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A fractal film noir: Using narrative to help teach math


The TED-Ed Lesson “The case of the missing fractals” isn’t just an introduction to the immensely intricate and beautiful world of fractal geometry; it’s also a fully realized film noir short complete with plot, drama and its fair share of ridiculous puns. This educational and cinematic creation is the product of a TED-Ed dream team, with writing by veteran TED-Ed Educators George Zaidan and Alex Rosenthal and animation by our own TED-Ed Animation Producer Jeremiah Dickey. We met up with this trio to talk about the process of approaching an educational lesson with a narrative eye.

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Inside the animator’s studio: Creating universes and (literally) shattering the Earth


If you haven’t seen the TED-Ed Lesson “A rare, spectacular total eclipse of the sun,” you should really check it out. Not only will you learn a good deal about the science behind these extraordinary events, you’ll also get to soak in some beautiful and detailed artistry from accomplished animator Bevan Lynch. We caught up with Lynch for a quick, behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to create an entire universe from scratch (with a few Earth-shattering pitfalls along the way).

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How you (or your students) can use stop-motion animation in your classroom

Photo by Sarah Nickerson

As enthusiasts of the combined power of animation and education, TED-Ed held a stop-motion animation station during breaks at TEDActive 2014. Using a fairly basic setup (iPad, tripod, black tablecloth, table, two lights and a stop motion app such as iStopmotion), TED-Ed animators Jeremiah Dickey and Biljana Labovic led attendees in creating their very own stop motion animations inspired by a growing library of TED-Ed Lessons. Here’s how they did it.

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Deconstructing the first live-action TED-Ed Lesson (featuring Victor Wooten)

The TED-Ed team feels lucky to have created the first live-action TED-Ed Lesson with five-time Grammy winner, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones bassist, Victor Wooten.

The shoot took place on a Saturday, and while the ten-person camera, lighting and sound crew primed the cello-riddled second level of Manhattan’s David Gage’s Repair Shop, a few of us decided to try our hand at documenting the creative process of each artist in the room. These pictures, taken with our cell phones, tell the story behind the “one-shoot” TED-Ed Lesson entitled, Victor Wooten: Music as a language.

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