Common Sense Review
Updated October 2014

Ted-Ed: Design, Engineering & Technology

Expand-your-brain video lessons can work well as advanced extensions
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This module is part of the Website Ted-Ed.
Common Sense Rating 3
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  • Each video includes quality questions (Think), related links (Dig Deeper), and response options (Discuss).
  • Lessons can be filtered and sorted, though not by subject or topic.
  • Biofuels and Bioprospecting includes a complete lab activity and linked video protocol.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
How Can Teachers Use It?

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)" 
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