Over at Action-Reaction, Frank Noschese has an article Khan Academy: My Final Remarks. I agree with many of his points. Here is a quote from near the end of the post:
Khan Academy is just one tool in a teacher’s arsenal. (If it’s the only tool, that is a HUGE problem.) Khan Academy can be useful for some kids as a vehicle (build skills) to help them get to better places (solving complex problems).Here are some other bloggers putting KA into some reasonable context:
- On his Quantum Progress blog, John Burk also chimed in with Project Euler vs Khan Academy: The Future of Online Learning.
- Mathalicious's blog has Socrates & C-3PO.
- On his MAA blog Devlin's Angle, Professor Keith Devlin brings us The Difference Between Teaching and Instruction.
I don't mean to be a Khan basher. When using KA as a way to support struggling students, or as a way to help flip a classroom and allow teachers to focus on engaging with students, it can have great value. The Daily Riff has The Flipped Class Manifest, which provides some insights into how and when flipping a classroom can work, as well as a nice set of links to articles that provide more depth.
Back in 2007 (before I ever heard of Khan Academy), I started developing instructional videos that are somewhat similar to Khan’s work. I think they are great tools, but they are not the be-all and end-all of online education. We need to continue to innovate, but shouldn't get too carried away by the latest educational fad and think it will solve all our problems.