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Old 10th March 2010, 07:18 AM   #1
kevinquinnyo
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Khan Academy

Preface: I don't work for the Khan Academy. I just had to say that, because I post about it so often.

Here's an idea: Can the JREF emulate the style of the Khan academy videos to teach people specifically about critical thinking, debunking of conspiracy theories, homeopathic "medicine," intelligent design, etc, etc...

The videos could be created by any JREF member, as long as they are perhaps prescreened and voted for approval (by forum members and mods?) to the youtube site.

I realize JREF has a youtube account, but I feel it's underutilized. I think it would be cool if there were a playlist or set of playlists designed specifically to educate people of any age, and had a standard format, perhaps similar to the blackboard and pen style of the Khan Academy. Either way, the most important concept is that we could crowdsource the knowledge and resources of the JREF community to educate people.

And honestly, what better way than YouTube?


What do you think?
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Old 10th March 2010, 07:19 AM   #2
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Khan Academy example:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 10th March 2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Here is another example:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

I'm sorry. I had to.
OT:
This is dam amazing. I wonder what software he uses.
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Old 10th March 2010, 07:28 AM   #4
kevinquinnyo
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
I'm sorry. I had to.
It's cool.
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Old 10th March 2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Here's an idea: Can the JREF emulate the style of the Khan academy videos to teach people specifically about critical thinking, debunking of conspiracy theories, homeopathic "medicine," intelligent design, etc, etc...
So, seriously, what would they offer that hasn't been done already by dozens
of others? By DonExodus, TheThinkingAtheist, Richard Dawkins Foundation,
cdk007, Thunderf00t, potholer, AronRa and many others?
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Old 11th March 2010, 12:47 AM   #6
Francesca R
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Originally Posted by kevinquinnyo View Post
Khan Academy example:
Whoa that's incredibly irritating to watch!
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Old 11th March 2010, 11:28 AM   #7
technoextreme
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Whoa that's incredibly irritating to watch!
Why?
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:47 AM   #8
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It's excessively amateur, kills the subject matter beyond recognition and strikes me as a dire way to learn anything much.
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:58 AM   #9
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I saw a piece on the Khan Academy on CNN just a day or so ago. Looked like a great resource the way it was presented on the news.

As for not being everyone's cup of tea, (Francesca's post), I imagine that is an individual preference or learning style.

I don't quite see how the web model is conducive to the JREF though. It's not like people who believe in woo are out there looking for someone to explain to them why they are wrong.
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Old 13th March 2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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Here's another set of you tube teaching videos, courtesy of Harvard economics postgrad Jodi Beggs. I find it similarly uninspiring and dull (even though the subject is one of my interests) and I suspect it would only rate higher than the Khan stuff due to the "eye candy" angle of her appearing in them herself and attempting a few (poor IMO) jokes.

Personally the only video lectures that I find engaging are recordings of actual lectures given by people trained to do this, in front of rooms full of people.
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Old 16th March 2010, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
As for not being everyone's cup of tea, (Francesca's post), I imagine that is an individual preference or learning style.
Yeah but I've heard the same argument from farty old engineers whining about the Arduino.
Quote:
Personally the only video lectures that I find engaging are recordings of actual lectures given by people trained to do this, in front of rooms full of people.
Trained???? I don't even think most university professors fall under this criteria.
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Old 18th March 2010, 09:38 AM   #12
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OT: - Am I the only one who sees the words "Khan Academy" and pictures Ricardo Montalbam in that ridiculous Star Trek movie reciting Milton?
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Old 18th March 2010, 11:22 AM   #13
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Perhaps using games?

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 18th March 2010, 11:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Perhaps using games?

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
I am such a huge devotee of Jane's!

I don't think she's there yet in terms of creating games that really make important problem solving a gaming experience, but it is an incredibly noble and promising endeavor!
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Old 22nd March 2010, 10:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
Yeah but I've heard the same argument from farty old engineers whining about the Arduino.
Trained???? I don't even think most university professors fall under this criteria.

I think anybody who has been to college will back you up on your last sentence. SOme of the worst, dullest, lectures I have ever heard were given in a college classroom by people with PH.Ds.
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Old 25th March 2010, 10:35 AM   #16
Chris Hegarty
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Originally Posted by Alferd_Packer View Post
OT: - Am I the only one who sees the words "Khan Academy" and pictures Ricardo Montalbam in that ridiculous Star Trek movie reciting Milton?
You're not alone; this is where I immediately jumped.

