The head of TED, the organizer of conferences around brainy presentations on a wide variety of subjects, says online video will continue to play a central role for the group and he has high hopes for its new education platform.
TED Curator Chris Anderson said that the group’s popularity surged after its decision to post its content freely online about six years ago, and that a million people watch a TED presentation each day around the world. But he said the current model of watching embedded videos on Web pages may eventually fade.
“More and more connectivity may not happen through a traditional browser. It may just be you and I talking to Siri or some moving face on a phone, asking a question, and seeing the response,” he said, speaking to reporters Wednesday in Tokyo.
Anderson added he has high hopes for the group’s new education platform TED-Ed, which is currently in beta testing. The tool allows teachers to organize online lessons around videos, with articles and quizzes alongside, so that students can study on their own and then spend more time in classrooms interacting with teachers and their peers.
“Maybe, it allows us to make education a better fit for the 20th century — where ideas aren’t just pumped down a tube,” he said.
Anderson was in Japan as part of a global tour of countries that hold TED events. The group will select presenters from outside the U.S. to speak at its conference next year in Long Beach, CA.
TED’s conferences routinely fill to capacity and its online videos draw hundreds of thousands of page views, based on the format of giving presenters a set time to talk about an idea or research project. The group has also been accused of being elitist in its choice of participants and high attendance costs, and for trivializing complicated ideas.
Anderson founded the private nonprofit foundation that owns TED and heads the organization. The name TED comes from “Technology, Entertainment and Design,” reflecting the group’s philosophy of bringing together people from different disciplines.