Skip to comments.Khan Academy President: K-12 education not focused on 'unleashing students' true potential'
Posted on 09/11/2012 5:16:38 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
Improving education is no easy task, but Shantanu Sinah said administrators would be wise to consider one piece of advice: let students move at their own paces.
Sinah, president and chief operating officer of the online learning website Khan Academy, says the traditional classroom model forces students to learn at the same pace a system that lets some fall behind and holds others back.
It fundamentally isnt a model about unleashing each student's true potential, said Sinah, whos scheduled to speak Wednesday about education reform at the 2012 West Michigan Policy Forum in Grand Rapids. Its modeled around focusing everybody on a minimum set of standards. The Khan Academy was created by Salman Khan, a former MIT-educated hedge fund analyst who came up with the idea after he began creating video tutorials to help his niece with her math homework. Today, the academy boasts about delivering millions of lessons to people worldwide.
Khan, and his colleague, Sinah, are at the forefront of a movement that aims to fundamentally change the way students learn by incorporating technology and personalized instruction into the classroom. They have fans in high places, such as Bill Gates and the executive chairmen of Google.
The academys philosophy, in part, can be summed up with one word: personalization.
(Excerpt) Read more at mlive.com ...
As is typical of Obama...he is supporting the wrong side in this war.
Today’s schools, including colleges and universities, are nothing more than factories.
The status quo will be gone in a blink of an eye.
And the funny thing is...Obama is supporting the buggy whip makers!
Go buggy whips!!!
And to add a post script...education is now a lifetime thing. It never stops!
The world is changing so rapidly that an education in one field isn't enough to last a life time. It might only last 10 years.
We must all retrain regularly to stay on top. The profound change will come when wisdom itself is recognized for its value. Then the older, more experienced folk will get their full reward.
Hehee...always love that pic!
If the unions had their way they would burn Khan at the stake for heresy...
How dare he do the job better and cheaper!
Reminds me of the michigan union that still has a horseshoing position....
When I was a kid in school, in the early Fifties, in Independence, Ohio, the classes were divided. Faster learners, and slower learners. Nobody felt bad. The slower learners got a bit more instruction time. We all matriculated. A few kids got held back,,,, but actually very few.
We discovered Khan Academy this past year. Fantastic concept and site. It kept my 13 year old just a little more focused on math this summer, no small feat.
Because they don’t pay union dues_any questions?_thanks.
I received my FAA A&P license from the aviation maintenance program at ENMU-Roswell, NM, in 1978.....when they handed me my FAA license the instructor said....”This is a license to LEARN!”.
On another note, not everyone will succeed academically, it’s just the facts.....and when are they going to kill the notion that everyone needs a higher education degree?
There is a whole lot of infrastructure that needs maintaining that old guys like me will continue to make more money than college graduates due to this fact.
Trades can be expanded upon including obtaining a BS degree while they gain experience....making them more valuable than graduates coming out of higher learning.
Better money in the beginning and better money on down the road.
However, all of this requires a certain level of discipline that I don’t see in the youngun’s in general.
They want toys now.
I didn’t get my first Mustang until 2007. It was a long wait, but worth it.
There are some interesting twists and turns to the idea of individualized education.
To start with, it is recognized that students learn in fits and starts. On a particular *day* they might be “up” for learning English and History, so-so on math and geography, and in something of a slump in their current study in science.
A particular student might have a bad week, or a great month, be sharp in the morning and fade in the afternoon, do better on Mondays and Tuesdays, okay on Wednesdays, a little slow on Thursdays, and behind on Fridays, etc.
They can also have a health problem that makes an entire year a wash, abruptly need glasses or be partially disabled by a bone break, have family problems. Or just as likely learn like a rocket on a particular subject, or in their coursework in general.
In any event, the only way to track this is if it is done through their computer, or more likely through standard computers with “their” encrypted thumb drive in it at the time.
But oh, so much more. All the school computers need to be connected to the main school computer that contains complete curricula for each individual student.
That is, before the school year began, the parents could pick and choose their child’s entire interactive multimedia curriculum for the year. It would start with “standard frameworks”, created by different companies, that would all contain the mandatory subjects, but also have a very large selection of electives.
Say a student began by taking a course in US history, geography and German language. All at the same time. He would see, on one screen, a video about a block of study in US history. It would first be presented in English, and he would need to interact with it by typing new and novel words on his keyboard. Then write out a sentence of a particularly important idea. At the same time, everything written would be in German text and language on a second screen.
Importantly, the history presentation would show lots and lots of images and maps of the place and people being discussed, so he would have lots of visual context to the information in both English and German.
The computer would, while teaching him new information, also review older information and test him both on it and the current subject. And while all of this was going on, his teacher would be tracking him and his peers, not on what was being taught but how effectively they were learning the subjects before them.
The computers would also employ motivational techniques, no matter how good a student was doing, using a reward system based on *earning* more knowledge. Being rewarded for learning by being able to learn more.
Another idea is that by learning, students could build up credits to go “knowledge exploring”, if they found something that interested them right then, they could digress at a tangent and get credit for it, and via the computer, they could access information on their digression all the way through college level.
Importantly, by combining subjects, like the example of US history, geography and German language, curricula could vastly expand to things normally far out of the range of schooling.
They could even do something like hook a microphone to a saxophone to learn music via computer, use a writing pad to learn to write script or calligraphy, learn etiquette and cooking, memorization techniques, who knows what else?
Oddly enough, this would not require fewer teachers, but instead of teaching memorization, the teachers would need to interact with students on higher levels of education, like knowledge discrimination, analysis and synthesis of new ideas, creativity and subjectivity.
Realistically speaking, some students would not learn effectively in this system, the vast majority would learn better and much more than they do now, and the whiz kids, be it in a single subject, or across the board, could learn all the way through college while still in high school, or even elementary school.
Such a system would be entirely transportable, so any student could move to any school in this system, without the loss of a single day of continuity to their education. With their home computer, they could study at home, on the road, any time during the day or night, the year around.
Students and their parents could easily track how they are doing with respect to their own learning, how they compare to local and national peers, how they rank nationally, etc.
And there would be no problem with students getting a particular religious instruction any time, and with many subjects, students could use remote instruction, either in rural areas or on particularly rare subjects, where there is no multimedia bloc, only a live teacher for a few, or dozens or hundreds of students, by subscription.
Mrs. BN is completing her degree (at age 64) online. She needs a College Algebra credit and it’s been 48 years since her last Math class.
Khan Academy has come to the rescue! She’s been working her way through “Using the Quadratic Formula” and other Khan Academy free online video lessons.
Thank you Salman Khan!
Khan rocks. The commie #s in PE will campaign to destroy it/him.
The real problem in the government schools is that for the most part the teachers are not competent in their craft.
They may understand the subject, but they do not have a clue how to teach others.
Teaching colleges teach only “craft”, not subject. “Theory of Education”, “The LGBT Parent”, “Nutritional Poverty and Learning”. OK, I made a couple of those up. But, we know that kind of garbage is going on. There are very few physics, chemistry, or mathematics major teachers, only “teaching” major teachers.
Teaching emphasis the last 30 years is politically correct “inclusion”, not on being able to explain Maxwells equations to your grandmother.