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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."
Adrienne Michetti

AJET 19(1) Boyle (2003) - design principles for authoring dynamic, reusable learning ob... - 1 views

  • delineate a coherent framework for the authoring of re-purposable learning objects
  • significant changes in the creation of learning objects
  • nternational work directed at developing learning object standards
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  • a learning object is defined as any entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training. IEEE
  • ork on metadata and learning object packaging
  • cohesion
  • ke any learning object and provide a 'wrapper' around this object
  • learning object is thus 'packaged' in a standard container format
  • learning objects must be developed with potential reuse, and especially repurposing in mind. The principal aim of this paper is to explore and delineate principles underlying authoring for reuse and repurposing.

  • taxonomy
  • This mapping suggests that each learning object should be based on one learning objective or clear learning goal.
  • The principle of cohesion, however, indicates that there should be a separate learning object for each type of loop. An immediate advantage is that the tutor can select the order in which these learning objects are combined. A tutor dealing with experienced student may wish to deal with these in sequence; another tutor with a different group of students may intersperse these learning objects with object dealing with other features of the language.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This would, then, make them easier to edit and manipulate in the future. I can follow this article.
  • the principle of 'de-coupling', or more accurately minimised coupling.
  • unit (software module/learning object) should have minimal bindings to other units.
  • independently of the other (
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Right - and the goal is complete independence so as to be able to manipulate and change later.
  • The learning object should, as far as possible, be free standing.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      YES! Can we please apply this to items as simple as Word documents and HTML? It would make things so much easier. This also reminds me of good pedagogical design principles BEFORE we had digital learning -- the same should be true for worksheets, handouts, textbooks, etc. It needs to be able to be changed.
  • adaptation
  • The challenge is to maintain this richness in a system composed of reusable components.
  • We must face the challenge of creating learning objects that are cohesive, decoupled and pedagogically rich. This design challenge is associated with the issue of 'repurposability' as we might expect rich learning objects to provide further options for adaptation by local tutors.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Yes, yes, and yes. We need to think beyond our own immediate purposes.
  • n the Java language
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      quite honestly, I would have preferred a non-computer programming example. These principles apply to all technology design, not just programming. Something more accessible would have made this paper stronger.
  • The project involves intervention in syllabus development, the social organisation of learning and the introduction of new eLearning materials. The eLearning resources are being based on the authoring of rich, reusable learning objects. This development provides the focus for the present discussion.
  • The learning objects are being developed both to meet immediate pedagogical needs and to serve this larger goal. This produces extra pressure initially. However, it provides the potential to divide the eventual task among a number of contributing partners, exploiting considerable advantages of scale.
  • A key challenge for the project is to resolve the tensions in a creative and productive way.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Basically, you have to take it all apart and put it back together again. This is fundamental to learning a new way to design anything, really.
  • A compound object consists of two or more independent learning objects that are linked to create the compound.
  • A further important feature is that each simple component object can be reused independently.
  • They thus provide a basis for pedagogical richness that fully exploits the opportunities offered by the technology.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      YES! use the tech to its best.
  • manage the bindings between one object and others
  • they should be able to reconfigure this to shape their own compound object.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is so crucial. Each educator must be able to restructure it, use to his/her advantage within context.
  • main types of binding: navigational bindings through URLs and non-URL based content bindings. This design pattern deals with the issue of URL based bindings.
  • we must have a design mechanism for managing these bindings.
  • learning object consists of a core and zero or more expansions. A default object is presented with the core with certain expansions added. These expansions aim to provide added pedagogical value to help in attaining the learning objective.
  • the relationship between learning objects and the syllabus, course or other higher organising structure in which they are delivered.
  • the syllabus navigation structure operates at a different layer of organisation for the learning object resources
  • . These syllabi objects operate at a different layer from that of main content objects
  • The key message is the need to establish distinct layers of organisation in eLearning
  • The central challenge is to design for reuse and repurposing.
  •  
    painful reading with the example of Java - but the point remains that all learning objects should be managed and designed with the purpose of being able to use them in the future in ways that are dynamic and reusable. This means de-coupling them and ensuring they are made of distinct pedagogical units.
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