Blended Learning, Charter schools, Domestic, Education Quality, Flipped Classrooms, High school / Secondary 2, Institutions, Landscape, Open Source Education, Public education, Publishers, Required, School teachers, STEM / Science, Technology, Education, Math, Technology - Written by Eleni Glader on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 4:00 - 0 Comments
Mastery is the Method: Khan Academy Lessons Aim to Integrate With STEM Curriculum
YouTube sensation and Khan Academy creator, Salman Khan wants to integrate his popular lessons in math and science into high school curriculums. This is an ambitious objective. Schools are working through sorting out the benefits of digital learning and are still not sure which technologies are more effective if at all.
Why Khan’s Idea Can Work:
This would allow teachers to give students a more individualized learning experience. Through a “peephole,” teachers would know when a student is stuck and needs help and would be able to attend to that student. Provided the classroom contains a high-speed internet connection and a computer or a laptop for the teacher and for each student to work from. Then students can learn concepts and how to solve problems at a pace set by their ability to master them. Mastery is demonstrated by their ability to answer questions in each lesson correctly. So while one student is doing geometry, another student could be solving a probability problem.
Also, Khan’s lessons are free for the user.
The Cons to Khan’s Idea:
Critics say Khan’s approach to learning, rote with high-tech delivery. In other words students are not thinking through concepts, instead they are drilling them into their heads. Another criticism is that Khan’s teaching model of an instructor writing on a blackboard is too traditional.
Somini Sengupta reporting for The New York Times, Technology explains:
Inside the Peephole and Mastery:
Master one concept, move on to the next. Earn rewards for a streak of correct answers. For teachers, there is an analytics dashboard that shows both an aggregate picture of how the class is doing and a detailed map of each student’s math comprehension. In other words, a peephole.
This semester, at least 36 schools nationwide are trying out Mr. Khan’s experiment: splitting up the work of teaching between man and machine, and combining teacher-led lessons with computer-based lectures and exercises.
It is too early to know whether the Khan Academy software makes a real difference in learning. A limited study with students in Oakland, Calif., this year found that children who had fallen behind in math caught up equally well if they used the software or were tutored in small groups. The research firm SRI International is working on an evaluation of the software in the classroom.
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