If you haven’t watched any of MIT graduate Sal Khan’s videos, please go there and check them out. Khan Academy is a non-profit that has produced approximately 2600 educational videos and has had 80 million hits on YouTube. You can read the five-year history of Khan Academy and learn something about the New Orleans native founder here.
In When Will We Learn in the November 14 Time Magazine, use of Khan Academy YouTube videos by Los Altos, CA, public schools is discussed. Students are watching the videos at home, freeing classroom time for problem solving under the watchful eye of teachers who probably also are learning something from watching the videos. That clearly makes the best use of teacher time and gives students a chance to watch the several minute videos as many times as necessary to get the basic principles firmly in mind before showing up in class. I wish I had had such a great tool during my high school and college years. Here’s a simple video that would have been helpful even in college level Chemical Engineering courses in fluid dynamics.
I’m guessing this is the future of education and that both teachers and students will be learning a great deal in this new environment. It could even generate some excitement about academic achievement and help solve our problems of declining education and declining national competitiveness. It is, however, going to be tough on the textbook business and will require different teacher skills and more interactive classrooms.
Hooray for Mr. Khan. I’m sending a donation.
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