I like the Khan Academy videos; they're pretty good for young children because they're simplified enough for them to understand. At least, my little nephew likes them.
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Old 26th November 2010, 07:08 PM   #17
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Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaann!!!

<* BUMP *>

I just saw a report on the Khan Academy on the American Broadcasting Network, and checked out the website. I must say that this is the most fantastic idea since the graphics calculator! Following quote from the website:
Quote:
The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere.
Topics covered include Algebra, Banking & Money, Biology, the Calculus ... and many more in over 1800 video lessons. I hope that the folks who run JREF can see fit to make an endorsement of Mr. Khan's efforts.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with the Khan Academy or the ABC network. I just like what I see, and hope that others can take advantage of the website.
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Old 28th November 2010, 02:24 AM   #18
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Just to quickly chime in...

I recently returned to school after a long absence and the Khan Academy chemistry and math videos quickly got me back up to speed so that when I came back to those subjects I was ready. I've recommended them to some of my fellow students and they've helped them understand some things that they didn't get in class.

They worked for me cause he's a good teacher and he's informal. I don't know how well that would jive with a committee approving them.
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Old 24th March 2012, 03:51 AM   #19
Anders Lindman
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I watched a CBS 60 Minutes program where they talked about Khan Academy. Here is a short trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHUI095xUFw

"Our vision for Khan Academy in the classroom includes
  • Individualizing learning by replacing one-size-fits-all lectures with self-paced learning
  • Taking a mastery-based approach to learning critical knowledge and skills (every student takes as long as he/she needs to learn each concept fully)
  • Creating collaborative learning environments with students solving problems together and tutoring one another
  • Using focused coaching by the teacher to address students' individual needs
  • Providing guidance to the teacher through real-time metrics and reporting on student performance
  • We hope and believe that teachers can use our resources to meet the needs of all of their students.
" -- http://khanacademy.desk.com/customer...the-classroom-

I think education can be improved a lot. Perhaps this model is one possible way of making such improvement.

Last edited by Anders Lindman; 24th March 2012 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 1st November 2012, 09:24 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Anders Lindman View Post
I watched a CBS 60 Minutes program where they talked about Khan Academy. Here is a short trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHUI095xUFw

"Our vision for Khan Academy in the classroom includes
  • Individualizing learning by replacing one-size-fits-all lectures with self-paced learning
  • Taking a mastery-based approach to learning critical knowledge and skills (every student takes as long as he/she needs to learn each concept fully)
  • Creating collaborative learning environments with students solving problems together and tutoring one another
  • Using focused coaching by the teacher to address students' individual needs
  • Providing guidance to the teacher through real-time metrics and reporting on student performance
  • We hope and believe that teachers can use our resources to meet the needs of all of their students.
" -- http://khanacademy.desk.com/customer...the-classroom-

I think education can be improved a lot. Perhaps this model is one possible way of making such improvement.
I think some of the ideas are admirable, but the video aspect is highly overrated--at least his videos are.

There's no communication between the teacher and the student. If I'm teaching a lesson a student can immediately ask a question. I can clarify, re-explain, or try another example or approach. I can look at my students and see the quizzical looks, or the understanding nods, or even the looks of the totally stupefied! I can question students--elicit responses that help me gauge whether they are understanding or not. That immediate communication is important.

Fordama
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Old 1st November 2012, 10:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alferd_Packer View Post
OT: - Am I the only one who sees the words "Khan Academy" and pictures Ricardo Montalbam in that ridiculous Star Trek movie reciting Milton?
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:01 PM   #22
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I had a need/desire to know more about how the kidney functions and watched two videos on that subject. I found them easy to follow and of course you can rewatch , or pause which helps. IMHO the usefullness would be as a supplement to common classroom teaching. Watch a video prior to or after a classroom session to reinforce the learning process
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Old 1st November 2012, 01:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jaydeehess View Post
I had a need/desire to know more about how the kidney functions and watched two videos on that subject. I found them easy to follow and of course you can rewatch , or pause which helps. IMHO the usefullness would be as a supplement to common classroom teaching. Watch a video prior to or after a classroom session to reinforce the learning process
In my professional opinion as a classroom educator, I have to say that yes, Khan Academy would be a good supplement, but it is in no way a good substitute for classroom education. And it is only a good supplement for some subjects, whereas it doesn't even attempt to touch others.

