The TED-ed Flip Tool in the Foreign Language Classroom |

The TED-ed Flip Tool in the Foreign Language Classroom

There are a lot of mixed opinions out there about flipping classes and the new TED-ed flip tool. However, since this is not a blog about flipping, but a blog about technology use in the foreign language classroom, I am going to show you how great, handy and simple to use this tool is.


The TED-ed flip tool in the non-flipping foreign language classroom

TED-ed flipped Spanish classThe TED-ed flip tool allows you to take any YouTube video and create a short lesson with it. How? By allowing you to include a questionnaire and add further resources to complement it.

As with any technology tool, it is up to the teacher to make the best out of it and to use it in such a way that it enhances the students’ learning. Foreign language teachers are probably the ones that make the most use out of videos and TED-ed helps to personalize these videos to make better use of them. It is a great tool for differentiating as well. Haven’t you ever had a student who needs the extra explanation? Or wouldn’t you like to extend your class explanation even further sometimes? Well, this is a tool that will help you do just that.

Below is a TED-ed flipped lesson I just created in approximately 10 minutes, as I already knew which video to use.  It is a lesson about the “scary” subjunctive. Click on the image below to be taken to the lesson and explore it. Now, don’t you think that it would make a difference if you sent this resource to students as homework after you covered the subjunctive in class? (Video by Notes in Spanish)

TED-ed in the foreign language classroom

Now, I know I said I would not talk about actually flipping here, but this is just biting me and I won’t take too long saying it.  Promise!  As a flipper, I do not just assign a video and leave it at that. The video is either a starting point, or an “enhancer” of my lessons.  I’d love to share with you how I would use this tool in my flipped classes, if you are interested please drop me a line.


Anyway, back to TED-ed in the non-flipping foreign language classroom. Here are some ideas on how to use it as a technology tool.

  1. Homework: It would make a great homework resource as shown on the subjunctive example above.
  2. Vocab: In my classes, the vocab is studied at home. Won’t this be a fun way to assign vocab lists? You can include a video with images, voice, practice and so on.
  3. Culture: We all know that we especially turn to videos when trying to show and teach about the target culture. This is a good way of creating a culture lesson around a video. As a project you might have students create videos about famous Spanish speakers. Then flip those videos and during a lesson have students go through all the flipped videos.
  4. Extra help: As mentioned before, this is a great tool for offering at home and personalized extra help.
  5. Paperless quizzes or practice activities: Because you can track the responses to the questionnaire section, it is a great tool for paperless practice activities and quizzes. You can even make listening comprehension activities.
  6. Absent students: Send along a flipped lesson to students who are absent.
  7. If the teacher is absent: Have students work on your personalized lesson and track it at home.


TED-ed flip tool tutorial


TED-ed flip tool tips, tricks and things to keep in mind

  1. Youtube for educators: If you can’t access YouTube in school, try out Youtube for schools.
  2. No multiple choice yet: Only open questions can be created at the moment.
  3. Questions can’t be edited:  It is not possible to change a question after you have created it.  You must delete the question.
  4. Questions can’t be reordered: Make sure you know the order of your questions before you create them.
  5. Students must sign in: Students need to sign in with an email address to complete and save lessons.
  6. To track activity: Click on “Recent Activity” at the top to be taken to your flipped lessons. You will see a red indicator under each lesson to tell you how many students have completed it.
  7. Video Bank: To minimize preparation time, you can collaborate with other teachers to start a “video bank”. You might also make your own and upload them to YouTube.
  8. This is another lesson I just created: Spanish definite articles
  9. Beta version: The tool is still on “Beta”, which means that this is the first “try-out” version of it. It was launched so that people could try it and give feedback in order to improve the initial version. When you try it, don’t hold back the feedback so that we can all have an awesome educational tool.

Read about the TED-Ed Flip Tool updates and changes here: TED-Ed Flip Tool Updates and Their Call for Ideas


Won’t you try it out and let me know what you think? How else would you use it in your foreign language classroom?

9 Responses to The TED-ed Flip Tool in the Foreign Language Classroom

  1. Don May 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Saludos Emillia – I have been looking into Flipping in WL classes as well. I like your ideas for using TED-Ed. Good thinking! I think this is a great place for WL teachers to start doing flip work with their students. I wonder if there would be a way to launch a PBL model for WL using this tool? Thinking about that. Look for a posting in the Eduptopia WL forum this summer – it is on my list!

    Hasta la proxima,
    dr_dmd on Twitter and #langchat

    • Emilia Carrillo May 22, 2012 at 2:02 am #

      Hola Don! Gracias por tu comentario! For sure TED-ed would be a good tool to use in a flipped WL PBL environment. Lessons and projects could be planned using this tool along with other resources. It is still a very new tool having changes often.
      I have been flipping my classrooms for some time now, but I find that it is a never ending process, as every year I want to change and incorporate new ideas. I’ll be moving to Uganda in August and I will be “re-flipping” my flipped classroom there, as I will have to accommodate to some of the tech challenges that I will encounter. I have been contacted by teachers who want to start flipping their WL classes, therefore, I want to start blogging about it to take them on the journey with me and collaborate with them….It will be a summer project!
      Hasta pronto!

  2. Shelly July 17, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Sooooo wonderful for me, a beginner flipper who is struggling with actually recording and editing my own videos. This will really help me get started with some great existing videos. Thank you so much!

    • Emilia Carrillo July 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      Hola Shelly! Thank you for your comment! I am glad you find this post helpful. I would love to know how you use the tool…

  3. Logan Smalley January 16, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Hey Emilia,
    This is Logan Smalley, and I work on the TED-Ed team.
    Realize I’m very late to the party here (just saw this shared on twitter), but I wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It was very thoughtful and informative, and although I wish we would have seen it sooner, it is nice to know that we have since released some of the features you listed in the last section. Going out on a limb here a bit, but I would love to pick your brain about how TED-Ed could be more useful to foreign language teachers such as yourself. We’re developing in that space in the coming year, and it would be really wonderful to speak with you for guidance. Would you consider sending me an email or a direct message on twitter with your email so that we could set up a time to brainstorm? Thanks again, and thanks for creating such a great collection of information on this blog!

    • Emilia Carrillo January 16, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      Hola Logan,

      Muchas gracias for your thoughtful comment! I recently flipped another lesson on Ted-Ed and noticed the nice changes that have been made to the tool. I’ll be writing a post of these changes.

      I would love to talk to you about the Ted-Ed tool in the foreign language classroom. Many of us have used the tool and would also like to participate in creating foreign language lessons.

      So, let me know how I can help. Your message is great news to foreign language teachers.

      Hasta pronto!!

  4. Jane Shields July 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    In these flipped situations, is anyone using an Ipad? We are going to 1:1 with Ipads and I don’t know how I am going to use some of these resources when the autocorrect will correct any quizzes that I make on this or any other site. Any advice?

  5. Sra. Lopez / Sra. Lowery August 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    This is a great tool to flip the classroom!

  6. Christiane May 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Bonjour Emilia,
    I have started this year to flip one of my classroom. In the beginning it was difficult because my students were reticent and preferred to have the teacher teach them the grammar in class, how they were used too. Ted-ed as been a fantastic discovery and great help for me, and your lesson on the subjunctive really guide me on how to use it for foreigner languages. This tool gave me the possibility to assist better and spend more time with my students individually. If you know how I could get more information and ideas on how to improve my Flipped classroom, please let me know by email. Thank you very much!