Updated October 2014

Ted-Ed: Design, Engineering & Technology

Expand-your-brain video lessons can work well as advanced extensions

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57%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Science, Creativity

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TED-Ed's Design, Engineering & Technology collection is home to almost 80 lessons, each consisting of a short video, multiple-choice and short-answer questions, and Dig Deeper links to related resources. The lessons are well done, and you can even customize them to target goals or differentiate for individual learners. However, the less-than-clear topic organization is a drawback here -- you'll need to use a keyword search to find what's relevant to your class.

Superb at connecting science and humanities topics (self-assembly, network theory), the content is valuable -- and advanced! Try having kids preview a lesson at home, using the Discuss prompts to prep for classroom conversations. Or assign different lessons on energy technologies to small groups, targeting specific content to each. And keep in mind that the site is great for extension activities. As kids study states of matter, let your accelerated group tackle the “Why is glass transparent?” lesson. Be sure to offer some scaffolding in the form of Cornell notes. Kids will do a lot better as they record their learning and questions. 

Standout videos:

  • "Biofuels and Bioprospecting for Beginners"
  • "The History of the Barometer (and How It Works)"

Full Disclosure: TED-Ed and Common Sense Education share a funder; however, that relationship does not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating. 

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