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The nonprofit TED, famous for their 18-minute lectures on a vast variety of topics, which some credit with sparking an intellectual movement, has a new YouTube channel for teachers and professors.

It's called TED-Ed. The full launch is expected in April, but a smattering of videos is available now, in five categories:

  • Awesome Nature
  • How Things Work
  • Playing With Language
  • Questions No One (Yet) Knows the Answers To
  • Inventions that Shaped History

Each video teams an educator with an animator, and given TED's track record, they are virtually guaranteed to be of the highest quality both in terms of presentation style and the ideas presented.

These videos are shorter than TED's 18-minute standard. Obviously one can't expect a great depth in a short video, but these might serve as good conversation starters, either in the classroom or online.

Here's an example, in which Jason Munshi-South shows how animals develop genetic differences in evolution, even within an urban city.

You can check out all the TED-Ed videos on their new YouTube channel.

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