TED-Ed Clubs For Kids

The TED-Ed club / epistemology Club of Lycée Francais de New York. Photo by Marie-Odile Couture
The TED-Ed club / epistemology Club of Lycée Francais de New York. Photo by Marie-Odile Couture

In the eyes of TED, adults are not the only ones with “ideas worth sharing.” The global conference on technology, entertainment and design, has expanded its reach to younger generations with the newly created TED-Ed Clubs. The initiative, designed to help kids from ages 8 to 18 research and present a topic in the style of TEDxTalks, began this fall in selected pilot schools, and is now available to educators across the country. Using resources provided by TED-Ed, club administrators follow a common format to get their students ready to give a presentation on a topic of their choice.

One of the program’s pilot administrators, Sylvie Ozon of New York’s Lycée Français, described TED-Ed Clubs as a great opportunity for students to gain confidence and technology skills while enjoying researching a topic with their peers. “It’s a new way of learning,” Sylvie said. “The kids were having fun and were very proud of their work.” After successfully finishing their presentation, Ozon’s students gained the understanding that they, too, were able to come up with creative, innovative ideas. “Doing a TED Talk is based on the idea that everyone has [something] to share,” Sylvie told us. “I think young people and students have wonderful ideas”

TED-Ed Clubs focus on a process of brainstorming, researching, and creating a presentation with easily digestible concepts. According to Ozon, kids benefit from learning how to summarize difficult ideas. “At the beginning, they were using very difficult, very precise mathematical [phrasing] …but they understood that they had to make things simple and clear so everybody could understand.”  Ozon’s students filmed their presentations, and later they learned how to edit the footage. Some exceptional presentations are featured on the TED-Ed website, which also brings together clubs from around the world. Teaching at an international school, Sylvie appreciated the globally minded curriculum of TED-Ed. “It’s an opportunity for students to communicate with other students around the world in other clubs and discover new ideas from other students from abroad, from different social backgrounds.”

We caught up with TED-Ed director Logan Smally via email to get more information about how to start a club at your kid’s school.

Who can facilitate a TED-Ed club at school?

TED-Ed Club facilitators must be adults associated with a school or youth organization (e.g. Teachers, councilors, administrators, etc.).

What should you do if you are interested in getting involved as an administrator?

To become a TED-Ed facilitator, begin by completing this application.   All applications are carefully reviewed by the TED-Ed Team. Once your application is reviewed, you will receive an email with next steps for gaining approval to start an official TED-Ed Club.

You can get more information  about the program at the TED-Ed Club’s website.