February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

TED-Ed Seeks Innovative Educators


Two years ago, Vicki Albritton, a teacher at the STEM Academy at Bartlett in Savannah, GA, began implementing a TED-Ed Club, which brings students together virtually to create TED-style talks about topics that interest them.

She realized, however, that most of her colleagues were not using TED’s educational resources, which include TED-Ed Animated Lessons, educational videos created by teachers, discussions, and the clubs. Albritton is trying to change that this year as one of 28 educators from across the world in the first class of TED-Ed Innovative Educators.

“Compiling playlists of TED talks and/or TED-Ed lessons by content area would be helpful for teachers who continue to face the limitations of time,” Albritton says. “Through addressing teachers’ needs for engaging lessons, I believe that students will be positively impacted as well.”

The teachers—16 from the United States and others from as far as Sao Paulo, Brazil; Alberta, Canada, and Legnica, Poland—have been receiving professional development and will participate in leadership and innovation projects.

Over the course of the yearlong program, they will demonstrate ways to use TED’s tools for teachers. The educators will also attend TEDYouth, a November 14 event at the Brooklyn Museum that will bring together 400 middle school and high school students from across New York City. Attendees at more than 100 local TEDxYouth events will also participate virtually.

The application period for next year’s class will begin in December. Educators can also sign up to receive information on the program. Applicants answer questions about why they value the TED-Ed resources and provide a link to a TED-Ed Lesson they have created.

As a research teacher at the STEM Academy, Albritton already has an innovative position. She focuses on teaching students to solve problems through engineering design challenges and scientific experiments, including science fair projects. She has been teaching without textbooks for years and spends her summers learning from scientists.

“Perpetual learning has ensured I remained ‘fresh’ as an educator, though this is my 29th year in the profession,” Albritton says. “I hope to encourage other teachers to seek out learning opportunities that will enrich their own practices, regardless of content area or setting.”




Linda Jacobson About Linda Jacobson

SLJ contributor Linda Jacobson is an education writer and editor based in the Los Angeles area.