This conversation is closed.

Using Khan Academy style learning over the traditional ways of education?

After watching Salman Khan's talk about Khan Academy, could Khan Academy be the way of the future? If so, How would it be implemented on a university level?
Reduce Costs?

  • thumb
    Nov 19 2012: The Khan Academy is the traditional style of pedagogy in the sense of what is called "direct instruction" or lecture- one way, top down. The innovation is that it is online and broken into smaller chunks than lecture. It obviously saves money, because one doesn't need a physical plant.

    Outside of that, I think innovation that involves hands-on, interactive pedagogy with high quality feedback is far superior, but, as you say, more expensive.

    It is a trade-off.
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • 0
    Nov 19 2012: Update, 10/20/12: Yielding to common sense, the state has revised its position stating that Minnesotans should feel free to pursue online learning and that legislators will work to update the 20 year-old statute, the Washington Post reports.
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • 0
    Nov 19 2012: The Minnesota response to Coursera (and other on-line courses) horrifies me! But it also shows how education has been corrupted by $$$$$$$$$$$. Stopping on-line learning is unconscionable.

    As to Kahn Academy, I love the basic format of giving information, offering practice, and a path forward. The down side is that it's not large enough. I was working on statistics through Kahn and part of the video was missing. So I went to the chat part under the video and noticed that others had asked the same question. The answers to the questions (given by web users) differed. Which was the right answer and why? There were no "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" provisions that would have helped.

    I went to another web site and asked Dr. Math, but Dr. Math appears to be more interested in showing off how much he knew than answering a simple question. He answered in math rather than in English.

    I also started an American History course, but found it so filled with errors that I commented about the errors with links to documentation. But to what avail? The course was never changed. It is the same lie-filled history that we all learned in elementary and middle school. Perhaps an open forum history class will allow change. We can't fix what is broken if the point of breakage is being hidden from the people by those whose profits are threatened by truth.

    So I like the forum, but I would like a way to find answers to questions that are brought up during course work. It seems that volunteers could fill this void or simple thumbs up/down buttons. I never could find the answer to my question so I couldn't advance to the next class without leaving a void in my knowledge (that still bugs me).

    Life long learning should be freely available to all.
  • thumb
    Nov 19 2012: This is a great question, and if realized, I really do believe that this can change everything. I believe, like many who are participating in providing free online courses, that the possibility exists for a global change by following through with ideas like this. By providing those with knowledge that is otherwise unobtainable for them, we open doors to new perspectives and chances for game-changing innovations that could make like better for all future generations.

    In addition to Khan Academy, there is, as well as Both provide free top-university education classes. Anyone can take these, and many offer certificates that can be used in the real world. I'm assuming you have seen this ( by Daphne Koller, but if not, please do. It's a great video.

    Unfortunately, if there are people who live in Minnesota, it looks like you may have some problems:
    I have not researched if that has been lifted or not, but since the article is only around a month old, it is not likely.

    Your reduced cost angle is very interesting as well, and something I did not think about. Although I am sure it would be very difficult to convince universities to accept hybrid courses (free online/university-specific), if the paying students who are putting themselves deeply into debt begin to demand it, who knows what could happen.

    Great post, I hope you get a lot of feedback on this!