How to use TED-Ed in your Earth and Space Science classroom

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Highland Park High School teacher Gordon Williamson uses TED-Ed Lessons extensively in his middle school Earth and Space Science classroom to catalyze conversations and supplement his curriculum. Below, a snapshot of Gordon’s favorite lessons and how he chooses to wrap them into his units.  

Take the TED-Ed July Challenge!


Want to keep your brain in shape this summer — and learn 31 new ideas in the month of July? Do both by signing up below to take the TED-Ed July Challenge.

Featured TED-Ed Clubs videos: Surfing, media representation & older siblings

Photo: Clara Garvey from William Matthew Middle School's TED-Ed Club

Photo: Clara Garvey from William Matthew Middle School’s TED-Ed Club

One of the main goals of TED-Ed Clubs has always been to provide a platform for student ideas. In this column, we do just that by highlighting nominated videos from schools participating in TED-Ed Clubs around the world.

What is essential for a good education? Sakena Yacoobi weighs in


Risking her life every day as the Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, Sakena Yacoobi fights tirelessly for the education of Afghan women and children. Operating on the basic principle that education is a right, not a privilege, Sakena boldly ran illegal schools for girls during the Taliban reign (and has two chilling near-death experiences to prove it). She also launched learning centers inside refugee camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan; introduced innovative teacher training programs focused around student-centered learning; and created specialized health clinics for women, which have allowed many women and their families to see a doctor for the first time in their lives. Her Afghan Institute of Learning currently serves 290,000 women and children per year with education and healthcare opportunities.

She’s basically a superhero.

In person, she’s that perfect mix of strength and warmth that you expect from a person who has fought so hard for something so essential. We sat down with Sakena at TEDWomen to discuss what she was like as a student (spoiler: she’s always been a hero to the oppressed), what elements are most crucial to a good education, and what people outside of Afghanistan can do to help her cause.

TED-Ed Innovative Teachers: How do you pioneer a program?

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TED-Ed is bringing together 28 thoughtful and innovative teachers to try something new this summer: the TED-Ed Innovative Teacher program. To learn more about the idea, read on!

TED-Ed’s Summer Reading List: 31 great books for students, chosen by students

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During the school year, most of the books that students read have been assigned to them by their teachers and parents. We wanted to know: what are the books kids love to dig into on their own? We asked several fourth and fifth grade TED-Ed Club Members to share the books that they’ve recently read and want to recommend to other kids their age.

How to become a dinosaur hunter

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Like many kids, German-Moroccan paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim nursed a fascination for dinosaurs from a young age. The difference is, he grew up and actually found one.

Ibrahim vividly remembers learning about Spinosaurus, a massive aquatic dinosaur whose only known bones were destroyed during World War II. As a kid, Ibrahim dreamed of finding new fossils of this giant — and in his mid-20s, he succeeded. (TED Talk: “How we unearthed the spinosaurus.”) Below, he explains how sheer determination and a bit of magic led to his current achievements as a paleontologist.

Featured TED-Ed Clubs videos: Freedom of speech, A.I. and a passport with wings

Photo: Sehar Ebrahim from The Lovett School's TED-Ed Club

Photo: Sehar Ebrahim from The Lovett School’s TED-Ed Club

One of the main goals of TED-Ed Clubs has always been to provide a platform for student ideas. In this column, we do just that by highlighting nominated videos from schools participating in TED-Ed Clubs around the world.

Neal Stephenson’s writing advice for students (and everyone else)

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Neal Stephenson’s bestselling novels about science and technology have provoked readers for a generation. From Snow Crash to Seveneves, his fictional worlds pose fascinating thought experiments, such as: What would happen next… if California seceded from the United States? If nanotech and virtual reality became as “normal” as the Internet? If humanity suddenly had two years to save itself from Earth-melting asteroids?

We asked the creatively prolific Stephenson for his writing advice. Read it below.

#WomanCrushWednesday: TEDWomen Edition


If you aren’t privy to the latest social media hashtag #WCW, it stands for Woman Crush Wednesday — a weekly opportunity to give a shoutout to one of the awesome, inspiring women in your life. At TEDWomen 2015, we asked a handful of speakers and attendees to give a quick shoutout to their girl crush of the week.