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The non-profit organisation TED is responsible for some of the most inspiring talks relating to technology and innovation in circulation today.

Unsurprisingly, videos of these often become viral hits within relevant communities online. But many believe TED is ignoring an important audience: youngsters.

As TED curator Chris Anderson explains, "Over the past few years...we've seen these talks spread over the Web and a recurring theme from people in the community has been, 'These are great, but could you do something more for the kids?'"

In an effort to reach a younger audience, TED has announced a new initiative, TED-Ed. Given the tagline "Lessons worth sharing", its mission is both simple and ambitious - "to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world".

To do this, TED is planning to unveil a new site next month that will feature a "library of curiosity-igniting videos" produced by educators and animators as well as "powerful new learning tools."

But for those who can't wait, the organisation has launched a TED-Ed YouTube channel, which offers up the videos already published. These include a series of videos on Questions No One (Yet) Knows the Answers To and Inventions that Shaped History.

Needless to say, it will be exciting to see how TED-Ed evolves, and it's reasonable to expect that it will become an important contributor to the rapidly-growing collection of educational content online.

From open courseware initiatives like the one at MIT, to exclusively digital ventures like Khan Academy, it's hard to deny that a digital revolution is taking place in the realm of education.

But beyond education, TED-Ed is just one example of how companies and organisations are looking to reach under 18s using the internet.

Yesterday, for instance, Netflix announced that its less-than-a-year-old Just for Kids offering is being expanded to the PlayStation 3, giving children 12 and under access to content like SpongeBob and Thomas the Tank Engine.

For both commercial and non-profit entities, targeting non-adults often makes a lot of sense. It could even become crucial for many of them.

After all, today's youth are arguably the most tech-savvy ever, and the proliferation of affordable consumer electronics, larger and larger portions of future generations will grow up using internet-connected devices.

To educate and influence those future generations, and for commercial entities, build brand loyalty, developing offerings for those under 18 could prove to be a very wise move.

Patricio Robles

Published 13 March, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (1)

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Dave Jones

Looking forward to visiting the Youtube channel to get a grip of what TED are trying to promote. TED tend to always have some good quality videos out there for you to watch and learn from a famous entrepreneur or inventor.

almost 4 years ago

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