Khan Who?

Okay, so I found last weeks TED talk about Khan Academy intriguing. I really love a good TED talk…who doesn’t? I initially thought WOW! this guy is helping young kids and for free. This is what the world needs for change, I’m sure I could benefit from his website and so could my nieces. Then I went to the next page of my learning pathway and read a critique of the Khan Academy. I thought the critique made some very valuable considerations and things I had not thought of whilst being inspired during the TED talk. What I found even more entertaining and useful was the comments at the bottom of the critique. People were getting very feisty defending Khan Academy and one of the authors of the critique was replying to these defenders. I could feel the passion of both sides and highly recommend giving them a read. Out of these comments came a list of other online websites offering video lessons which are arguably of better quality teaching standards than Khan Academy such as James Tanton’s  ‘Thinking Mathematics’  . I have been and checked this website and listened to a lesson and feel I learnt more in one lesson than I did in Maths in year 12 (probably not true) but am wishing these resources were available then because it seems so much easier to understand. This could also be due to a number of factors such as my personal experience from year 12 to now, my motivation of learning is different, etc, etc. This brings me back to Khan Academy and what makes this such an inspiring idea and I don’t think it is the video lesson plans. There are loads of video lesson plans available. I think it is the website being able to track students, it is the students being able to work at their own pace and not move to next level until they have complete the last. It is the system that is created by Khan Academy, its user friendliness and arguably transformation of teaching mathematics in a classroom. It gives food for thought on the progressive nature of education and what could possibly be in the future.

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