to spot a liar". It doesn't hurt that the TED Talk brand is already well known and trust. Viewers of all ages – especially tweens and teens – are sure to get a lot out of the TED-Ed YouTube channel.
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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