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Dennis OConnor

The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy - 6 views

  • While "technology will replace teachers" seems like a silly argument to make, one need only look at the state of most school budgets and know that something's got to give. And lately, that something looks like teachers' jobs, particularly to those on the receiving end of pink slips. Granted, we haven't implemented a robot army of teachers to replace those expensive human salaries yet (South Korea is working on the robot teacher technology. I'll keep you posted.). But we are laying off teachers in mass numbers. Teachers know their jobs are on the line, something that's incredibly demoralizing for a profession already struggles mightily to retain qualified people.
  • it's hard not to see that wealth as having political not just economic impact. Indeed, the same week that Bill Gates spoke to the Council of Chief State School Officers about ending pay increases for graduate degrees in teaching, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued almost the very same statement. What does all of this have to do with Sal Khan? Well, nothing... and everything.
  • One of education historian Diane Ravitch's oft-uttered complaints is that we now have a bunch of billionaires like Gates dictating education policy and education reform, without ever having been classroom teachers themselves (or without having attended public school). But the skepticism about Khan Academy isn't just a matter of wealth or credentials of Khan or his backers. It's a matter of pedagogy.
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  • No doubt, Khan has done something incredible by creating thousands of videos, distributing them online for free, and now designing an analytics dashboard for people to monitor and guide students' movements through the Khan Academy material. And no doubt, lots of people say they've learned a lot by watching the videos. The ability pause, rewind, and replay is often cited as the difference between "getting" the subject matter through classroom instruction and "getting it" via Khan Academy's lecture-demonstrations.
  • Although there's a tech component here that makes this appear innovative, that's really a matter of form, not content, that's new. There's actually very little in the videos that distinguishes Khan from "traditional" teaching. A teacher talks. Students listen. And that's "learning." Repeat over and over again (Pause, rewind, replay in this case). And that's "drilling."
Vicki Davis

Educreations - 24 views

    Move over Khan Academy. Educreations is here with a super simple web or iPad app that lets you record lessons to share with your students, wherever they are. If they enable one thing like common core tagging (tag it with the standard) and enough contribute we will have an incredibly powerful tool.
    The strength of Khan Academy's tutorials is content and clear presentation of this content. I didn't find either in Educreations' showcased examples: most could just be presented as a good old slideshow. Granted, a few do have an audio comment. But you can do that with slidecasts too (e.g. you can synch an audio file with your slides on or on Moreover, there is no way to caption such Educreations presentations including audio for the deaf, which means they can't be used in schools in US, Italy and other countries that have laws imposing accessibility for all for educational materials. And you can't subtitle them for people who don't know the original language, which severely curtails the potential use. Khan Academy, on the other hand has an international captioning/subtitling team - see . So OK, Educreations have an iPad app - the point is that Khan Academy's tutorials don't need one. The real difference is that Educreations' content is crowdsourced and the content of Khan Academy's tutorials isn't: not enough to outweigh the accessibility and internationalization issues above. Teachers can already produce their own online tutorials as slideshows, slidecasts or videos that can be captioned/subtitled in other languages with other platforms.
Gary Bertoia

Khan Academy is an Indictment of Education | Action-Reaction - 0 views

    Khan Academy looks great because our country has reduced teaching and learning to preparing students to bubble in answer sheets for multiple choice tests. But if we shift the purpose of education from consuming knowledge  and stating answers to creating knowledge and exploring solutions, the fallacy of Khan Academy "reinventing education" is blatently apparent
Vicki Davis

Using Hour of Code in your classroom | Hour of Code (for Teachers) | Khan Academy - 5 views

    Khan Academy has an hour of Code tutorial that you can use for your classroom.
Vicki Davis

OPINION: We Need Coding in Schools, but Where are the Teachers? | EdSurge News - 5 views

    This is very true. Online tutorials can only get us so far. This is why I'm learning Scratch and brushing up on Java. I may even have to learn Python before I'm done. We need Computer Science but who will teach it? If we only rely on videos, it would be like asking kids to teach themselves math using Khan Academy without a teacher who knew how to work the problems. "The vast majority of my students do very well on their first hour or two of coding using structured lessons, but when they start to write code for a new problem, or hit the first set of bugs, they get frustrated and need help. Sometimes, all they need is a hint, a pointer to a similar problem, or my assurance that they can solve it. In some cases, they need someone to just re-explain it a little differently."
Kathy Benson

Free Social Teaching and Learning Network focused solely on education - 20 views

    Sophia is a free social teaching and learning platform that offers academic content to anyone, anywhere, free of charge. The website, which has been described as a mashup of Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube that is focused solely on education, also lets educators supplement their instruction with tools to create a customized learning environment in a private or public setting. has enhanced its social teaching and learning platform to include more than 25,000 free tutorials on math, science, English, and more-all in an ad-free environment. What's more, the site has become a key destination for teachers who are looking to "flip" their classrooms, its makers say.
    Mostly middle school and up, has a learning preferences survey, like Khan Academy
Vicki Davis

Khan Academy - 1 views

    The well known site with a lot of tutorial videos. The math videos are particularly useful. Students should now how to tutor themselves by finding reputable sources of information where they can get tutoring.
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