Breaking down big data


Big data is, for lack of a better word, big right now. But it’s also a difficult, multi-layered concept to wrap one’s head around: How can we organize all this data? Are the conclusions we draw from it always correct? And what are its implications for our future? In this TED-Ed blog series, we group short, informative TED-Ed Lessons with longer, more in-depth TED Talks on the same subject. Today we ask the question: What’s the future of big data?

College animation students collaborate to make one of our favorite TED-Ed Lessons to date

‘The History of Tattoos’ TED-Ed Lesson marks an exciting milestone for TED-Ed: it’s our first lesson animated by a team of college students! But if you expect the final product to be amateur due to their age and student status, you’d be mistaken — it’s one of our most vibrant, clever and stunning animations to date. We caught up with the rowdy five person crew to talk about art, tattoos and creating animation in a group.

TED film guru gives students tips on filming presentations


When TED first started, the conference consisted of a small group of people sharing ideas in a theater in Monterey, California. And in those early years, that’s basically where the ideas stayed. As TED continued to grow, the folks running it realized that these great ideas deserved to be shared with the world. And what better way to spread these ideas than to film them and make them available for free online for everyone to see? Within TED-Ed Clubs, we encourage students to capture their big ideas on video so that they can also share them with the world. While filming a presentation can initially seem like a daunting task, we called in TED Production Lead, Angela Cheng, to help TED-Ed Clubs get comfortable behind the camera.

Leading up to TEDYouth, students explore the world behind TED-Ed lessons


On the eve of TEDYouth, the TED-Ed office was abuzz with activity beyond the normal day-to-day. Over fifty students from all over New York City and the tri-state area gathered in the front of the TED office for a pre-TEDYouth Animation Workshop — in which several TED-Ed Animators, a TED-Ed Educator, and a producer were present to answer questions and give the inside scoop behind three very popular TED-Ed lessons.

5 jobs we didn’t know existed before TEDYouth


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s something kids get asked a lot — and this deceptively simple question packs quite a punch. Even as an adult, it can often feel like there are too many amazing careers in the world to choose just one … and what about the ones we don’t even know exist yet? This year at TEDYouth, we encountered five speakers with occupations so unique that you would be hard-pressed to find them listed on anyone else’s business card.

The science of Interstellar: 5 TED-Ed Lessons to help you understand the film


Thanks to physicist Kip Thorne’s influence, the latest space-travel film Interstellar features some remarkably scientifically accurate depictions of topics that have previously been mangled by the Hollywood treatment. Here, we wrangled together five TED-Ed Lessons that can serve as a (spoiler-filled) crash course on some of the trickier science in the film.

Cue the visuals: New Yorker cartoonist and TED-Ed animator host a TED-Ed Club Workshop


The old adage ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ often rings true when it comes to crafting a presentation. Whether it’s a graph that helps your audience better understand a complicated concept or an evocative photograph that allows them to glimpse into another world, images are powerful storytelling tools (see Hans Rosling’s TED Talk The best stats you’ve ever seen for a first-rate example). As TED-Ed Club Members search for the visuals that best tell their stories, we called in The New Yorker writer and cartoonist Liza Donnelly and TED-Ed animator Jeremiah Dickey to share some helpful hints on the matter.

TED-Ed Club Facilitator brings TEDGlobal to his students

By Craig Zimmer, TEDxStMaryCSSchool organizer
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School Pickering Ontario 

This year I was very fortunate to be sent to Rio to attend TED Global 2014. It was a dream come true, a bucket list item and something that I had always wanted to do. I was going to see over 90 amazing speakers, engage with an amazing community of people and see one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The only issue I had with attending TED Global was that I was going to have to miss my TED-Ed Club weekly meeting! It was at this point I was hit with TED-like inspiration. If I couldn’t be there for the meeting, I would bring the meeting to me.

8 photography tips for anyone with a camera (or a camera phone)


The key to getting great photos isn’t just about having a nice camera. I’m a firm believer that good photography comes from smart photographers who think creatively and know how to make the most of what they’ve got, whether they’re working with fancy DSLR or an iPhone. Below are 8 non-technical, non-intimidating tips that I continue to refer to even after 10 years of taking pictures.

App smashing for teachers: The power of app cross-pollination


By Mary Jo Madda
Associate Editor, edSurge

There are thousands of apps out there, and to give you a “top ten” list would be entirely subjective and unoriginal. But the concept of app smashing? Now, there’s a novel idea.