To get a good overview, watch the three minute TED-ED Tour video linked from the main TED-ED page.
In a nutshell, here's what this resource provides.
- There is a growing collection of lessons on a variety of topics submitted by educators and then animated by professional animators. While currently small in number, this is likely to increase quickly. You can use the videos just as they are and there are suggested lesson plans and resources associated with each one. You can even create your own lesson plan around these videos (more on that in a minute).
- You can apply to submit your own lessons. If you have a particularly interesting lesson that you think is worth sharing, you can record your own audio of the lesson and then collaborate with the TED-ED professional animators who will illustrate your talk (example).
- In addition to the videos created by educators specifically for TED-ED, you can use the TED-ED resources for any video on YouTube. That means you can create customized lesson plans (including tracking student responses to multiple choice and free response questions) in the "flip this lesson" section for any YouTube video (you currently can't create your own multiple-choice questions for YouTube videos, but that's coming). You can, of course, also choose to upload your own videos to YouTube and then "flip them" if you have lessons that don't lend themselves to the TED-ED animation technique.
For more background on the thinking behind TED-ED, read this post by Chris Anderson.