Specifically, for scientific subjects, I would love to see someone do serious lab work on Khan Academy. Let me know when that happens...
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Old 2nd November 2012, 07:17 AM   #24
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Yeesh, don't watch the computer programming ones
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Old 2nd November 2012, 07:32 AM   #25
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I hav been using Khan Academy to brush up on my Math for almost a year now, and I must say it rocks
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Old 3rd November 2012, 01:32 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
Yeesh, don't watch the computer programming ones
I was considering checking those out.
Could you expand on why its a bad idea?
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Old 3rd November 2012, 02:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Alferd_Packer View Post
OT: - Am I the only one who sees the words "Khan Academy" and pictures Ricardo Montalbam in that ridiculous Star Trek movie reciting Milton?
No, no you are not!!!!!
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Old 10th November 2012, 06:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Personally the only video lectures that I find engaging are recordings of actual lectures given by people trained to do this, in front of rooms full of people.
So something like this?
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 10th November 2012, 07:45 PM   #29
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Khan Academy has helped me revise for tomorrow's Human Biology exam. Great stuff!
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Old 11th November 2012, 12:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by jaydeehess View Post
I was considering checking those out.
Could you expand on why its a bad idea?
No editing. He's making it up as it goes along. It ends up being about ten times as long as it needs to be at the very least. I actually think it could be made decent by cutting it up, but the way it is right now its frighteningly confusing
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Old 11th November 2012, 03:55 PM   #31
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I find it one of the most amazing things I've encountered on the web (outside pornhub). It really does amaze me. I'm sure it helped alot of people.
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Old 11th November 2012, 05:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by pipelineaudio View Post
No editing. He's making it up as it goes along. It ends up being about ten times as long as it needs to be at the very least. I actually think it could be made decent by cutting it up, but the way it is right now its frighteningly confusing
Has it occurred to you that this is actually a good thing? One of the problems I see with math education, is that it is basically taught as an argument from authority. Teachers have worked out problems they perform flawlessly for the students. The student gets absolutely no idea of what sort of thought process they will have to go through the problem, where they might struggle, where they might have to backtrack. Mathematics is provided to the students as a finely polished product, making the student feel stupid when they struggle with an actual problem.

Not relevant to Khan Academy, but relevant to Math education, this is especially true in mid-level University mathematics, when students finally have to write proofs. Good classes and books on mathematical thinking will first teach the student that developing proofs is a messy and informal thing. The terse proofs you see in the math textbooks are the result of much revision. A good teacher will demonstrate this by developing a proof from scratch, not writing out the proof from a textbook, which teaches the student nothing.
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Old 29th November 2012, 12:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by technoextreme View Post
Here is another example:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

I'm sorry. I had to.
OT:
This is dam amazing. I wonder what software he uses.
He is probably using Camtasia. It can record audio and screen activity on a computer.
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:30 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
It's excessively amateur, kills the subject matter beyond recognition and strikes me as a dire way to learn anything much.
Yes. It has distinct drawbacks - necessarily so to keep costs down.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:47 AM   #35
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I'm with MattusMaximus, I teach science in the higher classes of highschool. (I'm Dutch, so we have a somewhat different schoolsystem than you might be used to) I find Khan Academy an excellent supplement to classroom teaching. I also have to agree with some of the later posters that it's really good when you're revising something or brushing up knowledge that you've previously understood.

Khan's method however can not be a substitute to actual teaching as it's currently implemented. Just looking at the very first video example, the one I'm sure most people reading this thread, have clicked on and at least watched the first few minutes. I would never start by straight away telling my students which two possible ways you could resolve this problem and than tell them which one is right.

This method has several problems:
1. It's not actually activating students, they passively sit there and absorb the knowledge.
2. I'm showing the wrong method to students who may allready be calculating it correctly.. which is never a good thing.
3. I'm not creating a cognitive conflict in students that are currently using the wrong method.

What I would do in this case is also put up 7 + 2 x 3 on the board and have the students calculate the answer. Once all students have an answer, I would tell them the right answer. This should make students that got the right answer happy, and make the others wonder what they did wrong. Depending on how many students get things right/wrong I might than follow up by either a bit of peer instruction, or by asking them how they think I got the answer 13. After a short period there should be several students that have now worked out the right order to do this calculation themselves.

Only then I would move onto explaining the general rule, since I'm now left with students that 'get it' and students that need this kind of direct instruction to 'get it'. I would give them the general rule of multiplication taking preference over addition, and than write the correct way of doing it on the board.

