Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Khan Academy: Reshaping Classroom Activity

Knowledge @ Wharton has a great column on Salman Khan's impact on education. Khan, the hedge fund analyst turned education innovator, gave a TED talk recently. The video is below. Khan has attracted a great deal of attention with his wonderful short educational videos that he provides for free online. He has produced more than 2000 of these videos, and he's attracted fans from parents of middle schoolers to Bill Gates. In this talk, Khan reports how teachers have contacted him to talk about how they are using his videos. Some teachers actually encourage their students to watch the videos at home, and then they are using the classroom time to have the students work on problems individually and collaboratively. What a fantastic reversal of the traditional approach! The lecture has moved out of the classroom, and the teacher-student interaction focuses on active learning in the form of problem-solving. In the past, the teacher lectured in class, and the problem-solving became homework. More educators should experiment with using this type of approach.

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