The Khan Academy phenomenon lives on, with more than 9,000 videos on more than 65 languages.
This Ted Talk by Salman Khan way back in 2011 has some profound learnings:-
1. He found that kids prefer a video of him teaching them, rather than him teaching them in person, because…
- in video, he can be paused and repeated
- there is less pressure on the kids – there isn’t someone there to ask them “have you understood what i just tried to teach you?”
- they can watch him again at a later date, without the embarrassment of going to him to tell him that they have forgotten what he taught.
2. He talks about the Flip Classroom (which I have described in a recent blog posting). His comment is that the teachers use technology to “humanize” the classroom. I think this is specifically profound as many people (including educators) say that eLearning is not effective as it lacks the human touch in a classroom. But in reality, a typical classroom is where the teacher gives a one-way delivery of knowledge. The students are mostly not allowed to speak during this, and probably are terrified that they will be picked upon to answer questions. In a Flip Classroom, the students can interact with each other, as well as with the teacher, whilst doing their homework.
3. In a traditional classroom, the teacher moves on to another, probably harder topic, irrespective of whether all the students have mastered the current topic. Talk about lining them up for failure! Using technology and the Flip Classroom concept, the students get personalized learning, rather than a “one size fits all”. The slower students can watch the videos over and over again to catch up. And the better students can move on to other topics. In the class, the teacher is helping the students, irrespective of which topic the student is at. The teacher can spend more time in class to help the students who need to catch up.
4. With Khan Academy, the teachers can keep track of which student is up to which video. They can even have questions to test the students before they move to the next video. So at one glance, the teacher can see which of the students are falling behind, and need some extra attention. And for the students who are doing exceptionally well, the teacher can assign them to help those who are falling behind. Now, how cool is that! There is also a lot of other data which the teacher can have access to, as explained by Salman Khan.
5. The teacher can then spend 95% of his/her time interacting with (rather than talking at) the students. Traditionally, the teacher spends only 5% of his/her time in real interaction with the students. This can make the teachers’ job more interesting and satisfying.