It should be obvious how this method would yield better results than the Khan instruction.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:17 AM   #36
Acleron
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First of all I'm learning linear algebra from the Khan Academy,a topic I've never experienced. The lectures are generally clear although sometimes I feel parts are glossed over and other parts are over-emphasised. There are good aspects to this type of learning, being able to pause the lecture and examine a detail with all the other resources on the 'net and choosing when I want to learn are invaluable to me.

Second, there is no form of education that is suitable for everyone. If Khan doesn't do it for you, there are plenty of alternatives. Traditional education was more often designed for the convenience of the teacher, now the choice allows the student to pick the most suitable.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 07:32 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
First of all I'm learning linear algebra from the Khan Academy,a topic I've never experienced. The lectures are generally clear although sometimes I feel parts are glossed over and other parts are over-emphasised. There are good aspects to this type of learning, being able to pause the lecture and examine a detail with all the other resources on the 'net and choosing when I want to learn are invaluable to me.
You obviously have a strong internal drive to actually learn and understand linear algebra, which sets you far apart from the average student in my classroom. When there is a strong internal motivation to understand something, almost any way of being introduced to a topic will suffice.

I quickly browsed some of your other posts and you seem to be fairly skeptical about most things in general, so you must surely agree with me that your personal experience is is not really a very strong argument. We've got numerous people on here that have, or claim to have, experienced God, the ill effects of vaccination, alien abductions etc etc..

The points I brought up in respect to Khan Academy's methods are not so much points I have personally with mr Khan, they are in direct conflict with currently prevailing social, and educational, psychology's viewpoints. The first and third point I brought up in particular fly in the face of everything research into behaviourism and constructivism show.

I'm not trying to be negative, there are some good points about the instruction of Khan Academy. The points you bring up; being able to pause it, being able to access it whenever you will, and the fact that's he's very rarely factually wrong with what he says are all valuable. But if you would study linear algebra according to more modern insights, you would probably find it to be faster, you would get a higher order of understanding of it and you would find the information will be easier to retain.

As I said I teach science in the higher classes of highschool, in the Netherlands that means that on top of my master's degree in Physics, I have done a full year of post master university level in education and social psychology.

Simply claiming that because you find Khan Academy sufficient to learn linear algebra and therefore it's a good way to educate people, to me is woo.

Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Second, there is no form of education that is suitable for everyone. If Khan doesn't do it for you, there are plenty of alternatives. Traditional education was more often designed for the convenience of the teacher, now the choice allows the student to pick the most suitable.
You make two points here, you are absolutely right in claiming that different people have different styles of learning. Most people would refer to Kolb who differentiate between people that prefer concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation or active experimentation. That's why in these times all good teacher vary their lessons so each of these preferences get some time to shine.

While this can be used as an argument in favour of Khan when it comes to a single topic, it's actually a problem if one would get all their topics given to them this way. In order to later be succesful in further studies or a proffessional career students actually have to learn to also use those learning strategies that they would not normally favour because of their own learning style.

You argument that traditional education favours the convenience of the teacher has not been true of good teachers at least since the 1970 when the eductional psychology research took flight. Of course there are still to this days teachers would are lazy and teach in a way that conveniences them rather than challenge their students. But to claim that that's currently traditional education is borderline insulting to teacher like me who take their job seriously and use evidence based practices to constantly improve their lessons.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:09 PM   #38
Acleron
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Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
You obviously have a strong internal drive to actually learn and understand linear algebra, which sets you far apart from the average student in my classroom. When there is a strong internal motivation to understand something, almost any way of being introduced to a topic will suffice.
I would suggest that on-line learning selects driven students.


Quote:

I quickly browsed some of your other posts and you seem to be fairly skeptical about most things in general, so you must surely agree with me that your personal experience is is not really a very strong argument. We've got numerous people on here that have, or claim to have, experienced God, the ill effects of vaccination, alien abductions etc etc..
As I'm not using my experience to argue for anything else than for certain people it is an adequate educational tool I fail to understand how I'm being unskeptical.
Quote:
The points I brought up in respect to Khan Academy's methods are not so much points I have personally with mr Khan, they are in direct conflict with currently prevailing social, and educational, psychology's viewpoints. The first and third point I brought up in particular fly in the face of everything research into behaviourism and constructivism show.
Have you subjected the prevailing fashion in education to real tests? Have you randomly selected students and taught them with different methods to see the results? I, for one, would be interested in such experiments.
Quote:
I'm not trying to be negative, there are some good points about the instruction of Khan Academy. The points you bring up; being able to pause it, being able to access it whenever you will, and the fact that's he's very rarely factually wrong with what he says are all valuable. But if you would study linear algebra according to more modern insights, you would probably find it to be faster, you would get a higher order of understanding of it and you would find the information will be easier to retain.

