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New Ed. Videos from MIT, Khan Academy, and TED

Today, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a new initiative that, in collaboration with the Khan Academy, encourages MIT students to create short, interesting videos about STEM subjects aimed at K-12 learners. The videos are available directly from MIT or through the initiative's YouTube Channel (the initiative is called MIT+K12). Some videos will also appear on the Khan Academy's website.

So far, about three dozen videos have been made. Topics include how airplanes fly, buoyancy, and genetic engineering. Salman Khan made a trip to MIT back in November to talk with the students about how to make engaging educational videos for K-12 students, and to kick off the initiative, MIT gave $1,000 to 38 teams of students to create the first videos. Students can now apply for funding to create videos after their topics have been approved.

An online survey of 300 K-12 students, taken after the initial set of videos were produced, found that roughly 73 percent of students said the videos "showed me that science and engineering could be cool" and 62 percent though the videos could add value to classroom lessons.

In addition, TED, the New York City-based nonprofit that organizes events and produces video lectures, has announced the second phase of its TED-Ed initiative—a new website dedicated to TED's education channel. (They launched the first phase, a YouTube channel, back in mid-March.) The website currently contains a few dozen videos, which are tagged by subject for easy searching, as well as supplemental materials such as multiple-choice quizzes, questions about the videos, and links to additional information. Also, teachers can "flip" the materials, meaning that supplementary resources will be opened on a new page where teachers can edit them how they wish.

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