Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great article

I've heard about Khan Academy all over the place, and am already planning to incorporate it into our homeschooling when the boys are older. I just had to share this excellent article from Wired magazine: How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education. It's kind of long but totally worth the read. If you haven't heard of it, Khan Academy is a website full of free video lectures, many of which are about math, but there are other topics as well. It all began when Salman Khan started making videos to help tutor his young cousin who lived across the country, and over time it turned into the huge thing it is today. Even Bill Gates was using it for his own children! The article is about how a few school systems are now using his program and are being blown away by the results. Towards the end is an interesting bit about how Khan doesn't want to work too closely with them because "he doesn’t want the school system and its byzantine standards determining what he does with his site". He insists he isn't trying to be a reformer of the school system, he just wants to help kids learn. The following paragraph really stood out to me:

"Even if Khan is truly liberating students to advance at their own pace, it’s not clear that the schools will be able to cope. The very concept of grade levels implies groups of students moving along together at an even pace. So what happens when, using Khan Academy, you wind up with a kid in fifth grade who has mastered high school trigonometry and physics—but is still functioning like a regular 10-year-old when it comes to writing, history, and social studies? Khan’s programmer, Ben Kamens, has heard from teachers who’ve seen Khan Academy presentations and loved the idea but wondered whether they could modify it “to stop students from becoming this advanced.”"
That's right... I have to say that again. They wondered if it could be modified "to stop students from becoming this advanced." Students becoming too advanced? Oh the HORROR! Only public school administrators would see that as a problem.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog! I'm adding your to my blog roll at (The Learning Experiment).


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