As I said I teach science in the higher classes of highschool, in the Netherlands that means that on top of my master's degree in Physics, I have done a full year of post master university level in education and social psychology.
Fine

Quote:

Simply claiming that because you find Khan Academy sufficient to learn linear algebra and therefore it's a good way to educate people, to me is woo.
And you have master's degrees so that must be correct?

Quote:
You make two points here, you are absolutely right in claiming that different people have different styles of learning. Most people would refer to Kolb who differentiate between people that prefer concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation or active experimentation. That's why in these times all good teacher vary their lessons so each of these preferences get some time to shine.

While this can be used as an argument in favour of Khan when it comes to a single topic, it's actually a problem if one would get all their topics given to them this way. In order to later be succesful in further studies or a proffessional career students actually have to learn to also use those learning strategies that they would not normally favour because of their own learning style.

You argument that traditional education favours the convenience of the teacher has not been true of good teachers at least since the 1970 when the eductional psychology research took flight. Of course there are still to this days teachers would are lazy and teach in a way that conveniences them rather than challenge their students. But to claim that that's currently traditional education is borderline insulting to teacher like me who take their job seriously and use evidence based practices to constantly improve their lessons.
Since 1970 eh?

Well I've met and discussed such attitudes with teachers since then and employed in a laboratory the results of education since then. My experience doesn't agree with you.

If you feel insulted that somebody is critical, even though I was clearly talking in the past, I would expect some evidence in the rebuttal, not arguments from authority and grandiose statements.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:09 PM   #39
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We need more Khan academy. The subjects are pretty sparse. Its helped me with my math though.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:12 PM   #40
mike3
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Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
You obviously have a strong internal drive to actually learn and understand linear algebra, which sets you far apart from the average student in my classroom. When there is a strong internal motivation to understand something, almost any way of being introduced to a topic will suffice.

I quickly browsed some of your other posts and you seem to be fairly skeptical about most things in general, so you must surely agree with me that your personal experience is is not really a very strong argument. We've got numerous people on here that have, or claim to have, experienced God, the ill effects of vaccination, alien abductions etc etc..

The points I brought up in respect to Khan Academy's methods are not so much points I have personally with mr Khan, they are in direct conflict with currently prevailing social, and educational, psychology's viewpoints. The first and third point I brought up in particular fly in the face of everything research into behaviourism and constructivism show.

I'm not trying to be negative, there are some good points about the instruction of Khan Academy. The points you bring up; being able to pause it, being able to access it whenever you will, and the fact that's he's very rarely factually wrong with what he says are all valuable. But if you would study linear algebra according to more modern insights, you would probably find it to be faster, you would get a higher order of understanding of it and you would find the information will be easier to retain.

As I said I teach science in the higher classes of highschool, in the Netherlands that means that on top of my master's degree in Physics, I have done a full year of post master university level in education and social psychology.

Simply claiming that because you find Khan Academy sufficient to learn linear algebra and therefore it's a good way to educate people, to me is woo.



You make two points here, you are absolutely right in claiming that different people have different styles of learning. Most people would refer to Kolb who differentiate between people that prefer concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation or active experimentation. That's why in these times all good teacher vary their lessons so each of these preferences get some time to shine.

While this can be used as an argument in favour of Khan when it comes to a single topic, it's actually a problem if one would get all their topics given to them this way. In order to later be succesful in further studies or a proffessional career students actually have to learn to also use those learning strategies that they would not normally favour because of their own learning style.

You argument that traditional education favours the convenience of the teacher has not been true of good teachers at least since the 1970 when the eductional psychology research took flight. Of course there are still to this days teachers would are lazy and teach in a way that conveniences them rather than challenge their students. But to claim that that's currently traditional education is borderline insulting to teacher like me who take their job seriously and use evidence based practices to constantly improve their lessons.
So what would you propose to do to make good education -- be it via a traditional or non-traditional approach -- available to all regardless of income/economic level? To make good education available to the poor, and not just in one country?
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